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      10-13-2014, 01:57 PM   #1
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Angry the reason why Ebola is terrifying

For those who think the private sector can do everything better than the government, a clear counterexample.

Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health

"NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It's not like we suddenly woke up and thought, 'Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here'" . Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would've gone through clinical trials and would have been ready."

Since 2004 (since people here tend to blame the President for everything, who was President then?), NIH funding has been slowly decreasing, in spite of increased challenges, and increased opportunities for progress available through technical advances. There was one blip of improvement due to the stimulus.

Anyone who thinks the private sector would ever have had interest in developing an Ebola vaccine for poor Africans is delusional. The term is "orphan disease".

"A disease that has not been adopted by the pharmaceutical industry because it provides little financial incentive for the private sector to make and market new medications to treat or prevent it. An orphan disease may be a rare disease (according to US criteria, a disease that affects fewer than 200,000 people) or a common disease that has been ignored (such as tuberculosis, cholera, typhoid, and malaria) because it is far more prevalent in developing countries than in the developed world."

Only the NIH could have made it possible for us to get out in front of this. And they would have, if we had let them. Some awfully smart people work there, in spite of the fact they could make more money in the private sector. True of many high tech government operations.
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      10-13-2014, 02:28 PM   #2
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And this very issue MAY be why our current plane rules are so lax: bring it here and they (big pharm) will come.

How many different companies have tried their recent vaccine or treatment on those who were intentionally brought back to the states?
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      10-13-2014, 10:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
For those who think the private sector can do everything better than the government, a clear counterexample.

Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health

"NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It's not like we suddenly woke up and thought, 'Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here'" . Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would've gone through clinical trials and would have been ready."

Since 2004 (since people here tend to blame the President for everything, who was President then?), NIH funding has been slowly decreasing, in spite of increased challenges, and increased opportunities for progress available through technical advances. There was one blip of improvement due to the stimulus.

Anyone who thinks the private sector would ever have had interest in developing an Ebola vaccine for poor Africans is delusional. The term is "orphan disease".

"A disease that has not been adopted by the pharmaceutical industry because it provides little financial incentive for the private sector to make and market new medications to treat or prevent it. An orphan disease may be a rare disease (according to US criteria, a disease that affects fewer than 200,000 people) or a common disease that has been ignored (such as tuberculosis, cholera, typhoid, and malaria) because it is far more prevalent in developing countries than in the developed world."

Only the NIH could have made it possible for us to get out in front of this. And they would have, if we had let them. Some awfully smart people work there, in spite of the fact they could make more money in the private sector. True of many high tech government operations.
Was wondering how long it would take for it to be "Bush's Fault!!" despite Obama being President for the last 6 years, and the Democrats having a Super-majority in the Senate for years.

But you are right indeed - it was an orphan disease. But now that the CDC has allowed it to come to our shores unchecked, and through a border that continues to be wide open, it's now our problem. Thanks, Obama!

Let's all decide if the CDC and related agencies need more funding or less:

1. The CDC (under Obama) has not isolated, quarantined, or followed established protocols for keeping the country as safe as possible from the transmission of Ebola in this outbreak,

2. The Nurse in Dallas that just tested positive for Ebola had a pet dog. The CDC has no protocol for how to handle the pet of an infectuous person. (BTW - dogs can carry Ebola without symptoms).

3. Despite billions of taxpayer's dollars spent on early warning systems for decades now, there was no "sentinel" trigger of the Ebola case.

4. Despite Ebola being one of the most devastating contagious illnesses for decades now, there is no common infrastructure to test for Ebola. Dallas, like most US cities, does not have a lab that can test for Ebola - the samples had to be sent to Austin, and to Atlanta at the CDC.

5. There is not a single response to an Ebola outbreak - the CDC has not authored one.

6. There is no protocol for waste disposal and cleanup of an infectuous person's habitat; all of this was handled independently in Dallas, resulting in many delays and mis-handlings.

It's doubtful that throwing more taxpayer's dollars at this would have helped. But I'm sure you're right - IT'S BUSH'S FAULT!!

UPDATE:: I googled "NIH Funding", per Dr. Collins quote in your post. Funding for the NIH in 2000 (under Bush) was $17B. It increased significantly every year all the way through 2009 ($30B). It has remained close to $30B since then, during the Obama years. Not sure what the point of that comment was?
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      10-13-2014, 11:56 PM   #4
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I concur with your profit motive point. Recognizing that what you say is so, and that it is applicable to more than just medical research, is one of the primary reasons for the existence of and need for a strong and well funded central government. Private industry should not and cannot be expected to "provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity," because it cannot profitably do so. That is a critical difference between the industrial and commercial sector and the governmental and non-profit sectors.

As for what's scary about Ebola, well there are several things:
  • People who contract it have a high mortality rate.
  • In the U.S., people are keen to ignore, that is if they even know, the protocols one must follow in the presence of Ebola.
  • The culture of Americans whereby many of us as individuals think and act as though we know as well as or better than do the individuals and organizations that are expert on a given subject leads to carelessness and ignorance being able to engender a greater chance of more folks becoming exposed and subsequently infected with the virus.
    • Did you hear/read yet that NBS's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Snyderman, violated the terms of her quarantine? (http://nypost.com/2014/10/13/nbc-cre...la-quarantine/) Now if a doctor who the public are asked to accept as an expert on the topic violates her quarantine, regardless of why she did it, what message does that send to others about the seriousness of this disease and the importance of following the established protocols? Dr. Snyderman initially agreed to voluntarily comply with the quarantine. Now she's been placed under mandatory quarantine, violation of which is subject to criminal prosecution.

      Moreover, NBC refused (initially, they may by now have altered their stance) to comment on the matter, citing privacy concerns. Say what? They were asked if they knew the doctor violated the quarantine. There's no privacy consideration in whatever the answer be -- yes or no -- to that question.
    • I'm sure you heard about the nurse in Dallas who failed to follow the protocol for treating infected Ebola patients and has now contracted the disease herself.
  • Ebola has an incubation period during which one appears healthy. If a terrorist is willing to blow himself up, surely one would be willing to infect himself with Ebola and while it incubates, get on a plane and upon exiting the incubatory stage, go around a busy city for as long as he can deliberately exposing people to the virus. Not that he would need to do even that. His infected bodily fluids could be extracted and stored in vials to be thrown at whomever the terrorists want or even just left somewhere for folks to encounter it. After all, Ebola has a seven hour term of viability outside the human body.
All the best.

