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Author Topic: Practical Consequences  (Read 7569 times)

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Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2011, 02:00:50 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_milk#In_Europe
As I understand it, raw milk is regularly used and consumed in Europe. The lack of news of widespread outbreaks of disease caused by raw milk indicates to me they are not suffering from drinking raw milk as I am told would happen if we allowed regular use and consumption here.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2011, 02:04:32 PM »
I'd be more than happy to pull up some citations to back this up as long as we agree that any scientific discussion that we have on this subject will only accept legitimate, peer-reviewed literature from scientific journals to be evidence as opposed to anecdotes and passionate pleas from members of the organinite cult (my sarcastic term for those who have developed a pseudo-scientific world view around consumption of 'pure' products).
I am not trying to argue raw milk has great health properties. I'm not saying raw milk is better or that pasteurized milk isn't better. I'm simply wondering why we're punishing people for selling it to folks who know what it is and want to have it. Is that really the "practical" and "compassionate" thing to do?

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2011, 02:24:31 PM »
Depends on how you're interpreting 'denied'. By all means, this is a free country and we are free to make many decisions regarding our lifestyle, but that's an awfully sunny outlook on what isn't actually. Look at the price of various types of foods, for starters -- the impoverished are ironically some of the heaviest, most unhealthy people out there simply because buying 10 frozen, sodium-laden, but complete dinners for $10 makes more sense than spending $10 on the produce and other ingredients it takes to make one, maybe two healthful dinners. They're free to choose, but what kind of choice are they making, exactly?
They kind they have every right to make.

And food deserts -- places where the nearest outlet for fresh fruits and vegetables is beyond reasonable distance to travel for it or the actual availability is poor quality and/or too expensive -- are also cropping up in somewhat depressing amounts in more impoverished areas. There are no regulations for this, it is simply being driven by stores who do not see a demand for fruits and vegetables in a certain area (because the poor can't afford it in comparison to prepackaged foods), so they pull up the anchor and sail on past.
Food deserts? I've not heard of this before. What exactly is a "reasonable distance"? I am sure there are people who live a "fer piece" from the nearest grocery store, but I don't recall hearing that this somehow made eating situations terrible. I have known people who have to drive for a good half hour to get to the nearest grocery store, and I don't recall anyone referring to it as a food desert. I'm not saying you're lying. I'm saying this is something I'm skeptical about until I learn some more about it.

Tack that on to the rising cost of insurance, the disturbing lack of availability even for those with a full-time job (I fall into this category), the high cost of medical treatment for conditions that can arise from poor eating habits and lack of proper exercise, and you've got yourself a recipe for disaster. Are they being denied? Technically, no. Does that mean that a laissez-faire approach is doing them any favors? Absolutely not.
That assumes a laissez-faire approach is in use, and I am not convinced there is.

We already have a kind of rewards system in place for those who do choose to partake in preventative care and drawbacks for those who don't. People who are obese pay higher premiums, and I think it's becoming increasingly common for insurance companies to offer incentives (lower premiums, free membership, etc.) for those who join gyms or make a certain weight (signed off by a doctor). It's certainly not dictating the kind of lifestyle people lead, but it is a bit of a goad in a certain direction.
And notably entirely voluntary.

But let's bring this back around to the raw milk debate. I'd like to liken it to holistic healing. People are feeding this stuff to their kids, who are also coincidentally at higher risk (along side the elderly) than your average, healthy adult of contracting diseases from any kind of mishandled raw milk product. It's not just a matter of letting adults make adult decisions for themselves, it's about the kind of impact those decisions have on those who are dependent on them and have no legal standing or otherwise to decide for themselves. No decision is truly insulated, at least not in a society that is as interconnected as ours is. If you get sick from consuming raw milk, you suddenly take time off of work, which is a loss in profit for the company, a larger burden on other workers who must compensate for your absence; conversely, if you decide to go to work anyway, there's decreased productivity, not to mention a potential burden on the health system, and you become infectious if you're carrying something like E. Coli. No big deal??
And yet, I have still not seen stories about recent outbreaks of child illness or death from the consumption of raw milk. Your cautionary statement almost seems to imply that you think parents who give raw milk to children don't care if the children become ill from drinking it. Perhaps you did not mean to imply that, and I hope you didn't. But I don't buy the "for the children" defense here. I also don't buy the "protect people from themselves" argument. If people were being sold raw milk and told it was pasteurized, that might make sense. But they aren't, and it doesn't. If you get sick and miss work, you say. So? This is different from the regular course of events exactly how?

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2011, 02:29:31 PM »
Extrapolating my views and statements to the far extreme isn't exactly a good way to debate.
I cannot speak for others, but in my own defense I was not trying to extrapolate anything you said to a far extreme. I merely took what you said and pushed a little further along using the logic you expressed. And frankly the idea that there are certain behaviors you don't favor regulating by law simply because it isn't practical I find troubling. Because it implies that if doing so were to become in some way practical, then you would have no problem with the government doing it. And that is, to be honest, a little bit scary.

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Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2011, 02:44:33 PM »
They kind they have every right to make.

The choice between eating something that they know is not the healthiest thing and starving to death.  Hell of a set of options, you have to admit.

Quote
Food deserts? I've not heard of this before. What exactly is a "reasonable distance"? I am sure there are people who live a "fer piece" from the nearest grocery store, but I don't recall hearing that this somehow made eating situations terrible. I have known people who have to drive for a good half hour to get to the nearest grocery store, and I don't recall anyone referring to it as a food desert. I'm not saying you're lying. I'm saying this is something I'm skeptical about until I learn some more about it.

