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If You're Not Listening to Chris Martenson...

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Re: Chris Martenson : Mad As Hell

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 02 Feb 2017, 12:42:57

EU - Glad to hear it worked out for the wife. But your out of pocket costs!!! The first thorough exam by a US doctor would have cost more then your entire bill. I won't even guess what the same bill would have been in the US. Just a simple MRI runs $2,000 or so. Can a foreigner get the same rate in Poland? If so it would probably be cheaper for a US citizen even adding a couple of r/t plane tickets. Many here without insurance take such an approach.

I don't a problem with single payer systems per se. The serious cost problem comes from any payer (govt or ins. company) that fuels medical cost inflation by injecting huge amounts of revenue into the system with little regard to the competition dynamic. President Trump says he'll address that situation...at least so far with drug costs. I have doubts about such an effort. He might be able to tell the D's in Congress to f*ck off.

But they aren't nearly as powerful as the medical and insurance industries. LOL
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Re: Chris Martenson : Mad As Hell

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Thu 02 Feb 2017, 13:51:34

Yes,
Foreigners can get the same deal as local Poles do and they are welcomed.
Plenty of clinics taking private patients as well.
Here you have price list of different surgical procedures (procedures described in Polish - you must translate).
http://klinikasalus.pl/index.php/cennik ... peracyjne/
It is an average private clinic, reasonably well equipped and staffed.
My wife was operated there.
Many if not most of operating doctors with PhD and long practice.
To get approximate dollar price divide given numbers by four.
Many cost as much as few X-rays in US and nearly all cheaper than MRI in US clinic.
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Re: Chris Martenson : Mad As Hell

Unread postby Ibon » Thu 02 Feb 2017, 14:32:04

evilgenius wrote:
Ibon wrote:
Cog wrote:Unless you address costs, TrumpCare will end up exactly where ObamaCare did.


That's correct. The costs of medical procedures, drugs and insurance is at the end controlled by the industries that lobby to defend their profits. There is a giant cartel at play here that are shafting the American consumer. Anyone who has lived in foreign countries and has compared the costs knows this is the result of artificially inflated prices engineered by the industries who have an army of lobbyists in DC.

Trump will confront this same brick wall Obama did in trying to dismantle this cartel.

Trump would have to feel a rising tide of outrage from the public that would rival the force that lobbyists currently have. This requires an educated electorate.


All you really need to do, for employer based care, is get rid of pre-tax contributions by employees and employers. Employers are incentivized under that scheme to give employees a "raise" in the form of more money contributed to the healthcare plan. Employees also consider a tacit raise that is swallowed up by higher premiums as a raise, again an easy and desirable way for employers to manage their plans in lieu of actual raises for which they have to pay matching taxes. It's the unreasonable fear of taxes, the rejection of (by ease of substitution) any pay increase should it involve them, that is the real bogeyman in this argument. The avoidance of taxes is at the root of high healthcare costs. Obviously, this also contributes to employee's lack of increase in real income over time as well. You cannot discount the micro-economic part of the equation. Personal and corporate greed are both involved in high healthcare costs. They both contribute to the outsized amount of money available to the system which causes an over statement of demand in dollar terms.



Read again Rockman's comment to Energy Unlimited's post. Who needs single payer in Poland when out of pocket expenses are so low there? Just like they are in most places in the world. It is the cost of procedures and pharmaceuticals in the US vs other markets that is the source of the problem.

Why is this point again and again ignored?
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Re: Chris Martenson : Mad As Hell

Unread postby Cog » Thu 02 Feb 2017, 14:53:21

Because people don't want to face the fact that insurance companies, big pharma, hospitals, and doctors are going to take a severe economic hit should price discovery be the law.

We have price discovery in nearly every commodity and service in our capitalist system. But not in health care. That has to change and right quick.
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Re: Chris Martenson : Mad As Hell

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 02 Feb 2017, 15:10:16

You DO have price discovery, EU posted it.

