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 AUTHOR
 213history
Joined: 9/26/2009
Msg: 229
Federal health carePage 10 of 46    (6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46)
business is theft


Phizer, Enron, AIG, GMC, Exxon, Countrywide, Chase ......



 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 230
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History
Federal health care
Posted: 3/15/2010 10:00:06 PM
^^^^Imagine all the drones in America living together and trying to run a country. Would they try to figure out which ones had the most, and all vote to steal their property for themselves? Someone should write a novel about an imaginary country in which everyone was a leech.
 213history
Joined: 9/26/2009
Msg: 231
Federal health care
Posted: 3/15/2010 11:01:14 PM
There are approximately 42 million business's incorporated worldwide full of people waking up everyday trying to find new ways to deliver better products at lower prices to their customers.


Do you seriously believe a business's objective is to provide better products at lower prices? :roll:

A business's #1 objective is to make money. Let's not forget this!

Are you including Haliburton and Blackwater as business's delivering better products at lower prices?

I view your statement as 42 milllion business's worldwide, all of which are trying to do increase profits and find creative ways to cheat the system. Backdating, outsourcing, refusal to compensate independent contractors, and underemployment prove this.

Using your logic, do you believe that sub-prime loans was about delivering a better product to the consumer or was it about the money?

I use sub-prime loans as an example, because this was an industry wide practice not limited to a few bad apples as you suggest.

While I'm here I'll address another claim from Paul

Page 317 L 13-20: PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. (The Govt tells doctors what and how much they can own!)

This paraphrase is another exaggerated claim.

I believe this clause is about conflict of interest. Example, doctor prescribing inferior medicine from a company he has stock in!
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 232
Federal health care
Posted: 3/16/2010 2:37:47 AM
JD and 213,

I think what we have is not an "either or" situation. It's a "both and" situation. Many in business want to make a living delivering better stuff. Many others want to get the most money for the least effort, and if that amounts to stealing, so be it.

How do we reward the former and restrict the latter? That's what I want to know.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 233
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History
Federal health care
Posted: 3/16/2010 9:56:11 AM

Many others want to get the most money for the least effort, and if that amounts to stealing, so be it.


I assume they ALL want that. Who *doesn't*? But you don't get it just because you want it. If there were some way for a business to make lots of money while providing very few goods or services in return, don't you think they'd all be doing it? But many of them, despite lots of hard work by everyone involved, don't survive.

You seem to be ignoring the effects of competition--when one firm is doing well, the chance for profit attracts other ones. They enter the market, and more keep entering until the average profits go down almost to zero.

You also don't explain why state corporations laws are so ineffective. How is it that state courts have decided so many cases against firms?

It's one thing to note that some burglaries, arsons, rapes, and murders are always being committed in the U.S. But it's a whole different thing to claim that means the laws against those things are lenient, that no one's bothering to enforce them, or both. In effect, though, that's what you're doing with corporations--pointing to the fact some of them break laws as proof those laws are too easy, that they're not enforced seriously, or both.

As for the health care proposal, I don't even bother to get into the maze of details in that sorry bill. I don't think the whole idea it depends on--forcing people either to buy federally-approved insurance plans or pay a tax penalty--is constitutional. This isn't the old USSR quite yet, and Congress doesn't have authority to order individual citizens to buy anything.

Framing it as a use of its power to tax looks like a fig leaf meant to cover up that fact. It's like saying that each year, everyone has to buy a certain amount of groceries on a federally-certified list, or pay a tax penalty--and if you don't do either one, we can prosecute you for tax evasion. Congress has the power to tax, all right--but it can't use it to tell us what to eat.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 234
Federal health care
Posted: 3/16/2010 12:31:12 PM

It's the same as big business, sure there can be companies who take advantage of the financial strength and squash the competition, But even though I personally am for the under dog, and hate stories of this, at least it isn't someone squashing dreams based on evening the playing field and regulating growth.


Well, squashing anyone's chance to try for their dream is simply wrong. If they try and fail, that's a whole different matter. That's why in another thread I'm saying that it's wrong to tell people not to bother applying.


It's like sports, the official is there to make sure the game is played fairly, they don't try and have any influence in the out come, the best team usually wins, Officials don't try and tell a player how to shoot or rebound, he doesn't tell a player where to stand, only that if he is in one place for too long it can cost him. Our government should be wearing stripes.... not a jersey with a number on it.


I completely agree. However, the way conservatives put it typically gives the impression that they don't want any officiating at all. I would suggest that all conservatives stick to this metaphor if that's what you mean.