The Storehouse submits:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_desert - for basic info
http://www.cdc.gov/Features/FoodDeserts/ - for the Center of Disease Control's info on it.
http://www.fooddesert.net/ - Food Desert Awareness
http://www.ers.usda.gov/data/fooddesert/fooddesert.html - for where these food deserts are:  (interactive map based on census data)

Offline Pointless Digression

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2011, 03:11:34 PM »
Food deserts? I've not heard of this before.

Here you go: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_desert

And yet, I have still not seen stories about recent outbreaks of child illness or death from the consumption of raw milk.

Here you go: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5608a3.htm
http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/299/4/402.full
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21058911
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19737059

Here's the money quote from the last paper:

Quote
People continue to consume raw milk even though numerous epidemiological studies have shown clearly that raw milk can be contaminated by a variety of pathogens, some of which are associated with human illness and disease. Several documented milkborne disease outbreaks occurred from 2000-2008 and were traced back to consumption of raw unpasteurized milk. Numerous people were found to have infections, some were hospitalized, and a few died.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2011, 03:12:23 PM »
The bottom line is, raw milk has no measurable health benefits over pasteurized milk and there is a much higher risk of contamination and spoiling.  The laws here are to protect consumers -- whether or not you think it's a justified form of protection depends on your political philosophy, but given how poorly informed we are as a country when it comes to science, I'm not sure if the free market would solve the problem here.  There's too much misinformation out there about raw milk for the general populace to really decide -- they don't read peer review journals in making their decisions.
So people are too ignorant to be allowed to make their own decisions? It's better to let ambitious politicians, who likely also do not read peer reviewed journals, decide these things? I remain unconvinced. I'm pretty sure if people started getting sick from raw milk, someone would notice and there would be a reaction in the market.

So the question is, in the name of freedom, are you willing to strike a law from the books that will result inevitably result in some negative consequences?  I don't know how I feel about it personally, but that's the dilemma.
Your presentation of the dilemma is misleading. It does not acknowledge that the law itself is resulting in negative consequences. To answer your question, yes, I am willing. I tend to prefer the consequences of voluntary actions to the consequences of coerced actions.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2011, 03:18:46 PM »
The choice between eating something that they know is not the healthiest thing and starving to death.  Hell of a set of options, you have to admit.
I do not believe that is the choice they are making.

The Storehouse submits:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_desert - for basic info
http://www.cdc.gov/Features/FoodDeserts/ - for the Center of Disease Control's info on it.
http://www.fooddesert.net/ - Food Desert Awareness
http://www.ers.usda.gov/data/fooddesert/fooddesert.html - for where these food deserts are:  (interactive map based on census data)
The CDC website says, "Estimates of how much of the US population is affected can vary greatly because there is no standard definition of a food desert. According to a 2009 report by the US Department of Agriculture, a small percentage of American consumers are limited in their ability to access affordable nutritious food because they live far from a supermarket or large grocery store and do not have easy access to transportation." Makes me wonder if people have forgotten what gardens are for. And then there is this, "However, other studies have shown that even after healthier food options are more widely available in food deserts, many consumers continue to make unhealthy choices based on personal preferences." So it's less about availability than about choices people make.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2011, 03:33:17 PM »
Here's the money quote from the last paper:
Okay. Seems like different situations of a relatively small amount of people getting ill from raw milk. So people should be careful. Would be interesting to know whether those people who suffered and/or dealt with those negative consequences decided to keep drinking raw milk. The question is then, is this worth the money spent on the sting operation that put Amish farmer Dan Allgyer in jail? Is that really the appropriate response?

Offline Pointless Digression

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2011, 03:37:01 PM »
Not the point. You said that you hadn't heard of outbreaks of disease, illness, and/or death as a result of drinking raw milk, and I provided evidence of just that.

EDIT TO ADD:

Quote
So people should be careful.

How are people supposed to be careful with milk, exactly? Are you suggesting that people perform their own E.coli tests?
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 03:51:59 PM by Pointless Digression »

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Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2011, 03:39:32 PM »
You have the right to believe that - but I'd be interested to know the experience that has led you to that belief.  Have you recently lived in a low-income area?  Had to make use of a food bank?  Been limited to shopping at the corner convenience store for food because you have no transportation (public or otherwise)?

I'd also be curious as to how much gardening you yourself have done.  I've personally put in a garden in my back yard (since I have the advantage of living in a semi-rural area - those people in urban areas don't have that option at all).  The weather this year has been crap for gardens.  Between the rapidly fluctuating temperatures and excessive rain here in the midwest, many of my neighbors (who have even longer-standing gardens than mine) were unable to get planting done on time, or had their bedding plants flooded out. 

Offline Jude

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2011, 05:35:50 PM »
People are ignorant.  People are pretty stupid when it comes to scientific questions.  The organic movement in and of itself is perfect proof of that -- I needn't say anymore.

Do I trust an "ambitious politician" to make the right call?  Nope; that politician is probably as stupid as his constituents in most cases.  The only way good decisions can be made is when they are guided by expert testimony and advice.

The good part about the political process is that they typically hold hearings where experts are allowed to weigh in, and in theory the truth should win out.  It doesn't always work, but I'll trust a court-style hearing any day for discerning the truth over individuals.

Whether or not we should protect people from themselves however, well, that's another matter entirely.  It is currently illegal to commit suicide and consume drugs however, so it isn't like this is unprecedented in our society.  I don't really care to make the "value judgment" argument on whether this case is right or wrong, but it's certainly not as simple as you're making it out to be.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 05:37:38 PM by Jude »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #37 on: May 27, 2011, 05:45:54 PM »
Not quite sure where this vaulted view of human intelligence originates.  Remember this is the same species that requires a sign on a gas pump asking them not to light a cigarette.

Offline Noelle

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2011, 05:51:22 PM »
They kind they have every right to make.

