The economics thread

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Where do you sit on economic theory?

Complete free market (anarcho-capitalism)
0
No votes
Free market with minimal government intervention (neo-liberalism, Liberal Party)
3
50%
Free market with government intervention to correct market errors and flaws (Keynesian, Labor Party)
3
50%
Complete government control (socialism, communism)
0
No votes
Other
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 6

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Canberra Milk
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The economics thread

Post by Canberra Milk » May 30, 2014, 1:59 pm

Hi guys, I'm interested in people's take on economic theory. Are you neo-liberal or rationalist, like the Liberal party, believing that governments should generaly steer clear of the free market's invisible hand? Are you kind of Keynesian, like the Labor Party? Or are you something more extreme, like an anarcho-capitalist, or a socialist? I've seen such debates on other forums, but I post here being an entirely Australian group of people. The debate can be frame from a number of perspectives, generally with two opposing forces. You'll see these brought up in debates a lot, noting that ones with negative connotations such as communism or social darwinism are used in debates as criticisms:

Free market vs government intervention
Individualism vs collectivism
Social Darwinism vs welfare state
Capitalism vs communism
Right vs left

These ideas seem to undermine the majority of political debates, yet without my own research I wouldn't have known they existed. I've got no doubt that neo-liberalism, or at least the free market, has been the dominant force as long as I've been an adult which is about a decade. To believe otherwise is to "not understand economics". Personally I'm not so sure. I'm not sure the invisible hand is as efficient as we've been led to believe.

I'm torn. I like individual liberties and the ability to chase wealth if that's what one wants. I think that a handout culture and a paternalistic government is a genuine risk of the welfare state. But on the other hand, I don't like people going hungry, and I suspect that the free market enables poverty or at least inequality.

Discuss.

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Bard » May 30, 2014, 2:11 pm

Personally, i dislike full blown neo-liberalism as it is atm. I find there are things that i would prefer the government to run and not the private sector. The idea that "letting the market decide" is the best way is bull because the market is driven by profit which changes the preferred outcomes for particular stakeholders and the control of capital means they get the major say to screw everyone else. Furthermore, it seems that the free market is never actually allowed to run its course, such as banks being bailed out etc. Overall, i think Government control is typically a good thing as it allows the people that vote for the government to keep major private interests in check.

Honestly though thats my very rough/quick understanding so id be happy to see anyone call me on it and help me understand more.

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Canberra Milk » May 30, 2014, 2:23 pm

A new book by Thomas Piketty called "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" is making waves. It's broken sales records, and seems every economist wants to have their say on it. The basic idea is, from the summaries I've read, that the rate of return on capital is exceeding the rate of economic growth. As a result, ever-increasing inequality is unavoidable in the current system. It therefore raises strong objections to what we're traditionally told, that the free market is in everyone's best interest (for a great such example, see below: "Wage-earners should be grateful to the capitalists for immensely magnifying what their labor can earn them.")

Here's two articles, one by the well-known Paul Krugman who loves it, and the other by an Objectivist, total individualist free-market guy who hates it. Note that he uses strong and emotional allusions, "blood-soaked ideas", to the negative connotations of Marxism:

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archive ... ilded-age/

http://www.realclearmarkets.com/article ... 01082.html

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Re: The economics thread

Post by The Phantom » May 30, 2014, 2:32 pm

Tend to side with socialism.
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Re: The economics thread

Post by Chicka's shoe » May 30, 2014, 2:41 pm

Dare I suggest this is the only rugby league forum with an economics thread
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Re: The economics thread

Post by Canberra Milk » May 30, 2014, 3:07 pm

Haha. Don't you discuss economics down at the park on a Sunday afternoon, watching the local A-grade match?

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Stuat » May 30, 2014, 3:50 pm

Where to start. I'll try post something in here when I have more time. Not that it will be much use mind you :)

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Re: The economics thread

Post by papabear » May 30, 2014, 4:22 pm

I didn't vote on your poll.

IMO you are being to kind to the labor party. The labor party imo are economically left whilst socially middle right.

That said I tend to believe in a free market and the freedom of speech/activism of labour as well.

If the market is able to drum down wages through market forces, so much so, that the wages are unfair, im all for people being to march in the street / picket / do whatever it takes for a fair wage.

IMO its a naïve person who thinks the individuals in govt act for the common good, they act for themselves and how much they can get out of the trough, therefor the less power you give them the less damage they can do.