And those who make the argument that if I don't like socialism, than I must not like going to school, or mailing a letter, driving on roads, or the help of the police or fire dept.... and so on. I say, that if the government didn't have a hand in a lot of these things, they would probably work better.


Well, when the market doesn't work because of relative power imbalances between buyers and sellers (in either direction), three-way transactions, or monopolistic conditions, then you have to make a different arrangement that guarantees responsiveness and accountability. As it is currently configured, there is no market in health care. There are buyers and sellers, but the consumers are not the buyers so by definition what you have is something other than a market. Given that situation, you cannot expect a market oriented approach to regulate prices or improve service. What you can expect in the absence of heavy regulation is gouging, deprivation, and the misallocation of resources--which is exactly what we have.

I'd be fine with all of those social services being contracted out to private contractors on fixed terms whose concessions come up for bid on a periodic basis under the supervision of an elected commission. If you include health care in that mix, I'd be happy with that too. I'm also fine with a single payer system if it turns out that we can provide such services more cost-effectively through assessments than through fees for service. We do that all the time for water, sewage, and so on. We could do it that way for the mail and for health care. When a market for a direct service isn't feasible, you make a market for the contracts to provide the service.


America is about the players (People) controlling the outcome of the game, not the officials (Government). When the officials calls start winning and losing games, it is no longer a players game... Get my point?


Sure do. Can't argue with you when you're right.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 235
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History
Federal health care
Posted: 3/16/2010 1:06:05 PM

And those who make the argument that if I don't like socialism, than I must not like going to school, or mailing a letter, driving on roads, or the help of the police or fire dept.... and so on. I say, that if the government didn't have a hand in a lot of these things, they would probably work better.


I've heard that same baloney. I think it must be posted on the Daily Kos, or wherever leftist drones go to get their sorry notions about things. It's a false argument they use to try to justify socialism. It relies on the cheap trick of not distinguishing between local things like streets, police and fire services, schools, etc. and federal matters.

Of course state and local governments can authorize police forces, fire departments, put in streets, and all sorts of other public things. And it's not socialism at all. That's because from the beginning of this country, states have had an inherent general power to make laws and policies for their residents. It's usually been called the "police power"--"police" in the sense of "policy." The best way to think of it is as the powers a state government needs to function.

But the federal government has *never* had any general police power, because in the Constitution, the states only gave the U.S. certain *specific* powers. So just because states and their local governments are free to decide what public facilities and services they create, that doesn't mean the federal government is free to make anything it chooses public. But that's what socialists in this country want to fool everyone into thinking. Not too surprising they have to use dishonest arguments--not many people would buy their pitch if they came straight out with it.
 213history
Joined: 9/26/2009
Msg: 236
Federal health care
Posted: 3/16/2010 1:51:43 PM
My participation on this is probably going to hurt my chances of meeting a nice woman.

Before I pump up and pop off..


<div class="quote">
Spoken like a true union employee. If you are not a union employee, you probably have wanted to be one all your life. I am self employed for the past 35 years, making "widgets"............... The ONLY way I can survive today is to make a better product or better service for a very reasonable price point, or cheaper than the other guy.

Most of the posters in this discussion belong to one category. My participation was an effort to provide a different perspective. I feel your generalizations are insulting and disrespectful to those part of unions.

I have been both a union employee (Vons) and small business owner (8 years).

I have no idea why there is so much hate for unions. Unions made it possible for many Americans to pursue life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness with jobs like supermarket cashier, construction worker, hotel workers, and truck drivers. If I remember correctly most union business's were able to reap profits for many years.

How would you feel if a corporation was selling "widgets" at a lose, just to put you out of business? Would you want protection help than?

JD: Your sports analogy was interesting. I view our government as the Commissioner of the "Game", its ensuring fairness like making sure one team has uniforms or players are not ringers. Like all professional sports, they are subject to new rules and review every season.

Your thoughts on competitive bidding sounds great, unfortunately this is not the case. I will use the bidding for the Metro Red Line as an example. The construction company won the bid by underestimating the job. Once they started construction, they activated their legal team and drove cost up. I think in the end the project was 30 million over budget...

John
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 237
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History
Federal health care
Posted: 3/16/2010 2:51:07 PM

you cannot expect a market oriented approach to regulate prices or improve service. What you can expect in the absence of heavy regulation is gouging, deprivation, and the misallocation of resources--which is exactly what we have.


I notice you don't mention that it was government intervention that first caused the people who use health services not to be the ones who buy them. New laws gave employers a tax break for providing the insurance. Making health services artificially cheap for the user increased the demand for them.