I don't know if you've missed my point or if I'm missing yours; my point was that while technically it's a choice, it turns into "how many days this week do I actually want to eat?" which, in fact, isn't much of a choice at all if you like staying alive and well and using the money you saved to help do things like, say, put gas in your car so you can get to work or any other daily expense you may take for granted. Do I spend $1 on a half pound of overripe bananas if they're on sale or do I spend $1 on a cheeseburger? What is going to keep my stomach full? What is going to be more satisfying to me? I'm not really sure how you can even reason that those two choices are even remotely equal in weight to someone who doesn't have a lot of money. Technically telling someone they can jump into a volcano or eat marshmallows while riding a pony is a choice, but they are not equal decisions to be made unless you're suicidal or otherwise incapable of reason.

Quote
Food deserts? I've not heard of this before. What exactly is a "reasonable distance"? I am sure there are people who live a "fer piece" from the nearest grocery store, but I don't recall hearing that this somehow made eating situations terrible. I have known people who have to drive for a good half hour to get to the nearest grocery store, and I don't recall anyone referring to it as a food desert. I'm not saying you're lying. I'm saying this is something I'm skeptical about until I learn some more about it.

Time article on food deserts
NPR's take (If you've got the time to spare, I found the video to be very interesting)
USDA-led research
Map of approximate 'food deserts' in the US + demographics/stastistics
(I just saw Oniya's provided links, so my apologies if any of these are doubled up)

It's based on distance (usually >1 mile), income, age, accessibility to transportation, and the contents of the nearest food outlet. Of course, when healthful food is available, I don't ignore personal choice, as there are plenty of people who will still choose to eat crap food when given equal footing on both sides, but right now I don't see that the two are weighted equally in either affordability or accessibility to make that call fairly. I'm dubious of some of the reports because they don't seem to report back that even when produce is made more available, that it is within the budget of the low-income people they're using, but it is fair to say that a lot of eating habits go beyond simply what's offered and that making certain things more available by itself isn't the silver bullet; all the same, I don't really see it as an excuse not to try and allow people the choice to begin with and certainly many more than just the poor would benefit from cheaper fruits and vegetables (I know I would).

Quote
That assumes a laissez-faire approach is in use, and I am not convinced there is.

Go back to my quote; they aren't being denied a means to make healthy decisions technically (see above for my point about what kind of choice they're actually given), but what is a lack of acknowledgement and attempt to fix a problem but a laissez-faire approach, as you're suggesting? As I understand it, you're a libertarian -- and (correct me if I'm wrong), if we chalk this up to companies simply doing what's best for them and any attempt by the government to help these people have a fair choice to make is bad, well...I'm not really sure what else you'd call that, exactly. "Let it be" or "leave it alone", as it so happens to translate, is quite fitting.

Quote
And notably entirely voluntary.

So if every insurance company chooses to do it this way, are they dictating how I should live my life or is that kind of vocabulary only reserved to when the government does it? What if they're the only insurance company I can afford and the competition is low, so switching off the plan is impossible without giving up insurance entirely? I'll also tentatively state that people who can afford to have insurance in the first place can also probably afford to get healthy. Vicious circle: enter stage left.

Quote
And yet, I have still not seen stories about recent outbreaks of child illness or death from the consumption of raw milk. Your cautionary statement almost seems to imply that you think parents who give raw milk to children don't care if the children become ill from drinking it. Perhaps you did not mean to imply that, and I hope you didn't. But I don't buy the "for the children" defense here. I also don't buy the "protect people from themselves" argument. If people were being sold raw milk and told it was pasteurized, that might make sense. But they aren't, and it doesn't. If you get sick and miss work, you say. So? This is different from the regular course of events exactly how?

As others have already addressed most of the stats on disease and the like coming from raw milk, I don't really feel I need to address as much. However, good intent is not enough. I am not saying that parents give their children raw milk because they're hoping in some dark and twisted scheme to give them E. Coli, but I have to stress that your choices are not isolated, which means that if, for any number of reasons be it that you don't trust science or you just haven't read information that debunks the supposed benefits of drinking raw milk, someone else is still mopping up the mess you made, which is exactly the opposite of the whole libertarian tenant that people should be able to make their own choices so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. You are using bad science to hurt children who are dependent on you to choose for them.

As a relevent question of clarification, are you comfortable with this law that was recently passed in Oregon? Certainly by the logic you've displayed, we have no need for this if the parents didn't mean to kill their kid and that belief in poor 'alternative medicine/therapies' is harmless.

The purpose of pointing out sick days, by the way, was just as testament that your patriotic, red-blooded American right to choose is not something that stops with you -- your poor decisions ripple outward, some making larger waves than others -- which is why it is short-sighted and occasionally reckless to simply let imperfect people make imperfect decisions with imperfect judgment with imperfect knowledge in an imperfect world. I'm hardly calling for a nanny state, which I would maintain is an equally bad idea as one totally removed from any government intervention, but the 'freebird' approach is hardly a perfect approach, either.

I suppose that brings me to a bit of relevant answering of my own -- I do not rank something like raw milk up there with all the more dangerous things out there in the world that people could be ingesting. I am not unrealistic about the dangers of raw milk in comparison to, say, swallowing battery acid or imbibing large amounts of black tar heroin. I don't think we need to launch a crusade against raw milk and form lynch mobs against farmers who sell it...but I'm not exactly comfortable with standing by while pseudoscience leads people down a severely misguided path, either, and I'm not thrilled with the idea that people are feeding this to their children despite the risk it poses to their demographic especially, among other things. I realize that it also seems contradictory to my tenant that, for instance, people be given a fair chance at having access to fruits and vegetables, but then, I would also support measures that would make sugary junk foods slightly more expensive while lowering the price of fresh produce.