Edit:
Apparently Dr. Snyderman is an editor and not a correspondent, something she made eminently clear by her use of the editorial "we" in the statement she issued (below) to note that the quarantine had been violated. The fact of the matter is she is the only quarantined NBC employee who's been shown to have violated the quarantine. So there's no "we" involved; it is only she; "members" should have been "a member" or better yet, "I."

Her statement as read by Brian Williams:
While under voluntary quarantine guidelines which called for our team to avoid public contact for 21 days, members of our group violated those guidelines and understand that our quarantine is now mandatory until 21 days have passed.

We remain healthy and our temperatures are normal,...as a health professional I know that we have no symptoms and pose no risk to the public. [I or we are] deeply sorry for the concerns this episode caused.
Source: http://deadline.com/2014/10/nancy-sn...c-news-850278/

And why did Dr. Snyderman violate the quarantine? To go to the Peasant Grill (http://thepeasantgrill.com/), a restaurant she visits often, to get soup. Personally, were I a restaurant owner, I would just as soon not have customers who potentially expose me to such risks. Being in business itself carries enough risk, thank you very much.

Dr. Snyderman says that as a medical professional, she knew she was asymptomatic and therefore could not infect others. Be that as it may, as a medical professional, she also knows what quarantines are and why they are part of a treatment and/or monitoring protocol. She should have kept her arrogant ass right were it was quarantined. (http://charmeck.org/mecklenburg/coun...eIsolation.pdf)
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      10-14-2014, 02:25 AM   #5
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A good article from Gov Jindal about CDC funding. Looks like 75% went for "bike lanes and farmers markets," while 25% went to protecting Americans from communicable diseases.

The issue is rarely funding, but rather how the funding is spent.

The NIH also had access to Obama's Stimulus funding - they spent over $800k on studying the genital washing habits of African men. Maybe that should have been spent on Ebola research?

http://www.politico.com/magazine/sto...l#.VDv7Jj-VL58

The NIH has a history of wasting money at epic proportion:

http://www.idausa.org/realridiculousresearch/#9

Among those grants was $73,000 to study whether the Asian tradition of dragon boat racing will enhance the lives of cancer survivors more than just walking; $65,472 to study the relationship between HIV and sex in St. Petersburg, Russia; and $700,000 for a study that examines how taxes, trade and politics affect tobacco sales in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and other nations in Southeast Asia.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009...earch-studies/
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      10-14-2014, 02:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
Dr. Snyderman says that as a medical professional, she knew she was asymptomatic and therefore could not infect others. Be that as it may, as a medical professional, she also knows what quarantines are and why they are part of a treatment and/or monitoring protocol. She should have kept her arrogant ass right were it was quarantined. (http://charmeck.org/mecklenburg/coun...eIsolation.pdf)
There's a famous video called something like "Why you should never talk to the police". It talks about why you have the 5th amendment and why talking to the police will NEVER help your case.

One of the points he makes is that even OTHER LAWYERS make this mistake and fk up from time to time. They think to themselves "I'm a lawyer, I know what I'm doing", and they end up making statements that are later used against them by other lawyers.

I have a feeling something similar happened with that Doctor. She felt she "knew better".
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      10-14-2014, 04:29 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Devious21 View Post
There's a famous video called something like "Why you should never talk to the police". It talks about why you have the 5th amendment and why talking to the police will NEVER help your case.

One of the points he makes is that even OTHER LAWYERS make this mistake and fk up from time to time. They think to themselves "I'm a lawyer, I know what I'm doing", and they end up making statements that are later used against them by other lawyers.

I have a feeling something similar happened with that Doctor. She felt she "knew better".
It was very likely either that or something akin to "the rules surely don't apply to me." In matters related to communicable viruses, either stance can have have deadly effects for not only the "smart aleck" but for others, conceivably even others who have never met, in this case, Dr. Snyderman.

As for the folks who've come to the U.S. following exposure to Ebola, frankly, I would never have allowed them back into the country. I just don't care about the rights (legal, ethical or moral) of one or two people when they pose a potential risk -- no matter how well mitigated that risk be -- to the 300 million other people in the country.

Those folks deliberately took a risk to assist (via direct medical cargiving or by reporting on the matter) folks who were infected with Ebola. The rest of us did not agree to taking that risk. I commend the folks who chose to take the risk. Their bravery and compassion are quite likely greater than that of many folks.

I'm not condemning or blaming the sick for falling ill. I'm saying that now that they are infected, they need to stay the hell out of the U.S.A. If that means they die where they are, well then they just do. They should be cremated where they die and their ashes sent home to their families.

Folks attempt to climb Mt. Everest and die trying. The fatality rate for doing do is ~25%. The minimum fatality rate for Ebola is 25%, and 90% is the rate I've heard cited most often. With fatality rates like that, one needs to buy into the possibility that one may go and do one's best for the folks one seeks to help, but that one may also never see one's family again. People who attempt to summit Everest have to accept that reality. I don't think it's too much to ask folks on the front lines of Ebola treatment and research to do so as well.

All the best.
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      10-14-2014, 08:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
For those who think the private sector can do everything better than the government, a clear counterexample.

Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health

"NIH has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001. It's not like we suddenly woke up and thought, 'Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here'" . Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would've gone through clinical trials and would have been ready."
There are very few people who think the private sector can do everything better than the government...that's a strawman argument...so good job on that.

However, there are many people who believe government has certain duties that it should stick to rather than trying to take on more authority in areas that it doesn't need to (like telling people they can only buy a certain size soda drink or telling families what kind of health insurance they will get).

The real reason the NIH hasn't prioritized Ebola vaccination is because Ebola wasn't an issue here in the US, until now....big surprise huh?!?!


Quote:
Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
Since 2004 (since people here tend to blame the President for everything, who was President then?), NIH funding has been slowly decreasing, in spite of increased challenges, and increased opportunities for progress available through technical advances. There was one blip of improvement due to the stimulus.
No one blames President Obama for not coming up with a cure for the Ebola virus (again another strawman argument). Rather this president was blamed for not taking preemptive action by banning flights from certain African countries (you know that classic executive duty of defending the borders).


