Theo asks, and I intersperse my answers

Dear Tyler,

Due to the asymmetry of fame I feel that I know you quite well so I am just going to bombard you with random questions and hope that you see fit to answer some of them.

You seem to value journalism very highly. Is it just out of necessity as a generalist, or does popular writing on a topic have important information that can’t be learned from the academic/scholarly side?

Journalists have to try to explain things that actually happened to other human beings, often educated ones but not specialists either.  It is hard to overrate the importance of that process to developing one’s thoughts and self, no matter what you may think of particular journalists in today’s MSM.

Related: Which elite profession or slice of society is most opaque to journalists and “book-learning” in general? (Oddly some of the categories that come to mind are those which are some of the most written-about – food, sex, friends, law, politics. But it’s probably maths.)

Making things.  Archaeology.  These days, tech.  Maths.  Journalism.

How much less interesting would it be to read Shakespeare if no-one else ever had? Does the answer differ much across top-tier “great” artists?

It would not be less interesting at all, maybe more interesting, because the shock of discovery would be all the greater.  Admittedly, many artists require lots of discussion with other people, maybe rock and roll most of all?  But not Shakespeare.

Overrated vs underrated: The New Yorker. How about Samin Nosrat?

The New Yorker has had a consistent voice and remarkable brand for more decades than I can remember (I recall Patrick Collison making a similar point, perhaps in a podcast?).  Since I am now above the median age for the United States, that makes them underrated.  The literariness of the historical New York and Northeast and the integration of American and European culture also have become underrated topic areas, and The New Yorker still does them, so that too makes the magazine underrated.

And who is Samin Nosrat?  She must therefore be underrated.

Does the world have too many writers, or not enough? What about comparative literature professors? How should we think about the future of literary culture when the written word is becoming so much more culturally dominant at the same time as books and journalism are falling apart?

What variable are we changing at the margin?  If people watch less TV and write more, that is probably a plus.  I also would favor fewer photographs and more writing.  But I wouldn’t cut back on charity to increase the quantity of writing.  If only comparative literature professors were people who simply loved books — at the margin a bit more like used book store owners and somewhat less like professors — and would compare them to each other…then I would want more of them.  Until then, I don’t know how to keep the extra ones busy.

Why does the USA not have open borders with Canada?

I believe America should have open borders with any nation that has a more generous welfare state than we do.  That covers Canada, even though Canadian insurance coverage for mental health and dentistry isn’t nearly as good as you might think.  As to why we don’t have open borders with Canada, I don’t think American voters would see that as solving any concrete problem (can’t we get many of the best Canadians anyway?), and it would feel a bit like giving up control, so why do it?

To what extent are Trump, Brexit, Orban, Erdogan, rising murder rates and stalling trade growth worldwide part of the same phenomenon? If they aren’t completely separate, which way does the contagion run?

Yes, no, and maybe so, get back to me in a few years’ time.

Have a great day…

You too!

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Rising murder rates? Where? When did they start rising? Do you count all those Christians being killed by Muslims in the ME and Africa? Most of this has been going on for so long I don't understand why you would refer to it as "rising murder rates" if it has been going on for 30, 40 50 years or more. It almost feels like you used the term rising murder rates to imply something that isn't true.

Murder rates are a function of demographics, so "young countries" like the ones in Africa probably have rising murder rates. The peak murder rate in the USA was about the time of the last Boomer (1988 or so) growing up, then it declined.

Bonus trivia: the Philippines has about the same murder rate as the USA did in 1988 or so, being a young country, but strangely, I feel a lot more safe here than I did in the states. Maybe it's because I feel I can beat up the smaller Filipino in a hand fight, which is no doubt a false sense of security since the wily and quick Filipino can weld a knife or bolo quite effectively.

Demographics obviously have a great deal to do with the murder rate. But it is not just age that is the problem.

Bolos? In the Philippines? I have a sudden vision of intelligent tanks the size of small battleships rolling across Luzon. But then perhaps SF has pretty much already diverged along partisan lines and no one here will understand.

Sorry I should have used the word "machete" instead of "bolo", to avoid confusion. They call machetes "bolos" in PH, not to be confused with the same term used in South America, aka "bolas", the lasso balls.

