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Still Waters

US braces for possible government shutdown

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joc

I'm sure I bore the tears out of everyone by comparing all the time the situation in the States with what happens in Vietnam, but I kinda have to because that is all I really can say I fully understand.

There is insurance in Vietnam but I know of no one who has it. Health care is pay as you go and you pay in advance. That keeps providers competing with each other and keeps the public aware of real costs. It also means society does not have to bear unpaid medical costs and hypochondriacs either pay or go away. To actually see a doctor you have to first go through a triage nurse (except for appointments made on earlier visits).

That is not to say people go without care; there are arrangements for the truly indigent, mostly, interestingly enough, through the religions here. The government heavily subsidies medical education and arranges group competitive buying of medicines and equipment, which keeps them at rock bottom prices. Also you don't see a doctor to get a prescription unless you want to (with some exceptions) -- a pharmacist is enough.

The thing that gets me is how cheap health care is here, and just as good in terms of results as in the states. An Australian friend had a serious heart attack here that involved triple by-pass surgery and several weeks in hospital. He is now fine and his home doctors are very pleased. The bill was originally three thousand US dollars but they returned 500 dollars back as unspent.

You are looking at hundreds of thousands of dollars here. Yeah...

I think hundreds of thousands is an exaggeration...but still...a lot!

You can't even go to an ER here without spending 4000

Edited by joc

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lightly

Exactly! Anyone notice how the price of groceries and everything else has skyrocketed since the gas prices increased? Some of us knew that the cost of fuel was going to be transfered to the public consumption of goods and services.

The markets also are attempting to 'fool' the public that they are getting the same thing for the same old price. Why? Because a can of coffee that used to cost five dollars now costs...five dollars. The only difference is that instead of getting 16 ounces...you get 11.5.

The point is...when Single Payer finally achieves victory...the price of everything will go through the freaking roof. Oh, but it's okay if you have to wait in line at Wal-Fart for twelve hours because the once abundant supply of 'cheap crap food' will be diminished...don't worry...your 'cheap crap healthcare' is FREE!!!!! Yea! We are all saved by Single Payer. Frank, we agree on more than we disagree. :yes:

I did... and i easily understood that since EVERYTHING moves by burning fuel.. (ships,trains,trucks,planes) that the increase in OIL prices would be passed along.

I blame the cost of fuel as the number one cause of the average cost of living exceeding the average wage.

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Frank Merton

Wages are not going up in the States because of automation taking over minimal skilled and even higher skilled jobs, it being deemed safer for employers to invest in such equipment than to take the risk of hiring people with all the regulations and taxes doing so now involves.

Prices are being held down by the lower wages. I keep seeing these testimonies of higher prices, but that has got to be cherry picking, as the statistics show no such thing. The GDP deflator, the best measure of overall prices (not just those paid by consumers) is up less than one percent this year.

Of course housing has gone up a lot, but that is just a recovery from an earlier collapse. Interest rates are stagnant and some energy prices (especially natural gas) have gone down, as have prices for all sorts of electronic gadgets.

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lightly

True, most gadgets , produced mainly offshore, have decreased in price. But still.. the average cost of living has outpaced the average income. That's a problem.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/15/business/economy/15econ.html?_r=0

"

The cost of living, led by the soaring cost of gasoline and food, is rising at the fastest rate since the recession of the early 1990s, the government said on Thursday, handing a de facto pay cut to the American worker."

***

"

Much of the increase has been driven by the immense run-up in gasoline prices. But food, beverage and transportation costs are also significantly higher than they were a year ago.

The higher prices have made many workers’ wages effectively worth less."

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DieChecker

Exactly! Anyone notice how the price of groceries and everything else has skyrocketed since the gas prices increased? Some of us knew that the cost of fuel was going to be transfered to the public consumption of goods and services.

The markets also are attempting to 'fool' the public that they are getting the same thing for the same old price. Why? Because a can of coffee that used to cost five dollars now costs...five dollars. The only difference is that instead of getting 16 ounces...you get 11.5.

The point is...when Single Payer finally achieves victory...the price of everything will go through the freaking roof. Oh, but it's okay if you have to wait in line at Wal-Fart for twelve hours because the once abundant supply of 'cheap crap food' will be diminished...don't worry...your 'cheap crap healthcare' is FREE!!!!! Yea! We are all saved by Single Payer. Frank, we agree on more than we disagree. :yes:

Isn't that why energy, food and shelter are basically removed from the inflation equation? So that the government can claim everything is fine??

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acidhead

Isn't that why energy, food and shelter are basically removed from the inflation equation? So that the government can claim everything is fine??

Yes.

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Yamato

Of course housing has gone up a lot, but that is just a recovery from an earlier collapse. Interest rates are stagnant and some energy prices (especially natural gas) have gone down, as have prices for all sorts of electronic gadgets.

Just a recovery from an earlier collapse? It's extreme price instability. The opposite of the Fed's mandate.

We have had extreme inflation and wild swings in energy prices over the years. In the late '90s oil was $20/bbl, 10 years later we were at $100/bbl. What do you think a doubling time of 10 years is? That's 7% inflation. This wasn't a double in 10 years, it was a quintuple! How much inflation per year is that?