If enough folks take their medical dollars elsewhere it WILL change.

Although I suspect you will first see legislation to outlaw overseas treatment.
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Re: Chris Martenson : Mad As Hell

Unread postby Cog » Thu 02 Feb 2017, 15:54:36

Newfie wrote:You DO have price discovery, EU posted it.

If enough folks take their medical dollars elsewhere it WILL change.

Although I suspect you will first see legislation to outlaw overseas treatment.


Except with limited examples, like the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, you don't have price discovery within the USA. That is what is needed. I'm quite aware that you can travel overseas and pay cash for medical services but most people can't afford the plane ticket and the service. Hospitals, doctors, and the pharmaceutical industry must disclose their price for their service. I don't care what that price is, but it needs to be disclosed so people can truly shop for the services that they require. And whatever that price happens to be, it should be the same whether you pay cash or use insurance.

I should be able to call up a surgeon and a hospital anywhere in the USA and ask them the cash price for a knee replacement. I can do this with a vehicle repair why not a body repair? I understand if complications arise but that should be priced as well.
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Re: Chris Martenson : Mad As Hell

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 02 Feb 2017, 16:34:20

Cog,

I believe many people can afford the plane ticket, when compared to cost of service inside the USA. What's holding it back is the mistaken idea that countries outside the USA can't provide adequate or equal care.

http://www.patientsbeyondborders.com/me ... tics-facts
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Re: Chris Martenson : Mad As Hell

Unread postby Ibon » Sat 04 Feb 2017, 19:14:34

Cog wrote:Because people don't want to face the fact that insurance companies, big pharma, hospitals, and doctors are going to take a severe economic hit should price discovery be the law.

We have price discovery in nearly every commodity and service in our capitalist system. But not in health care. That has to change and right quick.



I agree. I think this is one of those issues that will make it or break it for Trump. Of all the issues that he tapped into the one that really hits folks most is the unfairness in the way the game has been rigged by corporate lobbyists blocking real reform and the health care industry is for me the top of the list of the most egregious. Something that Trump tapped into while campaigning and now the day of truth is slowly approaching when he either does the Obama shuffle dance of saying the right things and doing nothing or really opening up an ugly can of worms by confronting the corruption that lies behind health care in the USA. Rigged pricing on pharmaceuticals and procedures, corporate lobbyists representing health care providers, drug companies and insurance companies that influence legislators against any real reform.

I am skeptical but watchful.
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Re: Chris Martenson : Mad As Hell

Unread postby Cog » Sat 04 Feb 2017, 21:50:02

I am skeptical as well. What would Trump's reward for crashing the stock price of every pharmaceutical company and health insurance company? It sure wouldn't be reelection even if it were in the long term benefit of everyone involved. Now maybe Trump doesn't care about reelection but there are 535 people in Washington DC who think about it day and night. We can't continue to have 7-9% yearly increases in health care costs. Already people are being priced out of the market.

It goes against my philosophy of small government, but we may have to go down the road of some type of government ran health care if we don't get a handle on the pricing. The thought depresses me though since I don't trust government to do anything well.
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Re: Chris Martenson : Mad As Hell

Unread postby evilgenius » Sun 05 Feb 2017, 10:37:05

Cog wrote:I am skeptical as well. What would Trump's reward for crashing the stock price of every pharmaceutical company and health insurance company? It sure wouldn't be reelection even if it were in the long term benefit of everyone involved. Now maybe Trump doesn't care about reelection but there are 535 people in Washington DC who think about it day and night. We can't continue to have 7-9% yearly increases in health care costs. Already people are being priced out of the market.

It goes against my philosophy of small government, but we may have to go down the road of some type of government ran health care if we don't get a handle on the pricing. The thought depresses me though since I don't trust government to do anything well.