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I am around the halfway point of gen X, and I was close enough to adulthood to be dangerous by 88. The bulk of the boomers were well past the most dangerous age by that point. And aren’t the millenials a very large cohort? Something happened in the US to reduce violent crime rates. What, precisely, is a matter of some dispute, but demographics do not seem to be able to fully account for it.

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It's high time we retired such stereotypes as "wily Filipino".

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"I believe America should have open borders with any nation that has a more generous welfare state than we do."

Are there any developing countries that can be considered to have a more generous welfare state than the US?

Are you a regular reader here? If so, you should know TC is against completely open borders and does not believe there are trillion dollar bills lying on the sidewalk, if you know your economics memes.

I, by contrast, am for 100% open borders, not unlike AlexT. As a property owner in the 1%, and a dual national who has property in three different countries, I have found that the more people, the greater the aggregate demand, and the higher the prices given a level of aggregate supply. Who cares if your neighbor practices voodoo? If they pay the rent and contribute to society (not on welfare), it's all good. In parts of the world that are restricted, it's a dead end IMO for real estate (Greece comes to mind, with a stable population and lack of aggregate demand for real estate as well as restrictive zoning; you can buy a farmland in the mountains for a few thousand an acre, but so what? Unless you want to raise goats, it's worthless property. Compare to multi-cultural DC or NYC)

'TC is against completely open borders'

He also believes that the euro is a disaster waiting to happen - basically, much that functions in the EU does not seem to work the way that Prof. Cowen finds desirable.

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"If they pay the rent and contribute to society (not on welfare), it's all good."

Isn't that the same as, "I believe America should have open borders with any nation that has a more generous welfare state than we do."

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Are there any developing countries that can be considered to have a more generous welfare state than the US?

I hesitate to mention it, but .... Brazil?

Do we mean more generous in relative or absolute terms? If the latter then no- neither Brazil nor any other developing nation would be able to afford a welfare state as large as the US’s. I think the absolute is what is relevant here. It is more expensive to live in the US, but there are substantial advantages to living here that justify the cost.

I suppose I could pretty much retire in the Philippines at this point- I could not do so comfortably in the US. But I choose to toil for my bread here rather than live a life of leisure there because I do not think I would be very happy to forgo the amenities to be found in the US. Perhaps the only amenity in which the Philippines strictly dominates the US is in the supply of amenable teenaged girls, and that is not as of much significance to me as it is to Ray.

The food in the Philippines is probably much better than in America. How do I know that? I don't but it is a reasonable conjecture to say that any random country will have better food than America.

Now in terms of welfare state, Brazil provides free college and post graduate education to all who can pass the entrance exams and provides generous state pensions to anybody who has worked for only 35 years as long as they contributed to the pension system. Thing is that the majority of the population doesn't have access to these welfare programs since they are made for the rich.

I believe that passing the entrance exams is not sufficient. There are a finite number of seats in the state universities and only the top students, the number equal to the open seats, get a free education in the state (Universidade Federal) university and all others have to pay to go to the less prestigious private universities.

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My understanding of how the EU works is you can move about as you please between nations and even work where you please *but* welfare benefits come from your home country. If you're a Greek you can take a job in France but if you become unemployed you apply for Greek unemployment (or whatever it is Greece has). In that circumstance cost of living is a serious consideration. If income is reduced I suspect your Euro goes further in Greece than France so you are likely to return home unless you can get back on your feet again. Perhaps readers here can provide me with more details and correct what I might have gotten wrong. I imagine the universal health care would apply if you, say, had a sudden heart attack in Paris.

Anyway I'm hoping Tyler would comment on my immigration proposal (i'll post it yet again if necessary). The welfare argument I think is greatly exaggerated and effectively dealt with by waiting periods in the US combined with the fact that higher costs of living in the US alter the incentives in ways immigration skeptics don't see.

'My understanding of how the EU works is you can move about as you please between nations and even work where you please *but* welfare benefits come from your home country.'

