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Henryk A. Kowalczyk
In perpetual search for reason
Recent Activity
GOP tries to stay conservative. It would be a good thing if we had a clear definition of what it means; we do not. Republicans do not stand anymore for liberties of individuals, they do not stand for free enterprise, and do not stand anymore for the free market, http://www.henrykkowalczyk.com/texts/capitalism-versus-socialism/
Toggle Commented Mar 19, 2013 on Republican rebranding at Change of Subject
## I noticed that some people know Latin. Congratulations.
@Wendy, I reviewed again all your posts. The picture that emerges tells me that, for the reasons you did not explain, you are just for the government run health care system. You are a little surprised that still there are people opposing it, but you do not intend to put your time and effort in finding out why. Furthermore, you are not much interested in learning about possible alternatives to the government run health care. I have one-minute video that nicely fits this situation, http://www.youtube.com/user/hak1010#p/u/7/GfOR-MRPIG8
@Wendy I sympathize with your feelings. However, I am not apologetic. There is a Polish saying for this occasion, the truth pokes ones eyes. The objective here is getting the truth. I would not sacrifice the truth just for not offending someone’s feelings. I would rather knowingly upset someone just to get the truth across. Just for the record, as someone who actually lived a meaningful portion of my adult life under the socialistic system, I would like to assure you that people who value their personal freedoms, under that system feel raped all the time. However, not everyone have a desire to be free; here or there. I guess, I offended you one more time.
## @ZORN European health care systems grew up from the XIX century socialistic concept of welfare state, first experimented by Bismarck in Germany. BTW, they tried it first not on the native German land, but on the occupied Polish territory; today’s Poznań and surrounding area. With all the variations, it means much higher taxes than in the US and social acceptance for much greater intervention of the government into private lives of citizens. This system is commonly accepted as it evolved from generally totalitarian European political systems. People who disagreed with these political concepts, left Europe and created the US. Hence, your real argument is not about health care at all. It is the question if we should stick to the concepts and ideals that led to the creation of the US, or should we say, “we are sorry”, and return to European political concepts. As you may have already guessed, I wrote an essay on this subject as well, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/henryk-a-kowalczyk/the-debate-about-health-c_b_264758.html
Boris, Poland was the funnies barrack in the Soviet Bloc. To make you even more envious, the great socialistic government listened to voices of citizen, and later increased the norm for M3 (apartment for three people) to 47 square meters (about 470 square feet) and allowed private single family houses as large as 110 square meter (about 1100 square feet).
@Wendy You write: ”One final comment, why does the difference between 'forced or voluntary' matter? When the end result is something both parties want?” Let as say that a woman goes to a date with a man that she would like to have sex with. This man would like to have sex with her as well, so he rapes her before getting her consent. This is the difference between forced and voluntary when the end result is something that both parties want.
@ZORN You write “Truth is there are countries in the world that are more socialistic than ours where people are happier with their health care & other services”. Do you have in mind Germany, France, Great Brittan, or Canada? ZORN REPLY -- These polls are pretty consistent over the years. Here's a MarketWatch story from last summer: >>>SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- International comparisons of health-care systems can be tricky to tease out, but the Dutch appear most satisfied with their system and Americans the least satisfied, according to a new survey of 10 industrialized countries. The Dutch system was most popular with its citizens while adults in the U.S. were itching for national reform the most, according to Harris Interactive, which cited three separate data sets. <<<,
@ZORN Obama’s health care reform could be as successful as Medicare is. Everybody loves free medical care. The small problem is that it is bankrupt, and it runs down country finances. I lived in the socialistic system. So many things were free. Most people loved it dearly. Many were disappointed, when as certain point the country went bankrupt. In case of Poland, in 1980ties, it happened almost literally. Still in Poland, there are people nostalgic for the government freeing them from all worries. Unfortunately, only some are concerned about rights. However, Mr. Zorn, the majority of those who care about individual freedoms, creates all the wealth that the government can redistribute. When they are gone, there is nothing to redistribute. I have seen it with my own very eyes; stores shelves literally empty.
Boris, Zorn is right, you play that socialistic card with no mercy. I lived in the socialistic system, it was not so bad. In Poland the family of three was allowed to live in the apartment of 44 square meters (about 440 square feet), so called M3, which is much better than 50 square feet per person that you mentioned. Wealthy people, who could afford to build their own house, were allowed to have as much as 100 square meters (about 1000 square feet) per family. Zorn is right; the socialistic government can be attentive in securing people’s happiness.
Wendy C. We have periods of global warming and global cooling going back and forth for millions of years. Why the this one is caused by us heating our houses and driving our cars? How many wild forest fires it took for the same effect, before man created civilization?