Quote:
Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
Anyone who thinks the private sector would ever have had interest in developing an Ebola vaccine for poor Africans is delusional. The term is "orphan disease".
The cures for serious diseases and viruses will take more than the private sector bidding, I agree. But you need to take another look at how the US and the world has made advances in the past: space exploration, fuel efficient cars, numerous surgical and medical advances, and that's only naming a few, all made possible because corporations catered to a demand.

The UN and African countries should start putting out contracts for Ebola vaccination/treatment...competition among pharm companies will yield better results.

I agree most corporations aren't ethically driven in their business practices and decision making, but then again, they aren't obligated to be. The governments of the world are the ones who are supposed to be looking out for the needs of their citizens. So let the governments create the economic incentive for Ebola research and cures, and let the corporations compete to service that demand.

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      10-14-2014, 09:33 AM   #9
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For those who think the private sector can do everything better than the government, a clear counterexample.
What the private sector is motivated to do is altogether different that it's ability to do it. Everything the private sector does, it does better than the government is capable of. No matter which president is in office.
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      10-14-2014, 10:38 AM   #10
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What the private sector is motivated to do is altogether different that it's ability to do it. Everything the private sector does, it does better than the government is capable of. No matter which president is in office.
It amazes me that presumably well educated folks say such things, particularly in a "sound bite" rather than a fully explored essay that presents a cogent argument that considers all the relevant factors in play.
As Rothbard said, "It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a dismal science. But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance." I'm not at all suggesting one need or need not agree with Rothbard's economic mores, but one'd do well to regard the dictum quoted here.

Mr. Tonka, if you are going to make the assertion you did above, you need to either present a case for it or qualify it by saying something that makes it clear you just think so, not state it as though it's a foregone conclusion. Offering that view as you did is nothing more than an inflammatory statement that can't be taken as credible.

FWIW and JIC one doesn't know who Rothbard was: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray_Rothbard .

All the best.
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      10-14-2014, 01:00 PM   #11
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Tangential to the CDC issue of funding for research on "orphan" diseases that don't affect the US is our current role as the world's police. Where has WHO been for the last decade plus?

Dr. S was out getting soup. I know she's a Dr., but in many traditions when you get flu-like symptoms and want to keep your fluid levels up, what do you eat? And Drs. are the WORST patients, right?
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      10-14-2014, 01:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by UncleWede View Post
Tangential to the CDC issue of funding for research on "orphan" diseases that don't affect the US is our current role as the world's police. Where has WHO been for the last decade plus?

Dr. S was out getting soup. I know she's a Dr., but in many traditions when you get flu-like symptoms and want to keep your fluid levels up, what do you eat? And Drs. are the WORST patients, right?
I don't know if M.D.s are the worst patients, but I do know that our society's reliance on doctors who don't follow the protocols promulgated by their own professional guidelines and oath leaves us with only Hobson's Choice concerning their participation in overcoming the challenge.

All the best.
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      10-14-2014, 03:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
It amazes me that presumably well educated folks say such things, particularly in a "sound bite" rather than a fully explored essay that presents a cogent argument that considers all the relevant factors in play.
As Rothbard said, "It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a dismal science. But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance." I'm not at all suggesting one need or need not agree with Rothbard's economic mores, but one'd do well to regard the dictum quoted here.

Mr. Tonka, if you are going to make the assertion you did above, you need to either present a case for it or qualify it by saying something that makes it clear you just think so, not state it as though it's a foregone conclusion. Offering that view as you did is nothing more than an inflammatory statement that can't be taken as credible.

FWIW and JIC one doesn't know who Rothbard was: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray_Rothbard .

All the best.
Before accusing someone of being ignorant of a subject based on a statement they made or "sound bite" as you put it, you should be sure to comprehend the statement they made.

My statements were a direct response to a very specific part of a specific post. The first of which states there is a difference between what the private sector is capable of producing and what it is motivated to produce. You don't need me to quote a bunch of internet garbage in order to believe that.

The second is for the most part, self-evident. Because if the private sector is doing it, the government is not. Possibly for many reasons, but mainly because it wouldn't be able to compete. I didn't say that the private sector can do better what the government does.... I actually said almost the opposite, that the government can't do better what the private sector does.

Fully explored essay? Do you work for the government? I don't have time for that, i'm too busy trying to keep 2 business profitable while keep people employed. It truly is a joy to employe people, especially when you can base that employment on their merit and productivity rather than how many years they have been turning the oxygen in my building into carbon dioxide.

Yes, these statements are my opinion, but I see waste, fraud, and abuse within the government on a daily basis. The kind of waste, fraud, and abuse that would render a private company out of business in a matter of months. Except the government doesn't go out of business, they just raise taxes, borrow more money, raise fines, etc... until they HAVE to stop the spending and misallocation of funds. There can't be more than a handful of government entities that can run a balanced budget on any level of government. Maybe higher taxes is part of the equation, but cleaning up waste, fraud, and abuse would be one hell of a head start.

Anecdotal..... but as a single vendor, in a single industry, in a single county, for a single government entity, i've fulfilled (conservative estimate) about $5,000,000 in government contracts between the years 1989 - 1999 for the sake of "gotta spend it now to get it next year", at 40% GM no less. And I know for a fact that figure only accounts for half of that government entity's budget for my industry because the other company that shared in those contracts was founded by a past employee. A friendly competitor if you will. We were both told by the purchasing agent that he was going to split the work between the 2 of us. So that's $1mill a year, for 10 years, with a single government entity, for a single commodity. A commodity with pre negotiated prices, to avoid all that pesky competitive bidding nonsense that the private sector does. That $5mil estimate doesn't include the other government entities we worked with that did the same thing but on a smaller scale. BTW, we had 892 active government customers in that same 10 year period.....

Waste, fraud, and abuse is real AND rampant within government. I don't need to research what the internet says to know that's a fact. Nor do I need internet research to figure out whether or not private business would survive based on most government's normal budgetary practices.


Geezz, this forum eats some time!!
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      10-15-2014, 01:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Tonka View Post
Before accusing someone of being ignorant of a subject based on a statement they made or "sound bite" as you put it, you should be sure to comprehend the statement they made.

