Thursday, December 22, 2016

In the Spirit of Sowell

Rob Lawson - So, when I discovered this group, I thought "heh, this is great stuff. Smart, relatively little "name calling." Some interesting topics.

After a while, I thought I'd bring it to the attention of some friends who might have an interest in it. As I scrolled down my list, I automatically disqualified those who lean to (or are heavily) left. I figured my friends leaning right would be more receptive to the ideas here.

But then I thought "wait a sec. The people who really SHOULD read this are leftists. There's some great logic and intellectual backing for pretty much everything Sowell says.

So I tried it with one smart left-leaning friend (a little nervous, I don't want to be pushy). After a week, I noticed he'd signed up and I thanked him for at least checking this place out. But alas, he wrote back:

"So I gave it a fair read and unjoined.... I find his views to be pseudo intellectual and seem more aligned with driving an agenda as opposed to making reasonable points...there is a big contrast with Robert Reich whom I find more balanced and well reasoned from my perspective.... less about scoring points to me at least."


I did stand up for Sowell, noting that he has the exact same "agenda" as Reich (who I follow as well, but don't agree with nearly as much as Sowell), that being "the best way to have a prosperous society for all."

And secondly, I noted that there's nothing "pseudo intellectual" about Sowell. He's a towering intellectual giant, standing above most others. Perhaps some on here might be given that name.

Anyway, thought I'd share that. I think it highlights the importance of always being polite, no name calling, sticking to data as much as possible.

 We can "preach to the choir" all day long, but what's the point if we can't articulate to others who might think or believe a little differently?

Muhammad Rasheed - I love Dr. Sowell's work, and in a lot of ways it changed my life. But he is a Senior Fellow at a major conservative think tank that absolutely has a political agenda though, and since they are paying his bills, he's not likely to write articles that conflict with their pet views whether he finds facts that destroy those views or not. For example, his articles that praise Reagan are conspicuously absent a worthy harsh critique against the former president's nation destroying policies, just as Obama's well-documented support of open free markets over cartels/monopolies that are classic libertarian check-off bullets, are conspicuously ignored in his condemnation of the POTUS.

I have no illusions about Sowell as he is just a human being after-all, but when he is at his best, working on the topics he built his masterwork around, he's untouchable as a scholar par excellence.

Stephen Paulsen - Actually, his paycheck comes from Stanford University, where he is a tenured professor.

Muhammad Rasheed - Thank you. But he's also getting money from Hoover.

Muhammad Rasheed - And the fans of his printed work, who are the vast majority self-confessed conservatives.

Stephen Paulsen - I understand your point, but I don't think the Hoover Institute is where his opinions are formed. I have watched him since the 70s, when he and Milton Friedman spared with big-name leftists on Free to Decide. He has been consistent, so who pays for that consistency shouldn't matter.

JB Poole - I would hardly classify Obama's signature legislation, 'Obamacare' as open or free market.

Muhammad Rasheed - I think he's been suspiciously less consistent in his older years. Why ignore the clear terror of the Black/Latino communities by Reagan's savage 'War on Drugs" and ignore Obama's free market championship since that is something that all Libertarian leaning folk should love?

Together those two items look extremely fishy.

Scott Hoffman - @Muhammad Rasheed, probably most of us take offense to this statement out of a well argued position of yours;

" just as Obama's well-documented support of open free markets over cartels/monopolies".

Obama supports Gov't Winners and Losers and funding for Markets that the Free Market will not support. He's friends and supporters are big companies, wall street types, Silicon Valley Cartels and banks... This is "Documented by who gave to his elections campaigns!

You destroyed your credibility with that statement, IMHO

JB Poole - @Scott Hoffman... you got that right.....

Muhammad Rasheed - You destroyed your credibility, Scott, by not simply asking me as to what I was referring to with my comment.

Muhammad Rasheed - "Well-documented" was a clue.

Stephen Paulsen - I believe Dr. So well has addressed the minority crime issue many a time. I don't think he's been inconsistent. He doesn't buy the BLM tripe.

Don MacLean - What is the well documented support of open markets by Obama

Scott Hoffman - @Muhammad Rasheed, on the war on drugs, it's madness.  One of my current favorite sayings that I tweaked!

"Legalize everything and let God and Darwin take over!"

Muhammad Rasheed - Thank you, Don. THERE'S the Spirit of Sowell that i joined this group expecting to find! smh lol

Stephen Paulsen - True, but the issues are the same

Muhammad Rasheed - This isn't about the oddly demonized BLM, since that org isn't as old as the Reagan administration's crimes.

JB Poole - @Muhammad Rasheed... I am happy that you include the reference to BLM with Reagan 'crimes". By that inclusion, you tacitly acknowledge that BLM is a criminal organization....

Damon Williams - You've got it backwards Muham,. Mr Sowell was asked to join BECAUSE of his views and outlook. But I"d love to hear some of your urban myths about Reagan.

Muhammad Rasheed - Stand by... I have to address Don's request first because he genuinely earned it.

Damon Williams - you're hilarious.

Muhammad Rasheed   ;)

Jay Valko - As a huge fan of Sowell, I have to admit that sometimes I wonder at some of his articles. Most of his books are A+ outstanding, most of his articles are great, but he definitely does some preaching to the choir. I think he writes many articles to appease his base.

Damon Williams - good lord, trying to spin open markets from obama ought to be a hoot.

Don MacLean - @Damon... I find it intriguing.

Damon Williams - @Jay Valko... You'd rather he write things opposed to his thoughts? lol

Jay King - @Scott Hoffman... It's hard for a fair minded observer not to notice that the WAR ON DRUGS generates vastly more problems than the drugs themselves. Aside from the invasion of individual rights that drug laws represent, this WAR is obscenely costly in many ways. Drugs should be treated- out in the open - as a PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE.

Jay Valko - @Damon Williams, at times book Sowell and article Sowell seem like two different people.

Brian Christopher - My God, everyone calm down. A guy disagrees with Sowell and you all lose your minds like a bunch of hyper emotional liberals. Sowell is not a deity.

That said, I am curious about what you think Obama’s free market policies are.

Also your facts are a little muddled, LBJ kicked off the "War on Crime," and Nixon the "War on Drugs." Admittedly Reagan was a contributor to the latter though.

Muhammad Rasheed - Brian Christopher wrote: "LBJ kicked off the 'War on Crime,' and Nixon the 'War on Drugs.' Admittedly Reagan was a contributor to the latter though."

Yes, I meant "War on Drugs." It was a typo. The difference between the Nixon and Reagan drug policies, is that the former meant it figuratively, while Reagan meant it literal as hell.

Scott Hoffman - @Brian Christopher, Amen!

Damon Williams - Calm down Brian lol

Damon Williams - @Brian Christopher... don't leave us hanging, tell us about how Reagan dealt drugs on the side.

Muhammad Rasheed - "When President Obama took office, he vowed a new era of antitrust enforcement, promising to crack down on deals that undermined competition. Now the administration faces its biggest test.

