OriginalCompetitive t1_jab4401 wrote

I don’t think I’m minimizing, just putting into context.

I genuinely am puzzled by medical bankruptcies though. I often think people who complain about US health insurance don’t actually understand the system. Assuming you don’t have insurance through work, Americans who earn less than $55k per year are eligible for insurance subsidies. And even on the lowest bronze plan, the total maximum out of pocket payment is $7000 per year.

Granted, it’s possible to go bankrupt over $7000, but my hunch is that most of them are people who never signed up. I’m still sympathetic, but there’s only so much the government can do. That said, I’d be ok with public healthcare too.


OriginalCompetitive t1_ja9wjbt wrote

Maybe I misunderstood your point. By “lock it up behind capitalist roadblocks,” I figured you meant ordinary people don’t benefit. Clearly everyone benefited from the free vaccines. And if the manufacturers earned a handsome profit along the way, I don’t really have a problem with that. I want drug companies salivating at the thought of getting rich by developing important new vaccines.

I’m also not troubled that companies “mine cancer for profits.” That’s another way of saying “earn money by saving people’s lives.” Better than drilling for oil or running a casino.

I agree medical bankruptcies are a problem. But I’m honestly not sure quite what to make of them. Bernie Sanders claims 500,000 medical bankruptcies per year. But in a nation of 330 million, that’s less than one-half of one percent of the population. So it’s not really evidence that most people aren’t getting cancer treatments.


OriginalCompetitive t1_ja8tzgu wrote

Really? The COVID vaccines were developed in a year and distributed for free to the public. More generally, cancer deaths are plummeting and it’s not because people are living healthier lives, it’s because new cancer treatments are available to the general public.


OriginalCompetitive t1_j98legl wrote

Take Donald Trump, for example. He basically won the presidency based on a blizzard of free tweets. In a rational world, Twitter should have charged him hundreds of millions of dollars for that media access. And it would have been worth it to him.

Now apply that to every politician in the country.

And to every corporation.

And every sports team.

And every wealthy celebrity.

And every “influencer.”

These people will pay big money for an unfiltered bullhorn to the world. It’s a no brainer for Twitter, etc. to charge them.


OriginalCompetitive t1_j98dkfp wrote

Not at all. The ability to publish a tweet to the world is nearly worthless to most people, but incredibly valuable to some. How much would Nikki Haley have paid, for example, to publish her candidacy for President to the world? $100,000? More? How much would Trump pay per tweet? How much would McDonalds pay? Hundreds? Thousands?

Charging commercial users a hefty price while letting normal people tweet for free is an obvious move, and makes perfect sense.


OriginalCompetitive t1_j80kgez wrote

It would be almost impossible to fund today, but might not be that hard when we finally need it.

If you figure $20k per year for 330M people, that’s $6.6 trillion. Total US GDP is $23T, so today it would be colossally expensive. But GDP grows 2% per year. At that rate, GDP will add an extra $6.6T in about ten years - and that’s after inflation.

So in theory we’ll have an extra $6.6T to play with in another decade. That doesn’t mean it still wouldn’t be difficult. But it’s feasible.


OriginalCompetitive t1_j76jgcq wrote

Seems like that was just a temporary blip:

“New data suggests that the effect was temporary, with Twitter having managed to grow its advertiser roster to 3,700 in the fourth quarter of 2022 from 3,000 in the third quarter, according to an ad intelligence firm’s report released Wednesday.

Twitter averaged 3,330 U.S. advertisers per month on average in the first quarter; 3,740 in the second; 3,000 in the third; and 3,700 in the last three months of the year.“

It’s hard to know for sure, of course.


OriginalCompetitive t1_j54yf1w wrote

Ask it to write you a zen koan about meerkats holding their cards close to their vest, in words that child could understand, based on characters from Winnie the Pooh, concluding with a rhyming couplet that summarizes the key lesson of the koan.