Morning Ed: Society {2016.08.17.W}

No! Not the Hawks! Please. Never, ever the Hawks.

Steven Horwitz writes of the fragility of children… a hundred years ago.

That time when Ray Bradbury was lectured that he didn’t understand his own book, and five other misunderstood books.

Cracked looks at suicide in the Age of Twitter.

Peter Schellhase discusses the conservative vision of Hayao Miyazaki.

John McWhorter argues that we need to start accepting a paradigm-shift in writing, that people are going to start writing more how they speak.

Ever want to know what A Wrinkle in Time would look like in map form?

Harold Bloom takes on The Weight. It’s definitely one of those songs that has stood the test of time.

Robert Greene II looks at Tom Clancy and the techno-thrillers, and what they say about their audiences.


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81 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Society {2016.08.17.W}

  1. The Horowitz essay was not convincing. Child labor was an important part of capitalism for most of its history. Families that stayed on the farm still used children to work and nearly all that moved beyond farm work sent their kids to work in the mines, factories, and other places of important at young ages. It took a social movement and the force of law to get children out of the workforce and into school for a big part of their life.

    The essay on Miyazaki was also not terribly persuasive. It was basically taking Miyazaki’s ideas and calling them really conservative and not liberal because conservatives like good things and liberals do not. See real conservatives like peace and its liberals that did the Iraq War and because conservatives are more puritanical about sex, the lack of fan service in Miyazaki makes him a conservative never mind what is going around at Fox or all those cheerleaders at sporting events or Hooters.

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    • Another way of looking at the Miyazaki essay is that it says “I like Miyazaki and what he says to say but I hate liberalism. Therefore, I will transform Miyazaki’s liberalism into conservatism so I can continue to enjoy Miyazaki without feeling ideologically conflicted or having to admit that liberals might have point, which they do not.” Its pure sophistry.

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    • Well sure Miyazaki was conservative in some ways. He regretted the decline of rural pastoral Japan as seen through his minds eye with a golden haze-a stance about as conservative as one can get. He was very assuredly liberal in other ways though; his feminism, his pacifism, his view of children.

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      • Cosigning with my brother. Not all forms of leftism value urban civilization even if most do. The environmental movement had a strong anti-urban bias along with other aspects of the Counter-Culture. In many anti-colonial movements, the city was identified with capitalism and Western imported vice while the good like was in the country. Early Labour Zionism wanted to create a new blood and muscle Jew in the country. Miyazaki’s earning for simple and rural pastoral Japan is in line with a decent part of leftism.

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    • Child labor was an important part of capitalism for most of its history.

      That’s technically true, but profoundly misleading in its specificity. Child labor is an important part of any socioeconomic system below a certain level of per-capita income, because people poor enough that it makes economic sense, and may even be absolutely necessary, to have children working. An important accomplishment of capitalism was creating enough wealth that it no longer made economic sense for the vast majority of people to have their children working, at which point it was rare enough that Roosevelt could step in and take credit for abolishing it.

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    • When I saw Mononoke, it blew my mind that the industrialist was portrayed sympathetically. Strictly speaking, that’s not so much conservative as non-New-Left, but simply by portraying industry as something that has benefits for all people, rather than the something done solely for the personal benefit of a cartoonish, cigar-chomping capitalist pig, it went far above the bar set by the childish, knee-jerk leftism I had come to expect from Hollywood.

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  2. The one about Harold Bloom and “The Weight” goes to a site talking about how Portlandians are tired of those southerners, also know as Californians, are upping housing prices.

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      • Yes, it does — however I don’t think anyone is disputing that Aetna is actually losing money on the exchange. It’s just a question of whether they continue to support it anyway. Ordinarily businesses will shed unprofitable product lines unless they see other benefits not directly related to the profits — one possible benefit for Aetna is a more favorable regulatory environment.

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        • Depends on the product line. Lots of companies eat losses on new products launched while they figure out efficiencies and pricing. Anthem broke even on their policies and expect to make a profit this year. So it’s not impossible to make money on them, especially since the deficit for Aetna is between 3-5%.

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          • Well, it may or may not be a good business decision to continue — that will depend on the business and also the specific region. It seemed like you were suggesting that absent the merger negotiation, Aetna wouldn’t be dropping those products, so I was pushing back and saying that it could actually be the opposite. But maybe I read that into your comment.