"On Wednesday, the Justice Department sued to block AT&T’s $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA, a merger that would create the nation’s largest mobile carrier.

“'We believe the combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would result in tens of millions of consumers all across the United States facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower-quality products for their mobile wireless services,' said James M. Cole, the deputy attorney general."

The Antitrust Battle Ahead

Damon Williams - There have been numerous big mergers under obama. What is this supposed to indicate again?

Jay King - @Brian Christopher... I am not concerned with who started the WAR ON DRUGS - or why. I am concerned with ENDING it and its catastrophic consequences.

Muhammad Rasheed - WASHINGTON — Declaring himself an ally of American students in a fight against commercial banks, President Obama on Tuesday signed a new law designed to free up more money for higher education by ending the role of banks as "middlemen" in the college lending process.

The changes to the college loan business come as part of the final piece of the healthcare reform law, which Obama enacted in a signing ceremony at a community college in the Virginia suburbs of D.C.

Speaking to a crowd of students, Obama credited Democrats in Congress with tackling "a sweetheart deal in federal law" that guaranteed billions of dollars in profits for banks to offer college loans.

Money that should have been spent advancing the educational interests of students "instead was spent padding student lenders' profits," the president said. "It probably won't surprise you to learn that the banks hired an army of lobbyists" to fight it.

Obama signs student loan reforms into law

Don MacLean - @Muhammad... is there more? Asking before I comment.

Damon Williams - But the Student loan program, better called the "college loan program" has been a HUGE failure. You've got student debt over a trillion, kids paying loan debt rather than buying homes, and defaults are sky high. Would have been much more useful and beneficial to have urged colleges to stop the insane raising of tuitions, which is among the highest inflationary cost in history.

Brian Christopher - On October 14, 1982, President Ronald Reagan declared drugs to be a threat to U.S. national security.

In 1988, Reagan created the Office of National Drug Control Policy to coordinate drug-related legislative, security, diplomatic, research and health policy throughout the government.

Also, it was under his watch that the crack vs. cocaine sentencing disparity really harmed the black community.

He was nowhere near as culpable as Johnson or Nixon.

Stephen Paulsen - So removing the credits for banks that loaned to risky students will put the financial burden squarely on the taxpayers and remove the private sector from the equation. That is never a good thing.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Don... Yes.

#3 - The Obama Administration broke up the long running Insurance company cartel with the Affordable Care Act, enabling anyone to jump in that industry and compete.

#4 - He sued to prevent the cable companies from forming a cartel, too. I'll have to dig those articles up in the morning though.

Stephen Paulsen - #3 didn't work out that way.

Damon Williams - @Brian Christopher So crack is not worse to the individual than powder? I disagree, all one needed to do was look at the neighborhoods where crack had struck to see which was destroying lives at a far higher clip.

Scott Hoffman - @Muhammad Rasheed... Why not just change the Law to allow Insurance companies to compete in different states? All Obama did was make it a Socialist Medicine, with the Gov't creating the Cartels!

Muhammad Rasheed - No, it freed up the markets. No one has to buy anything from the gov, or from who the gov demands.

Brian Christopher - @Muhammad, I'm trying to defend you here, but The ACA was not at all free market. It entrenched both insurance companies and the government in an industry that should be run by neither.

Muhammad Rasheed - Damon Williams wrote: "...all one needed to do was look at the neighborhoods where crack had struck..."

More importantly, the severely unfair drug offense laws that snatched up minorities but gave the powder offense suburbanites slaps on the wrist. These laws were responsible for the blight that destroyed the communities.

Damon Williams - Come on Mu, no one is buying the hype any longer. Costs are up, deductables are up. competition is scarce where it exists at all, and there are STILL tens of millions uninsured. It's OVER. lol

Muhammad Rasheed - @Brian & Damon... The gov is NOT running it, just protecting the competition of the marketplace. You can purchase from whomever you wish. The problem is that the red states that didn't support it screwed over its true potential.

Don MacLean - @Muhammad... if you're forcing tax payers to subsidize the services of others (who are in turn forced to accept these services), you are creating a system that is anything but part of the free market. I'm sure you understand the ripple effect of such a policy.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Don... Yes, but there's a HUGE difference between the POTUS actively working to protect free market capitalism from cartels/monopolies versus the "demon kenyan mooslem socialist" picture his critics on the right have painted of him. Naturally he wasn't going to transform the gov into Libertarianism. He's a Moderate/centrist after-all.

JB Poole - @Damon Williams... SPIN is right! Someone here (Rasheed) is a very unapologetic Obama apologist....

Muhammad Rasheed - The fact that he is actually a LOT different from what you lot and Dr. Sowell have said about him deserves a serious discussion in what we really claim to believe.

Jay King - @Muhammad Rasheed... I think THE problem - if we have to pick just one - was depriving individuals of choice and control.

JB Poole - @Muhammad Rasheed, oh, dude. I really enjoy your sense of laughs I have had all week.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Jay... Did the previous full-blown insurance company cartel give you choice & control? Because by definition it stifled the markets. It hasn't had a chance to stabilize yet and you all... who are supposed to be wiser on such topics... are joining in on the panic freakout. lol

Damon Williams - I think he actually believes obama is a free market proponent, Yet advocating stifling the free enterprise insurance market. OK, I've heard enough. LOL

JB Poole - @Muhammad Rasheed... I would simply say that I have always paid for my insurance. Before Obamacare, I could afford it. Now, simply, I can't. So, before I could choose to buy or not buy. Now, I am a criminal because I do not buy it. Nothing in Obamacare improved accessibility, nor cost nor doctor access as repeatedly promised by the President. That is the truth.

Don MacLean - The old system wasn't free market either. But I'm still not convinced forcing people to pay for a service other people are forced to use, can be considered protecting a free market.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Damon... The ACA broke up the cartel. Even though you all had grown used to singing that "the gov is monopolizing insurance!" song, that is 100% not what happened. lol

JB Poole - @Don MacLean... exactly. I have always seen a doctor when necessary, insurance or none. It was never about providing insurance or health care. It was redistribution of income and government control over 1/6 of our economy (not very free market when the government holds the reins) .

Damon Williams - Cartel? There are FAR less insurers now than before. Not only has a 'cartel' been created, it's becoming more and more a monopoly as it shrinks. You really need better sources of information or something, you've missed the boat on this one.

Muhammad Rasheed - JB Poole wrote: "Before Obamacare, I could afford it. Now, simply, I can't."

That's not the ACA's fault, that is squarely on the shoulders of the red states that refused to accept it. So the costs are higher than they would have been otherwise as projected from a more bipartisan optimism.

Scott Hoffman - @Muhammad, you and I need to start smoking the same thing to lower my blood pressure!

JB Poole - @Muhammad Rasheed.. It "broke up nothing"....if anything it was intended to pull the "cartel" as you are fond of writing, under the government reins. It made the federal government overlord of the 'insurance' market. Higher cost, fewer choices

Muhammad Rasheed - You guys are a trip. I'll be back to teach you goofs what a cartel actually is.  >:(

Muhammad Rasheed - Noooo...