## @Wendy C. You are right, whatever we do, we still will die. The ideal solution would be to live perfectly healthy until reaching 100 years or more, and then one day just not to wake up. Healthy lifestyle, in statistical terms, bring us closer to that ideal. In individual instances, sometimes even the most health concerned get serous illness, not mentioning just accidents. Generally, healthier population, contributing to life-cycle health insurance, can accumulate enough financial resources to cover health care of those in need. The strongest point of my approach is in attempt of creating a system that everyone concerned would have financial interest in keeping people healthy. With life cycle health insurance, insurance companies will do this. Paying minor health care cost themselves, people would be motivated in finding the best value for the money. Nothing is perfect, but this could be as close to perfection, as we can get. Unless, someone has better idea.
@ZORN You ask: “And your qualifications for overruling the vast majority of climate scientists in the world are...?” If we would turn it into auction of credentials, I have none, so I should not even write a word. The same as some minor clerk in the patent office (Albert Einstein) should not write about physics. Should we shut up out our eyes and ears, turn off our critical thinking, and mindlessly follow whoever could convince us as having credentials? This is how societies always got in trouble. Is not it the way we started war in Iraq? Is not it the way we got into the current financial crisis? Bottom line, if even the most credible scientist cannot pass my common sense scrutiny, I am reluctant to trust whatever he or she says.
Blahedo and Wendy C. The main benefit of my approach will be in changing the motivations of the health insurance industry: with lifespan coverage, they will make most money by keeping their insured healthy. This new paradigm will invoke many programs promoting a healthy lifestyle and preventive medicine. As people will need to pay directly for these products and services, the health care industry will find the ways to offer these products and services at affordable prices. PS. Sorry for delayed response. I made several unsuccessful attempts within the last two days. Finally, I can post again. HAK
The global warming is the process observed just within the last two or three decades. I am old enough to remember similar worries about global cooling about forty years ago. About 1300 years ago, we had a period of global warming much greater than the current one. This is when Greenland was actually green, when Vikings arrived there. The Earth as we know it exists at least for a few hundred million years. People, as a civilization, are here for no more than 10 thousand years. We observe warming trend for the last twenty years or so. We caused global warming as much as polluted the ocean by peeing into it. ZORN REPLY -- And your qualifications for overruling the vast majority of climate scientists in the world are...? Let me guess, you stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Dienne, I offer outside of the box approach to this issue and the logic used inside the box does not apply anymore. In my approach, we would agree that medical expenses below some dollar figure would be responsibility of an individual. Some people would buy health maintenance plans, as Mr. Zorn explained perfectly in his example with a DVD player. Some would keep HAS, some would pay out of pocket. Hence, your question, which treatments would be covered does not apply. It will be between you and your doctor to decide. The right question to ask is what would be a dollar figure that the life-cycle health risk insurance should kick-in. Should it be the same for everyone, or should we have a few levels for people of various incomes? Should we allow rising this number, and lowering the premium for people having let say three time that number on the HSA? Those are details, which for the clarity I purposely omitted in my essays. These details do not affect the value of the concept itself. Answering your direct questions. By definition, you do not have to renew every year insurance designed to last for the lifespan of the person. The term of pre-existing conditions ceases to exist in my concept. The premium may change. It could happen the same way as prices of the phone service changed after more competition was introduced. Finally, sorry, but having children is not a catastrophic event. So, before jumping under the covers, you better have a plan what to do just in case if it would turn to be a fruitful activity.
Signing for each other is always a bad idea. What is the problem with reaching to a spouse and asking for a Hancock? When I do some paperwork and need her signature, I always can find her. When she does it, and needs my signature, she finds me. After all, we live together. Why asking for trouble when it is not necessary?
Toggle Commented Dec 3, 2009 on Spousal forgery at Change of Subject
For those who follow health care reform debate http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2009/11/our-health-customer-protection-plans.html I cannot make posts there but can here. I am puzzled.
Toggle Commented Dec 2, 2009 on Spousal forgery at Change of Subject
Dienne, I wrote six essays on the subject, and defined life-cycle health risk insurance at least in three of them. For example you can check my text that Mr. Zorn quotes in his post starting this discussion.
Dienne, I suggest separating health insurance from the health maintenance plans. However, with a twist; I see necessity for a life-cycle health risk insurance. Please follow to http://www.henrykkowalczyk.com/healthcare.htm for more details. It looks logically coherent for me. However, I might missed something in my reasoning. I am willing to pay $200 to someone who can prove me wrong, http://www.henrykkowalczyk.com/$100_for_health_care_ideas.htm
## Cheap shot MrJM. And not on the subject. I stick to my grounds, people proposing major reform of the health insurance industry, failed to define what health insurance is. They are not the first and - I fear - not the last politicians making a strategic decision without defining the subject. Dear MrJM, please visit my website, click on health care and follow to my $200 challenge. ZORN REPLY -- You might as well make it the $2 billion challenge, Henryk, since the only way you will award money is if someone proves to you that your idea "would never work." You're the judge of whether someone has proved a negative to you? That's an absurd challenge, even when not offered by a committed ideologue. It's a silly stunt and so obviously phony that it actually cheapens your arguments.