Socially im on the far left or very progressive. Let the Gays marry and legalise drugs **** (which also has an economics argument).

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Green eyed Mick » May 30, 2014, 7:00 pm

Labor are nowhere near the economic left. HECS, Support for private school funding and private healthcare, the privatisation of government assets are all right wing concepts not left.

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Canberra Milk » May 30, 2014, 10:58 pm

Stuat wrote:Where to start. I'll try post something in here when I have more time. Not that it will be much use mind you :)
Why? I'm a big believer that economics should not be left to the experts in ivory towers. Informed by experts, sure, but fundamentally driven by those whom it affects most: the people.

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Seiffert82 » May 31, 2014, 8:12 am

Today's episode of the Global Financial Crisis and Climate Change is proudly brought to you by Neoliberal free market economics.

The ideology of minimal government intervention and regulation are generally promoted by those who have access to information that can be used to exploit the market. While it can be argued that market participants should only enter at their own risk, the complexity of the interactions between markets mean there are a lot of innocent third parties who are punished by the greed of individuals and unscrupulous business practices.

Not that you want the government to over-regulate and destroy entrepreneurship by stifling trade and removing property rights. I think the example of North vs South Korea unambiguously demonstrates what happens when Marxist ideals are exploited by governments.

I'm an egalitarian with strong social justice principles. Markets are important mechanisms to promote the optimal utilisation of resources, but that rarely happens without government intervention, because markets are also fundamentally driven by greed and self interest.

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Begbie » May 31, 2014, 8:17 am

The most boring thread and post in the history of this website?

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Seiffert82 » May 31, 2014, 8:29 am

You obviously haven't read the Milford to the Broncos thread.

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Begbie » May 31, 2014, 8:32 am

Touche'

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Re: The economics thread

Post by papabear » June 1, 2014, 8:10 pm

Green eyed Mick wrote:Labor are nowhere near the economic left. HECS, Support for private school funding and private healthcare, the privatisation of government assets are all right wing concepts not left.
Private healthcare is pushed more by the libs, labor craps on more about Medicare.
Privatisation of govt assets again is more the libs, unless your talking selling govt assets to your mates at st pats without a tender that's more labor.
Support for private school funding I loathe and is more the libs and IMO is left, a free market doesn't direct resources into a private enterprise especially not one competing with a public enterprise.
Hecs well in the current climate it's a bit more dominated then what u have said above.

But further things that labor has done which is economically left.
Carbon tax
Install batts for free everywhere
Build a bunch of new school halls for the sake of it.
Provide a guarantee on certain banks deposits, very very left, if they were fair they would have protected everyone but in true labor style they only helped the big boys, small financial institutions can get fked I suppose according to labor.

IMO labor are very left economically.

Socially, they didn't let the gays get married and they appear to like religion in schools so they are right/ conservative on social issues.

Worst of both worlds ...
I used to be a big fan of the labor party but to be honest I have been let down greatly, by them they rarely do anything except for a populist short sighted move by their leader these days. IMO they are for the most part a poor political party ATM.

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Stuat » June 2, 2014, 9:31 am

Canberra Milk wrote:
Stuat wrote:Where to start. I'll try post something in here when I have more time. Not that it will be much use mind you :)
Why? I'm a big believer that economics should not be left to the experts in ivory towers. Informed by experts, sure, but fundamentally driven by those whom it affects most: the people.
I agree with you. Tongue in cheek mainly :)

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Stuat » June 2, 2014, 10:16 am

Ok here goes.

Firstly, the carbon tax, which transitions into a carbon price and ETS is, from a traditional standpoint a policy from the "right". The underlying rationale of a price is that by pricing an externality, business will find the most efficient way possible to reduce those costs, therefore reducing carbon outputs. That that will be far more effective and efficient than policies where government picks winners or has a larger role in how emissions are reduced. A carbon price makes no assumptions about where those carbon emission reductions will come from, it leaves all that up to the market. In that sense it is "neo-liberal" and IMO is the most sensible way to reduce emissions. The market is really good at that sort if thing, far better than government will ever be.

More broadly, I think economics is a powerful but fall able tool and that ideology, on both the left and right of economics can lead I bad policy and poor or I intended outcomes. Markets are great, but they aren't perfect. I believe governments role is to set regulations that set up incentive structures that push businesses/individuals away from areas of market failure. In that sense, I like a lot of behavioural economics. That is I think good economics and good economic policy takes into account areas where what people do diverges from the ideals implicit in much of economics. That is divergences from rationality and the myth of the rationale actor. In general those assumptions are useful and many markets approach "rationality", but that isn't always the case and when they diverge from it that should be taken into account.

