All of Phil Scadden's Comments + Replies

Covid 7/22: Error Correction

I think it is civil proceedings just like defamation. The defense against "making stuff" up obviously is your source.

Covid 7/22: Error Correction

There is a tricky free speech issue around deliberately lying. At the moment, you can construct a major lie and publish as widely as you like without consequence provided it is not defamation. Note that I am not talking about propogating someone elses lie that you believe to be true. If I look at Fact checkers, I see some monstrous stuff that is plainly a deliberate creation. Someone's belief that vaccines are bad, means they feel at liberty to make up crap to support their viewpoint (for instance). I'd like to see a consequence very much like defamation l... (read more)

Who do you want to be in charge of deciding which lies were 'plainly a deliberate creation' and have 'caused harm', vs which lies were 'probably genuinely believed as opposed to deliberate lies' or 'did not cause harm because, while lies, they misled people in good directions rather than harmful ones'?

Covid 7/8: Delta Takes Over

NSW should have gone into hard lockdown (NZ style) as soon as the superspreader event was discovered. Qld, Vic and WA went early and eliminated quickly. Delaying lockdowns and doing them half-heartedly just means they gone on for longer and longer, doing far more economic damage than a short, sharp lockdown. It is very depressing to hear that large nos of new cases have been out and about community while infectious. 

1mukashi23dYes, I agree with this. I also think that many people in NSW are not taking very seriously the lockdown, which is really bad. However, if you look in other parts of the world, the discussion was not lockdown now or lockdown in two days. In Europe for instance, when a new variant appeared in the UK in December, some countries took days to close the borders with the UK... for 3 days, to continue later as if anything happened. Two different worlds.
It’s not economically inefficient for a UBI to reduce recipient’s employment

Learning a lot from this discussion, thank you. I am in agreement with idea that viability of UBI depends on people who are currently working more or less continuing to work. If everyone stopped working, then obviously UBI (and civilization) fails. In fact, you need a large proportion (dependent on level of UBI) to keep working and paying taxes, otherwise UBI consumption simply fires inflation. On the other hand, everyone who does work has more spending power than those who don't so it seems to me there is powerful incentive to work. I can see that people ... (read more)

How can there be a godless moral world ?

So consider other social animals, eg rats, apes, wolves. All clearly exhibit pro-social behaviours ("nice"). They are not being "nice" because of believe in God. Their "should" comes from inherited genetic tendencies - an evolution adaptation because cooperators produced more breeding offspring.  Do you think those genes are missing in humans - or has self-awareness allowed us to make some calculus on not being "nice"?

I would say that you would be "nice" even if you never heard of God, in part because that it is the ways are humans are wired - it feel... (read more)

How can there be a godless moral world ?

From that, I would say that both you and priest have formed a morality that it is independent of the text and is then reflected that back on the text. Ie read one passage (my favorite would instructions to Joshua to commit genocide against the Canaanites) and say "Oh, that one needs to be read in context", whereas read other eg "Love your neighbour" and say, "yes, that is where I derive my morality". Ie it seems to be starting with a sense of what is moral and projecting it back onto a concept of God.

Take another step - did say the Ancient Greeks or say th... (read more)

A Reason to Expect Republics to Perform Better than Absolute Monarchies in the Long-Term

I think you should be looking more at question of dilution of power. Concentrating power is hands of a one or handful of people makes the system very dependent on the person holding that power. I would propose republics/nominal monarchies with head of state only having reserve powers, are more stable and produce better government than hands-on head-of-states. 

Just because a country has been under a monarchy for a very long time, doesnt mean that it was "stable". Look for "dynastic change" in the line. Often rather violent, but one way to get rid of a ... (read more)

Would you like me to debug your math?

I had similar thought, but then most of the languages I use don't support matrix operations directly in the language anyway. Great believer in "tried and true" numerical analysis libraries though.

A systematic error that lead to a bad policy response to COVID-19

One more primary failure: Containment.
Thesis: Preventing travel (get the planes out of the air) from infected areas would contain the virus. Individual countries (including China), showed that virus could be controlled eliminated, if infections were not imported.

Antithesis: It costs too much, kills the tourist/travel industry; I want to travel; Restrictions on freedom are evil..

Well once it took hold, the restrictions happened anyway. Doing it early would dramatically reduced cost. If the symptoms had been as alarming as say Ebola, then I think early action would have been easier. "Coronavirus = cold" was all too common - maybe it should have been called SARS immediately? 