Truthfully, I understand why people are upset over ban measures, but I more strongly side with why they're banning it in the first place, so although I am defending the decision, I don't feel radically aligned with it either. AUGHH CENTRISMMMM.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #39 on: May 28, 2011, 12:24:34 AM »
Not the point. You said that you hadn't heard of outbreaks of disease, illness, and/or death as a result of drinking raw milk, and I provided evidence of just that.
Yep you did. And now I've heard of it. Thank you for helping me be more informed.

How are people supposed to be careful with milk, exactly? Are you suggesting that people perform their own E.coli tests?
More like be careful where it comes from, how it's stored, things like that. Kinda like checking the eggs before one buys them, or not leaving raw chicken sitting out on the counter.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #40 on: May 28, 2011, 12:35:29 AM »
You have the right to believe that - but I'd be interested to know the experience that has led you to that belief.  Have you recently lived in a low-income area?  Had to make use of a food bank?  Been limited to shopping at the corner convenience store for food because you have no transportation (public or otherwise)?
I'm gonna guess you're talking to me, but I'm not sure which belief your asking me about. The answer to your questions is no. But I have known what it means to walk at least a mile or so to get to a grocery store, and then walk back again carrying a few bags of groceries. It's not fun, but I have managed to do it.

I'd also be curious as to how much gardening you yourself have done.  I've personally put in a garden in my back yard (since I have the advantage of living in a semi-rural area - those people in urban areas don't have that option at all).  The weather this year has been crap for gardens.  Between the rapidly fluctuating temperatures and excessive rain here in the midwest, many of my neighbors (who have even longer-standing gardens than mine) were unable to get planting done on time, or had their bedding plants flooded out.
I didn't claim a garden was the perfect solution. But it's not like gardening or at the very least a tomato plant or two is somehow just for wealthy people. I mean, once upon a time, nobody lived near a supermarket and a lot of people didn't live near a town at all. But now a supermarket being more than a mile away is a food desert? I'm not saying there isn't a problem. I'm saying I'm skeptical.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #41 on: May 28, 2011, 12:43:10 AM »
People are ignorant.  People are pretty stupid when it comes to scientific questions.  The organic movement in and of itself is perfect proof of that -- I needn't say anymore.
That wasn't the question. But maybe you answered it just the same.

Whether or not we should protect people from themselves however, well, that's another matter entirely.  It is currently illegal to commit suicide and consume drugs however, so it isn't like this is unprecedented in our society.  I don't really care to make the "value judgment" argument on whether this case is right or wrong, but it's certainly not as simple as you're making it out to be.
That something is not unprecedented doesn't make it the correct choice. As for how simple I am making it out to be, yeah, it kinda is. Either people should be allowed to decide for themselves to buy raw milk, or they shouldn't. Either individuals need to have government spend a lot time and effort to protect individuals from themselves, or they don't. That we can complicate an issue with lots of words and qualifiers and hedging and the like, doesn't mean the issue itself isn't actually fairly simple.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #42 on: May 28, 2011, 12:46:25 AM »
Not quite sure where this vaulted view of human intelligence originates.  Remember this is the same species that requires a sign on a gas pump asking them not to light a cigarette.
It's also the same species that invented lasers, built things like the Empire State Building, and created microwave popcorn. I think we're doing okay.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #43 on: May 28, 2011, 01:51:40 AM »
I don't know if you've missed my point or if I'm missing yours; my point was that while technically it's a choice, it turns into "how many days this week do I actually want to eat?" which, in fact, isn't much of a choice at all if you like staying alive and well and using the money you saved to help do things like, say, put gas in your car so you can get to work or any other daily expense you may take for granted. Do I spend $1 on a half pound of overripe bananas if they're on sale or do I spend $1 on a cheeseburger? What is going to keep my stomach full? What is going to be more satisfying to me? I'm not really sure how you can even reason that those two choices are even remotely equal in weight to someone who doesn't have a lot of money. Technically telling someone they can jump into a volcano or eat marshmallows while riding a pony is a choice, but they are not equal decisions to be made unless you're suicidal or otherwise incapable of reason.
Yes, there are hard choices sometimes. My father once had to work three jobs to keep the family in an apartment and put food on the table. I'm not entirely unfamiliar with these issues. The person who doesn't have a lot of money may not choose the bananas. But that isn't a reason to create a law saying he has to.

It's based on distance (usually >1 mile), income, age, accessibility to transportation, and the contents of the nearest food outlet. Of course, when healthful food is available, I don't ignore personal choice, as there are plenty of people who will still choose to eat crap food when given equal footing on both sides, but right now I don't see that the two are weighted equally in either affordability or accessibility to make that call fairly. I'm dubious of some of the reports because they don't seem to report back that even when produce is made more available, that it is within the budget of the low-income people they're using, but it is fair to say that a lot of eating habits go beyond simply what's offered and that making certain things more available by itself isn't the silver bullet; all the same, I don't really see it as an excuse not to try and allow people the choice to begin with and certainly many more than just the poor would benefit from cheaper fruits and vegetables (I know I would).
And I do not begrudge anyone who wants to see that people are offered more healthy choices. However, mandating that by law isn't going to drive down costs of fresh veggies for poor people.

Go back to my quote; they aren't being denied a means to make healthy decisions technically (see above for my point about what kind of choice they're actually given), but what is a lack of acknowledgement and attempt to fix a problem but a laissez-faire approach, as you're suggesting? As I understand it, you're a libertarian -- and (correct me if I'm wrong), if we chalk this up to companies simply doing what's best for them and any attempt by the government to help these people have a fair choice to make is bad, well...I'm not really sure what else you'd call that, exactly. "Let it be" or "leave it alone", as it so happens to translate, is quite fitting.
Well, for one, to claim a laissez-fair approach assumes there is nothing interfering in the price of foods or the price of gas or the costs of multiple things involved in getting food into a local store, and that simply isn't so. And there are programs available to help people in need pay for food. So that there is somehow a hands off approach being taken is, I think, mistaken.