Damon Williams - Lets blame the 'Reds", you know, the other Russians. LOL

JB Poole - @Muhammad Rasheed... the red states fault? So, if I refuse to drink poison it's my fault I'm still alive? Thank goodness for the red states (whose behavior was upheld by the Supreme Court).

Scott Hoffman - @Muhammad, what Obama has done is force people to "Purchase" a product or service, I still can not believe SOCTUS went along with this.

You're a great cartoonist, but would you really be happy if the Gov't forced people to buy one of your comic books every year?

Damon Williams - I loved the cartel. It was cheaper, more flexible, of more practical use via deductables, and about a million more available doctors existed then..

Scott Hoffman - Freedom and Liberty comes with cost! Free Markets work every time they're tried! Time to go back to the "Old Paths" the Ancient Ways that work!

Bruce Michael Grant - @Muhammad Rasheed... How's that working out? Healthcare insurers are going bankrupt one after another under Obamacare. Most of the exchanges have lost nearly all their providers due to massive losses while premiums and deductibles under those firms still doing business are going through the some cases even doubling. Obamacare is a total disaster. Fact.

Muhammad Rasheed - JB Poole wrote: "Muhammad Rasheed the red states fault? So, if I refuse to drink poison it's my fault I'm still alive?"

It's disingenuous to withhold support for a solution that needs bipartisan support to work from around the nation, and then proclaim it is broken after deliberately sabotaging what it could be.

Bruce Michael Grant - @Muhammad Rasheed... In other words, single payer.

Bruce Michael Grant - @Muhammad Rasheed... It's common knowledge that what's being 'sabotaged' here is the private healthcare insurance industry. More than one liberal has proudly admitted that the ultimate goal is single payer.

Bruce Michael Grant - @Muhammad Rasheed... Once the government has total control over your healthcare they can dictate your lifestyle and limit your freedom in ways not nearly related to health.

Muhammad Rasheed - cartel, a group of independent suppliers, which agree to restrict trade to their mutual benefit. It's the term for when a small group comes together to form a monopoly. Monopoly is when just one entity does it.

The cartel stifles the market competition allowing only a few suppliers to engage in a given industry. It is a positive force only for the companies directly involved, their vendor partners, and the limited number of customers able to enjoy the product. Cartels work against the greater customer base, and prevent new innovative product from entering the market from other hungry businesses.

Muhammad Rasheed - Bruce, stop preaching to me about the evils of Big Gov, when Big Gov in this case destroyed the evil of libertarian legend, and is why corporate and their media conglomerate (in bed with their political partners) have been vilifying it.

Disrupting a cartel, and causing major ripples in the industry is a reasonably expected effect. What we should be thinking about is how to help speed up the stabilization process. Wishing for a return to the old cartel is selfish and crazy.

Bruce Michael Grant - Shall we dispense with the meaningless and irrelevant generalities?  Intentionally bankrupting private industry by crippling government regulations is the textbook definition of fascism.

How is an unaccountable government monopoly who enjoys the power to force you at gunpoint to purchase, at whatever price they choose, a ptoduct they're under no legal obligation to provide to any objective standard, better than a product made by the best and most economical means freely purchased by free people from a choice of options?

Muhammad Rasheed - Don MacLean wrote: "The old system wasn't free market either. But I'm still not convinced forcing people to pay for a service other people are forced to use, can be considered protecting a free market."

Your thinking is too absolute here. President Obama isn't a Libertarian, he's a left-leaning Moderate. His act of breaking up the cartel IS protecting the free marketplace by definition. In addition to that -- as a totally separate item -- he put in place the 'safety net for the poor' tax fees to make sure they will be covered in case of medical events, and to aid in paying for the program. The cartel was bad because it streamlined the process so that it would maximize their profits. They didn't care if people were actually insured as protection in their lives, they ONLY wanted people to be insured so they could make their money. The ACA is designed to shift that focus to caring for the people themselves as the POINT of getting insurance, and it does that by doing it's job, i.e., protecting the open markets that are the lifeblood of capitalism.  This is a major conflict of course, and represents greed versus the people.

Rose Douglass - @Muhammad Rasheed , are you by chance the liberal Rob Lawson originally wrote this post about!

Bruce Michael Grant - Let's use the proper terms here.  Obama is not 'breaking up' anything. He's bankrupting them with crippling and unprofitable anti-business dictates.

Bruce Michael Grant - Anyone who claims that running private industry out of business, as Obama has done to a number of US firms, is 'protecting the marketplace' can not be taken seriously.

Muhammad Rasheed - Bruce Michael Grant wrote: "Shall we dispense with the meaningless and irrelevant generalities?  Intentionally bankrupting private industry by crippling government regulations is the textbook definition of fascism."

lol My 'generalities' are no where near as bad as your pearl-clutching, over-the-top melodrama. You're being ridiculous.

Bruce Michael Grant wrote: "How is an unaccountable government monopoly who enjoys the power to force you at gunpoint to purchase, at whatever price they choose, a ptoduct they're under no legal obligation to provide to any objective standard, better than a product made by the best and most economical means freely purchased by free people from a choice of options?"

Who cares since none of that describes this situation? Taxing you for not buying insurance isn't holding you at gun point. You pay taxes anyway. Grow up, Bruce. The gov isn't forcing anyone to buy its OWN product, so how is it a monopoly? Stop! lol

Those huge companies from the cartel went bankrupt because their restricted private playground enabled them to specialize to the point of obsolescence. That's why they muscled innovative new companies out of their playground, so they could cater to a small crowd of equally specialized customer.

Muhammad Rasheed - Bruce Michael Grant wrote: "Let's use the proper terms here."

That's adorable since I'm pretty sure you just melodramatically used the extremely inappropriate term "fascism" while clutching your pearl necklace and fainting. Quit.

Stephen Paulsen - Mr. Rasheed, please explain why you believe the federal govt has any constitutional authority to force citizens to buy a product from a company.

Bruce Michael Grant - That is exactly what 'describes this situation'. Denying the reality of the Obamacare debacle and concealing government coercion with Orwellian doublespeak is irresponsible and unproductive.

Muhammad Rasheed - @ Stephen... First, please explain why you believe the federal govt has forced citizens to buy a product from a company. Please provide the name of both company and product.

Stephen Paulsen - OK... that is really simple: if I don't buy health insurance from an insurance company, the federal govt levies a tax against me for it.

Bruce Michael Grant - You are fined, NOT 'taxed', if you do not purchase health insurance that meets the specific requirements dictated by the federal government.

Stephen Paulsen - If I don't purchase car insurance from an insurance company, I cannot legally drive my car.

Muhammad Rasheed - Bruce Michael Grant wrote: "That is exactly what 'describes this situation'."

Negative. You are engaged in empty, fear-mongering rhetoric with no foundation to support it. And yes, you may consider that sound the "clang" of my challenge gauntlett hitting the ground.

Bruce Michael Grant wrote: "Denying the reality of the Obamacare debacle and concealing government coercion with Orwellian doublespeak is irresponsible and unproductive."

lol I'm explaining the reality of the matter to you, thus you may safely discard the foolishness you are spewing as a treacherous nonessential to truth. You're welcome.

