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Old 03-27-2010, 05:47 PM   #1
bwana
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a solution to piracy...

I work in a doctor's office and it's AMAZING how people want free stuff. They come in and -they want samples of anything they can get. They buy two months of insurance and want all their problems fixed and then they drop it. Everyone thinks they can wheedle more out of the system than they put in. And the whole attitude of entitlement is rampant. The democratic solution to force everyone to have health insurance will go a long way to stop everyone gaming the system.

Maybe the government should also pay for universal reading without DRM. Think of it-if you were taxed and forced to have 'literacy insurance' then everyone would make sure they could read. Instead of wanting to go out on the weekend and have a good time, we would all be torrenting books so we could get our taxes worth. The government could pay for all this spending not just by raising taxes but by issuing debt to all newborns. People would not have birth certificates but license agreements. They would have restrictions on how they could use their bodies which they dont actually 'own'. People would have to live healthy lives or else they might find their 'living privileges' restricted. And they would have their whole life to pay off the debt they are born in to. Ultimately, everything would be free since you cannot own anything.


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Old 03-27-2010, 06:26 PM   #2
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Sounds like an interesting sci fi book; let us know when it's written!
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Old 03-27-2010, 06:42 PM   #3
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First off I don't know of anyone in the USA who buys 2 months of insurance then drops it.
Takes 9 months to get to the point where they will cover preexisting conditions!

I'll agree with handing out debt to baby's seems like it might be one way to lower the national debt, plus it might make some folks think twice before having 6 or more. If they knew that each one was going to rack up a load of debt. And if they are going to have that many, let them pay for the privilege.
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:56 PM   #4
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GhostHawk, interesting, since the US tends to encourage children with slight tax breaks that in now way offset the costs of screaming crying smelly poop machines and it would stop that think of the children stuff cold... I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Bwana: we already have that in the taxes we pay for libraries and it works out really well for people who use them since most people don't or can't read.
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:26 PM   #5
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First off I don't know of anyone in the USA who buys 2 months of insurance then drops it.
Takes 9 months to get to the point where they will cover preexisting conditions!

I'll agree with handing out debt to baby's seems like it might be one way to lower the national debt, plus it might make some folks think twice before having 6 or more. If they knew that each one was going to rack up a load of debt. And if they are going to have that many, let them pay for the privilege.
You should be thanking those people having 6 babies -- they are the next generation of workers that are going to be paying taxes to support your retirement. The current overall US birthrate is at 2.1/woman, exactly replacement rate for the population, just enough to keep a steady population.

Much of Europe is in a demographic death spiral, with birth rates in countries such as Greece as low as 1.3 and Portugal as low as 1.4. These countries also have crushing governmental entitlement obligations for the now aging populations and and next generation there won't be enough working age people to be taxed and pay these obligations. The only reason most of Europe doesn't have a declining population is due to immigration and the usually much higher birth rate of the immigrants.

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Old 03-27-2010, 11:27 PM   #6
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That entitlement complaint cuts both ways. American doctors (AMA) figure they are entitled to be paid an absurd amount of money for their services. Amazing, isn't it?
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:32 PM   #7
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I think we have to be sensible about the use of money. Unfortunately, there are ever smarter people who can use money to make even more of it. The intelligent management of money can generate more money than the intelligent management of people and resources in the short term. In economic terms, the marginal return of money is exceeding the marginal return of human labor. As a result, more money is invested in protecting and growing money than it is in people. DRM is just another way that money uses people to make more of itself. That people are enriched by reading is irrelevant to the pursuit of money.

It is in this spirit that I wrote the second paragraph of my original post-but I never expected that such hyperbole would be taken seriously. Issuing debt to newborns is something only the punitive society of '1984' or 'THX1138' might enact. When we apply taxes, license fees,etc to human activity-we are being blind to the added friction we place on beneficial social activities. We should encourage reading, writing, problem solving as fundamental activities like exercise, working out at the gym, and playing recreational sports. These activites should be integrated into the fabric of our daily life without the discouraging burden of taxes and federal laws with oversight.

Surely, the publishing companies deserve to make a profit on the books they print. But was the price of books ever determined by the worthiness of the text? The price of books is more closely related to their cost. And when a radically less expensive and more pervasive medium is introduced - why do we have to justify the old models? When the printing press was invented, the value of scribes declined but the collective literacy skyrocketed. As electronic distribution of text becomes ubiquitous, the use of DRM serves only to artificially maintain the prices of books.

When we make the argument that intellectual property needs to be 'protected'-we really mean only to allow profit to be derived from it. We disrespect ourselves and our intelligence. Only 2/3 of the planet is literate and only 20% of those speak English. Do we really want to push more people back into the stone age by raising more barriers to literacy? If a person has to choose between buying food or buying a book, that is not really a choice.
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:44 PM   #8
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That entitlement complaint cuts both ways. American doctors (AMA) figure they are entitled to be paid an absurd amount of money for their services. Amazing, isn't it?
Fees for physicians are set by government since the early 60s when Medicare was enacted. Insurance companies follow the Medicare benchmark. Except their administrative fees are triple the government. Can you imagine a private company three times LESS efficient than the government? That's impossible. Clearly their profit margins are excessive. The reimbursement of American physicians pales in contrast to the reimbursement of hospitals and pharmaceutical firms-whose rates are unregulated.