So if every insurance company chooses to do it this way, are they dictating how I should live my life or is that kind of vocabulary only reserved to when the government does it? What if they're the only insurance company I can afford and the competition is low, so switching off the plan is impossible without giving up insurance entirely? I'll also tentatively state that people who can afford to have insurance in the first place can also probably afford to get healthy. Vicious circle: enter stage left.
Leaving aside what might or might not be meant by "get healthy," you're making an excellent case for why selling insurance across state lines should not be prohibited. If every insurance company does the same thing, are they dictating how you should live your life? No, because they are not forcing you to have insurance. Believe it or not, there are people who can afford it and choose not to buy it. What if the perfect choice that lets me have all I want isn't available? Then I do without it.

As others have already addressed most of the stats on disease and the like coming from raw milk, I don't really feel I need to address as much. However, good intent is not enough. I am not saying that parents give their children raw milk because they're hoping in some dark and twisted scheme to give them E. Coli, but I have to stress that your choices are not isolated, which means that if, for any number of reasons be it that you don't trust science or you just haven't read information that debunks the supposed benefits of drinking raw milk, someone else is still mopping up the mess you made, which is exactly the opposite of the whole libertarian tenant that people should be able to make their own choices so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. You are using bad science to hurt children who are dependent on you to choose for them.
You seem to be assuming that raw milk equals sick children, and I am not convinced that is so. Some parents allow their children to run around the neighborhood without supervision. I once had conversation with a fellow who thought religion was so bad that parents shouldn't be allowed to teach children anything about it. That second one is an extreme example, but my point is, wanting to protect children isn't enough reason to tell people they aren't allowed to choose to do something. This is how we end up with jails overcrowded with non-violent offenders and people who at age 15 had sex with someone their own age ending up on sex offender registries for sex with a minor.

As a relevent question of clarification, are you comfortable with this law that was recently passed in Oregon? Certainly by the logic you've displayed, we have no need for this if the parents didn't mean to kill their kid and that belief in poor 'alternative medicine/therapies' is harmless.
Holy cow, yes, I have a serious problem with that law. The state is basically saying these people should not be allowed to practice their religion as they see fit. You're saying, "if the parents didn't mean to the kill their kid." What a mean thing to say. Of course they did not intend for the child to die! Yes, I know, the children died. I'm not saying what the parents did was right, but they chose what they believed was right. Yes, the outcome was tragic, but where do you stop protecting all the children from all harm? Shall we have laws that keep parents from, say, taking their children on a hike away from immediate medical care access? Do we ask parents if they meant for to child to break his arm by letting him ride his bicycle through the neighborhood unattended? At some point you have to allow that bad things happen, even preventable bad things. So where is the line?

The purpose of pointing out sick days, by the way, was just as testament that your patriotic, red-blooded American right to choose is not something that stops with you -- your poor decisions ripple outward, some making larger waves than others -- which is why it is short-sighted and occasionally reckless to simply let imperfect people make imperfect decisions with imperfect judgment with imperfect knowledge in an imperfect world. I'm hardly calling for a nanny state, which I would maintain is an equally bad idea as one totally removed from any government intervention, but the 'freebird' approach is hardly a perfect approach, either.
Short-sighted and reckless to let imperfect people make imperfect decisions with imperfect judgement and imperfect knowledge in an imperfect world. I hate to be the one to break this to you, but until God establishes His new earth and makes people perfect with perfect knowledge and judgement, or something similar occurs, imperfect people making imperfect choices in an imperfect world is the best we can hope for. And I'm not trying to say there is a perfect approach to how we all live. In fact, that a perfect approach doesn't exist , that people are imperfect and that the world is not perfect are some of the reasons why I am libertarian in the first place.

Offline Maiz

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #44 on: May 28, 2011, 06:03:56 AM »
Yep you did. And now I've heard of it. Thank you for helping me be more informed.
More like be careful where it comes from, how it's stored, things like that. Kinda like checking the eggs before one buys them, or not leaving raw chicken sitting out on the counter.

Being careful after you buy a product can only go so far though. What about all the times a certain vegetable has been recalled because it's been infected with E.Coli for some reason? That obviously doesn't come after you buy it. Cautiously storing your milk or your meat or your eggs after you buy it helps but it doesn't stop stores from storing it improperly, or whatever. Hence regulations to minimise the risk to the general population.

Also a lot of foodborne illnesses aren't reported because usually you just get the runs or a fever or puke a few times, and people don't take that seriously.

I'm gonna guess you're talking to me, but I'm not sure which belief your asking me about. The answer to your questions is no. But I have known what it means to walk at least a mile or so to get to a grocery store, and then walk back again carrying a few bags of groceries. It's not fun, but I have managed to do it.
You were able to do it. Congratulations. Does that mean everyone else can? Does that mean that people who are most affected by food deserts can? no. Just because a grocery store is a mile away, and can be walkable doesn't mean it's practical. Some people have to deal with little children, some have jobss that if they leave then they are fired, which sets off a million problems. Some people physically cannot walk a mile, or can't do it every time they need groceries. All these things factor into food deserts.

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I didn't claim a garden was the perfect solution. But it's not like gardening or at the very least a tomato plant or two is somehow just for wealthy people. I mean, once upon a time, nobody lived near a supermarket and a lot of people didn't live near a town at all. But now a supermarket being more than a mile away is a food desert? I'm not saying there isn't a problem. I'm saying I'm skeptical.
Except gardening has become something for at the very least the people of surburbia, with people who can afford to have leisure time, with people who can afford to buy the right plant food, the right weedkiller. You can't just say "welp people grew stuff back in the day and didn't need supermarkets, so now they shouldn't either" because one: two different societies. two: people depend on supermarkets for food now, unlike in the past when they depended on farms or whatever.