My statements were a direct response to a very specific part of a specific post. The first of which states there is a difference between what the private sector is capable of producing and what it is motivated to produce. You don't need me to quote a bunch of internet garbage in order to believe that.
The statement you made that is quite plain and easily understood is this one: "Everything the private sector does, it does better than the government is capable of." Frankly, it just isn't accurate and the content at the links I provided give multiple examples of the fact that it isn't.

Did you read the information to which I gave links? Or you don't want to do so because you'd rather hold to your current opinion regardless of whether there's any logical basis for doing so? If the latter is so, just say so and I'll stop. You can have your opinion. I'll stick to what I know based on the research and reading I've done as well as my own personal experiences. That'll be that.

I'm fine with you having whatever opinion you espouse. That is your right and I respect that. However, when you toss out an assertion as you did, in "sound bite" form and unsubstantiated by economic theories of efficiency, statistical evidences and other bases of corroboration, and the claim is as broad as it was, I'm going to provide multiple sources of thought and practice that show that the sole truth about your claim is that it is truly an opinion you hold rather than it being an opinion that holds water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Tonka View Post
The second is for the most part, self-evident. Because if the private sector is doing it, the government is not.

Possibly for many reasons, but mainly because it wouldn't be able to compete. I didn't say that the private sector can do better what the government does.... I actually said almost the opposite, that the government can't do better what the private sector does.
Again, inaccurate.

There are literally hundreds of jointly sponsored and conducted research endeavors where governments on all levels partner with the private sector and/or universities to produce tangible results. The key difference is that the rights to those results end up in the hands of private sector who in turn sell the finished goods back to the government and/or consumers.

Medical research is one area where both the federal government an the private sector both perform research and where the government is at least as good at it as the private sector. I think the capabilities, successes and merit of both public and private medical research is well known to most folks, so I won't cite specific examples unless you replay telling me what you searched for, what search terms you used and that you couldn't find anything on your own.

Military and para-military action is another area where both governmental and non-govermental personnel provide services. There's been plenty in the news in the past decade to discuss the successes and failures of both types of organization. Additionally, there are public and private partnership efforts in place re: military and non-military security as well as ample discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of both. Here are but a few.

Mail/package delivery is another area where within the U.S. the USPS easily outperforms all it's competitors. Look at the figured at the link below and find competing package deliver organization that can match the USPS in the U.S., particularly given the volumes and scope of delivery locations with which the USPS deal. The USPS does not receive taxpayer funding, which makes it very much like UPS or FedEx in that it must be self sustaining. Here are some USPS performance figures:
Some examples of governmental and private sector partnering:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Tonka View Post

Fully explored essay? Do you work for the government?
No, I don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Tonka View Post
...I see waste, fraud, and abuse within the government on a daily basis. ...

Anecdotal..... but as a single vendor, in a single industry, in a single county, for a single government entity, i've fulfilled (conservative estimate) about $5,000,000 in government contracts between the years 1989 - 1999 for the sake of "gotta spend it now to get it next year"...
I agree. That sort of thing is quite common. The source of the blame for it, however, is the legislature -- federal, state and local -- that control the apportionment process, not the executive branch units that spend the money provided to them by the legislature.

Legislators basically look at what an agency did the prior year with their funding and say, "Well, you got "your stuff" done last year using less money than we gave you, so you must not need that much. We'll give you a bit less." Could or should they analyze why some of the funds may have gone unspent? Of course, but the fact is there are just far too many programs and grants and projects and so on for them to actually do that. Moreover, no legislator is going to forgo the opportunity to redirect some funding to his/her district if s/he finds that in the prior year funding that was given wasn't used. That is particularly the case for general fund monies. Special, capital, and debt service funds are a bit different, but the size of their apportionment can still be reduced if the legislature wants to do so.

As a business owner you are aware of accrual basis accounting, whereas for most things, governments use modified accrual basis accounting for the largest share of their funding. A key driver to that choice of accounting basis accrues from the difference between governments' and private companies' measurement focus. Whereas the focus for businesses is economic resources, the focus for governments is current financial resources. Quite literally, it's no different than any individual's focus when s/he balances their checking account.

Because of the different measurement focus, governments use encumbrances so they don't lose track of what commitments they've made and with which they must comply. Additionally, the nature of most encumbrances is that they expire at the end of each fiscal year, although certain specially approved/qualifying ones can "roll over" to the following year or beyond. In many case, the expiring encumbrances aren't obvious to the entity/person to which/whom the obligation is made. Inside the governmental organization, however, what's very clear to them is that the unfulfilled purchase orders that cannot be cancelled must be paid from the following year's apportionment rather than that of the then closing year, unless the budget corresponding to the undelivered goods/services can be "rolled forward" into the next year.

Now why did I discuss all that accounting mumbo-jumbo? Because not only does the legislature control how much funding an agency, department, commission, etc. receive, it also defines what monies can be rolled forward and which ones cannot. As you might imagine, legislators aren't keen to let money roll forward because doing so means they can redirect it to their pet interests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Tonka View Post
Waste, fraud, and abuse is real AND rampant within government. I don't need to research what the internet says to know that's a fact. Nor do I need internet research to figure out whether or not private business would survive based on most government's normal budgetary practices.


Geezz, this forum eats some time!!
(Note: Although the bulk of Mr. Wildhorn's analysis for the Rand Corporation addresses fraud and abuse in one sector of private industry, I'm not going to discuss them as they occur in the government because those issue are far too contentious and where they are discovered, they are dealt with. Moreover, both those things can take directly monetary and directly non-monetary forms. Lastly, as we both know that fraud and abuse results from the character of the individual who commits either act, and such nefarious folks exist in all parts of society, there's little point in quibbling over where it's more or less prevalent. It exists; we agree on that.)

Waste is certainly present in governmental spending. It's also present in the private sector. I am a management consultant, and I can tell you for a fact that quite a few large mufti-national conglomerates have a lot of waste or what one call operational inefficiencies, be it the obvious kind like "boondoggles" or the less apparent kind like redundancies.

For example, I know firsthand of three such corporations that have to give up $0.30 of every dollar earned to administrative overhead. I've seen some 17 different corporations that overlooked opportunities to improve gross margin by anywhere from 2% to 8% due solely to resistance to change, weak leadership and/or poorly defined initiative structures and sponsorship. And in everyone of those cases the order of one individual could have made the difference, but s/he failed to act, deciding that the other 20% or so gains "were enough" because they allowed the company to meet "street" expectations. Small percentages of billions of dollars still make a difference stockholders and "the street" would have noticed.