You have the right as an EU citizen to reside and work in any other EU country (plus a couple of others). If you work in an EU country, basically you are treated identically as the citizens of that country (which the British seemed to have a real problem with, to the point of leaving the EU in response) - taxes and benefits included. In this sense, the EU is pretty much equivalent to how American citizens have the right to live and work in any state.

This analogy carries through concerning benefits - for something like unemployment insurance, it is where you live that determines who pays (and whether you are eligible in the first place). For a pension, it is similar to the U.S. too - a NY state retiree in Florida is paid their pension by New York State, not Florida.

Which means this - 'If you're a Greek you can take a job in France but if you become unemployed you apply for Greek unemployment' - is wrong. Basically (though since this involves 27 nations, basically may not be the best term), if you are Greek, work in France and lose your job, you are eligible (or not, as the case may be - you have to qualify just like a French citizen) for French unemployment.

'I imagine the universal health care would apply if you, say, had a sudden heart attack in Paris.'

As a Greek resident of France, that would be due to having French health insurance. If you were simply travelling, it would be your Greek health insurance that covered the problem (to what extent the Greek system interfaces with the French one is another question - but odds are, in such a case, you will not be liable to pay for much, if anything - though details count, of course).

Thanks, that makes sense. Point of clarification in the US your 'pension' would probably be Social Security and it wouldn't matter what state you earned it in (or if you earned it overseas), it's the Federal gov't. A person wouldn't be collecting a pension from New York unless he happened to work for New York and a pension was one of the benefits.

To what degree does welfare exist in the EU and how would it work? If a person moved from Greece to the UK, worked for a few months and then just stopped and started living on the street, are there provisions somewhat like food stamps here in the US? How would that apply?

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I don’t know if you’re explicitly talking immigration when discussing open borders, but the Canadian border used to be much less controlled before 9/11. You could cross with just a driver’s license. Now you need a passport and the border is more tightly controlled.

True that. One time in the 80s I was returning to the US with a group of fellow foreign students and I realized I had forgotten to bring that little immigration card foreign students have (forget the exact name of it.) In any event the driver showed his card and US immigration just waved the whole carload of us through.

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Why is 'just a driver's license' uncontrolled?

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I watched a 1945 film noir last night (Detour — recommended) and on entering CA from AZ the driver was interrogated by state border control, papers shown, trunk searched. Wondering when US inter-state borders vanished.

Law no doubt changed since 1945 and perhaps WWII added an element there. Today I believe a state can do a 'checkpoint' either on the border or anywhere inside the state. Probable cause would apply *unless* they were checking every car as a matter of policy or using a method of checking cars that left no discretion (i.e. every 3rd car).

Calfornia still has that crap and has had since the early 1930s. It is pretty much unique in the US though and based on the idea of controlling agricultural pests.

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commenters have a habit of saying things about Alex which theydid not believe themselves for too long a time to break themselves of it. "Because always," one thinks, "when anything gets to be a habit, it also manages to get a right good distance away from truth and fact.

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"I believe America should have open borders with any nation that has a more generous welfare state than we do."

We essentially do have open borders with Canada, although both countries restrict those with felonies from crossing the border and then Canada doesn't have the same policies for other countries nationals entering so you still have to check that at the border.

And then there is the fact that Canada doesn't restrict products from Cuba that are prohibited in the US so you still need to screen foot traffic as well as vehicles for such items or items subject to tariffs.

Way back I had a friend was a Canadian US permanent resident. He carried his passport when working summers on his uncle's fishing boat in Canada as Canadian fishermen to umbrage at possible American interlopers. No politician on either side would whack that hornets nest.

I'm not sure what your definition of "essentially" open borders is, but one of my previous co-workers was a Canadian, recent graduate of an American university. We had to sponsor him for some sort of work visa (H1-B?). Presumably, that counted towards some quota limit and was available only for certain professions.

And try getting a job in Canada as an American

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The font shift is interesting - and the answer does read differently, actually.

But the link to Samin provides some insight why underrated may not be the best answer - 'Buy Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat Now!' is the largest single part of the page.

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And thinking of the EU's very real example of open borders in practice among a group of nations, Prof. Cowen is likely not being as clever as he thinks regarding 'open borders with any nation that has a more generous welfare state than we do.'