Stephen Paulsen - @Bruce Michael Grant... Wrong. Chief Justice John Roberts made it ABUNDANTLY CLEAR that the govt cannot 'fine' someone. It is a tax.

Bruce Michael Grant - Here's a question. If the Obamacare 'penalty' is a 'tax', can I take my IRS receipt to a doctor and receive medical care? You know the answer to that one. So please stop calling it a 'tax'.

Muhammad Rasheed - Stephen Paulsen wrote: "OK- that is really simple: if I don't buy health insurance from an insurance company, the federal govt levies a tax against me for it."

Apparently it wasn't simple enough. Let's try again:

The name of the specific company the US Gov is forcing you to do business with is _____________________, and the specific product they are forcing you to buy is _______________________.

Go. Use a #2 pencil, please. There's a lad.

Bruce Michael Grant - You are now engaging in personal disparagement. You lose. Goodbye, sir.

Muhammad Rasheed - I don't even know you, how can it be "personal?" Relax.

Stephen Paulsen - @Muhammad Rasheed... Blue Cross Blue Shiled. The product is a health insurance policy.

Muhammad Rasheed - Please provide the proof that definitively states that the gov specifically tells you to ONLY do business with THAT company and no other.


Stephen Paulsen - Are you seriously that dense? Since my state has only ONE insurer in the Obamacare program, and I have to purchase from it under the law, that is forcing me to purchase a product from that company. But it is utterly irrelevant how many companies are selling insurance. The govt doesn't sell insurance, so compelling me through taxation to purchase ANYTHING from a company is indeed coercion.

Muhammad Rasheed - Rose Douglass wrote: "Muhammad Rasheed , are you by chance the liberal Rob Lawson originally wrote this post about!"

lol No, Rose. I'm not a liberal. I have a few items of theirs in my bag, but not enough to claim their group. I think being an orthodox Muslim makes me a conservative by default, really.

Muhammad Rasheed - Stephen Paulsen wrote: "Are you seriously that dense?"

Hey, Bruce! You see how Stephen asked me that, but I didn't take it personal? Take the hint and get back here.

Bruce Michael Grant - No it does not make you 'conservative'. It makes you a danger to this country which must be ruthlessly eradicated by force if necessary.

Muhammad Rasheed - Ah. No wonder you are so melodramatic. You are gullible & silly.

See a doctor, please.

Muhammad Rasheed - Better yet, just engage in a discussion with me about it. Grow an open mind between now and then though and just THINK.

Muhammad Rasheed - Please?

Muhammad Rasheed - The only clear & present danger to this country are the mass of yahoos that just voted "Grab her by the Pussy" sociopath into my White House.

Muhammad Rasheed - Y'all need to get it together.

Rose Douglass - "Fathom the odd hypocrisy that Obama wants every citizen to prove they are insured, but people don't have to prove they are citizens."  ~Anonymous (attributed to Ben Stein by some).

Muhammad Rasheed - Stephen Paulsen wrote: "Since my state has only ONE insurer in the Obamacare program, and I have to purchase from it under the law..."

Why do you believe you HAVE to purchase it from the ACA network? Where is that written? Is it written in Sharpie on a stall in your local watering hole under a crudely drawn phallis + "FUCK OBAMA!" above it?

Stephen Paulsen wrote: "...that is forcing me to purchase a product from that company."

Form an insurance company yourself then. Or look around for one that you haven't thought of because they weren't part of that old good ole boy cartel network. There ARE other options, you're just still indoctrinated in the old specialized model that only benefited a few. Get over it.

Bruce Michael Grant - How arrogant. You know damn well that no policy that does not meet ACA dictates is not acceptable insurance and you WILL be assessed an Obamacare penalty.

Rose Douglass - Muhammad Rasheed wrote: "Why do you believe you HAVE to purchase it from the ACA network? Where is that written? Is it written in Sharpie on a stall in your local watering hole under a crudely drawn phallus + "FUCK OBAMA!" above it?"

Not productive, dude!

Bruce Michael Grant - But typical.

Muhammad Rasheed - IT WAS FUNNY!

Muhammad Rasheed - Y'all know you really have that stuff graffitied all over your bars. Stop playing.

Bruce Michael Grant - But at least we don't dress prepubescent boys up as girls and rape them anally...or rape nine-year-old little girls in the process of losing their bsby teeth.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Rose... That's not hypocrisy. He wants every citizen to be insured so that your life won't destroyed in case of a devastating event. It will help you. Insurance is a major tool that is the different between the poor vs rich wealth gap.

The "prove they are citizens" item is only racist claptrap, and the true nature of "voter fraud." See this article for details:

Muhammad Rasheed - @ Bruce... Good! Because I don't either. *high five*

Bruce Michael Grant - But you follow a false prophet notorious for raping a little girl. And you talk about us?

Muhammad Rasheed - lol The prophet Muhammad did no such a thing. Abu Bakr's daughter Aisha was in her mid- to late teens when she married, according to the calculation of her sister Asma's age, and the date of the flight to Medina (hejirah).

See, that's why you need to have that discussion with me. You're broken.

Bruce Michael Grant - That is an outright lie and you know it.
There's really no further purpose in discussing anything with a person who justifies child rape. Goodbye.

Muhammad Rasheed - I just told you the prophet didn't rape a child at all (how come you doofs don't believe anything at all in Islam, but you have such blind faith assurance in all the clear National Enquirer gossip?), but you somehow believe that I'm justifying child rape?

What kind of magic trick is that?

Muhammad Rasheed - Do you even know who Asma is, and what the hejirah is? lol

Muhammad Rasheed - Then why do you believe you know my faith better than I, Bruce?

Listen to me: sitting around in bars all the time, gossiping with a bunch of folk who are exactly as uninformed about Al-Islam as you are, is not how you STUDY something. Okay? lol And neither is reading the tripe found on that 'answering-islam' site either.

Muhammad Rasheed - Don't worry about it though. I'm here now. I'll square you away. Fear not!

Stephen Paulsen - Mr. Rasheed, while I sympathize with you, you also understand that the Wahhabism is what most western people wrongly associate with Islam. Not much anyone can do about it except point out the difference and hope people can learn to delineate the facts. Western Muslim leaders have done a poor job at it, so its up to folks like you and me to do it. You are the better man for rising above the fray here.

Muhammad Rasheed - *kicks scimitar under bed*

Vaughn Slavin - as a conservative, I doubt he is going to be hired by the Clinton Foundation

Muhammad Rasheed - You're probably right...

Travis Skvor - I'm sorry, but the government forcing you to pay a fine or "tax" at the end of the year if you do not have insurance is a direct assault on free market capitalism. The best way for the insurance companies to be regulated is to completely get government out of that picture and let the free market take control. Prices will lower and adjust based on where the masses will spend their money. The more regulations imposed by the government the higher the rates and prices go.