But to your point, no, you don't need the internet to know that there is waste in government; however; I never suggested that there isn't. My issue with your comments accrues from the statement I identified at the outset of this post. As some of the points I've made above show, I am not wrong in saying that your assertion is (1) incorrect, (2) un- or ill informed, and (3) that you need something so that your perspective is broader than what you can obtain from your own direct experiences.

I'm not trying to minimize or discredit your experiences; I'm merely saying that they are insufficient to show you that your claim was incorrect, even though there are certainly instances -- and plenty of them -- where the private sector is better at doing something than the government is.

I offered the internet links thinking you would take the time to read the information at your leisure and respond. I also provided the internet links so that you'd know that my views and claims are not purely based on my own direct experience, but that they they are views corroborated by multiple real world case studies, academic/theoretical research, and that the only folks who utter claims similar to yours are politicians who know that what they say (1) sounds' good regardless of how well it'll endure forensic and critical review and (2) won't be thoroughly investigated by the overwhelming majority of voters, the great majority of whom are functionally illiterate on matters of economics, the field of thought that deals with the claim you made.

All the best.
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      10-15-2014, 10:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Tonka View Post
Before accusing someone of being ignorant of a subject based on a statement they made or "sound bite" as you put it, you should be sure to comprehend the statement they made....

Geezz, this forum eats some time!!
Trust me dude, you're only going to waste more time if you keep arguing with @tony20009. That special guy is in his own little world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
The statement you made that is quite plain and easily understood is this one: "Everything the private sector does, it does better than the government is capable of." Frankly, it just isn't accurate and the content at the links I provided give multiple examples of the fact that it isn't.
While I don't agree that everything the private sector does, it does better than government, I understand MrTonka 's point. Private sector, especially in a capitalistic society, will normally outperform government in most economic endeavors. Why? Government simply has to provide satisfactory service...they have no competition or economic reason that incentives better more efficient performance/service.

Private sector groups must always strive to provide the best, most efficient service/ performance...if they don't, they risk losing out to the competition.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
However, when you toss out an assertion as you did, in "sound bite" form and unsubstantiated by economic theories of efficiency, statistical evidences and other bases of corroboration, and the claim is as broad as it was, I'm going to provide multiple sources.....
You accuse MrTonka of providing responses in "sound bite" form. The reality is you are, as you have in the past, trying to dominate this argument by inundating this thread with other peoples' opinions. For all of the "concrete evidence" you provide which shows that Public sector can compete or even outperform private sector, there are academic and journalistic counter arguments..

http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottatl...ealth-service/

Britain's NHS, which has been touted as the poster child for government run health care, has a multitude of problems since its inception and more importantly has provided worse service than its free enterprise counterparts. As a result the Brits have had longer wait times and suffer greater fatality rates for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer (relative to Americans). The service is so bad that over 6 million Brits have opted to buy private health care....that must be some awesome system they have other there!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post

Medical research is one area where both the federal government an the private sector both perform research and where the government is at least as good at it as the private sector...
Depends on the area of medical science you are talking about...if it's cancer and virus treatment, the government has just as great an interest in working those issues as private sector...if you're talking about cold/cough medicine and basic medical supplements, private sector seems to have dominated that area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
Military and para-military action is another area where both governmental and non-govermental personnel provide services. There's been plenty in the news in the past decade to discuss the successes and failures of both types of organization.
No one thinks that the private sector should fight our nation's wars, and they don't. Private security companies are contracted to guard diplomats and provide base security...while our SF, Marines, and Army troopers fight the wars (conducting patrols, clear operations, village stability operations and advisory missions) in places like Helmand and Iraq...two very different missions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony20009 View Post
Mail/package delivery is another area where within the U.S. the USPS easily outperforms all it's competitors. Look at the figured at the link below and find competing package deliver organization that can match the USPS in the U.S., particularly given the volumes and scope of delivery locations with which the USPS deal. The USPS does not receive taxpayer funding, which makes it very much like UPS or FedEx in that it must be self sustaining. Here are some USPS performance figures:
Congratulations...you've found one area where a public sector provides a better service and pricing than the private sector...but that's an antiquated and soon-to-be-dead economic area. With internet, scanning and faxing, there is less incentive for people to mail stuff anymore. And that's why the USPS has been lowering its shipping rates...it's trying to generate more income in what is ultimately a futile economic endeavor.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/u-s-m...ups-1407182247


Please feel free to get off your soap box from time to time..you have your opinions, and other people have different opinions. Life goes on, and no one has the time or inclination to read your self-righteous lectures. I'm surprised you that haven't figured that out by now.

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      10-15-2014, 08:25 PM   #16
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Here's a concise summary that's very hard to dispute:

http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/20...html#read_more
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      10-16-2014, 11:14 AM   #17
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I have to admit I'm less frightened by the disease than I am of how the CDC and White House are handling the epidemic's impact on US soil.
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      10-16-2014, 03:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbbmw View Post
Here's a concise summary that's very hard to dispute:

http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/20...html#read_more
Introducing Ann Coulter into the discussion is pretty much like introducing Hitler. It's a sign you've lost. She makes Fauxnews looks credible, and that's a hard mountain to climb.
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      10-16-2014, 03:34 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Dalko43 View Post
Britain's NHS, which has been touted as the poster child for government run health care
Only among the opponents of national health care insurance.

Britain (and Canada) are pretty much the only places where not only health care insurance but health care itself is a government operation. That doesn't seem to work well. Their record by all the measurable things (life expectancy, infant mortality, time to get in to see your doctor, etc. etc.), is just as lousy as ours.

The real poster child for national health care insurance is Italy. The idea of national health care insurance is so superior to (largely employer based) private health care insurance that even the Italian government can make it work well. The Italian government. <grin>

I'm somewhat surprised at the opposition of conservatives to national health care insurance. Decoupling health care insurance from your employment is a real boost to individual liberty. Before Obamcare millions were shackled to jobs they hated by their health care insurance, and pre-existing condition exclusions. Thousands faced the real death panels. Get sick, lose your job, lose your insurance, die. It was not rare.