It also created a demand for new, less strictly "medical" services--acupuncture, massage, and so. Because these didn't usually compete with existing services, but just added to them, they didn't keep the price of services from increasing. State laws that prevent people from buying health insurance from firms out of state have also eliminated competition that might have kept prices down.

The tax break for employers has distorted the market for medical insurance, not destroyed it. If I buy cases of oranges and give my neighbors all they can use, the fact they're no longer buying any doesn't mean the orange market my block represented has disappeared. It just means the identity of the buyer has changed. The employer became the buyer of health insurance, instead of the employees using it.

Where was all this gouging and deprivation you warn about in, say, 1960, when most people just paid for their own medical care? You're claiming a market failure justifies government intervention, when government intervention caused the distortion in the market in the first place.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 238
Federal health care
Posted: 3/16/2010 7:02:34 PM

When I say that a bigger, or better company squashes his smaller competitor, this is life, this is what makes the smaller guy want to do better and achieve success, sure sometimes it never happens, but the opportunity is there.


Well, so long as the big guy squashes you is playing by the rules, it is what it is. But when the big guy starts rigging the game, you need someone with enough clout to set the game straight again.


Government is necessary, but it isn't meant to be a big controlling game winner. It's only there to make sure teams are playing fair, not equally, because teams have different players, and some are better than others, there will be winners and losers.


Yep.


Why? I mean I do understand, that some rules will need to be laid out, that a governing body will create an equal opportunity for all who wish to play. But that's as far as it goes. If one team becomes dominate, they will get their run of dominance until someone comes along and knocks them off, this is competition.


Unless they get too big to fail, meaning that their activities are so intertwined with the functioning of the economy as a whole that their failure would create severe dislocations that impoverish everybody. Unlike basketball, it is possible for a corporation to dominate the entire economy or a vital sector of it. When that happens, it can hold the population hostage. And this is what we just saw with AIG and the financial collapse. That's no longer competition. There is a certain percentage of market share any key sector that indicates a systemic problem. Economies are interactive systems, and at a certain point the sports metaphor simply breaks down. When that happens, we need to remember that corporations are creatures of law, not of nature, and that the people who grant the privilege of a corporation to operate (meaning those of us who are not stockholders) have the right to revoke or restrict that privilege. No one has the right, by virtue of owning stock, to bring the rest of us to ruin.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 239
Federal health care
Posted: 3/16/2010 9:15:30 PM
Seriously, how many companies have gotten even close to that. And why?


Back in the day, Standard Oil. U.S. Steel, the railroads. Hence the need for the Sherman antitrust act. In our lifetime? Most recently AIG and the big banks who were gambling on subprime mortgage-backed securities. In the '80s, the S&Ls. I'd argue that GM certainly has held us back, and I believe the oil companies have too.

I don't dispute your concerns about the government. Many of them are well founded, but not all. Would you contract out air traffic control?

Match, you claimed that the government created the 3-way transactions in health care, but actually, it was the Big 3 automakers who started providing health care insurance and set the precedent. They did that because it was cheaper than paying enough in direct wages so that their workers could shop for health care on their own.



We are talking about capitalism vs socialism, small businesses vs unions, the free market vs the government.


You are casting it either/or terms, and as long as you insist on seeing it that way we're going to continue to have bad government and skewed markets. There is a proper role for government, as you have admitted. So when you get a player like Standard Oil, what is the proper role of government in that case? And when people can' earn enough in wages to care for themselves even while the factories are creating unheard-of wealth for a few, what is the role of the people then?




We are talking about the American dream. The opportunity to find something you like to do, and have that opportunity to do it. You tell me which system works for that? Both have corruption and cheats, but you don't change the system because of corruption and cheats, You fix the problem.


The system that works is the one in which markets regulate commerce whenever market conditions prevail, and regulated utilities with open competition for contracts are used whenever marke conditions don't prevail. The system that works is the one in which individuals are afforded an education that prepares them to think critically, observe carefully, and judge properly between extreme positions on either side.

You don't have to change a system that includes sufficient checks and balances on both government power and market dominance--and that includes the labor market.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 240
Federal health care
Posted: 3/16/2010 10:05:43 PM
LOL!!! Hash browns!!! Health care as a side dish!

It still doesn't change the fact that we can't afford to pay for our own health care now.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 241
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History
Federal health care
Posted: 3/16/2010 10:57:35 PM

It still doesn't change the fact that we can't afford to pay for our own health care now.


Funny that most people didn't have any great problem paying it even in the 1960's. How did it used to work so well, not so long ago, to go to the doctor and pay him directly--just like we do with most services?