The EU solved that problem easily enough, by requiring that non-citizens who receive benefits meet the same requirements as that of citizens. It does not matter how good French or German health care or unemployment benefits are, unless you are insured within the system's terms. Benefits tourism, as it is generally described, is not allowed in the EU. Which is why it is not possible for a Greek citizen to simply travel to Germany and start collecting any German benefits the next day. It is not that easy to get rid of the responsibility of paying for benefits for your own citizens by having open borders.

As noted here - 'EU citizens have a right to stay in the UK, or any other Member State that is not their own, for up to three months with a valid passport or identity card. But to stay for longer, they need to be:

in employment; or

continue to seek employment and have a genuine chance of being engaged; or

to be able to show that they have sufficient resources not to be a burden on public funds and sickness insurance.

In other words, as UK Immigration Minister Mark Harper recently put it in the Daily Mail: “European nationals do not have unrestricted access to the UK. They must be exercising their treaty rights. This means they must be working, studying or self-sufficient.”

Individuals can also be excluded or expelled on the grounds of public policy or in the event of abuse or fraud.' https://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/getting-the-facts-straight-eu-rights-to-reside-in-another-member-state-eu-benefit-claimants-and-nhs-treatment-entitlement/

Oddly, with that sort of framework eing implemented in the future, it just might be Canada that pulls in productive Americans who would undoubtedly find Canadian health care better than what is available for them in the U.S. - probably including mental health and dentistry.

Benefits tourism, as it is generally described, is not allowed in the EU.

This will be news to the NHS which provides free medical services for anyone who turns up, even tourists. Although they are trying to stop that. Certainly it is free for any European. And the British education system which has to loan Europeans money to pay their fees. Which they then do not pay back once they go home.

'This will be news to the NHS which provides free medical services for anyone who turns up, even tourists.'

Just as it would surprise anyone who runs a hospital ER in the U.S., which provides precisely the same sort of 'free' medical service that the NHS does. For EU citizens visiting the UK as tourists, the process is called Ehic - European health insurance card. And it turns out that British tourists cost other EU countries considerably more than EU tourists cost the NHS - 'The cost of treating British people who become ill while travelling in Europe is five times higher than the cost of treating ill visitors from other European countries in the UK, official figures show.

The Department of Health data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, shows that it cost £30m in 2013-14 to meet the costs of European visitors using the National Health Service. This is less than one-fifth of the £155m cost to other states in the European single market for treating ill British tourists.' https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/07/treating-uk-tourists-in-europe-costs-five-times-more-than-equivalent-cost-to-nhs

'Certainly it is free for any European'

Well, for any European covered by health insurance in the nation they are a citizen of. Basically, an EU citizen does not need to worry about receiving health care anywhere in the EU while travelling. Of course, if an EU citizens lives and is employed in the UK, they pay for the NHS in precisely the same fashion as a UK citizen. Essentially, my German health care insurance covers all of Europe while travelling, compared to the past, where you had a German health insurance card, and a second insurer for travelling anywhere else in the world.

'And the British education system which has to loan Europeans money to pay their fees.'

There is no British school/university education system. And even after Brexit, English universities will continue to treat EU students the same, though nobody is 'forcing' it. 'European students applying to universities in England next year – after Britain’s formal exit from the EU – will be eligible for student loans and tuition fees at the same rate as domestic students, the government has announced.

Damian Hinds, the education secretary, said undergraduates from EU countries attending English universities from September 2019 will incur the same annual tuition fees as their English peers and have access to the same government-backed student loans for the duration of their degree course.

“Students from the EU make an important contribution to the universities sector and it is a testament to our system that so many students from abroad choose to come and study here,” Hinds said. “Today we are providing clarity and certainty on their fees for the duration of their courses.”

The government’s decision to extend the current arrangements on loans and tuition fees to the 2019-20 academic year means EU students will continue to enrol on the same basis as British students despite the formal March 2019 Brexit date having passed.' https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/jul/02/government-guarantees-eu-students-fee-and-loan-rates-past-brexit

'Which they then do not pay back once they go home.'