I understand opposition to national health care. Based on Britain and Canada and us, that idea seems to be just as lousy as private health care insurance.

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      10-16-2014, 06:59 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
Introducing Ann Coulter into the discussion is pretty much like introducing Hitler. It's a sign you've lost. She makes Fauxnews looks credible, and that's a hard mountain to climb.
+1

I'm glad you said it and I didn't.

All the best.
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      10-16-2014, 07:00 PM   #21
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Introducing Ann Coulter into the discussion is pretty much like introducing Hitler. It's a sign you've lost. She makes Fauxnews looks credible, and that's a hard mountain to climb.
Thanks for the hate speech. Now, where is what she said incorrect?
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      10-17-2014, 08:41 AM   #22
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Thanks for the hate speech. Now, where is what she said incorrect?
What follows is a sentence by sentence assessment of Ms. Coulter's comments. The statements preceded by the left-most bullets are Ms. Coulter's words literally lifted from the link provided earlier. My comments, where I made any, are beneath them and clearly identified.

Statements Ms. Coulter made that are true:

  • There had never been a case of Ebola in the U.S. until a few months ago.
  • This summer, the U.S. government imposed a travel ban on Israel simply to pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu into accepting a ceasefire agreement.
  • At the congressional hearing on Ebola last week, Republicans repeatedly pressed the CDC representative, Dr. Toby Merlin, to explain why Obama refuses to impose a travel ban. In about 17 tries, Merlin came up with no plausible answer. Like Frieden, Merlin kept insisting that "the only way to protect Americans" is to end the epidemic in Africa. ...

    Merlin further explained the travel ban, saying that if West Africans can't fly to America, "that would cause the disease to grow in that area and spill over into other countries." So instead of infecting people in surrounding countries, our CDC wants them to come here and infect Americans.
    • My comments: I'll take her word for this. I haven't seen the transcripts of the hearing. It's clear to me that ending the epidemic in Africa is a significant step toward making sure Americans don't become sick with Ebola.

      I know damn well that Dr. Merlin cannot and would not fall into the trap of putting words in the President's mouth. If the Congressmen want to know what Obama did or didn't do something, they should ask Obama.
  • ...Obama is sending troops from the 101st Airborne...to Liberia.
  • [Since Ebola first appeared in the U.S.,] thousands of people have died of the disease in Africa.
  • This summer, the U.S. government imposed a travel ban on Israel simply to pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu into accepting a ceasefire agreement.
  • Scientists who discovered the AIDS cocktail didn't spend their nights at Studio 54in order to "fight the disease at its source."
  • When there's a vaccine, we can mail it.
  • The government assures us there's nothing to worry about with Ebola. They've got it under control.
  • The government told us that national quarantines won't work, but then they quarantine everyone with Ebola -- or who has been near someone with Ebola, such as an entire NBC crew. To me, this suggests that there's some value in keeping people who have been near Ebola away from people who have not.
  • The problem isn't that Ebola will leap across oceans to infect Americans.
  • At the moment, more than 13,000 West Africans have travel visas to come to the U.S.
    • I'll again take her word for this.
  • The entire continent of Africa now knows that this is a country that will happily spend half a million dollars on treating someone who just arrived -- and then berate itself for not doing enough.
    • I don't know that anyone is "happy" about it, but it's true that if a person is sick and dying here in the U.S., our healthcare system will do the best it can for them. I've never been sick in a foreign country, nor have I been or known sick and destitute persons in a foreign country. I don't know what England, France, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, etc. would do with such people. I doubt they'd knowingly cast them out on the street so they can infect more people, but I can't attest to the nature and extent of care those health care systems would provide.
  • And now we're going to have to let in entire families with Ebola, because the important thing is -- actually, I don't know why.
    • I believe it's true that Ms. Coulter doesn't know why.
Statements Ms. Coulter made that are partly true or wholly not true, directionally untrue (in terms of the line of thinking to which they lead), that allegorically are false or that are true literally but when taken in the context of the point Ms. Coulter aims to make, suffer from specious reasoning.

I know that some of my critical analysis of the statements I cite as being untrue read like semantic hair splitting, but it's not that at all. Ms. Coulter is a paid political writer and as such is very perspicacious about her word choice and phrasing. Accordingly, even if she in fact isn't, she should be and thus her expressed thoughts are duly subject to parsing. Moreover, the editorial in question was not an extemporaneous speech she delivered. It was reviewed and considered by at least two professional writers: Ms. Coulter's editor and Ms. Coulter.
  • Since then, thousands of people have died of the disease in Africa, and millions upon millions of dollars have been spent treating Ebola patients in the U.S. who acquired it there, one of whom has died.
    • Here's a large chunk of those millions of dollars: http://www.ibtimes.com/us-defense-de...-close-1566666 .
      Treatment research is not treatment itself. Did it need to be spent? Well you'll need to decide that for yourself.
    • As for the cost of treating the few folks in the U.S. who've contracted Ebola, there's no way it adds up to "millions upon millions" dollars. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-1...0-an-hour.html . It's so that Mr. Duncan's costs may total $500K, but that's still a far cry from "millions upon millions" of dollars.
  • But the Obama administration refuses to impose a travel ban....

    The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden, justifies Obama's refusal to prohibit flights originating in Ebola-plagued countries, saying, "A travel ban is not the right answer. It's simply not feasible to build a wall -- virtual or real -- around a community, city or country." ...

    Quite obviously, the only way to protect Americans is to prevent Ebola from coming here in the first place. The problem isn't that Ebola will leap across oceans to infect Americans; it's that Obama doesn't want to protect Americans.
    • The statement is not true because the administration is considering it; it has not been ruled out.
      http://www.11alive.com/story/news/na...ress/17368351/

      Also, as I didn't read Dr. Frieden's testimony, I don't know that whatever he said was offered as a justification, explanation or ancillary comment intended to neither justify nor explain any of Mr. Obama's actions/views, but rather only to state the doctor's own opinion.