What you are saying looks as if it could come with a high probability of undesirable unintended consequences. Imagine, for instance, some bacterial development that required us to kick antibiotic research up a few notches, but we couldn't meet the challenge because of the financial condition of pharmaceutical companies after a Trump industry shakeup? Imagine the wars within those companies for control, in the wake of the opportunity to seize power manifesting itself due to extreme volatility of stock prices? Those wars would be certain to come with obstruction of both vision and long term decision making. People within an organization act differently when they can't be certain a governing regime will retain power more than a short time. They don't necessarily change everything they do to match the new vision, wondering if they oughtn't to stay ready for a change of plans when the next CEO comes in.
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Re: Chris Martenson : Mad As Hell

Unread postby Ibon » Sun 05 Feb 2017, 15:35:17

evilgenius wrote:What you are saying looks as if it could come with a high probability of undesirable unintended consequences. Imagine, for instance, some bacterial development that required us to kick antibiotic research up a few notches, but we couldn't meet the challenge because of the financial condition of pharmaceutical companies after a Trump industry shakeup? Imagine the wars within those companies for control, in the wake of the opportunity to seize power manifesting itself due to extreme volatility of stock prices? Those wars would be certain to come with obstruction of both vision and long term decision making. People within an organization act differently when they can't be certain a governing regime will retain power more than a short time. They don't necessarily change everything they do to match the new vision, wondering if they oughtn't to stay ready for a change of plans when the next CEO comes in.


You are sounding like a corporate lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry who is basically saying that state of the art drugs are only possible if Uncle Sam subsidizes our industry which is what is actually happening with the price protections in place that cause US citizens to pay sometimes 10 - 20 times the prices for drugs than you see in other countries.

And your hypothetical example of an urgently needed anti-biotic actually is good to point out another strategic marketing decision that pharmaceutical companies took years ago when they failed to develop new antibiotics because these drugs actually cure you of disease. That makes their research and development a low priority for drug companies because you can only sell a single dose. Much better to develop anti-statins and spend hundreds of millions on marketing and creating incentives for doctors to prescribe them because these are pills that you take for decades. Chronic medication is the principal area of R&D for drug companies, not actually curing you of illness. It is only after 3 decades of drugs like Zocor and Lipitor that suddenly the truth comes out that these anti-statins where marginal in as a control of cholestrol and heart disease in most cases.

How about cancer drugs and the billions of dollars that the industry makes in prescribing chemo-therapies long past their effectiveness in terminal patients. How the industry plays on the desperate hope of loved ones who spend billions and billions when these patients should be given morphine and made comfortable instead of milked for the last dollar.

It is a deeply cynical industry, sick to the core in the way profits drive R&D and the way procedures and drugs are prescribed. Most folks still see the doctor in the white coat or watch the advertisements and actually believing that there still exists this hippocratic oath that drives the health care industry. That is long gone. It is a money game, cynical and driven by greed and profit. It's a sick industry. I was in it for 25 years and know what I am talking about.

Nobody wants to open this can of worms.

It is a metaphor actually for much of what we discuss here. To cure the problem requires a short term correction and financial hit. Long term solutions require this to happen but you wont find a politician with the integrity to confront this.

Same applies to energy, climate change, our deeply indebted financial system... Everyone is afraid of the short term pain required to reform sick industries.
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Re: Chris Martenson : Mad As Hell

Unread postby Kristen » Thu 09 Feb 2017, 18:32:08

Mandatory euthanasia at 75 would solve our health care crisis. The baby boomers were lucky enough to live in the age of prosperity while the declining youth survive off of its rotting corpse. I haven't had health insurance in five years and at age 30, I've been lucky enough to remain healthy by preventative measures. If I did get struck down with some medical emergency I'd likely refuse care to be honest. I'd hate to be a freeloader on the system and inconvenience the fictional middle class.
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Re: Chris Martenson : Mad As Hell

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 10 Feb 2017, 17:03:40

You should not think of yourself as a drag on the middle class, whatever that is. The are tons of folks who drag on society and make their own medical emergencies. Alcoholics, drug abusers, grossly obese, etc. for them I have little pity outside some mental health assistance. Folks who have some medical emergency they did not contribute to; hit by a DUI for instance, should recieve government assistance.
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Re: Chris Martenson : Mad As Hell