A patient showed me his EOB (Explanation of Benefits) from the hospital when he went to the ER for a heart attack, the ER physician received ~$200 for care ; the hospital got $45000(yes, forty five thousand) for the next 23 hours including cardiac stent placement. The patient went home the next day.
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Old 03-27-2010, 11:46 PM   #9
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Surely, the publishing companies deserve to make a profit on the books they print. But was the price of books ever determined by the worthiness of the text? The price of books is more closely related to their cost. And when a radically less expensive and more pervasive medium is introduced - why do we have to justify the old models? When the printing press was invented, the value of scribes declined but the collective literacy skyrocketed. As electronic distribution of text becomes ubiquitous, the use of DRM serves only to artificially maintain the prices of books.
The deserve a chance to try and make a profit, just deserving profit outright sounds a lot like saying work adds value and I tend to disagree with Mr. Marx. Profit is not something they're entitled to if their buisness model becomes unworkable that's really just too bad they're not the first industry to have to change or die they won't be the last, whatever new model works may or may not have the same profit level, that's also too bad. Demand changes, means of production change a new balance is found even if said balance is zero (see a lot of new typewriters in stores these days?) I mean it sucks for people who might lose their jobs or have to take pay cuts and it isn't really their fault its happening to them but the world changes, paying congress to pass laws artificially propping up your buisness model may work in the short run but just pisses off more and more people in the long run.
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Old 03-28-2010, 04:00 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by bwana View Post
I work in a doctor's office and it's AMAZING how people want free stuff. They come in and -they want samples of anything they can get. They buy two months of insurance and want all their problems fixed and then they drop it. Everyone thinks they can wheedle more out of the system than they put in. And the whole attitude of entitlement is rampant. The democratic solution to force everyone to have health insurance will go a long way to stop everyone gaming the system.

Maybe the government should also pay for universal reading without DRM. Think of it-if you were taxed and forced to have 'literacy insurance' then everyone would make sure they could read. Instead of wanting to go out on the weekend and have a good time, we would all be torrenting books so we could get our taxes worth. The government could pay for all this spending not just by raising taxes but by issuing debt to all newborns. People would not have birth certificates but license agreements. They would have restrictions on how they could use their bodies which they dont actually 'own'. People would have to live healthy lives or else they might find their 'living privileges' restricted. And they would have their whole life to pay off the debt they are born in to. Ultimately, everything would be free since you cannot own anything.


oops! Is this the wrong forum?
Please! Don't feed the politicians *any* ideas! If you do, the next thing you know, they'll be dusting off Swift's idea of eating Irish babies for breakfast!



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Old 03-28-2010, 04:54 AM   #11
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That entitlement complaint cuts both ways. American doctors (AMA) figure they are entitled to be paid an absurd amount of money for their services. Amazing, isn't it?
Three ways.
American public figure they are entitled to sue doctors for absurd amounts of money for the slightest perceived mistake/mistreatment/malpractice/whatever. 80% of all lawyers in the world live in USA.
Oh wait ... it cuts 4 ways ...
Consequently, the insurance companies that insure doctors against lawsuits figure they are entitled to be paid an absurd amount of money for their services. Amazing, isn't it?
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Old 03-28-2010, 06:21 AM   #12
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What does any of this have to do with piracy? Keep the thread on-topic, please. If you want to discuss the US medical system, start a thread in the Lounge.

Thanks,

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Old 03-28-2010, 10:25 AM   #13
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There is only one workable long term solution to piracy.

Lower costs, remove DRM, remove Geographic restrictions.

Make it easier, and less painful to buy than to go to the darknet, chance getting a virus.
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:53 AM   #14
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There is only one workable long term solution to piracy.

Lower costs, remove DRM, remove Geographic restrictions.

Make it easier, and less painful to buy than to go to the darknet, chance getting a virus.
i agree. will apple be able to crack this nut? $1 a book? I guess you could then say you 'bought this book for a song".

What if apple invented a new currency, iDollars (i$), that is only for purchasing used digital books. You buy a a book from apple for 10 real dollars. You then sell it back to apple for 9 i$. It is now considered a used digital book. Apple can then resell the used digital book for 10 i$.
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:08 PM   #15
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i agree. will apple be able to crack this nut? $1 a book? I guess you could then say you 'bought this book for a song".

What if apple invented a new currency, iDollars (i$), that is only for purchasing used digital books. You buy a a book from apple for 10 real dollars. You then sell it back to apple for 9 i$. It is now considered a used digital book. Apple can then resell the used digital book for 10 i$.
I have no problem with current-release ebooks in the $5-$7 range as long as they are easy to purchase, easy to download, don't have DRM and are available for both my ePub and mobi/AZW devices. If the publishers fail to meet *ALL* these requirements then I'll first turn to the darknet for my ebooks.

Derek
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