      Moreover, there hasn't been a travel ban since the first outbreak of Ebola and folks have been traveling between there and the U.S. for the entire time. A travel ban isn't likely to do any good and could certainly do harm. But proposing it is a knee jerk idea that plays well on television and that strategically -- in terms of political strategy -- once posed, puts leaders who have the power to impose one on the defensive.
    • My opinion: There's no need to ban flights from Africa. What should be done is to automatically place into quarantine/isolation anyone getting off a plane and who had in the past month had been to/landed at countries afflicted with the Ebola epidemic. People's passports will have stamps showing clearly where they've been recently. Why take any less stringent precautions? And don't tell me it's too expensive to do so. We found over $1 trillion dollars to fight a war that saved no domestic lives and cost us several thousand American lives. We can find the money to afford to quarantine/isolate such travelers. The question is can we find the will to do so?

      Preventing Ebola from coming to American is clearly not the only way to protect Americans because it's too late to use that tactic. Ebola is in America. Surely Ms. Coulter doesn't expect me to believe that Ebola spread though Sudan nation solely because people from another nation entered the country. Clearly there are hundreds of countries that have no travel ban and Ebola has not spread there, this despite the virus having been around since the 1970s.


      I seriously doubt that Obama doesn't want to protect Americans. I know there's one sure way to find out...just ask the man.
  • This summer, the U.S. government imposed a travel ban on Israel simply to pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu into accepting a ceasefire agreement. But we can't put a travel restriction on countries where a contagious disease is raging.
    • We can. We simply haven't. Ms. Coulter could have said, "...we [our leaders/government] are reticent to put travel restrictions...", but she didn't.
  • Allegorically false -- Why, precisely, must we attack Ebola in Africa? Research on a cure doesn't require cuddling victims in their huts. Scientists who discovered the AIDS cocktail didn't spend their nights at Studio 54 in order to "fight the disease at its source."
  • Merlin further explained the travel ban, saying that if West Africans can't fly to America, "that would cause the disease to grow in that area and spill over into other countries." So instead of infecting people in surrounding countries, our CDC wants them to come here and infect Americans.
    • My comment: purely inflammatory hyperbole.
  • Until there's a treatment, we can't put out the disease there, or here. ...
    • Not true because there are behavioral protocols that can prevent the disease from spreading. By applying them, further infection can be prevented. Given the fatality rate for Ebola, those folks already infected will either die or develop their own immunity to the disease. So will end the spread of Ebola in the U.S.

      American health care providers have been applying those protocols since 1976 and it's taken almost 40 years for any of them to become infected and brought back to the U.S.

      The solution is for infected or potentially infected people to think of more than their own priorities and simply admit that they have been in the vicinity of someone who had, or could reasonably have had, Ebola. Such an admission would likely force those people into quarantine and/or isolation, but the spread of the disease would stop.
  • Unfortunately, everything the government says about this disease keeps being proved untrue -- usually within a matter of days.
    • The U.S. government has said plenty of things that are true about Ebola.
      http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/001339.htm
      http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/20...act-sheet.html
    • The government hasn't made any claims about the stupidity, selfishness or carelessness of American citizens. When the opportunity to quarantine nurse Vinson first existed, she wasn't quarantined, despite having had "extensive contact" with patient Duncan including while he vomited and bled. She knew damn well she'd violated the care protocols and yet she got on a plane and flew to Cleveland. She should have been forthright and told her superiors she violated the protocols.
    • It's not known yet how nurse Nina Pham managed to contract Ebola. What I know is that since 1976 when Ebola was first identified, it's only now that I've ever heard of an American contracting the disease while treating Ebola patients.
    • It is true that the CDC's continually increasing number of people who may have been exposed to Ebola by patient Duncan -- First 18 other people, later revised to nearly 80 people, before revising it again to 100 people (as of Thursday night) -- doesn't inspire confidence at first blush. However, there's a huge difference between estimating how many folks were exposed and understanding the disease itself.
  • With no evidence, the CDC simply announced that the nurses were not following proper "protocol." The disease didn't operate the way CDC said it would, so the hospitals must be lying.
    • My rebuttal: The CDC know the nurses wore protective gear. They also know that the virus cannot transport itself through the material of the gear, just like you, I and Ms. Coulter know that to be so. So unless Ms. Coulter (or someone) can demonstrate that the protocols were followed to the letter, the only way for the nurses to have contracted Ebola was for them to have violated the protocols.

      Personally, I'd be quite surprised to find out that there is no video record of every single second of activity and interactions with patient Duncan from the instant he entered the hospital to the time he/his ashes left. It shouldn't be that difficult to find out whether any, and if so what, protocol the nurses violated. I suppose too there could have been an accident rather than a clear protocol violation.