The English university system, which does try to collect the debt, though if a student with a loan is earning beneath a certain threshhold for a period, they do not need to pay during that period - till now, avoiding debt peonage of those with student loans seems to be a consistent policy.

The Scots have no problem providing free tuition to EU university students, in basically the same fashion that students from Scotland need only pay 'in state' (or any other term you prefer) university tuition in the EU. 'European students who travel to Scotland to study can still benefit from free tuition after the UK's formal Brexit date. 'The Scottish Government has announced that students from other European Union (EU) countries who start their course in the academic year 2019-20 will not be charged tuition fees.

Shirley-Anne Somerville, the higher education minister, said the move sent a "strong message" that EU citizens were "welcome" in Scotland.

Britain is scheduled to exit the EU in March 2019, two years after Theresa May sent the Article 50 letter.' https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/scotland-free-university-tuition-brexit-eu-students-shirley-anne-somerville-a8190211.html

Such a long winded way of avoiding admitting I was right and you were wrong. No, that is not fair. You did much better than I expected - you did manage to more or less correct me on an issue. Indeed Scotland's education system is different from England's. Well done. I am proud for you.

As for the rest, no the NHS is nothing like America's ER. You can turn up as a tourist in Britain and get millions of dollars of free cancer treatment for instance. ERs just patch you up.

As for that article, it is a wonderful example of the Guardian working with the government to lie to the British public. They do not consider per capita payments, nor do they consider all people from the EU getting medical treatment:

The figures for costs are for the medical treatment of European Economic Area tourists under the European health insurance card (Ehic) and cover visitors rather than residents or temporary migrants

So they exclude residents and temporary migrants. Great. However the real point is that Europeans have a pay-for-service system as a general rule. In France, you pay and then claim the money back. Which means roughly 100% of the cost of British people in France goes first to the French government and then to the British government. Their figures will be accurate. In Britain, you turn up and get treated. The hospital does not care. Why should they bother asking if you have a EHIC? Or checking?

One explanation for the gap is possibly that Britain has a poor record in recovering the cost of treating European nationals under the scheme. The DoH has said that the £30m figure may be less than 20% of the total estimated chargeable costs.

So British providers do not bother with the extra paper work - it makes no difference to them - and the real figure, according to the British government, is five times higher. Which means it is probably ten times higher.

All your long cut and paste on education simply proves I am right. European students free load and will continue to do so.

'You can turn up as a tourist in Britain and get millions of dollars of free cancer treatment for instance.'

I am sure you simply forgot to include the link that actually proves your story is not a fantasy. Because this link seems to represent reality - https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/coping/practically/overseas-visitors/nhs-treatment

'So they exclude residents'

No, residents pay exactly the same for the NHS as a UK citizen. Without a precise definition of migrant, there is no way to respond.

'However the real point is that Europeans have a pay-for-service system as a general rule.'

Not in Germany, whose health insurance system just happens cover easily 20 million more people than that of the French system. There is no single European system.

'Why should they bother asking if you have a EHIC? Or checking?'

Why would an ER in the U.S. ask for any ID? What you may be missing is that many doctors in Europe - my personal experience covers Germany, Italy, and France - will handle a simple problem without feeling any need to bill anyone. It is not just the NHS that hands out free medical treatment for something that might approach the local clinic level in the U.S. And to be honest, why shouldn't they? That is certainly the attitude of the doctor I know in this town.

'European students free load and will continue to do so.'

Well, if by freeloading they pay exactly what UK students pay in England. However, the Scottish university education is not free for English students - the Scots don't want any English freeloaders, even if EU students are welcome to freeload. 'Scottish students get free university tuition - but students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland have to pay to study north of the border. BBC Scotland education correspondent Jamie McIvor assesses the impact.

For the Scottish government, free university tuition for Scottish students has been a mantra.

First Minister Alex Salmond has said the "rocks would melt in the sun" before he'd contemplate introducing tuition fees.

But it is not just students from Scotland who get free tuition at Scotland's 19 universities - under European law, students from other EU member states share the same entitlement.

However, students from other parts of the UK do not and Scottish universities charge them tuition fees.' https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-23279868 (The BBC article is five years old, but from the couple of recent students I know who study in the UK, it still seems to be accurate.)

