[FoRK] Fwd: Hey, big spender...

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Wed Aug 27 11:19:56 PDT 2008

Jeff Bone wrote:
> On Aug 27, 2008, at 11:57 AM, Stephen Williams wrote:
>> Those are a lot of assumptions.  I'll just point out that if the 
>> dollar devalues that much, then $1.5T will seem like $1T does today.  
>> By stating $1.5T now, you are implying $1.5T in todays dollars, 
>> which, for that grossing up at least, doesn't seem like a valid way 
>> to spit out numbers for comparison.
> Costs going up due to devaluation at the same time revenues and GDP 
> (in absolute terms) are declining.  How do *you* think governments 
> handle that situation?  By cutting back spending?  Not hardly.
>>>> $65 billion-a-year health plan
>>> Vastly, VASTLY underestimated price.
>> If you state a budget item by price, how is it vastly 
>> underestimated?  I don't believe the plan even can be: "Solve this at 
>> any price, which I think is $65."
> Now that you've gone into rabid machine-gunner-on-meth mode, I'm 
> having a hard time even parsing some of these.
> Here's the calculation.  There are roughly 46M uninsured individuals 
> in America.  Assuming that we *only* cover them, what
Good explanation of your numbers.  But the initial question is: Are we 
agreeing to commit to solving the problem regardless of its size?  (Your 
assumption apparently.)  Or just committing to spending $65B toward 
solving it?  (The plain meaning of that budget item.)  Insisting the 
latter means the former is just being obdurately pessimistic.
> ...
>> The worst case I can assume won't happen.
> Haven't you ever heard the adage "expect the best but prepare for the 
> worst?"
Of course, within reason.
> That's the thing about Black Swan events.  They may not be very likely 
> --- indeed, you'll note that the high water mark for my prediction of 
> a GD given Obama influence is "only" 1/3 --- but the impact is severe 
> enough that you have to weight accordingly.
> Or not.  Your call.  Do you drive without a seat belt, too?  Why risk 
> it by handing the whole enchilada to a single party, EITHER party?
No that would be additional risk with no upside, however I have created 
and run my own startup, and CTO'd others.  And I fly.  And scuba dive.  
And paddle several miles out to sea into 20 ft. swells.  And hike scary 
(but not crazy) mountains.

So, why?  On the possibility that significant positive effect could be 
had.  You seem to be completely discounting any possibility of positive 
outcome, weighing the possibility of disaster as far outweighing other 
possibilities.  I'm more willing to try for the upside than to maintain 
the status quo.
> jb

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