      What I do know is that Ms. Coulter doesn't know any more than I or the CDC do about what exactly led to the nurses' becoming infected. She's just using the fact of their infection to fuel the fires of controversy. I know too that when one's party isn't he party in power, any controversy is good. Such is the nature of an adversarial party system as we have in the U.S.
  • The government told us that national quarantines won't work, but then they quarantine everyone with Ebola -- or who has been near someone with Ebola, such as an entire NBC crew. To me, this suggests that there's some value in keeping people who have been near Ebola away from people who have not.
    • That is hardly a national quarantine. I don't frankly know what a national quarantine has to do with anything. I do know such a thing would in fact be overkill. What's the point of quarantining Wilma Citizen who's never left her hovel in Appalachia and who've met anyone who's even met anyone who's left or isn't from that same part of the country? Wilma is an extreme example, but she'd be subject to a national quarantine just as you and i would.
  • And now we're going to have to let in entire families with Ebola.
    • You and I both know that's just not so.
Statements that are neither true nor false because they are conclusions or opinions arrived at via debatable inductive reasoning that assigned Ms. Coulter's own weighting to the premises and facts she considered and/or ignored in arriving at her conclusions. Purely speculative statements and questions of any sort are included in this group as well.
  • It's becoming increasingly clear this is just another platform for Obama to demonstrate that we are citizens of the world. The entire Ebola issue is being discussed -- by our government, not the United Nations -- as if Liberians are indistinguishable from Americans, and U.S. taxpayers should be willing to pay whatever it takes to save them.
    • My retort: Did you actually give a sh*t about "Iraqi freedom?" I know I didn't and still don't care one bit how free Iraqis were and are/are not. Whatever small bit I may have been convinced to care certainly would never have tolled to $1 billion dollars!
  • Maybe we should give them the vote, too! If Ebola was concentrated in Finland and Norway -- certainly Israel! -- we'd have had a travel ban on Day One. ...
  • What is it with liberals living in gated communities always telling us that fences don't work? THAT'S WHAT A QUARANTINE IS.
    • My comment: Apparently quarantines don't work either given the behavior of Dr. Snyderman and her crew.
  • The only thing Americans will be doing in Liberia is changing the bedpans of victims, getting infected and bringing Ebola back to America.
  • Naturally, Obama is sending troops from the 101st Airborne, the pride of our Army, to Liberia. Their general should resign in protest.
  • Merlin further explained the travel ban, saying that if West Africans can't fly to America, "that would cause the disease to grow in that area and spill over into other countries." So instead of infecting people in surrounding countries, our CDC wants them to come here and infect Americans.
  • Republicans -- Americans -- have got to demand Frieden's resignation. If only we could demand Obama's.
    • My comment: Republicans aren't the only Americans.
  • Of all the reasons people have for coming here -- welfare, drug-dealing, Medicare scams -- "I have Ebola and I'm going to die, otherwise" is surely one of the strongest.
    • Given the results so far, I suspect the odds of their dying is about the same here as it is in Africa. That tells me that coming here for treatment isn't at all a compelling reason to do so. If were as likely to die in the U.S as I am in Liberia, for example, and I'm a Liberian citizen, I wouldn't want to die alone in the U.S. Would you?
  • Thomas Eric Duncan's family may be upset with his treatment, but they have to admit, the price was right. Medical bill: $0.00. Your next statement will arrive in 30 days.
  • And now we're going to have to let in entire families with Ebola, because the important thing is -- actually,I don't know why. It's some technical, scientific point about fences not working.
    • I know why she doesn't know why: because there's absolutely no reason the U.S. must admit entry to entire families with Ebola.
Statements that Ms. Coulter made that are allegorically stupid. These are so "out there" that I can't put them in any of the other groups.
  • Allegorically stupid -- At least he's only putting expendable Americans on the frontlines of the Ebola epidemic -- doctors, nurses, members of the 101st Airborne.
    • Would it make more sense to send engineers, mall workers, financial analysts and physicists? Or perhaps she would just as soon let the disease fester in Africa, perhaps make the whole damn continent a "no fly, no sail zone?" The U.S. probably could do the latter, but then doing so is an act of war and no less ridiculous a statement than hers.
  • Allegorically stupid -- Fearmongering -- At the moment, more than 13,000 West Africans have travel visas to come to the U.S. Having just seen an Ebola-infected Liberian get $500,000 worth of free medical treatment in the U.S., the first thing any African who might have Ebola should do is get himself to America.
    • And just what does Ms. Coulter presume those people are going to use to buy a ticket to get themselves here? We are talking about West and East African citizens. Excluding South Africa and the Seychelles, as of 2008 the per capita income in sub-Saharan Africa was $556 per year. (http://www.economist.com/blogs/freee...saharan-africa) With income like that, people will die before they have enough money to buy a plane ticket to the U.S.

      Incidentally, just what are the two poorest African countries? Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Sierra Leone is the 8th poorest. The GDP per capita in each can be found here -- http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD -- suffice to say the highest is ~$800/year. Contrast that with ~$53K for the U.S. If some nation other than the U.S. develops a successful treatment regimen for Ebola, they should worry about infected Americans flooding their health care system, not West Africans.

      Moreover, given the treatment costs noted in the link about about "millions upon millions" of dollars, I don't know where Ms. Coulter got her $500K number from aside from the fact that Mr. Duncan was uninsured. The nurses had insurance and insofar as they've paid for it, they are entitled to coverage.

What I think about Ms. Coulter's comments:
One key thing to keep in mind is that circumstances in the U.S. are very different from those in African countries battling the virus. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamo...ble-heres-why/) As I stated several posts back, those cultural factors make a huge difference in the spread of infections like Ebola and those differences affect the modality and viability of various treatment and prevention tactics.

Ms. Coulter has conveniently chosen to highlight one suggestion -- a travel ban -- that has popular appea,l and to many who are less than intimately aware of the "gory details" of immunology and infectious disease protocols, prevention and treatment, it would seem like a very good idea. Moreover, 30 some nations have enacted travel bans. (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ebola-ou...e-travel-bans/) For those nations, it may well make sense given the capabilities of their health care infrastructures and cultural situation.

Take a look at the list of countries you'll find at the link above and tell me what they have in common with the U.S. If those same 30 countries all took or refused to take any given action, would that signal that the U.S. should do so as well? Since when has the U.S., hell any major Western nation, look to those countries for leadership guidance? Is Ms. Coulter now suggesting that perhaps we should follow their lead? I seriously doubt she's saying that at all.

A travel ban may have worked had the first person with Ebola not entered the U.S. and transferred the virus to others. Now that "ship has sailed" -- it really doesn't matter why or how that happened -- and the efficacy of a travel ban will do little more good than serve as a political talking point for folk who believe divisive political posturing is productive, and that's exactly what it is for Ms. Coulter.

Also, a travel ban could very well destabilize the affected African countries. If that happens, every single one of them could become nothing but an open door for terrorist organizations to gain another foothold. That's all we need...another place wherein we must fight a "war," much less a place were our soldiers must fight it in and among lands that Ebola around every corner.

As for what I think about Ms. Coulter, well, I'd like to think that what I think is wrong, but it's probably not. I think that Ms. Coulter cares more about damning and seeing out of office Obama and Democratic elected officials than she does about about actually preventing the spread of Ebola.

As usual, she and her ilk are doing little more than criticizing the people who are charged with the weighty choices that accompany managing the problem. Politicizing the matter has several detrimental effects:
  • It distracts resources from actually thinking about and solving the problem because they are having to refute hers an others' hyperbole and invective.
  • It creates doubt among the electorate rather than helping to reinforce their awareness of the right actions to take.
  • It fosters trepidation, fear, and panic rather than calm attentiveness.
  • It promotes finger pointing rather than problem solving.
Did Ms. Coulter write one thing that added much to the perspective the general public, or even just her readers have on the disease? No. So, here is some:

In those three articles, you'll find specific mention of proven tactics that curtail the spread of Ebola. It's far more informative reading that anything Ms. Coulter is likely to publish.


All the best.
__________________
Cheers,
Tony

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