Muhammad Rasheed - Without the gov to prevent companies from destroying free market capitalism with their propensity for forming monopolies/cartels, there will be no way for the free market to take control. The government's job is to protect the capitalist system.

Dan J JayJay - Propensity of companies to form monopolies/cartels?  Examples?

Pete Lawson - When the government broke up standard oil and ma bell, the competition between multiple suppliers worked out well for consumers. We drive down the street and assess the price of gas compared to the level of services provided and choose. In contrast, for any healthcare item we are completely detached and ignorant of the price. And most people think they should pay nothing at all if they have insurance. Where did that notion come from?

Pete Lawson - Reading this great debate about the role of insurance companies and government, it dawned on me that the actual providers of healthcare are conspicuously missing from the analysis. Talking about cartels and price fixing, look under the hood at a hospital trial balance. They basically charge whatever they want, obscene amounts for trivial items. Then the insurance companies negotiate what they'll pay, or governments simply tells them what they'll pay, and the uninsured private payer is screwed. For example, $1,000 charge for a night in the ICU. The hospital knows they get $300 from Aetna, 250 from Medicare, and 200 from Medicaid. You show up without any insurance? You get a bill for $1,000.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Travis...I'm not demonizing the companies. I'm not anti-business at all. I am demonizing the practice of colluding to form monopolies/cartels that attack free marketplace capitalism.

One of the jobs the limited government is allowed is to use its force to protect the capitalist tradition of our nation from enemies both foreign and domestic. In this case, the domestic enemy is the greedy reach of the big companies that try to choke off the free competition lifeblood of capitalism for their exclusive benefit.

Jordan Holmes - @Muhammad Rasheed... there is a wonderful book written by Professor Burton Folsom named "The Myth of the Robber Barons" that I recommend to you. I've seen several times you mention monopolies are "cartels." For one, although semantically, that's not true. They're 2 completely separate things by definition. Yes, different. And 2, I sense an underlying belief that all monopolies began mischievously and ill-intentioned. If I'm incorrect, disregard. But if that's a belief you hold, Professor Folsom does an excellent job of detailing famous examples that dispute and challenge that belief.

Muhammad Rasheed
- I'm familiar with Folsom's book, Jordan, and recognize it as part of the plan to retcon history in favor of the diabolical Money Trust responsible for all of our society's economic ills. This book is the natural friend of the evils of Big Government... bombard the people with so much policy and red tape that they can no longer see what's actually going on behind the scenes, and only educated specialists can understand it. Once the previous, more government savvy generations have died off, I can now write a book like this that reverses the image of some of the most notorious figures in history... a history now unknown to the new generation, who are gullible to such pro-corporatism propaganda as this.

The reason why people would make those Panic-fueled Bank Runs back in the day was 100% justified, because the people knew EXACTLY who Morgan, Warburg, Strong, etc., were, and were right not to trust them.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Jordan... In other words, we differ fundamentally on which books deserve the 'wonderful' descriptor or not. lol

Jordan Holmes - @Muhammad Rasheed... so what I'm sensing is correct. Not even close to an accurate understanding of that era. Lol but hey, all I can do is offer a differing opinion. Good luck in life :)

Muhammad Rasheed - hahaha That's how I felt about your opinion of the era when you posted about the book. ;)

Have a good night.
Scott Hoffman - @Muhammad Rasheed, monopolies can only happen for a short period of time. The Market intervenes and fixes the problem, or monopoly, unless the Gov't protects them!

Muhammad Rasheed - Nonsense.

In every case on monopoly/cartel, it was the gov acting appropriately in its role of protector, that smashed the long-time domestic enemy and freed up the markets. When the gov representatives get greedy themselves, they can step out of that role and become the bad guys by joining the cartel as a partner. And they have and DO (see: Federal Reserve).

Jane Hudson Tacon - Then why did premiums go up? I was a recipient of Obamacare. But I couldn't afford to use it. Our doctor visits were 75 dollars. The tax payers were paying 1200.00 dollars a month for me and 1200.00 a month for my husband. The only thing we got for having it was a PAP smear and a prostrate exam once a year. So what was the government protecting me from?

Muhammad Rasheed - The premiums went up for several reasons, including normal market equilibrium fluctuation. This is offset by the providing of gov tax subsidies for the individuals and families that were part of the program. So taking advantage of everything that was provided was the key to staying on top of the game. I would have recommended calling the ACA reps directly so they could help you through the process and you would receive your full benefits.

Scott Hoffman - Man where did time and this go! I'm back but need a nap. I'll catch up with this soon.

Scott Hoffman - @Muhammad Rasheed... Mohammad had how many wives and how young?

Muhammad Rasheed - He had 13 of them. By now they would be in the 1,500 year range.

Give or take a century or so.

Scott Hoffman - Dude, funny! We both know how young his youngest wife was when he married her. Just say it!

Muhammad Rasheed - I answered that above, dude. What we "both know" is that you hold gossipy falsehood, while I know the actual calculated age of Aisha based on actual data from history.

Scott Hoffman - @Muhammad Rasheed, what is it!

Scott Hoffman - Or what was it when Mohammad married her?

Muhammad Rasheed - Aisha was in her mid- to late teens when she married the prophet (pbuh).

Scott Hoffman - Thank you!

Much Love in the name of Jesus Christ to my Muslim Brother!

May He give you dreams! I will be praying for that!

Scott Hoffman - @Muhammad Rasheed, were you born into the faith or convert ?

Muhammad Rasheed
- Your name is "Hoffman," but you're a Christian?

Is that really a thing? *skeptical*

Scott Hoffman - Not Jewish, but why would that matter?

Scott Hoffman - I'm come from a long, long line of Preachers and Pastors in the RCA.

Muhammad Rasheed - For the same level of abstract curiosity i assumed you had for all of your questions to me.

Are you really not Jewish? But your name is "Hoffman."

Scott Hoffman - Are you born into the faith or an American Muslim convert?

Muhammad Rasheed - "Rabbinic Cabbalists of America?" (RCA)

Muhammad Rasheed - lol

Scott Hoffman - I was born into the Christian Faith. I was a full blown prodigal son of the 70s. Born again in my 20s after tasting too much of the world! Raised in a Liberal Christian home.

Muhammad Rasheed - You were born Muslim.

Are you reading that off of a site? Or a card?

Muhammad Rasheed - j/k

Muhammad Rasheed - (but your name is "Hoffman" though)

Muhammad Rasheed - (you don't think that's weird...?)

Muhammad Rasheed - I need to brush up on my ethnic naming science.

Scott Hoffman - Lost me... I'm Dutch. Hoffmann would be Jewish. or Hofman, I think. I grew up in NYC and have often been confused as a Jewish person.

Scott Hoffman - Btw, there are many Children of the Book that become born again Christians!

I will be praying God gives you visions and dreams of Him!

Muhammad Rasheed
- Pretty sure there are Dutch Jews.

Which one of your Jewish ancestors converted to Christianity?

Muhammad Rasheed - How far back, I mean?

Scott Hoffman - @Muhammad Rasheed, Bro I don't know? Don't care... I'm a Jesus Freak! I'm a child of the OT and NT who is waiting for Daddy to send His Son back to take His throne!
Come Lord Jesus!