What are the gears of gluten sensitivity?

If you google "what can legally be called a sourdough bread", then I think you might see that this can be a problem. 

But anyway, I think we can safely say that sourdough is probably a good way to test whether the issues are really gluten sensitivity, (because it certainly has some), or with other components of wheat.

 Also, see This is surely producing a bread with a rather different chemistry to more traditional processes.

What are the gears of gluten sensitivity?

ok, ferment does degrade gluten but very slowly. Once the levels of lactic acid build up sufficiently, then the acid hits the gluten, but that is rather longer than 12hour. If the gluten is destroyed, then so is your dough structure - it loses the ability to trap air and steam. People struggling with ordinary bread but able to eat sourdough I think is rather common.  Based on Monash publications, I would say the highly fermentable fructans in wheat are converted to easier to digest forms (mannitols??). Pretty testable for an individual. If you struggl... (read more)

2gjm2moYou can lose some gluten and still have enough to maintain the structure of your dough. I think the person I mentioned thinks that's what's going on. (But it sure seems plausible to me that the actually relevant difference between sourdough bread and other bread is something else. If gluten degradation were the mechanism then you'd think you could do equally well by using weaker flour, not kneading as much, etc.) I've made breads that are actually leavened with ordinary baker's yeast but also contain some sourdough starter (in fact I have two loaves made that way sitting cooling on a rack right now), but it would never occur to me to call them sourdough breads. They're ordinary yeasted breads with a bit of sourdough starter in to give flavour and longevity. But I guess if you're selling bread, and your customers like the idea of sourdough bread, and you aren't too scrupulous... :-)
What are the gears of gluten sensitivity?

From my daughters journey with IBS, I'd be looking at whether it is "gluten" or other components of flour. One thing to try is whether your body tolerates sour dough bread (eliminate other sources of flour). And that is a real sour dough - fermented at least 12 hours with no post-ferment flour added. There are "cheats" way to make "sour dough", giving it sour dough flavour without the long ferment. Why? Well Monash uni in Oz has published a lot of research around FODMAP components in diet. The ferment process alters a lot of carbohydrate components (but no... (read more)

2gjm2moIs it true that sourdough fermentation alters other things but not gluten? My understanding is that the acidity of sourdough degrades gluten. I know of one person who was actually a (semi-?)professional baker before developing -- at least by her account of things -- a gluten intolerance, who found that she could eat some sourdough things whose non-sourdough things made her feel bad. But of course I have no way of knowing whether it was really the gluten that was giving her problems. (Who adds flour to the dough after a sourdough fermentation? Other than maybe a dusting to prevent sticking while shaping or proofing, which will add little enough that I'd have thought someone who isn't outright coeliac should be OK with it.)
Core Pathways of Aging

Comment on "paper x" to my mind is the usual vehicle for complaining about faulty methods and poor statistical analysis. Since journals that accept comments tend to give a right of reply, review can be pretty light.

I would agree though that commenting on flaws like this is not as satisfying (mostly) as proper paper where an alternative hypothesis is promoted and opponents flaws lightly commented on. It is still a lot of work to comment and not a lot of point unless driving new science other than ego-tripping.

However, my original point remains - I don't think researchers are remotely shy about criticizing the work of their peers.

Core Pathways of Aging

This was a fascinating post, but I found a surprising statement in the introduction:

 "who are shy about telling us when their peers’ work is completely wrong."

This runs deeply against my experience. I would say writing a paper gleefully proving your peers wrong is second only to  writing a paper with an important new discovery in terms of academic satisfaction. In the middle of one controversy a colleague claimed (or maybe quoted) "Every paper published is a shot fired in a war". 

This is obviously running counter to your experience and I won... (read more)

2johnswentworth2moGood question. I'd say: writing a paper proving your peers wrong is great fun, but requires a paper. You are expected to make a strong, detailed case, even when the work is pretty obviously flawed. You can't just ignore a bad model in a background section or have a one-sentence "X found Y, but they're blatantly p-hacking" - those moves risk a reviewer complaining. And even after writing the prove-them-wrong paper, you still can't just ignore the bad work in background sections of future papers without risking reviewers' ire. Does that fit your experience?
1CuriousMeta2mo"Every paper published is a shot fired in a war" Epistemic virtue isn't a good strategy in that war, I suspect. Voicing your true best guesses is disincentivized unless you can prove them.
What's your peace plan?

I suspect that is asking too much of the religiously zealous. A Buddist country with oversight of an internationalised quarter seems more likely to fly.