That leads into incentives. Economic policy can lead to perverse incentives for businesses to do things that aren't in the wider communities interests. Banking regulations in the states is an example. Getting rid of the Glass-Siegel act and large banks that were to big to fail, working under the assumption that they were implicitly guaranteed by the public set up a lot of the issues that lead to the GFC. Policy setting meant it was "rationale" for those big banks to act the way they did, to leverage themselves to much and take on a far greater level of risk than they should have. What those banks did made complete sense given the policy settings, it just happened to be disastrous for everyone else. When push came to shove, their belief that there was an implicit guarantee underlying the risks they had taken was proven to be correct. The losses were socialised, the profits stayed private. Situations like that, are IMO where government and regulation have their biggest role. That is in setting up incentive structures that benefit society as a whole and ward against perverse incentives and incidence of market failure which will have large society wide negative effects.

On Keynes. Keynsian economics isn't really right or left. If you look at governments from the left and right, all of them out in place Keynsian economic policies when the GFC hit. As was oft quoted at the time "we are all Keynsians now". Many of those policies weren't big enough, but they undoubtedly helped reduce the pain of the GFC across the world. It's instructive that many of the countries that have taken longest to recover were the ones that pulled economic stimulus first or put in less stimulus to begin with. Keynsian economics is really just a small subset of economics that only deals with crashes. Its aim to simply to redress a market failure in those times. It was used to good effect by Howard/Costello in the Asian financial crisis, it was used to good effect by Rudd/Swan during the GFC.

Summing up, I think incentives are very important. As economists will argue, you try to tax things you don't want and try not to tax things you do. For example, business taxes provide a disincentive for people to invest in starting/growing businesses. I would be in favour or completely overhauling the way we tax businesses in Australia, either completely abolishing business taxes or moving to a profit based tax system. If you are going to tax business, profit based taxes have many advantages, one of which is they act as an automatic stabiliser in times of downturns (much like social security/welfare). So while I'm socially left and probably left economically, my economics is a bit of a grab bag from everywhere. I believe in a strong social safety net, strong education etc. On current stuff that ties in, the $7 co- payment is an example of setting up a terrible incentives structure. It sets up incentives for poor people to delay going to the doctor, which will potentially end up costing more than the policy "saves". The cheapest form of healthcare is prevention and by setting up incentives for the poorest to delay medical treatment, means there is a very big chance it will reduce society wide health and increase healthcare costs for government due to delayed treatments leading to more serious medical issues...

Anyway, that's more than enough ranting for Monday.

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Stuat » June 2, 2014, 10:16 am

Oh and payroll tax sucks!

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Re: The economics thread

Post by The Rickman » June 2, 2014, 10:19 am

Good post, Stuat.
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Re: The economics thread

Post by Stuat » June 2, 2014, 10:19 am

The Nickman wrote:Good post, Stuat.
As if you read it ;)

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Re: The economics thread

Post by The Rickman » June 2, 2014, 10:33 am

Oh, no ****ing way I'm reading all of that (or any of it), but still, good post!!
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Re: The economics thread

Post by Stuat » June 2, 2014, 10:40 am

The Nickman wrote:Oh, no ****ing way I'm reading all of that (or any of it), but still, good post!!
That's more like it. :)

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Re: The economics thread

Post by T_R » June 2, 2014, 10:41 am

Stuat wrote: On current stuff that ties in, the $7 co- payment is an example of setting up a terrible incentives structure. It sets up incentives for poor people to delay going to the doctor, which will potentially end up costing more than the policy "saves". The cheapest form of healthcare is prevention and by setting up incentives for the poorest to delay medical treatment, means there is a very big chance it will reduce society wide health and increase healthcare costs for government due to delayed treatments leading to more serious medical issues...
Aw, crap. It's designed to stop little old ladies who have nothing better to do costing the government a great whack of cash each time they go down to visit their GP because its a. Free and b. A pleasant place to have a chat with such a lovely young man. This is exactly what the politicians CAN'T say - we're dishing out a fortune paying for people to have totally unnecessary medical attention simply because there is absolutely no disincentive for them to NOT to do it.

No one who is genuinely sick is going to be put off by a $7 fee. They just aren't.