Bro, stay in touch and and keep up with this group! Love your input! and your artwork!

Scott Hoffman - @Muhammad Rasheed... Christmas Is a Mystery

Muhammad Rasheed - lol Are you evangelizing me, Scott? awww...

Muhammad Rasheed - I appreciate it, assuming you really are a Christian and not playing "marrano."  ;)

Scott Hoffman - You are a smart guy!

Blessings and Merry Christmas brother!

Brian Christopher - What brought you to conservatism or libertarianism? If you previously adhered to different ideology, please explain what experience/book/etc. changed your mind.

Muhammad Rasheed - 1.) The Discovery of Freedom by Rose Wilder Lane - This book did an excellent job of explaining how it is the individual who is truly free when he/she worships only the One God alone. This is the unit of society who is responsible for moving civilization forward with a mentality of invention-innovation, while it is the pagan-minded destructive mentality that stagnates society and drags us backwards.

2.) Black Rednecks & White Liberals by Thomas Sowell - This is the book that solidified the concepts of changing your mentality to one of learning, building up of in demand skills, and working towards enduring LEGACY that has made humans successful in the past. Not race, ethnicity, national origin, but what the successful among them did that pulled them ahead of the packs. As a bonus, it also definitively squashed many long-held beliefs about the Black and White racial groups in America that had been falsely perpetrated since the 13th Amendment was passed and the release of the original Birth of A Nation film.

Bill Smith - One of my all time favorite books.

Muhammad Rasheed - Which one?

Bill Smith - @Muhammad Rasheed... Black Rednecks & White Liberals, or The Vision of the Anointed

Brian Christopher - Black Rednecks & White Liberals is one of his best books, though I wish it had been named something less polemic--Even something like Black Culture & White Beliefs seems just as punchy and less likely to turn people off before even opening the book.

Brian Christopher - I'm also curious why LBJ doesn't get more heat. It seems widely acknowledged that he was a generally unsavory character (see his propensity to show his genitals to colleagues or speak to them as he defecated). However, he is actually quoted by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist (and assistant to his official memoirs) Doris Kearns Goodwin as saying:

"These Negroes, they're getting pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since they've got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something about this, we've got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don't move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there'll be no way of stopping them, we'll lose the filibuster and there'll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It'll be Reconstruction all over again."

And award-winning journalist Ronald Kessler quoted him , when touting his underlying intentions for the "Great Society" programs to two Governors on Air Force One: “I'll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years."

It's possible that he was just saying those sorts of things to win over southern Dixiercrats, but the strategy turned out to be accurate.

Muhammad Rasheed - Ha! The title is what attracted my attention.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Brian... RE: LBJ, I think he's given a pass because:

1.) He's the one that went ahead and signed that era's Civil Rights bill into law.

2.) At the end of the jim crow era, you can pretty much find that kind of quote from every white person. It seems unfair to harp on it like it's a thing, even from our "Grab her by the pussy" 2016 perspective.

Brian Christopher - @Muhammad, he's not just using racial slurs...his statements directly indicate that he passed the civil rights bill to construct a system to maximally manipulate and disenfranchise a black population that was finally rising in economic stature and political power.

As if you read Sowell's work, particularly Black Rednecks and White Liberals, and The Economics and Politics of Race, the civil rights bills and the burgeoning welfare state that was LBJ's legacy accomplished just that.

Muhammad Rasheed - I absolutely believe that there was/is a greater conspiracy to prevent the Black American from achieving full rights and opportunity so they wouldn't compete directly with the mainstream's power/wealth monopoly as a socio-politically powerful entity. The Civil Rights bills aren't part of that package by itself, but I can see as to how it was used as part of the bait to block the Black American out of achieving the much needed Economic Inclusion needed to strengthen our other gains. Without that we will always be disenfranchised, vulnerable, and on the outside looking in.

LBJ wasn't the leader in that long-game conspiracy, so making him the poster child of it, despite him being the one to physically sign the much needed Civil Rights bills into law, would be unnecessary in my opinion, and would serve no useful purpose. The symbol of him as a white man doing something positive is important to uphold.

Muhammad Rasheed - Brian Christopher wrote: "It seems widely acknowledged that he was a generally unsavory character (see his propensity to show his genitals to colleagues or speak to them as he defecated...")

That these high-ranking and powerful people who have such low opinions of me and mine, so often turn out to be savage, uncouth louts behind the camera is a truth that the facts of history reveal again and again and again.

I suspect it's the true root cause behind the segregation-like "whitopia" concept, and why they really don't want other groups around them. And all while they referring to others as 'monkey.' smh

Freddy Farnham - As a young man I was liberal. by 30 I was a conservative Dem. I voted for Clinton in his first run and was ready to impeach him in 3 months. The Dem party of JFK is dead and the Dems today are crooks because they know collectivism does not work.

Muhammad Rasheed - Collectivism certainly works for the GOP and their voters. They make sure to get their interests pushed through like a swarm of hornets. Even when there is clear in-fighting, they still come together long enough to make it work. The Demos need to take a page out of that book.

Freddy Farnham - You are confused

Muhammad Rasheed - The GOP are pretty good at putting the group-party above petty squabbles. That's a form of collectivism.

Muhammad Rasheed - And it works for them.

Benjamin Lucky - I want some of what Muhammad is smoking as long as it doesn't make me permanently delusional

Muhammad Rasheed - Naturally I'm open to hearing a rational counter argument that makes your case better than I'm able to make mine, proving me wrong.

Cheap name-calling and zero attempts to back up your disrespectful and uncalled for snark with actual reason would seem to be against the spirit of Dr. Sowell. Hm? Or am I calling you to a standard your arms are too short to reach up to?

Muhammad Rasheed - "Collectivism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the group and its interests. Collectivism is the opposite of individualism. Collectivists focus on communal, societal, or national interests in various types of political, economic and educational systems."

Because of the GOP's and their voter's ability to come together and elect Donald "Grab her by the pussy" Trump as president, I would say they admirably demonstrated a form of collectivism by emphasizing the political party group over their feelings as individuals.

How do you counter?

Benjamin Lucky - Show me one place in which it has worked. You have your provens at hand readily. Detroit. Baltimore Cuba Venezuela N Korea et al

Muhammad Rasheed - It works inside of the Republican Party at a small level. The GOP functions the way the above definition describes, and they are able to put the group ahead of smaller concerns to great effect. That's why I said it was "a form of collectivism."

I am no fan of the ideals of the far left at all, and by no means uphold communism, or say that the state control of the means of production is a system that works. I hate it as a Godless political system. That's not what I'm arguing here.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Benjamin... I don't understand why you listed Detroit and Baltimore in your commie list anyway. Those are American cities. The blight they experienced are the direct result of Reagan's anti-urban population policies.

Benjamin Lucky - @Muhamhead... not Reagan at all. 100% liberal collectivism since the 60's run exclusively (corruptly) by Dems While similar cities prospered like Pittsburgh for example

Muhammad Rasheed - Those are two different items.