After reading Amos Elon's "Jerusalem - City of Mirror" (good book for anyone wondering why this is so hard), I thought the best we could hope for would be a meteor strike cratering the whole of the temple mount for starters. 

To understand the danger, think of the geopolitical implications of 4th temple nutters blowing up everything in the Al-Aqsa compound ( a serious proposition).

What's your peace plan?

Perhaps I am too cynical here, but the first step towards a peace plan has to be desire for peace. It seems to me that Netanyahu needs arab aggression to stay in power (and stay out of jail), while Hamas needs Israeli aggression to retain support for violent resistance. Until that changes, well good luck. There is an old comment about the prayer for the "Peace of Jerusalem" by Meron Benverish, "You can have peace or you can have Jerusalem." I dont see that changing in my lifetime.

1Dirichlet-to-Neumann2moIt's exactly the problem, and the fact that the Hamas started the war just as Netanyahu was losing his grip to power is highly unlikely to be a coincidence. The fact that Israel lead the best vaccine effort in the world but refused the easy PR move to give vaccine to Palestine is also significant.
How refined is your art of note-taking?

For me, I thought printed notes were usually (not always) a hinderance to learning. And copying down teacher notes as the absolute pits. Writing things down myself seems to be a great memory aid, but to work that way,  the notes had to be my work, that I thought about as I composed them.  (or "what the.. consult the textbook, relevant paper cos I didnt get it"). Learning content is what textbooks are for - a spoken content should be exposition and for that you need concentrate not copy. 

How refined is your art of note-taking?

When I was young (high school, uni), then didnt really bother. I had excellent memory for anything that engaged me. I would note on paper things to look further into because I didnt immediately understand or wanted to further reference (still do this) but not much else. With textbooks, it would be turn straight to problems section and work backwards. This approach did not age well. 

I heard about MindMap methods at a DEC user group conference and I started using those. I found drawing them was an excellent way to get stuff into my memory but that I sel... (read more)

What weird beliefs do you have?

Should add that constraints on d13C of source for PETM are getting better. eg - favouring volcanic (-6) rather than coal (-25) or gas (-60).

What weird beliefs do you have?

Well Australia is right beside Antarctica at that time. Its coal deposits are Permian/Jurassic and the continent has hardly changed geologically. Would seem like an obvious place to mine. A civilization mining and burning coal on large enough scale to impact climate is also going to have to manage quick a bit of other tech (esp metallurgy) as well, with the evidence also conveniently hidden. So from Baysian perspective we have quite a number of competing hypotheses for PETM founded on evidence but hard to constrain as to relative effect. The "ancient civil... (read more)

3Phil Scadden2moShould add that constraints on d13C of source for PETM are getting better. eg [] - favouring volcanic (-6) rather than coal (-25) or gas (-60).
Meaningful Rest

"feel rejuvenated after having done"?? About the only thing that I can of is "sleep". Is that my advancing years?

What are your favorite examples of adults in and around this community publicly changing their minds?

I would have to do a fair bit of work to find them - for obvious reasons, they dont need to be added to any Endnote collection. A lot are, "yes, you found a error with our methods but when we fix it, it doesnt change the conclusions" - trans "bite your bum". can be a place to find the really bad stuff. (oh and I see a full blown public change of mind right now - )

1nim3moAh, that's fair. I figure sometimes people remember good jokes/memes, but if the retractions aren't quite there, they wouldn't be worth noting. Thank you for the link!
1Phil Scadden3moOne quickly. [] is comment on comment. Read the Nerem et al comment [] which is fun. Some commentary here: []
What are your favorite examples of adults in and around this community publicly changing their minds?

I suspect (for reasons of seeing a back down as humiliating), that is more often that a change of mind happens when other researchers produce confounding evidence, (that is how science works), and you then just quietly accept it and move on. Citing papers supporting the alternative hypothesis in a later paper is a quieter way to signal that you have changed your mind. "Comment on comment" papers can be entertaining. Everything from howling outrage to excuses to commendable withdrawals.

1nim3mo"comment on comment" sounds like a delightful part of the internet! Are there any particularly memorable examples that you'd recommend someone new to them start with to get a feel for the genre, regardless of what field they happen to be in?
What are your favorite examples of adults in and around this community publicly changing their minds?