Offline Noelle

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #45 on: May 28, 2011, 09:56:35 AM »
Yes, there are hard choices sometimes. My father once had to work three jobs to keep the family in an apartment and put food on the table. I'm not entirely unfamiliar with these issues. The person who doesn't have a lot of money may not choose the bananas. But that isn't a reason to create a law saying he has to.

Nobody is suggesting creating a law to force him to choose bananas over less healthful food. I guess I'm starting to see some disparity here because you seem to be all about letting people choose, but don't seem willing to discuss potentials that can help people have a choice to make to begin with. Your anecdotes about what you or your family has done is not indicative of what everyone has done, can, or will do.

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And I do not begrudge anyone who wants to see that people are offered more healthy choices. However, mandating that by law isn't going to drive down costs of fresh veggies for poor people.

So what is business doing to help? Part of the issue is that they're only doing what's best for their bottom line -- and I'm not saying this is unreasonable, as why else would you continue to try to sell something to people who aren't buying it -- but it also makes for a very poor outcome for the human aspect. Making fresh produce more widely available and affordable could very reasonably see an increase in consumption of those items, which would obviously be good for business.

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Well, for one, to claim a laissez-fair approach assumes there is nothing interfering in the price of foods or the price of gas or the costs of multiple things involved in getting food into a local store, and that simply isn't so. And there are programs available to help people in need pay for food. So that there is somehow a hands off approach being taken is, I think, mistaken.

One thing I notice is that any criticism of how the private industry is handling things always gets deflected to "something else" (that something typically being government) -- I'm more interested in seeing you address how the business part is handling things than I am seeing you make everything an issue with how government is behind it all because I really don't think that it's always true and I take issue with constantly treating the private sector as a victim of Evil Monolithic Entity Governmentron 2000. Conversely, I find it interesting and perhaps a touch hypocritical that you point to government programs such as food stamps as a positive when it suits your argument as to why we don't need to do much, if anything at all, while simultaneously picking them apart in other aspects.

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Leaving aside what might or might not be meant by "get healthy," you're making an excellent case for why selling insurance across state lines should not be prohibited. If every insurance company does the same thing, are they dictating how you should live your life? No, because they are not forcing you to have insurance. Believe it or not, there are people who can afford it and choose not to buy it. What if the perfect choice that lets me have all I want isn't available? Then I do without it.

You're making a case for people who have money and can afford it, which is not the subject at hand. This is also another crooked choice that is technically being offered but in reality doesn't actually hash out to be even remotely equal for people in poor financial standing. Do I pay an extra few hundred dollars I don't have to spare every month in case something happens and be near incapable of paying the rest of my financial obligations -- or do I go without, never or rarely be able to get routine checkups and maintain a good standard of health, and then fall into financial ruins when/if something major comes up and I am unable to foot the bill?

Quote
Holy cow, yes, I have a serious problem with that law. The state is basically saying these people should not be allowed to practice their religion as they see fit. You're saying, "if the parents didn't mean to the kill their kid." What a mean thing to say. Of course they did not intend for the child to die! Yes, I know, the children died. I'm not saying what the parents did was right, but they chose what they believed was right. Yes, the outcome was tragic, but where do you stop protecting all the children from all harm? Shall we have laws that keep parents from, say, taking their children on a hike away from immediate medical care access? Do we ask parents if they meant for to child to break his arm by letting him ride his bicycle through the neighborhood unattended? At some point you have to allow that bad things happen, even preventable bad things. So where is the line?

I have to be honest, I am horrified at your response to this. How you can possibly equate an accident like falling off your bike to a parent forcing a child to bear the consequence (death) of frankly baseless garbage beliefs is beyond me. Maybe what I said sounds mean to you, but it's absolutely true of the situation -- good intent is not enough. Ignorance is not bliss, it's dangerous, and what could be more evident of that than faith healing? I didn't mean to hit a pedestrian with my car, but I still get charged with vehicular manslaughter because my good intent doesn't have an ounce of bearing on what actually happened. Even if I testify that Jesus told me to get in my car and drive it doesn't mean I am suddenly exempt from the law because I should be free to practice my religion regardless of who is a victim of it. Susan Atkins thought Charles Manson was Jesus and claimed she would do anything for God, even murder. You're free to defend her motivations as well, if you'd like.

Besides, you're starting to invoke a slippery slope. Punishing parents who kill their children through dangerously negligent beliefs is not the same as excessive measures like bubble-wrapping sharp corners and switching to spoons instead of forks.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #46 on: May 28, 2011, 11:01:27 AM »
Being careful after you buy a product can only go so far though.
Yep.

You were able to do it. Congratulations. Does that mean everyone else can? Does that mean that people who are most affected by food deserts can? no. Just because a grocery store is a mile away, and can be walkable doesn't mean it's practical. Some people have to deal with little children, some have jobss that if they leave then they are fired, which sets off a million problems. Some people physically cannot walk a mile, or can't do it every time they need groceries. All these things factor into food deserts.
I'm sure they do. I'm not sure what you're expecting of me. No, I don't have a perfect solution to making sure everyone eats healthy all the time. But then I do not believe anyone else does either. And while apparently some people have no problem with legislatively regulating behavior more and more, I do. Someone else in this thread said they were horrified by my response to something. Frankly, I'm a bit horrified that so many people seem to think the solution to society's problems is to craft laws that mandate conformity to this or that group's specific set of beliefs about how people should behave.