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Agent0range

Just a recovery from an earlier collapse? It's extreme price instability. The opposite of the Fed's mandate.

We have had extreme inflation and wild swings in energy prices over the years. In the late '90s oil was $20/bbl, 10 years later we were at $100/bbl. What do you think a doubling time of 10 years is? That's 7% inflation. This wasn't a double in 10 years, it was a quintuple! How much inflation per year is that?

Housing prices going up are not extreme inflation, it is recovery. Do you own a house? The value of my house is just barely what it was when I bought it due to the price increase. If it is worth the same it was years ago, that is not inflation. Something like a house is supposed to appreciate in value.

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Yamato

Housing prices going up are not extreme inflation, it is recovery. Do you own a house? The value of my house is just barely what it was when I bought it due to the price increase. If it is worth the same it was years ago, that is not inflation. Something like a house is supposed to appreciate in value.

Oh so you too cater to the owners and not the people who don't have a house yet and would like to be able to afford one some day. This is the problem with statists and their government, always catering to the owners and the bureaucracy's financial weapons of mass destruction promising that the prices of the crap they own will continue to rise forever.

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Agent0range

Oh so you too cater to the owners and not the people who don't have a house yet and would like to be able to afford one some day. This is the problem with statists and their government, always catering to the owners and the bureaucracy's financial weapons of mass destruction promising that the prices of the crap they own will continue to rise forever.

If you are asking if I would like my house to be worth more than I owe..then most definitely yes. What kind of silly question is that?

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acidhead

Housing prices going up are not extreme inflation, it is recovery. Do you own a house? The value of my house is just barely what it was when I bought it due to the price increase. If it is worth the same it was years ago, that is not inflation. Something like a house is supposed to appreciate in value.

A house is not a commodity. A house is an asset. During boom periods assets rise when interesr rates rise. Also factor in property assessment by local city or state to collect more taxes. When the boom period relaxes or busts like what happened in '08 and the natural value of the properties become stagnant or lose value because nobody can afford to pay top dollar anymore. Today most individuals use their house as a personal bank by consolidating all debt into one easy payment. A second mortgage on a house was unheard of 35-40 years ago... if you did you most probably lost your job. Today house hold debt is a major bubble in the market.

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Yamato

If you are asking if I would like my house to be worth more than I owe..then most definitely yes. What kind of silly question is that?

Probably your question, bud. I'm sure you'd like to smell all fresh and clean too, but likewise, we don't need government programs subsidizing your body odor.

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Agent0range

A house is not a commodity. A house is an asset. During boom periods assets rise when interesr rates rise. Also factor in property assessment by local city or state to collect more taxes. When the boom period relaxes or busts like what happened in '08 and the natural value of the properties become stagnant or lose value because nobody can afford to pay top dollar anymore. Today most individuals use their house as a personal bank by consolidating all debt into one easy payment. A second mortgage on a house was unheard of 35-40 years ago... if you did you most probably lost your job. Today house hold debt is a major bubble in the market.

I understand how it works..I own a home. I am saying that prices getting back to where they were is not inflation.

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acidhead

Interest rates have been at all time lows since '08. There has been no recovery without a rise in interest rates or the Fed tapering its QE program. There has been no recovery - only a coverup.

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acidhead

I understand how it works..I own a home. I am saying that prices getting back to where they were is not inflation.

This is what I explained. Assets losing value is called deflation. You'll see labour stagnant as well or losing value to compete. Where the inflation is rapid is in commodities. Petrol being the leading factor of commodities rising in price.

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acidhead

Allow me to provide a different perspective. To build a new house on property purchased today the individual will find that the costs to purchase land and labour are great deals whereas the price to purchase building products has risen.

Edited by acidhead
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Yamato

Whatever prices are today, they are either false prices inflated by government (housing, education, energy, military, health care) or they're not (computers, gadgets, staples, clothes, entertainment and leisure).

Anyone who would otherwise be able to honestly and objectively look at major markets in the US economy like housing and be able to price them according to risk and market forces, is unable to do this because the markets make no sense when the government is who's driving them.

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DieChecker

The value of my house is just barely what it was when I bought it due to the price increase.

That is too bad. I bought my house in 2009 at 188K, it went down to 155k, and now is up to 235k.

I agree that a house is more like an asset, but an apartment is not. Apartment rental prices are still going up very quickly.

Housing does not add into inflation, but it does roll into Cost of Living.

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Yamato

Prices suffer from inflation, and the house, usually the greatest "investment" any of us will ever make in our lifetimes, is an important part of our inflationary lifestyles.

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F3SS

That is too bad. I bought my house in 2009 at 188K, it went down to 155k, and now is up to 235k.

I agree that a house is more like an asset, but an apartment is not. Apartment rental prices are still going up very quickly.

Housing does not add into inflation, but it does roll into Cost of Living.

I hope that's just your market value and not a constantly adjusted assessment value. Your taxes would be bouncing around like a rubber ball.

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