1.) Long-time Detroit Mayor Coleman Young was the city's most successful as far as managing his charge. The only people who were mad were the White suburbanites who wanted Young to pander to them after they abandoned the city, but he refused. All subsequent mayors did so though, and now the population has dipped abysmally. Mayor Young ran the city for 20 years, and it is well documented that the corruption and mismanagement was at its lowest during his tenure.

2.) Two years before crack infested American cities, when drug-related crimes were actually on a decline, Reagan announced his "War on Drugs" campaign and began the mass incarceration era of the Prison Industrial Complex. The president heralded the destruction with his mysterious announcement and a relentless marketing campaign against the drug, it's users and sellers, and two years later it became a devastating problem. Not before or during his announcement, but AFTER. His VP later won the presidency by promising to continue the fake, 'War on Drugs' because the populace had been thoroughly indoctrinated in Reagan's promotional rhetoric. it proved so powerful that even the Demos were forced to parrot the "tough on crime" rhetoric so that Clinton could win his two terms. The result is that today, American urban areas with high minority populations are devastated and struggling to recover even today. This had zero to do with any perceived "liberal collectivism."

Henry Fu - Group Code: Report Violations

1) Stick to the facts
2) No personal attacks
3) Be clear and succinct
4) Keep it light
5) Provide back-up data
6) No over-posting

There is nothing wrong with enjoying the dialogue without posting your opinions. To make the experience as useful as possible for everyone, don't clutter the thread with positive or negative comments such as "I agree" or "I don't like that" without having a point to make.
Failure to adhere to the code will result in expulsion.

The editor (Henry Fu) reserves the right to reject posts that do not meet the ideals of this group. If posting a link, you must provide a synopsis of the material. If you don't know the definition of Libertarian or who Thomas Sowell is, don't bother to apply.

Jeremy Poncy - In my opinion the definition of libertarian has proven to be quite elusive. Robert Downey Jr. was self identifing as a libertarian even as he supported Barack Obama for President in 2012, a man that has broadened the powers of the executive branch more than any other president in this nation's history and well beyond the scope of the Constitution. The primary issue I take with the Libertarian Party is that they seem to refuse to firmly define libertarianism. I've met pro-life libertarians. I've met pro-choice libertarians. I've met hawkish libertarians. I've met isolationist libertarians. In the case of Robert Downey Jr. I would say that there are even progressives that claim to be libertarians. If you ask your followers how they define libertarianism you will likely get as many answers as you have followers. The title libertarian in my opinion has long since lost any real meaning.

I don't mean to be a nuisance. It is just difficult to have substantive and effective dialog when people don't agree on meanings. I've often found that the biggest conflicts even between the most radical liberals and conservatives often boils down to a conflict of meanings.

Muhammad Rasheed - President Obama has championed free market capitalism by breaking up the long-running insurance company cartel, and by suing mobile, cable and Internet carrier companies to prevent them from forming cartels. This is a MAJOR libertarianism stance, and is certainly the reason I am a libertarian-leaning Obama fan.

Jeremy Poncy - Define cartel.

Muhammad Rasheed - cartel, a group of independent suppliers, which agree to restrict trade to their mutual benefit. It's the term for when a small group comes together to form a monopoly. Monopoly is when just one entity does it.

Muhammad Rasheed - Monopolies/cartels are the natural predator of capitalism, which needs the open market competition to function.

Jeremy Poncy - I don't know enough about the cable companies to address that topic properly.

Cartels from my understanding aren't limited strictly by the action of restricting trade. Cartels are simply companies that work together for mutual benefit at the expense of the general market. For example, the mutual lobbying of government to force people to buy their insurance and for regulations that require all insurance companies to conform to a certain practice which restricts diversity and therefore competition. Insurance companies behave more like cartels now than they ever have as a result of Obamacare.

Jeremy Poncy - Also, cartels without government regulation historically never last. The endurance of cartels is almost exclusively the result of government intervention.

Muhammad Rasheed - The conforming to practices that reverse the cartel's restrictions was part of opening up the markets, as those old restrictions were put in place with the insurance cartel's lobby working directly with paid off politicians.

Right now anyone can create an insurance company and compete with the big boys. The big boys of course hate that, and formed the cartel to block it. The gov is doing its actual job by putting regulations in place that block them doing that. Obamacare protects the people by protecting the markets.

Jeremy Poncy - Which government regulation in Obamacare has opened up the market?

Muhammad Rasheed - In order to maximize their profits by avoiding risk, the cartel functioned under self-imposed restrictions where they wouldn't accept everyone that applied, wouldn't cover all conditions, and would charge varying rates depending on pre-existing conditions, but Obamacare laws requires insurers to accept all applicants, cover a specific list of conditions and charge the same rates regardless of pre-existing conditions or sex.

When they crunched their numbers this proved unacceptable, since they formed their cartel only to maximize profits no to provide the service of insurance coverage for the most numbers of people.

Jeremy Poncy - The self imposed restrictions your talking about is what free markets refer to as supply equilibrium. Restricting trade regarding cartels or monopolies means restricting trade below the market equilibrium. No business serves all comers. All trade is inherently restricted by the means to supply demand. It's called scarcity.

Jeremy Poncy - You're either not a believer in free markets or you don't understand basic economics.

Jeremy Poncy - Maximization of profits so long as it's without collusion is the basis of free market economics.

Muhammad Rasheed - In this case, the members of the cartel mutually agreed to only provide a certain package, and any insurance startups that wanted to provide other packages were refused the licenses to enter the marketplace. That has everything to do with an unfair and deliberate stifling of the market, and nothing to do with the natural flow of market equilibrium and supply/demand.

Jeremy Poncy - The only cartel elements regarding insurance companies before Obamacare were not addressed by Obamacare such as state boundaries.

Jeremy Poncy - I agree with getting rid of license but that's not what Obamacare did.

Muhammad Rasheed - Obamacare forced them to open what and how they would cover, which destroyed their cartel agreement between each member.

Jeremy Poncy - That's addressing a non free-market problem with non free-market solutions. He should have just gotten rid of the licencing and state boundaries. We seem to agree on the problem but not the solution.

Muhammad Rasheed - We seem to disagree on the fundamental definitions of free market & cartel, and how the gov protects/should protect the markets by preventing cartels/monopolies from forming.

Muhammad Rasheed - You actually seem like you agree with cartels/monopolies as long as they benefit you in some way.  Your argument is an attempt to justify why the insurance company cartel should have been tweaked instead of abolished. That is unacceptable to me.

Jeremy Poncy - If your going to start inferring motives and turning this is an ad hominem discussion then we can't have a productive conversation.

Muhammad Rasheed - lol I don't understand why you should consider probing for motive as any less offensive than your comment: "You're either not a believer in free markets or you don't understand basic economics."

If I didn't take that personally, then you shouldn't take my comments personally.

Jeremy Poncy - Because you defined a cartel as maximizing profits.