Except gardening has become something for at the very least the people of surburbia, with people who can afford to have leisure time, with people who can afford to buy the right plant food, the right weedkiller. You can't just say "welp people grew stuff back in the day and didn't need supermarkets, so now they shouldn't either" because one: two different societies. two: people depend on supermarkets for food now, unlike in the past when they depended on farms or whatever.
Again, I'm not claiming gardening is the perfect solution. I merely suggested there was more than one way for people who lack on-the-corner supermarket access to acquire fresh food. It's staring to sound like if there isn't a supermarket every other block then people are somehow forced to suffer malnutrition. And I'm simply not buying that.

Offline Jude

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #47 on: May 28, 2011, 11:45:25 AM »
Quote
That something is not unprecedented doesn't make it the correct choice. As for how simple I am making it out to be, yeah, it kinda is. Either people should be allowed to decide for themselves to buy raw milk, or they shouldn't. Either individuals need to have government spend a lot time and effort to protect individuals from themselves, or they don't. That we can complicate an issue with lots of words and qualifiers and hedging and the like, doesn't mean the issue itself isn't actually fairly simple.
This is the problem that I have with ideologues such as yourself.  They make everything out to be so incredibly simple and ignore the shades of grey and competing factors that are involved with every political question.  Whether or not the government should crack down on the sale of raw milk isn't as simple as painting your face blue and yelling "FREEEEEEEDOM" while wearing a kilt.

If the government cracks down on the sale of raw milk it will probably prevent the spread of many communicable diseases.  If they don't, people get to choose to consume raw milk which has no tangible benefits.  Basically what you have here is liberty for the sake of liberty (which I am not opposed to) versus cracking down on a substance who's sale really only has negative consequences for our nation.  If you think this situation is so simple, it's because the former so vastly outweighs the latter in your mind that you don't even take it into consideration.  I find that troubling.

What about vaccines?  A number of diseases that were nearly-eradicated previously have returned thanks to the anti-vaccination movement (which is actually related tangentially to the raw milk movement).  These people believe, despite the fact that there is no good evidence, that vaccines are harmful to children and have decided not to give them to their kids.  Guess what:  they're a tangible bodycount here.  The diseases we vaccinate against are dangerous and extremely communicable, and it isn't just kids dying who's parents chose not to vaccinate them.  I'm going to assume you'd be against legislation forcing parents to vaccinate their children if they choose to live in a large community/have their kid attend school?

A key component of vaccination is the concept of herd immunity because not all people are healthy enough to be vaccinated; weaken the herd immunity, and people who don't even get the choice of vaccinate or not will suffer.  We live in a highly interconnected society, almost no one is isolated anymore, your actions affect other people every day.  The choice to consume raw milk doesn't just affect the person who makes it -- if they get sick and spread that disease, it affects us all.  Then there's the idea of insurance pools, social cohesion, et cetera.

Let me be clear:  if everyone in the entire country (outside of the Amish who I'm not sure have the capability to pasteurize/homogenize) decided tomorrow that they weren't going to buy raw milk, the country would be a better place.  There are no health benefits, it isn't cheaper, and the potential for the spread of disease makes it a dangerous commodity to sell.  This does not necessarily mean people shouldn't consume raw milk from their own animals in some circumstances -- at least then you have control over the condition of the animal and you know your risks -- but even that I'd advise against unless it was necessary for some reason (for example a financial or practical matter).  This is just basic fact.

You can say you're against laws forcing the hand of people even when doing so would make our country a better place, and there are a lot of circumstances in which I agree with you, but not all.  There are competing factors here:  public good versus private freedom.  Private freedom should not always win out; and it doesn't.  Every single law we have on the books is a restriction of private freedom, even laws against murder.  In all of those situations we recognize that giving up our freedom to violently end another human being is a necessary sacrifice to make our country a better place.

I think giving up our freedom to purchase raw milk -- which has no benefits and is more expensive than processed milk -- to stop the occasional epidemic... Well, that doesn't seem anywhere near as simple as you're making it out to be.  But then again, in the black and white world view of the committed ideologue, nothing is that complicated.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #48 on: May 28, 2011, 12:11:52 PM »
I guess I'm starting to see some disparity here because you seem to be all about letting people choose, but don't seem willing to discuss potentials that can help people have a choice to make to begin with.
Yes, I am about letting people choose. That includes the people who have to run the business that provide other people with access to food.

Your anecdotes about what you or your family has done is not indicative of what everyone has done, can, or will do.
Yes, I know. No one else in the whole world can do what I and/or my family have done. I am, apparently, supposed to assume everyone else is wholly incapable ever doing what I did. What? You didn't say that? Hey, guess what? I didn't say everyone else was expected to do what I did or my family did. I explained that I am not unfamiliar with the problems.

So what is business doing to help? Part of the issue is that they're only doing what's best for their bottom line -- and I'm not saying this is unreasonable, as why else would you continue to try to sell something to people who aren't buying it -- but it also makes for a very poor outcome for the human aspect. Making fresh produce more widely available and affordable could very reasonably see an increase in consumption of those items, which would obviously be good for business.
What is business doing to help? I'm not sure what you expect them do beyond offering food people are not buying and absorbing the loss, which doesn't sound like a plan to stay in business. On the other hand, I see businesses like Wal-Mart offering pretty low prices on food, and I also people insisting they cannot allow Wal-Mart into their neighborhoods.

One thing I notice is that any criticism of how the private industry is handling things always gets deflected to "something else" (that something typically being government)
I'm not deflecting criticism of private industry. I am reacting to the suggestion grocery stores should be made to offer cheap fruit and vegetables.

I'm more interested in seeing you address how the business part is handling things than I am seeing you make everything an issue with how government is behind it all because I really don't think that it's always true and I take issue with constantly treating the private sector as a victim of Evil Monolithic Entity Governmentron 2000.
I take issue with the notion that we can solve problems by treating businesses as evil, greedy, callous bastards.