Let me indulge in my vanity even more, and quote from my other text about health care, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/henryk-a-kowalczyk/the-health-care-bill-wher_b_242496.html “In line with my engineering background, I tried to define the subject of my inquiry as a first step. To my surprise, I could not find a definition of the term "health insurance" in any U.S. government-issued document. I found definitions of "health insurance coverage," "health benefit plan,"and "health insurance issuer," but the definition of health insurance itself was nowhere to be found. In other words, Mr. President, you are initiating one of the largest social reforms of our time, putting about $1 trillion of taxpayers' money at stake, on a venture that has an undefined subject. This puts you in the same camp as your predecessor, who in a similar manner, without defining the subject, started wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
I am delighted with Mr. Zorn quotation from my post at HuffPost and with his favorable comment. There are no comments to my text there, as editors at HuffPost did not give any exposure to this text. Boris knows this post as I emailed him a link. In the meantime, life goes on. I offer $100 for showing me health care reform proposal that is better than mine. I offer $200 for proving me wrong. Please check for details: http://www.henrykkowalczyk.com/healthcare.htm http://www.henrykkowalczyk.com/$100%20for%20health%20care%20ideas.htm
Dear. Mr. Zorn, Congratulations for the great discussion. I does not matter that, despite some flaws in Boris reasoning, you lost the debate. Nevertheless, after all, it is your space, and your success in having this important debate here. I share with Boris an experience of living under the full-blown socialistic system. I witnessed its collapse, and have my tiny contribution to it. Similarly as Boris, most of my life I have worked for myself. For a meaningful duration of time, I was signing payroll checks on the front not on the back. You, Mr. Zorn do not have this experience. In your writing, someone like myself, can sense subconscious, unintended, taken for given, assumption that capitalists are greedy bloodsuckers, with no conscience; basically, inhumane. Hence, you see necessity of the community to step in and secure that those predators would not eat us alive. In this mindset, which you would never openly support, there is an assumption that there are unlimited possibilities of milking capitalists. The thought that we might milk them to death, our death, to be precise, is never allowed to enter your mind. In my technical field, when I hire a new technician, obviously, I want to know what he knows. However, more important is if he knows what he does not know. Without knowing the limits of his knowledge, every minute he puts me in risk of catastrophic damages. You, Mr. Zorn, do not realize your lack of understanding of both, socialism as a concept, and the free market as well. Moving to Cuba or starting your own business, might be not the simplest way to overcome this shortcoming. The book that is worth to read is available on the internet at no charge, http://mises.org/books/socialism.pdf ZORN REPLY -- What a suprise, Henryk, that you would declare Boris the winner of this debate. You share his philosophy, his patronizing rhetorical style and his penchant for declaring himself, evidence notwithstanding, intellectually superior.
I wrote that email. My observation was that having two posts presenting almost identical arguments, Mr. Zorn picked-up a debate with a person using some personally charged arguments. This does not nullify my appreciation for Mr. Zorn getting involved in debates; something that other authors do not do. Dozens of readers write comments under every post here. There is only one Mr. Zorn, so it is obvious that he can answer only the very few. I just noticed some regularity in his choices. On the socialism issue; if my memory serves me well, Tocqueville said that freedoms rarely go away rapidly, usually they fade away. This is my bone of contention with Mr. Zorn and many others sharing his point of view. Mr. Zorn writes: “The fundamentally capitalist nature of our society is not and never has been seriously threatened.” He is correct, to the extent that no one seriously is challenging it frontally. However in many every day decisions, this concept is chipped, diluted, to the point that we are deprived essential economic freedoms that are fundamentals of the capitalistic system. It is hard to measure this process in kilograms or meters (pounds or inches for old-fashioned readers), hence – when looking at the same – Mr. Zorn might see things differently than me for example. I spent first 33 years of my life in a socialistic country, and made some systematic effort in understanding this concept. Referring to that proverbial frog that does not jump out of the pot despite water getting hot gradually, I had been throughout this experience before, and try to warn others before it is too late. It is Mr. Zorn right to dismiss my voice as “inflammatory adjectives and utterly misleading comparisons.”
Toggle Commented Sep 3, 2009 on Getting personal at Change of Subject