Side note, you don't just get 'millions of dollars of cancer treatment'. There are a few cancers which are emergency cases where chemotherapy works amazingly fast. Outside of that emergency lifesaving treatment cancer is much like diabetes in its treatment model. The hospital figures out what is wrong with you, stabilizes you and sends you out with a recommendation to follow up with an oncologist. After that the cancer patient will start regular treatment with an oncologist who will monitor how the chemotherapy is working and adjust as time goes by. You don't just show up in an ER, declare you have cancer and then get chemotherapy.

BTW, there is no drug called 'chemotherapy'. There are hundreds of different chemotherapy drugs (as well as other drugs for cancer). Most doctors who are not oncologists will have no idea how to treat a cancer patient outside of emergency stabilization.

But I think the deeper question here is what's the point? What is served by this obsession over whether or not someone may happen to be getting over on the British health system? Clearly it is simply not the case that the moment the UK joined the EU all of Greece dumped their sick patients into their hospitals and drove the country to near bankruptcy. I'm sure there are cases of a Greek who became a cab driver in London but then got cancer and the NHS spent a lot on him. Ditto for a Brit who went to France to work in fashion and then France is covering her treatment...so what? I borrow books from the library for free, other people borrow more books than me and their cards are free too. Some even borrow books and don't return them. None of this is worth spending a lot of time keeping score over unless you show me it is a huge and chronic problem

Side note, you don't just get 'millions of dollars of cancer treatment'. There are a few cancers which are emergency cases where chemotherapy works amazingly fast.

In America that is probably true. It is not true in Britain because - as you have been told very clearly - the NHS is not like an ER. You turn up, you get whatever treatment they offer for free. With virtually no checks. For instance:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ama_Sumani

Now it is nice to know that people like Ms Sumani don't exist. We know this because Boonton tells us. Really we do.

You don't just show up in an ER, declare you have cancer and then get chemotherapy.

Good thing no one has claimed you do.

But I think the deeper question here is what's the point? What is served by this obsession over whether or not someone may happen to be getting over on the British health system?

Because it costs the tax payer tens of millions of pounds a year. You can have unfettered immigration or you can have a welfare state. You cannot have both.

Clearly it is simply not the case that the moment the UK joined the EU all of Greece dumped their sick patients into their hospitals and drove the country to near bankruptcy.

Isn't it? How do you know? When countries like Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU I am sure many of their doctors became aware of the services available in London.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/04/health-tourists-cost-uk-taxpayers-nearly-6billion-in-eight-years/

1. Ghana is not part of the EU.
2. Despite being on dialysis the woman was deported and had to continue treatment in Ghana.

So at what point will the UK start seeing massive savings in NHS from Brexit?

Are you claiming it is much easier for Ghanians to do this than Greeks? It took five years to deport her. All the time she was claiming benefits and imposing huge medical bills on Britain.

The surprising result is that she was deported - despite the best efforts of many people to make sure she wasn't.

If Theresa May has her way, Britain will continue to treat everyone from the EU who wants free medical services. So I do not expect any savings. Everyone from Ghana too.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4176406/Meet-Nigerian-cost-500-000-IVF-triplets.html

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With all the money and research spent to develop a cancer cure, the overall morality has been virtually unchanged (2% increase in lifespan once diagnosed). The system is designed to spend money and develop a magic bullet which is a fantasy. Food, like processed meat which is a Class I carcinogen along with plutonium, creates an endless stream of customers and promotes cancer from multiple avenues that a single drug can’t hope to stop. Instead, they keep patching an occasional hole and announce a “breakthrough” that doesn’t really exist.

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clockwork_prior - July 8, 2018 at 8:11 am 28

I am sure you simply forgot to include the link that actually proves your story is not a fantasy. Because this link seems to represent reality - https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/coping/practically/overseas-visitors/nhs-treatment

Now you are back to your normal self. There is nothing at that link that proves me wrong. Indeed it says that the NHS will treat anyone claiming to be an asylum seeker for free. So, yes, anyone can be treated, no matter the cost, when they turn up.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/04/health-tourists-cost-uk-taxpayers-nearly-6billion-in-eight-years/

Not in Germany, whose health insurance system just happens cover easily 20 million more people than that of the French system. There is no single European system.