If you cant change your mind, then I struggle to see how you could practice science. You do have some very good scientists "go emeritus" (have stuck priors) late in life,  and I wonder whether this is a trap for very good thinkers who have been mostly right all their careers and forget how to be properly skeptical. Is a paper being withdrawn by its authors count as a public change of mind?

3Kaj_Sotala3moAs far as I understand, "I changed my mind about the claims in the paper" isn't usually considered a reason to withdraw. Withdrawal is something like an attempt to retract the fact that you ever made a claim in the first place, and reserved for things like outright fraud or very serious mistakes in data collection that invalidate the whole analysis.
1nim3moI suspect that withdrawing a paper probably counts, because "changed mind" is one reason a withdrawal could happen. However, I don't personally know enough about academic publishing to rule out "got reason to expect negative results such as loss of reputation from not withdrawing paper, but still believe in its claims" as a comparable powerful reason to withdraw one. (Correction: I skimmed some journals' retraction policies and reasons for retraction on lists of retracted articles, and now model retraction as "change of mind about whether the situation in which the science was attempted was capable of emitting valid results". This feels to me like it doesn't have the same social stigma as changing one's conclusions in a way that admits having discovered and needed to correct a flaw in one's own actual reasoning -- I don't think a "change of facts" is necessarily quite identical to the change of logic or thought implied by "change of mind"? This apparent distinction suggests that "changes of mind" could be usefully sorted into more categories than I'd considered when asking the original question.) I think publishing a paper which disproves a claim which one had made in a prior paper would be an entirely unambiguous change of mind, demonstrating the skill of updating based on new evidence. I hope that happens often, but I don't read a high enough volume of papers to personally see it.
We need a career path for invention

I would say our engineering workshop is staffed by inventors. We need people to invent solutions to problems - they do it, usually in collaboration with the scientist that has a problem. I think this is a pretty common setup although not the model for lone inventor producing killer product that is patented and sold. I rather liked their solution for remote camera lens cleaner - (drone with super soaker. No public video sorry).

Modern Monetary Theory for Dummies

Those reviews are very helpful, but looking at "Derek" comments in the Cochrane blog, it is not at all clear whether these are critiques of MMT or critiques of Kelton ( or more specifically what Kelton believes that governments can do given that MMT is an accurate representation).

I am also very suspicious of how this would work within a democratic system. Many countries do not let governments set interest rates - that is the role of the independent central bank to control inflation. I would feel happier about governments printing money if the central bank was also dictating the level of taxation (the amount of money to be destroyed but not how that tax is distributed).

Can you improve IQ by practicing IQ tests?

Just stick "heritability of intelligence" in I have only had experience of intelligence tests on 4-6 six year olds. Quite a few dimensions to the test - but nothing that would have been practiced at home. A very limited sample, but the resultant ranking fitted my pre-determinations in terms of general problem solving abilities.

[Letter] Advice for High School #1

Fascinating question as what advice I would give my high school self if I could. "Dont be such a prat" would be good start. Listen much more than talk, figure out how people work without trying to change them. Try lots of things (safely) and have fun. Be an agent for good things. Read everything (not advice I needed). Dont wait till uni before trying to change the world. Dont be afraid to fail, just learn from it. Master calculus as fast as you can and then learn the science properly instead of way curriculum prescribes. Master some form of coding. Find some physical activity that you really like (with the old dictum of "if you cant do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly"). 

What weird beliefs do you have?

Ok, that does sound wierd. Do I understand correctly, that you postulate a PETM civilization that had developed sufficient technology to extract fossil fuels (as source of negative D13 carbon) to explain the observed carbon and climate? What population and per capita energy extraction rates did you factor? And if they let no trace, presumably they somehow found all this FF very close to Antarctica? If so, I think I would struggle to assign even 0.1% weight to this hypothesis compared to competing hypotheses. It has the feel of an invisible dragon in the garage to me.

3CellBioGuy3moI propose very few details and a low probability (and as I add more details from 'someone burned a lot of carbon' I give even less), and the scenario outlines above total carbon release could be split between an artificial release and later positive feedbacks (seafloor clatherate and the like). As for no trace, finding bedding planes within the PETM itself is a celebrated event in many places and trying to hit a bedding plane within a short period is hard, and I would need to look into the work of a scientist I really like about erosion rates across continental crust to see what the odds of a carbon deposit near the surface now being near the surface millions of years ago would be...
What weird beliefs do you have?

I wouldnt pretend NZ is fiscal utopia by a long way, but actually pretty weak provisions have resulted in quite strong fiscal discipline. for a review. Governments may have to act faster than a referendum can be organized but so long as there is then a realistic plan to return to a budget surplus, I dont think you need one.