Muhammad Rasheed - Look again, Jeremy. I defined it as "a group of independent suppliers, which agree to restrict trade to their mutual benefit." Which comes directly out of Barron's Dictionary of Business and Economics Terms.

Jeremy Poncy - Insurance is not a cartel just because they are maximizing profits and some people don't have it. Every company maximizes profits and there are plenty of companies that sell things some people don't have.

Muhammad Rasheed - Now you are wielding the straw man fallacy, and it is my turn to be offended.

Muhammad Rasheed - Are you going to debate me for real, or just pretend you are?

Because I do have other things to do today.

Jeremy Poncy - I agree that their are some cartel aspects in the insurance industry. Obamacare addressed none of them and instead of removing those aspects he tried to fix the problem with more non-market solutions. It has failed miserably and the insurance industry is raising prices as a result and leaving everybody else holding the bag. If Obamacare was effective at breaking up the cartels why are insurance prices going up?

Muhammad Rasheed - I couldn't disagree more, and it STILL sounds like you are covering over the cartel's faults because their very anti-capitalism model benefited you over the many. This showing does you little credit.

Jeremy Poncy - How did it benefit me?

Muhammad Rasheed - Jeremy Poncy wrote: "If Obamacare was effective at breaking up the cartels why are insurance prices going up?"

Because of several factors which of course would include the flow of market equilibrium and supply/demand we discussed earlier. lol

Muhammad Rasheed - Jeremy Poncy wrote: "How did it benefit me?"

Usually when folk complain about rising premiums, its a personal projection.

Jeremy Poncy - Have a nice day Muhammad.

Muhammad Rasheed - Have a great day, Jeremy. Thanks for trading with me. It's been educational.

Henry Fu - I work at an insurance company and deal with regulatory issues. How has he broken up the "cartel"? Which specific rulings are you referring to?

Steve Andrews - @Henry Fu... Markets break up cartels unless they are protected by governments.

Bill Brothers - @Muhammad Rasheed... sadly with insurance and health care, it's no longer a monopoly - it's a tax and a redistribution scheme.

Muhammad Rasheed
- @Henry... The rulings that expand the insurers' scope of what and who they will cover, while preventing them from turning folk away who have ailments/diseases. The companies had been using these self-imposed restrictions as their risk response plan, but the ACA stripped that away. The companies are now trying to figure out how to maintain their Top Spot hold over the markets in an open trading playing field in which they don't have gov-supported control over the ball.

Muhammad Rasheed
- @Steve... The free markets are vulnerable to the collusion of the most financially successful businesses, who are eager to maintain their top spots in their industry. The ages old trend is to get in bed with political leaders to pass laws that prevent other companies from competing with the big boys. The gov's job is to remain detached, resist temptation of under the table payoffs from greedy & desperate CEOs and lobbyists, and prevent companies from monopolizing their industries and stifling the competitive life blood of free market capitalism.

Muhammad Rasheed - @Bill... The "sadly" is off putting. I lean libertarian, and thus advocate protecting the competition of the open free marketplace, which favors the little guy/consumer. Monopolies/cartels favor the companies, their vendors, and their small pool of customers, which makes all those who "sadly" long for the return of that dirty scam my ideological enemy.

Muhammad Rasheed - "Redistributing income" does not compute under the fiat debt system of the Federal reserve, in which wealth is just conjured from thin air.

Bill Brothers - wealth is not conjured from thin air. the dollar is supposed to be backed by goods and services but sadly, we have the lowest participation rate ever; so many are getting freebies while contributing nothing so the dollar is weakened severely. nothing is conjured out of thin air except your thin arguments.

Muhammad Rasheed - Wealth is conjured from thin air alright.  The USD hasn't been backed by tangible goods since the Federal Reserve Act was passed back in 1913.*

*Well, it was a gradual process, but by the 1970s we were off the gold standard completely.

Jeremy Poncy - "The age old trend is to get in bed with political leaders too pass laws that prevent other companies from competing with the big boys"

Exactly. Monopolies and Cartels are the result of government intervention.

Answer: Remove the government intervention, remove the bad laws and force them to compete in an open and free market. That's the only free market solution.

Muhammad Rasheed - 1.) Why is this quote of mine full of more typos than I actually made? lol

2.) The monopoly corruption happens when the gov "picks a side" (usually the rich side) and makes laws that help secure a restriction of competition in the markets. That's wrong. The government is SUPPOSED to interfere in order to prevent the companies from forming monopolies that block competition. The gov's job is to protect us from enemies domestic and abroad. The domestic enemy (in addition to all the McVeighs and Roofs) includes greedy corporations that seek to choke off the lifeblood of our proud capitalist tradition for the exclusive benefit of them and their cronies and elitist customer.

Jeremy Poncy - Did Obama do anything in your mind that is anti free market?

Muhammad Rasheed - Like what?

Muhammad Rasheed - There's only two things the gov can do:

1.) Protect the market competition by preventing monopolies from forming

2.) Form a monopoly by abandoning its protector role and joining the bad guys in stifling free market trade

Obama has done the #1 item consistently, but hasn't done the #2 item (despite you all's strangely uninformed complaints).

Jeremy Poncy - How about bailing out banks and auto industry?

Jeremy Poncy - Also you never answered my earlier question. Who do you read regarding economics and economic policy? What economists most influence your thinking?

Muhammad Rasheed - The bailouts weren't Obama initiatives; he just allowed the outgoing POTUS' Recession bailout measures to ride out.

For the most part.

Jeremy Poncy - What economists most influence your thinking?

Muhammad Rasheed - lol Why is that question so important to you, Jeremy?

Jeremy Poncy - Why do you have reservations about answering it?

Muhammad Rasheed - I'm trying to save you from committing yet another logical fallacy.

Jeremy Poncy - You and I both know why you won't answer that question. Your not stupid. Your dishonest!

Jeremy Poncy - Have a good one!

Jeremy Poncy - Don't waste your time. We're done here.

Muhammad Rasheed - No. It is as I've said. You've already wielded the straw man fallacy -- swinging it wildly like a saber -- so your insistence as to who I read can only be an effort to use the genetic fallacy. What other reason could there be?

Lani Kahuwai - Ayn Rand was as pure a capitalist as one can be, and I believe staunchly opposed anti-trust laws.

Muhammad Rasheed - Then that means, by definition, that she 100% was NOT a pure capitalist, and was in fact the enemy of capitalism, no matter what she may have shallowly claimed to the contrary.

There is no "pure capitalism" without free marketplace competition.

Lani Kahuwai - Or it means she in fact was a pure capitalist, viewing anti-trust laws as government interfering with the free market.

Rand, an enemy of Capitalism?

Muhammad Rasheed - In a limited government structure, one of the gov's very few jobs it is allowed is to protect our free market capitalism tradition. Preventing cartels/monopolies from forming with anti-trust laws is absolutely part of the duty expected of the restricted 'limited government' we are supposed to want.

See Also:

Countering the GOP Gun Control Talking Point

The Government Middleman - Helping the Poor on Your Behalf?

TRICK QUESTION: Which Party Believes the Minimum Wage Decreases Unemployment?

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