Unread postby evilgenius » Sat 11 Feb 2017, 11:20:37

Ibon wrote:
evilgenius wrote:What you are saying looks as if it could come with a high probability of undesirable unintended consequences. Imagine, for instance, some bacterial development that required us to kick antibiotic research up a few notches, but we couldn't meet the challenge because of the financial condition of pharmaceutical companies after a Trump industry shakeup? Imagine the wars within those companies for control, in the wake of the opportunity to seize power manifesting itself due to extreme volatility of stock prices? Those wars would be certain to come with obstruction of both vision and long term decision making. People within an organization act differently when they can't be certain a governing regime will retain power more than a short time. They don't necessarily change everything they do to match the new vision, wondering if they oughtn't to stay ready for a change of plans when the next CEO comes in.


You are sounding like a corporate lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry who is basically saying that state of the art drugs are only possible if Uncle Sam subsidizes our industry which is what is actually happening with the price protections in place that cause US citizens to pay sometimes 10 - 20 times the prices for drugs than you see in other countries.

And your hypothetical example of an urgently needed anti-biotic actually is good to point out another strategic marketing decision that pharmaceutical companies took years ago when they failed to develop new antibiotics because these drugs actually cure you of disease. That makes their research and development a low priority for drug companies because you can only sell a single dose. Much better to develop anti-statins and spend hundreds of millions on marketing and creating incentives for doctors to prescribe them because these are pills that you take for decades. Chronic medication is the principal area of R&D for drug companies, not actually curing you of illness. It is only after 3 decades of drugs like Zocor and Lipitor that suddenly the truth comes out that these anti-statins where marginal in as a control of cholestrol and heart disease in most cases.

How about cancer drugs and the billions of dollars that the industry makes in prescribing chemo-therapies long past their effectiveness in terminal patients. How the industry plays on the desperate hope of loved ones who spend billions and billions when these patients should be given morphine and made comfortable instead of milked for the last dollar.

It is a deeply cynical industry, sick to the core in the way profits drive R&D and the way procedures and drugs are prescribed. Most folks still see the doctor in the white coat or watch the advertisements and actually believing that there still exists this hippocratic oath that drives the health care industry. That is long gone. It is a money game, cynical and driven by greed and profit. It's a sick industry. I was in it for 25 years and know what I am talking about.

Nobody wants to open this can of worms.

It is a metaphor actually for much of what we discuss here. To cure the problem requires a short term correction and financial hit. Long term solutions require this to happen but you wont find a politician with the integrity to confront this.

Same applies to energy, climate change, our deeply indebted financial system... Everyone is afraid of the short term pain required to reform sick industries.


No, what I'm telling you is that is the wrong way to go about doing it. Like Cog says, there isn't any price discovery. This is a market based problem. There is simply too much money chasing healthcare. The reason for that is that pre-tax deductions for health insurance distort the picture. They remove people from the ability to make economic decisions. Perversely, pre-tax contributions increase the amount of money available to run after healthcare services, but they separate both people and employers from choosing where those dollars will go. Employers hand wring and bewail the choice of which plan to pick and then they turn the money over in one huge transfer of power. They place it in the hands of the insurer as agent. The insurers are not good agents.

The supply of money is so great because employers are more than happy to pay people more if it means they don't have to pay matching taxes. Employees are happy to get paid more, since healthcare is so important to them. They would rather not pay taxes on it either. Taxes are for their 'real income' over which they want to maintain some power over decision making. Fear of paying taxes lies at the heart of this, as well as an unwillingness to categorize a thing like money spent on healthcare as real income. That fear has placed the dollars available into a place where choice is derailed. But you only pay taxes on a positive thing. By moving the costs into the taxed realm you move the money involved into a place where people do have power over how it is spent. They have a stronger connection to 'their money' in that place.