But your comments  have reinforced my view that my beliefs are not weird. 

What weird beliefs do you have?

Which I guess is why we have Fiscal Responsibility Act to enforce it on politiicians. However, running large government surplusses seem to be regarded as fine (ie consequence free) by pollies of many nations, provided you can pay the interest. If they are correct, then my belief is indeed weird (and incorrect). The MMT argument made my head hurt.

4Viliam4moEven if many countries are in insane debt and function okay... it is not obvious to me how to distinguish between "it's because debt doesn't actually harm you" and "it's because they are strong enough to survive the debt, but still would be better without it". In my personal life, there were only three situations when I got into debt. Twice it was mortgage, which I considered rational because the prices of apartments were increasing, so if I tried to save the full amount of money, it would be "the longer I save, the more money is still missing". (Since then, the property costs of both apartments have doubled, so this policy still seems okay in hindsight.) The third time, I caused a property damage that needed to be fixed immediately, and I was insured but the insurance company took its sweet time (one year) to actually pay, so I took a small debt to bridge that period, but then I was extra frugal to pay it back as soon as possible. Generally, whenever I was in debt, I took care to pay it back as soon as possible. Now I imagine that someone with large income, or even income at my level, could e.g. spend 30% of that income paying credit card debt, and still live a happy life. Hey, I save about 30% of my salary, so that person would in short term have exactly the same quality of life as me. It just seems extremely stupid to me, in long term. But if all neighbors did that, it would be "normal". So my question is, essentially, whether the countries with huge-but-survivable debt are more analogical to "me taking mortgage" or "the high-income guy with 30% credit card debt". From outside, both seem similar: owing some money, living good life. The difference is in the counterfactuals: the alt-me that didn't take the mortgage now spends more money on rent than I spend on home ownership + mortgage payment combined; while the alt-credit-card-guy that didn't maximize credit now saves 30% of his salary and can maybe retire a bit sooner. The state-level equivalent of mortgage
What weird beliefs do you have?

That governments should, over the long term, run balanced budgets. ie there are many good reasons for a short term budget deficit (global crisis, natural disaster) but governments should budget to return to government surplus as soon as possible and pay down debt (eg to something like 20% GDP).
This obviously doesnt seem weird to me, but people from MMT theorists to heads of world major economies think it is.
Why do I believe that? Well we (New Zealand) had major reforms of economy and government in 1980-90s. At time, (showing my age) I thought it is was mad... (read more)

4Stuart Anderson4mo-
How You Can Gain Self Control Without "Self-Control"

Thanks for this (and love the cards - a brake on just skimming it). So I am goofing off reading LessWrong when I should be working. Furthermore, completing the current job will make it possible to do more exciting things and please my colleagues. Why am I goofing off and reading an article on self-control of all things? I got a useful insight though. The priority one job is QC of a dataset. It is intense, boring, but too complex, too important to delegate. I diagnose Depletion of Energy and thus deserve a break! Nice rationalisation. Thanks very much. Now back to work...

3spencerg4moHaha, I hope you managed to get it done :)
A voting theory primer for rationalists

Just found this and I have question and comment.

Q. Here (NZ), local body elections are usually STV for both mayor and councillors. It was seen as a way to get around vote-splitting leading to an unfavoured winner largely. There is always idle tea-time discussions about strategic voting without anyone getting sufficient interested to really analyse it. Your comment about it strategic voting in preference system revived my curiousity. How do you game an STV system? The best we could manage is that it seem best to rank all the candidates, rather than just ran... (read more)

Where do (did?) stable, cooperative institutions come from?

Can you clarify which "The Dictators Handbook" you mean? I suspect you mean the Mesquita and Smith version, though the Randall Wood one looks more fun.

4abramdemski4moAh indeed! I meant Mesquita & Smith.
On LessWrong/Rationality and Political Debates

I think the worst way to have a political discussion is to discuss the actions or proposed actions of any political actor. Politics exists because we need collective solutions to particular problems, so I think the best way to approach politics is discuss a particular problem that needs a political solution. As always, best to discuss the nature of the problem in detail before thinking about an solutions and gentling re-routing any solution-type discussion back to the problem. Solutions need discussion of consequences first and foremost. Pushing discussion... (read more)

Tap Water and Filtration

Well my wife is water chemist and has been known to identify water from different treatment regimes by their taste. There are a lot of possibilities here. Bore water is highly variable depending on the aquifer geology. Where groundwater goes through peat, it can be quite acidic (sometimes treated with caustic soda in town supplies) and this seems to appeal to our taste buds. Dissolved minerals obviously also affect taste (for good or bad - I dont like water with lime). By contrast city water supplies would struggle to get enough water from bores and often ... (read more)

What's your best alternate history utopia?