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      • Droping out may be a tactic for Aetna but there were recently other insurers that did the same. No one said It was a tactic on their part. It seems to me calling it a tactic is cover for not acknowledging the larger isseues with Obamacare.

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        • Blue Cross told Dick Durbin that it is considering leaving the Illinois market because it’s losing money. Link I doubt that has anything to do with profits or mergers. It may have to do with putting pressure on state regulators to approve hefty premium increases later this month.

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        • No one said it was a tactic, except for Aetna’s own CEO in a letter to the DOJ.

          Specifically, if the DOJ sues to enjoin the transaction, we will immediately take action to reduce our 2017 exchange footprint

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        • Some of the insurers (not Aetna) that dropped out of portions of my state summarized their position (and I’m paraphrasing here) as “At the price we need to charge to keep our provider network in those areas happy and earn the profit we want, consistent with the claims history, no one buys our policies.” The translation, when you looked at a map, was “Health insurance is not profitable in rural areas.” In some states, Aetna also is only withdrawing from the rural areas. This is an ongoing — as in for decades — problem. Programs designed for urban/suburban populations and settings work very poorly in many rural settings. I anticipate that eventually InMD’s long list of no-one-would-design-it-this-way programs will be augmented with Medicare Part R (for rural).

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          • Except the first county not to offer insurance on the exchange is a fast-growing suburban county in the Phoenix Metropolitan Statistical Area with a commuting population. The primary issue probably has to do with insurance on the exchanges being sold on a county-basis, instead of based upon the underlying healthcare provider market areas. There is a major hospital in Pinal County, but it is affiliated with a large Phoenix-based provider. Why can’t a resident of Pinal County buy an individual policy on the exchange for Phoenix?

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      • Turns out that one of the markets they’re leaving is PA, where they turned a healthy profit last year. And expected to turn another this year.

        Then again, it’s high finance really. Those guys are making CDO’s out of the sub-prime car market right now, which seems exactly like what they did to the sub-prime mortgage market that melted the world economy, but apparently THIS time it’s different, so what the heck to do I know.

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        • That’s interesting. But they’re not pulling out of all state exchanges — if this is supposed to be a smoking gun that they’re just trying to exert leverage, why are they not pulling out of the four remaining states?

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          • I dunno. Why pull out of profitable, Democratic PA and not…whatever other states they’re left in?

            I’m not Aetna. I’m certainly not, as noted, a high-finance guy who thinks sub-prime car loans is a GREAT IDEA. I’m just wondering why they’re pulling out of a state they made a healthy profit in, ostensibly because they weren’t making a profit.

            All I DO know is that while lots of people, the Democratic party not least among them, thinks there’s a lot to do to fix the ACA, the only thing that’s been done is about 60 votes to repeal it.

            As someone with…three family members who can now get insurance who couldn’t previously, I find that…distasteful.

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  3. I agree with Lee re: Miyazaki. Miyazaki is basically a center-left Social Democrat. The author can’t admit he likes a lefty so he needs to perform revisionist mental gymnastics to be able to like Miyazaki. This should be encouraged.

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  4. The greatest trick Clancy ever pulled was convincing people that his Trekian technobabble was accurate (it’s not). I did like his books though up to Debt of Honor.

    Red October was lightning in a bottle. In addition to the discussion in the article’s comments about the war gaming origins, it’s worth looking into the larger ecosystem created at the time by Clancy, Larry Bond, Steven Coontz, and (now almost wholely forgotten) Payne Harrison.

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      • Western states have never lacked for spontaneous summer-time ignition sources — dry lightning, for example. What climate warming appears to have done is changed the available fuel load for the worse. Millions of acres of beetle-killed timber. Changes in which plants grow best that favor some that are more flammable. Hadley cells have gotten wider since 1979 and have created drier conditions on average (independent of precipitation).

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    • C.f. the apocryphal pre-Revolutionary farmer who retreated into his cellar with his musket and had to be talked out by calmer heads – “What were you so afraid of?” “The Stamp Act.”

      There are things out there that are worthy of being scared of, but you have to understand them, and take appropriate actions in response.

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