Remember those articles saying that GP visits dropped 40% (or whatever it was) immediately after the budget was handed down? That wasn't young people failing to get that alarming growth on their eyeball checked out, that was little old ladies opting for a milky latte and a lovely scone instead of dishing out the 7 bucks they thought they were going to have to pay.

And watch the doctors go crazy. Not because there are genuine health concerns here, but because their entire business model is based on taxing the government for the 40% of their appointments that are completely unnecessary yet pleasantly lucrative.

Source: A charmingly cynical GP of my acquaintance
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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Re: The economics thread

Post by T_R » June 2, 2014, 10:43 am

Stuat wrote:Oh and payroll tax sucks!
And yes, payroll tax sucks.




Aaaaaaaaaand I just got sucked into the Economics thread :(
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Canberra Milk » June 2, 2014, 10:57 am

I'll read your post in a bit Stuat.

PS economics theory is only boring if you don't understand it's relevance. It so happens it's thoroughly relevant, especially for the particularly rich or particularly poor as they've got more to lose/gain respectively

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Botman » June 2, 2014, 11:10 am

T_R wrote:
Stuat wrote: On current stuff that ties in, the $7 co- payment is an example of setting up a terrible incentives structure. It sets up incentives for poor people to delay going to the doctor, which will potentially end up costing more than the policy "saves". The cheapest form of healthcare is prevention and by setting up incentives for the poorest to delay medical treatment, means there is a very big chance it will reduce society wide health and increase healthcare costs for government due to delayed treatments leading to more serious medical issues...
Aw, crap. It's designed to stop little old ladies who have nothing better to do costing the government a great whack of cash each time they go down to visit their GP because its a. Free and b. A pleasant place to have a chat with such a lovely young man. This is exactly what the politicians CAN'T say - we're dishing out a fortune paying for people to have totally unnecessary medical attention simply because there is absolutely no disincentive for them to NOT to do it.

No one who is genuinely sick is going to be put off by a $7 fee. They just aren't.

Remember those articles saying that GP visits dropped 40% (or whatever it was) immediately after the budget was handed down? That wasn't young people failing to get that alarming growth on their eyeball checked out, that was little old ladies opting for a milky latte and a lovely scone instead of dishing out the 7 bucks they thought they were going to have to pay.

And watch the doctors go crazy. Not because there are genuine health concerns here, but because their entire business model is based on taxing the government for the 40% of their appointments that are completely unnecessary yet pleasantly lucrative.

Source: A charmingly cynical GP of my acquaintance
Absolutely belting the nail on the head there.
I wish the politicians could actually come out and say this without being crucified.
CREATE PROCEDURE BotMan_Post AS
SELECT * FROM Previous_Post
EXEC quote_post
WHERE UserName = 'Aknalkfgnaa' OR 'Yeah Raiders' OR 'Billy B'
EXEC RAND(good_grief; cheak_notes; uh82cit;)

GO;

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Canberra Milk » June 2, 2014, 11:17 am

Christopher Pyne came out and said that deregulation of uni fees will increase competition, thereby driving prices down. Surely he's having a laugh:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nationa ... 6938840772

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Re: The economics thread

Post by papabear » June 2, 2014, 11:18 am

Calling something a market mechanism, or tieing it into market structures does not make it a free market or a market in the right/traditional sense.

Effectively, you are paying a tax if you emit CO2, the govt takes some of that money and gives some of it to people who suck in C02.

I get that it isn't the worst redistribution of wealth, infact I support the principles behind it, but it is a tax and it is of the left.

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Stuat » June 2, 2014, 11:18 am

T_R wrote:
Stuat wrote: On current stuff that ties in, the $7 co- payment is an example of setting up a terrible incentives structure. It sets up incentives for poor people to delay going to the doctor, which will potentially end up costing more than the policy "saves". The cheapest form of healthcare is prevention and by setting up incentives for the poorest to delay medical treatment, means there is a very big chance it will reduce society wide health and increase healthcare costs for government due to delayed treatments leading to more serious medical issues...
Aw, crap. It's designed to stop little old ladies who have nothing better to do costing the government a great whack of cash each time they go down to visit their GP because its a. Free and b. A pleasant place to have a chat with such a lovely young man. This is exactly what the politicians CAN'T say - we're dishing out a fortune paying for people to have totally unnecessary medical attention simply because there is absolutely no disincentive for them to NOT to do it.