Actually, yeah, that is exactly how the German system works. I do not expect you to know much about anything - we all know you far too well for that - but you ought to know something about the health system in the country where you live.

Why would an ER in the U.S. ask for any ID?

Indeed. You think you're making a point but you aren't.

It is not just the NHS that hands out free medical treatment for something that might approach the local clinic level in the U.S.

Because the NHS does it with millions of other people's money. Which is very different from a doctor waiving their own small fee. As ought to be obvious.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/nhs/12199883/NHS-spent-181000-treating-just-one-illegal-immigrant.html

Well, if by freeloading they pay exactly what UK students pay in England.

No they do not. They borrow exactly what English students do and then they go home. So they pay nothing.

The rest seems to be more of your usual irrelevant cut and paste.

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> It is hard to underrate the importance of that process to developing one’s thoughts and self, no matter what you may think of particular journalists in today’s MSM.

Tyler, you mean "hard to overrate", right?

Considering that Prof. Cowen is not a journalist, he may mean just what he wrote.

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Arnis (aka kali and eskrima) is the art of knife and stick fighting, essentially European dagger and sword fighting adapted to local conditions. (There are numerous styles). When I was in the PI found that local people did not esteem the art highly, instead associating it with thugs. Aikido and TKD were more appreciated, the sort of thing for nice people.
^^^^^
I'm saying this for the benefit of people like Ray who spend time there. Find a teacher and take lessons. You won't regret it.

Having done quite a lot of Aikido when I was younger, at times under some highly-ranked teachers, I think it the most Straussian of martial arts. There are effective techniques in it, but they are esoteric, and it has been my experience that they are not evident even to most instructors. There’s quite a lot to be learned from Aikido (especially from its footwork) but I don’t think very many people who study only American Aikido ever become even mildly dangerous.

Yes, aikido is for nice people who don't like violence. That's the point. If you want to kill, mutilate, or effectively threaten people, use technology.

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The New Yorker is remarkably effective, and does have that consistent voice you find admirable (of course, Pravda managed the same thing), but it's hard for me to see it as anything other than intelligentsia circle-jerk propaganda of the worst kind.

For example, it sees fit to regularly publish the film reviews of a certain Richard Brody, whose review of Ghostbusters (2016) basically boils down to: "It's terrible, but you should see it because its political viewpoint is the correct one (and also the original classic sucks because 'boy-men' like it)". To quote:

"Ghostbusters" should very much be seen... because what emerges from the film, as from most recent studio films, is more a matter of politics than of art.

It was really only his bad luck to not be able to write for Pravda.

Brody is terrible, but if only by comparison I have gradually come to appreciate Anthony Lane.

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"If people watch less TV and write more, that is probably a plus."

Unless they are writing about politics. At least, people watching sitcoms and sports are not busy devising new ways to control Other People's lives and property.

"I don’t think American voters would see that as solving any concrete problem...and it would feel a bit like giving up control, so why do it?"

Of course, the burden of proof should fall the other way: massive government intervention should solve some concrete problem (and actually be narrowly tailored to boot). We seem to forget that blocking, rather than allowing, immigration and trade are the interventions. No one is advocating forced migration or trade.

When government gives up control over immigration, the People gain control over who they hire and who they rent and sell their homes to.
(Powers not delegated to the federal government, nor to the States, are reserved to the people.) To what compelling problem is blocking Canadian migration the most narrowly tailored solution that would justify taking away Americans' and Canadians' freedom? That we don't properly frame the issue in these terms is the real reason that we don't have open borders with Canada.

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I've got to look up TC's country of origin...Hillsdale, NJ. That's what I thought. Therefore, I feel comfortable in calling him out for "maths". Poser.

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"Journalists have to try to explain things that actually happened to other human beings": you used the wrong tense there.

"if you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed. If you read the newspaper you are misinformed." Mark Twain

Journalism should be reporting the "who," "what", "where," "when," "how many" of an incidnet. The "why" belongs on the opinion page/section ("Opinion is not Truth." Plato).