Conversely, I find it interesting and perhaps a touch hypocritical that you point to government programs such as food stamps as a positive when it suits your argument as to why we don't need to do much, if anything at all, while simultaneously picking them apart in other aspects.
I didn't say it was a positive. I said there are programs to help people in need buy food, which undermines your assertion that nothing is being done.

You're making a case for people who have money and can afford it, which is not the subject at hand.
No, I am making a case for increasing competition to address the what-ifs you posed.

This is also another crooked choice that is technically being offered but in reality doesn't actually hash out to be even remotely equal for people in poor financial standing. Do I pay an extra few hundred dollars I don't have to spare every month in case something happens and be near incapable of paying the rest of my financial obligations -- or do I go without, never or rarely be able to get routine checkups and maintain a good standard of health, and then fall into financial ruins when/if something major comes up and I am unable to foot the bill?
I am sorry that every choice in the world is not between sets of perfect options. If you expect me to believe we can fix this by legislation, you're going build a much better case than I have ever seen.

I have to be honest, I am horrified at your response to this.
I am horrified that you want to start punishing people if they believe something you have decided for them is "baseless garbage". I am horrified that you want to establish precedent for basically ignoring a person's religious beliefs and forcing someone whose religious beliefs you do not share to conform to how you believe they should behave.

How you can possibly equate an accident like falling off your bike to a parent forcing a child to bear the consequence (death) of frankly baseless garbage beliefs is beyond me.
That's nice, but I did not equate falling off a bike to "a parent forcing a child to bear the consequence (death) of frankly baseless garbage beliefs." What I did was compare accusing a parent of intending harm to a child to accusing a parent of intending death for a child.

Maybe what I said sounds mean to you,
Yeah, implying the parents wanted the children to die is mean, no matter how you spin it.

Maybe what I said sounds mean to you, but it's absolutely true of the situation -- good intent is not enough.
Good intent is not enough. This is why I oppose your solution to force other people to conform to what you want. Good intentions are not enough.

Ignorance is not bliss, it's dangerous, and what could be more evident of that than faith healing?
We cannot legislate danger out of the world. And trying to do so only creates different dangers.

I didn't mean to hit a pedestrian with my car, but I still get charged with vehicular manslaughter because my good intent doesn't have an ounce of bearing on what actually happened. Even if I testify that Jesus told me to get in my car and drive it doesn't mean I am suddenly exempt from the law because I should be free to practice my religion regardless of who is a victim of it.
So, if I follow your logic, now you're equating religion to vehicular manslaughter? Really?

Susan Atkins thought Charles Manson was Jesus and claimed she would do anything for God, even murder. You're free to defend her motivations as well, if you'd like.
And now you're assuming I want to defend murder. Wow. I see, you're one of those. "If you'd allow someone to die in this circumstance that I condemn, then you must be okay with worst case of murder I can think of."

Besides, you're starting to invoke a slippery slope. Punishing parents who kill their children through dangerously negligent beliefs is not the same as excessive measures like bubble-wrapping sharp corners and switching to spoons instead of forks.
As best I can determine, the parents in the story you brought up did not kill their children. They were not, for example carelessly flinging knives about or exposing the children to poisonous snakes. Not taking the children to the doctor was wrong, in my opinion, but I don't hold to their religious beliefs. In any case, you're avoiding my question. You apparently expect to use the law to prevent people from doing or not doing things that allow harm to children. Where does that stop? Where do you draw the line?

A father takes his son camping in the mountains. Through no fault of the father, the son slips and falls, and ends up seriously injured. By the time he gets medical care, the son is dead. Is the father guilty of negligence for taking the son so far away from medical help? Do we accuse the father of killing the son because he took the child camping in the mountains?

A young man decides to join a gang. His parents, who refuse to believe their son would join a gang, remain unaware. The young man is killed by a member of a rival gang. Did the parents kill the child because they believed their son would not join a gang and therefore did nothing to stop him? Do we assume they wanted the child to die because they chose to not attending gang awareness classes?

A young woman is kidnapped and later found dead. Her parents allowed her to go down to the park with her friends and without adult supervision. Do we bring the parents to court for negligence?

Preventable bad things happen. Where is the line drawn?

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Re: Practical Consequences
« Reply #49 on: May 28, 2011, 12:29:13 PM »
As best I can determine, the parents in the story you brought up did not kill their children. They were not, for example carelessly flinging knives about or exposing the children to poisonous snakes. Not taking the children to the doctor was wrong, in my opinion, but I don't hold to their religious beliefs. In any case, you're avoiding my question. You apparently expect to use the law to prevent people from doing or not doing things that allow harm to children. Where does that stop? Where do you draw the line?

A young child has a tumor growing on the side of her neck.  The child is less than two years old, and the tumor is the size of a softball and still growing.  The parents do not seek any treatment other than prayer.  The child shows no improvement from the prayer 'treatment', and is having difficulty breathing.  The child dies, slowly.  I watched this case.  If the group that Noelle linked is the same one, this particular group has one of the highest child-mortality rates in Oregon, and I know there are more court cases with a nearly identical pattern - the only difference being which condition, that medical intervention could have cured - is involved.  In many cases, family members that are outside the religious group have strongly recommended doctor visits.  Oh - and before we start saing 'oh, they have a right not to believe in doctors - there were people in this family who were myopic and had no problem getting eyeglasses, or diabetic and had no problem getting a prescription for insulin.  Oh yes, they had a choice to set their beliefs aside when it was to their benefit, but a child who doesn't have the ability to speak is subjected to the fatal consequences of that belief.

This is not a case of mere negligence or simple 'head in the clouds' ignorance.  There was more than just the single case that Noelle linked that brought about this law.