Hmm. I am not convinced that safety issue is only drag on nuclear power. They have a significant cost-competitive issues when there is low-cost gas or coal available as an alternative. Even in 1990 (when we were pretty sure there was climate problem), LCOE of nuclear doesnt look good against FF. (fig 1)

1AnthonyC5moA large portion of the cost to build nuclear power plants is a function of regulation driven by those accidents. Build time (driven by regulatory and political hurdles, increasing from a few years in the 1960s to well over a decade in the 70s and 80s) increases the cost of financing the project and the complexity of the project tremendously. Also, there are the second order effects here a reduction in building nuclear plants drives reduced investment in funding and scaling improved designs, fewer people becoming nuclear engineers, and so on. There are a lot of designs out there with a lot of potential to be both cheaper and safer, but no one can build them. See [] for an analysis of nuclear plant cost trends globally from the 1950s to the early 2000s.
1Gerald Monroe5moKeep in mind that safety issues and cost are tightly coupled. To make nuclear cheaper, you need to make the parts more efficiently, and to build the reactors more efficiently, and to build more of them. All of these things increase the risks of an incident. Redesigned lower cost parts sometimes will be less reliable than the proven old design - see automotive for examples of this, 80 years after the invention of the automatic transmission, redesigned versions of it sometimes end up horrifically unreliable. A more efficient construction process involves less labor which means less eyes to spot a mistake. More reactors multiplies the small odds of a meltdown per reactor by more reactors.
Second Citizenships, Residencies, and/or Temporary Relocation

As far as know, you are correct. You need to live or work here. The millions of spare dollars option has become politically more difficult after Thiel got citizenship. I would also say that mostly law applies  in-country but various tax, finance provisions etc apply to permanent residents even if not resident. Similar provision apply in UK so I suspect these are pretty common.

It is possible for employers here to make a case to bring in essential workers from overseas, but the bar is very high. While the isolation facilities are being besieged by citizens trying to return, I doubt there will be any change. 


Second Citizenships, Residencies, and/or Temporary Relocation

Writing from NZ. We have friends from US who worked here for 10 years (got permanent residency) before returning to the US in 2018. Because the husband has a significant respiratory complaint, he was very vunerable to Covid, but thanks to permanent residency, they were able to return here, do their 2 weeks in managed isolation facility and are staying here till safe. 

I would note that permanent residency makes you subject to local laws as well, at least here. A colleague from US who now has NZ partner was surprized to discover that the law here would ... (read more)

2Josh Jacobson5moThanks for sharing. NZ is probably one of the most attractive residencies, particularly from a derisking perspective. I'd love to secure residence there, but it seems to in most cases require living and working there (or millions of spare dollars). FWIW, it did seem to me that entering Australia with a job offer and work visa was feasible when I looked into it ~5 months ago. NZ indeed was more locked down. I haven't investigated to what extent permanent residency vs. citizenship vs. tourism subjects you to the local laws, but I expect when in-country there is typically little difference. Outside the country, my guess is you're only subject to the laws where you are, and where you're a citizen of, but I could be wrong. The marital property instance is an interesting one, since it's a bit less obvious that would apply to non-citizens.
Libertarianism, Neoliberalism and Medicare for All?

I dont suppose that would have anything to do with donations from Pharma by any chance? When the TPP free trade agreement was being negotiated, one of the concerns here was that US would insist on Pharmac being demolished

Libertarianism, Neoliberalism and Medicare for All?

I am unfamiliar with Medicare or in fact the US health system, but an example of "By negotiating 'on behalf of us' the government has the most negotiating power possible and hence should be able to get the best prices." would perhaps be the Pharmac scheme operated here in NZ? Basically, the government assigns $x to Pharmac who negotiate deals with pharma providers. The drugs bought by Pharmac are available to public at considerable subsidy. The losers can still attempt to sell their drug (not excluded from market) but will have to convince the public their... (read more)

1AnthonyC8moIt should be very possible, and many countries seem to manage it, but in the US the federal government essentially banned Medicare and Medicaid from negotiating on drug prices.