That's where you need to introduce pricing options because that's who the healthcare providers would then have to appeal to. Those options could still arrive under the auspices of some sort of employer based source, but they wouldn't really have to. You could go with public exchanges, even down to specifics. Wrapping costs up in agency is also a problem, even though we will probably never be able to completely eliminate it. Having instituted a means to exchange, however, you've got to make the costs hurt those who pay them such that they are compelled to control them. Pre-tax doesn't cost people enough pain. Competition should begin to sort things out from there. It might not solve everything, but it would be a start. It would be far better than using the government hammer to break something most people don't understand, and at a far quicker pace than critical industries can survive.
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Re: Chris Martenson : Mad As Hell

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sat 11 Feb 2017, 12:30:22

Kristen wrote:Mandatory euthanasia at 75 would solve our health care crisis. The baby boomers were lucky enough to live in the age of prosperity while the declining youth survive off of its rotting corpse. I haven't had health insurance in five years and at age 30, I've been lucky enough to remain healthy by preventative measures. If I did get struck down with some medical emergency I'd likely refuse care to be honest. I'd hate to be a freeloader on the system and inconvenience the fictional middle class.


Killing people at an arbitrary age is no less evil than killing people arbitrarily because their ancestors practiced a certain religious faith, or because of the color of their skin.
II Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
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You’re Just Not Prepared For What’s Coming

Unread postby AdamB » Sat 02 Dec 2017, 23:11:01


I hate to break it to you, but chances are you're just not prepared for what’s coming. Not even close. Don't take it personally. I'm simply playing the odds. After spending more than a decade warning people all over the world about the futility of pursuing infinite exponential economic growth on a finite planet, I can tell you this: very few are even aware of the nature of our predicament. An even smaller subset is either physically or financially ready for the sort of future barreling down on us. Even fewer are mentally prepared for it. And make no mistake: it's the mental and emotional preparation that matters the most. If you can't cope with adversity and uncertainty, you're going to be toast in the coming years. Those of us intending to persevere need to start by looking unflinchingly at the data, and then allowing


You’re Just Not Prepared For What’s Coming
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Re: You’re Just Not Prepared For What’s Coming

Unread postby Cog » Sun 03 Dec 2017, 06:24:31

Buy my book please. ;)
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Re: You’re Just Not Prepared For What’s Coming

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Sun 03 Dec 2017, 07:41:34

Would Adam please stop being a dickwad, posting quote based new topics with no personal input, no research into relevant history on the forums & ending in complete sentences? Is that too much to f'ing ask?
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Re: You’re Just Not Prepared For What’s Coming

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Sun 03 Dec 2017, 10:47:27

Ahem, with regard to the post topic .... Chris Martenson has been a longtime shill for precious metals, Gold and Silver in particular. He is also a Doomer, and has been predicting Doom as imminent for 20+ years. During that time, through the three financial bubbles he talks about, his followers have lost an enormous amaount of purchasing power by parking their cash in metals.

Just saying .... the idea with metals is to buy low and sell high, just as with stocks and commodities. Most amatuers get this backwards in the end, and - as in the stocks/commodities markets - the pros skin them of their money. If you think you are better than the pros, you are probably wrong.
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Re: If You're Not Listening to Chris Martenson...

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 03 Dec 2017, 12:23:46

Gold is actually quite reasonably priced, has mostly followed inflation. Sounds like a nice conservative investment. Unlike the crap holding up our rentier capitalistic economy

So what would you rather have when the SHTF. A little stockpile of gold or a $105.4 million Andy Warhol soup can? You could probably grab a third rate Leonardo for $500 million tomorrow. Or have built another $200 million 30,000 sq. ft. McMansion.

KJ, you of anyone here understand the valuelessness of what we have created. Why not gold? When all the stupid money try to flood out of the various bubble markets, gold will looks pretty sweet in comparison. Read Martenson, compare asset prices to GDP. Forget about your preconceptions.
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