No one who is genuinely sick is going to be put off by a $7 fee. They just aren't.

Remember those articles saying that GP visits dropped 40% (or whatever it was) immediately after the budget was handed down? That wasn't young people failing to get that alarming growth on their eyeball checked out, that was little old ladies opting for a milky latte and a lovely scone instead of dishing out the 7 bucks they thought they were going to have to pay.

And watch the doctors go crazy. Not because there are genuine health concerns here, but because their entire business model is based on taxing the government for the 40% of their appointments that are completely unnecessary yet pleasantly lucrative.

Source: A charmingly cynical GP of my acquaintance
I agree with bits of that, but not entirely. It doesn't take all that many instances of infected scratches turning into septicaemia or shortness of breathe turning into pneumonia and week long hospital stays (etc etc) to start adding up to big costs.

There is going to be waste whichever way you go. The $7 co-payment will provide a disincentive for lonely little old ladies but there will also be hidden costs.

Agree that some of the outrage from doctors will be in part due to rent-seeking behaviour, much like the plan to let pharmacies vaccinate kids. That's just par for the course though for any group that gets disadvantaged by government policy. I don't like rent-seeking.

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Re: The economics thread

Post by T_R » June 2, 2014, 11:27 am

Stuat wrote:
T_R wrote:
Stuat wrote: On current stuff that ties in, the $7 co- payment is an example of setting up a terrible incentives structure. It sets up incentives for poor people to delay going to the doctor, which will potentially end up costing more than the policy "saves". The cheapest form of healthcare is prevention and by setting up incentives for the poorest to delay medical treatment, means there is a very big chance it will reduce society wide health and increase healthcare costs for government due to delayed treatments leading to more serious medical issues...
Aw, crap. It's designed to stop little old ladies who have nothing better to do costing the government a great whack of cash each time they go down to visit their GP because its a. Free and b. A pleasant place to have a chat with such a lovely young man. This is exactly what the politicians CAN'T say - we're dishing out a fortune paying for people to have totally unnecessary medical attention simply because there is absolutely no disincentive for them to NOT to do it.

No one who is genuinely sick is going to be put off by a $7 fee. They just aren't.

Remember those articles saying that GP visits dropped 40% (or whatever it was) immediately after the budget was handed down? That wasn't young people failing to get that alarming growth on their eyeball checked out, that was little old ladies opting for a milky latte and a lovely scone instead of dishing out the 7 bucks they thought they were going to have to pay.

And watch the doctors go crazy. Not because there are genuine health concerns here, but because their entire business model is based on taxing the government for the 40% of their appointments that are completely unnecessary yet pleasantly lucrative.

Source: A charmingly cynical GP of my acquaintance
I agree with bits of that, but not entirely. It doesn't take all that many instances of infected scratches turning into septicaemia or shortness of breathe turning into pneumonia and week long hospital stays (etc etc) to start adding up to big costs.

There is going to be waste whichever way you go. The $7 co-payment will provide a disincentive for lonely little old ladies but there will also be hidden costs.

Agree that some of the outrage from doctors will be in part due to rent-seeking behaviour, much like the plan to let pharmacies vaccinate kids. That's just par for the course though for any group that gets disadvantaged by government policy. I don't like rent-seeking.
Damn, this place is boring when you're all reasonable and balanced. :lol:
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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Toviii
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Re: The economics thread

Post by Toviii » June 2, 2014, 11:45 am

I think for every patient that presents for a chat, there is a patient who does not present when early intervention could have done a lot of good (men, especially, and people in rural areas - due to transport issues, distance, etc.). It's probably not an exact 1:1 ratio, but as Stuat said when you place such a wide disincentive against GP-visits, you affect the ability of the health system to prevent large, avoidable costs. There is also the issue of the fee applying to vaccinations, health checks, and filling out prescriptions, and the effects if and when people don't present for these sorts of reasons. It's bad policy in my view - it could well end up costing more money than it will save.
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Re: The economics thread

Post by T_R » June 2, 2014, 12:07 pm

Toviii wrote:I think for every patient that presents for a chat, there is a patient who does not present when early intervention could have done a lot of good (men, especially, and people in rural areas - due to transport issues, distance, etc.). It's probably not an exact 1:1 ratio, but as Stuat said when you place such a wide disincentive against GP-visits, you affect the ability of the health system to prevent large, avoidable costs. There is also the issue of the fee applying to vaccinations, health checks, and filling out prescriptions, and the effects if and when people don't present for these sorts of reasons. It's bad policy in my view - it could well end up costing more money than it will save.
Based on what? You use the example of rural areas. Are you telling me that when someone has gone to all the effort of arranging that transport and travelling all that distance, that they'll be put off by a $7 fee?