Contemporary journalism is like "Pravda." It distorts, exaggerates, fabricates, omits, . . . whatever is needed to advance the leftist cause. Simply put: decide news that must be hidden because it detracts from the Left and fabricate lies about Trump. It's so simple that even a sane n intellectual could understand: but most are nuts.

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Well, in fairness the subjunctive is not seen much in English these days.

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Journalism: the practice of corrupting language to engender slovenly thought about contemporary circumstance; without doubt, the very lowest form of entertainment, though always in competition with formal education.

That is a very fair appraisal.

I prefer "the practice of deciding which facts the public shouldn't know, because they might reflect badly on Democrats."

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What puzzles me is why journalists are held in any sort of high esteem. When I was in university many years ago, journalism and communications were considered the easiest of majors and attracted the least qualified students. So I have always consumed the news with the filter that I am having things described and explained by a C- student.

Nothing has changed. Journalists are dummies with strong but irrational opinions.

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The problem with the Canada border crossing isn't Canadians, I think they're all very welcome in the US. It's that Canada has a different immigration policy that lets all kinds of kooks (i.e., kooks by the US definition) into the country. The US wants to keep those kooks out, so the border crossing into the US is just a mess. There is no problem going into Canada from the US, it's the coming back that's sucks.

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so thats no book deal and
no bolt cutters?
sumbody lost a nice fishing reel
its on the
stone column on the south of 9th street
2blocks west of the county line

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Manhattan has more income and more generous welfare type benefits than West Virginia. There's no internal borders in the US yet despite that fact there's been no emptying of population from WV to NYC.

Yet this would seem to defy the common sense assertion that you can have a welfare system or open borders but not both.

My guess is the obsession over 'welfare benefits' misses cost of living. $50 more in food stamps doesn't help much when you can't even get to a WalMart without spending $20 in tolls. To transition from WV to Manhattan, it isn't just additional income and other positives the person must consider. They will be stuck spending a lot on things they are used to thinking of as free....for example a place to park your car.

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From my somewhat biased and limited interaction with both tribes : the reason tech, science and math are inaccessible to journalists come from the fact that they have different styles of researching an issue.

Scientists (properly trained) are taught to consistently try to *disprove* their central hypothesis.

Journalists (properly trained ?) are taught to look for facts that *support* their hypothesis.

Hence, when asked what the next value is in the sequence 4,9,16,25 .. scientists (with some prodding and thought) ask questions that would break the x^2 pattern.

Journalists will generally try to see how far they can follow the questions, trying bigger squares.

Perhaps since journalists believe questions will not be answered honestly while physicists think other nature, while cruel, does not dissemble ?
Hence we value Woodward & B for dogged pursuit of hidden facts. We honor physicists for confounding experiments (Pound-Rebka etc)

Who knows what the heck social scientists do -- some muddle, claiming to do the one and indulging the other.

I think these are good points but may miss the target slightly.

Yes scientists tend to try to disprove a 'central hypothesis' but more often than not that hypothesis is strategically selected to fall in line with a narrative.

For example, a public health researcher suspects the rise of fast food has played a role in diabetes going up. He has some data about fast food sales in a city over a few decades and diabetes cases. He formulates a null hypothesis:

H0: Fast food and diabetes have no relationship.

The then attempts to disprove this and establish the 'alternative'. But more often than not that 'alternative' hypothesis is in fact the main narrative. Is that really different from a journalist who assumes the secretary is glossing over the truth and seeks out the 'real story'?

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Related: Which elite profession or slice of society is most opaque to journalists and "book-learning" in general? (Oddly some of the categories that come to mind are those which are some of the most written-about - food, sex, friends, law, politics. But it's probably maths.)

The extent to which journalism is bought and sold by advertisers is incredible. In particular, the media dishonestly fails to report the health affects of processed and animal foods due to the stranglehold of their advertising producers over the media. As a result, you will never hear significant details of how these foods cause the current epidemics of obesity and chronic disease. Tobacco was never reported as dangerous until the government finally declared it after 7000 studies had already made it clear. Millions lose their lives and suffer needlessly every year due to this failure to report the truth about food and I doubt it will change until the public finds out for itself.

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