C'mon guys, get real. If you're genuinely ill, you're going to stump up $7 and skip the cappuccino afterwards.

$7 is a smart amount. Just big enough to discourage complete time wasters, but not enough that it's a serious disincentive. Don't think this is about revenue raising, by the way - the $7 will make no difference. It's the government saving the bulk billing fee on all those who WON'T show up for no reason.

Here's a little exercise for you. Ask your doctor what percentage of his patient visits are by people without chronic conditions who show up MORE than twice per week. You'll be astounded. Deadset, people show up to doctor's offices because it's cheaper to read New Idea there than it is to buy a copy at the newsagency.
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Son, we live in a world that has forums, and those forums have to be guarded by Mods. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Nickman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Lucy, and you curse GE. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know -- that GE’s moderation, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, keeps threads on track and under the appropriately sized, highlighted green headings.
You want moderation because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that forum -- you need me on that forum. We use words like "stay on topic," "use the appropriate forum," "please delete." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very moderation that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather that you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get a green handle and edit a post. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think about moderation.

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Canberra Milk » June 2, 2014, 12:48 pm

I care little for the $7 in itself. I can't see it alone discouraging people visting the doctor. The average lunch costs more than $7, and plenty of people still go out for lunch. I'm only concerned by the "floodgates" argument, that once a fee is introduced it'll open the floodgates for future budgets to increase and increase it.

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Re: The economics thread

Post by Toviii » June 2, 2014, 12:49 pm

T_R wrote:
Toviii wrote:I think for every patient that presents for a chat, there is a patient who does not present when early intervention could have done a lot of good (men, especially, and people in rural areas - due to transport issues, distance, etc.). It's probably not an exact 1:1 ratio, but as Stuat said when you place such a wide disincentive against GP-visits, you affect the ability of the health system to prevent large, avoidable costs. There is also the issue of the fee applying to vaccinations, health checks, and filling out prescriptions, and the effects if and when people don't present for these sorts of reasons. It's bad policy in my view - it could well end up costing more money than it will save.
Based on what? You use the example of rural areas. Are you telling me that when someone has gone to all the effort of arranging that transport and travelling all that distance, that they'll be put off by a $7 fee?

C'mon guys, get real. If you're genuinely ill, you're going to stump up $7 and skip the cappuccino afterwards.

$7 is a smart amount. Just big enough to discourage complete time wasters, but not enough that it's a serious disincentive. Don't think this is about revenue raising, by the way - the $7 will make no difference. It's the government saving the bulk billing fee on all those who WON'T show up for no reason.

Here's a little exercise for you. Ask your doctor what percentage of his patient visits are by people without chronic conditions who show up MORE than twice per week. You'll be astounded. Deadset, people show up to doctor's offices because it's cheaper to read New Idea there than it is to buy a copy at the newsagency.
My main concern is that a lot of chronic illnesses can go undiagnosed, and untreated until an acute complication occurs that lands someone in hospital (e.g. undiagnosed hypertension leading to stroke). The whole point with the rural example is that people are going to be even less willing to get the regular screening they need for these diseases, especially if they have to travel long distances and pay a co-payment for the GP (and for pathology) on top of it. I think screening and preventative medicine has a very important role to play in the public health system, and I see this co-payment potentially weakening it, even if it does weed out some of the "time-wasters."

On top of that, may I add, is the fact that chronic disease rates are highest in low SES communities - the population that the co-payment will impact the most.
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Re: The economics thread

Post by Green eyed Mick » June 2, 2014, 2:14 pm

@ Toviii.

I take it you don't agree with the $7 Co-Payment. What is your position on the signifcantly more expensive co-payments specialists charge?

I was recently out of pocket nearly $200 to have a thankfully benign but troubling mole removed. That was after having to schedule 2 appointments with my GP. The first to tell me the mole should be removed and the other for my doctor to decide he wasn't sure and I should see a specialist. I was billed ($20 Co payment) for each appointment.

If I was a more cynical person I would suggest the current fee structure many medical professionals have in place, even before the $7 co payment does a fantastic job of further burdening the public hospital system and discouraging people from seeking timely treatment.

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