Forcing people to provide medical services at a lower price than what they cost takes is pie in the sky, meant to fool all the mindless people our public schools have become so good at creating. Reducing prices won't do a thing to reduce costs--they're completely different things.
 213history
Joined: 9/26/2009
Msg: 242
Federal health care
Posted: 3/16/2010 11:21:49 PM
Funny that most people didn't have any great problem paying it even in the 1960's. How did it used to work so well, not so long ago, to go to the doctor and pay him directly--just like we do with most services?


Health care cost during the 1960's was affordable the following reasons:

* technology and medical advances. Instruments such as the pacemaker (1952), Cat-scanner (1975) were not around. Procedures such as kidney transplant (1951)and heart transplant (1967) were not common.

*larger percentage of citizens with health insurance.

*Testing, developing and getting approvals for new medicines can take years of research and an investment of a lot of time and money. The cost is passed along.

*Labor Unions were much stronger and citizens who fought for the right to organize supported them.

John



 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 243
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History
Federal health care
Posted: 3/16/2010 11:55:24 PM

larger percentage of citizens with health insurance.


I doubt very much that a greater percentage of U.S. citizens had medical insurance in, say, 1960 than now. But in any case, why should having medical insurance affect the price of medical services? Having car insurance may determine whether the policy holder or the insurer pays for the damage caused by a collision, but it doesn't change the price of the body work.



Testing, developing and getting approvals for new medicines can take years of research and an investment of a lot of time and money. The cost is passed along.


Of course it costs a lot to get a new medicine on the market--and the pharmaceutical firm that developed it may be able to pass much of its costs to the consumer. But that's just restating the facts. You don't explain what's changed about this process since 1960 to makes medicines more expensive. Drug manufacturers had to invest a lot of time and money then, too, to get a new drug to market.


Labor Unions were much stronger and citizens who fought for the right to organize supported them.


Sure, the percentage of American workers in unions has declined since 1960, and popular support for them has probably declined accordingly. But so what? Household income--the standard of living--has continued to increase throughout most of the 50 years since then. If anything, Americans in 2010 are, on average, better able to pay for medical services (and everything else) than they were in 1960--unions or no unions.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 244
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History
Federal health care
Posted: 3/17/2010 9:52:42 AM

Really I have to buy prenatal care?


Yes--you have to buy someone *else's.* It's not the insurance companies' choice. The state makes them provide a lot of that stuff.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 245
Federal health care
Posted: 3/17/2010 10:18:27 AM

Unmentioned factors in health care cost increase might include a larger % of people living a longer period and no matter how healthy they would consume more services. The medicare program, like all free programs create a demand. like all free things we will use more and less carefully. Arguably we are a sicker society, it always strikes me how many chronic diseases like diabetes and heart conditions are in youn(er0 people.


Yep. Also, the bulk of a typical person's lifetime medical care costs come in the last year. There just comes a point where for all it's power, medical science cannot save someone and the money would be better spent providing comfort with dignity.

We are a sicker society, in part, because of the decline in our diets. A study was just recently published that linked the onset of Type 2 diabetes to the consumption of high fructose corn syrup. Look around at all the obese people who can't seem to lose weight. They're suffering from corn poisoning. What passes for fresh vegetable in grocery stores is typically two weeks old. Frozen veggies retain more nutrients than items stored that long. Although there aren't yet studies to prove the link between caffeine and heart disease, it works like cocaine on the heart. Remember that college basketball player who had a heart attack? Everyone who drinks coffee or caffeinated soda is amping their blood pressure and wearing down their hearts. The kids coming up now are projected to have a shorter lifespan than ours, and a good part of that is caused by the deficient food that is available to them.

Let's not forget the salt, which as it turns out is unbalanced. If you're not using sea salt, the composition of your electrolytes is off. When you use a balanced salt, it tastes better and your body doesn't crave more of it than you need.
 213history
Joined: 9/26/2009
Msg: 246
Federal health care
Posted: 3/17/2010 11:45:53 AM
I just realized our problem is our thinking has shifted the "every man for them self" attitude. What happened to it took a village to raise a child? Helping our neighbors?

There is a serious lack of understanding how symbiotic our society works. I much rather invest in healthier babies, than be taxed to support citizens dependent on the government throughout a lifetime. Healthy babies is a good thing.

Back to my point about labor Unions and citizen support. Ace, made an interesting point the Big 3's decision to provide health care. The companies realized by pooling their employees together gave them a powerful bargaining chip to make plans affordable. This is the exact idea currently being discussed.

John
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 247
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History
Federal health care
Posted: 3/17/2010 1:48:21 PM

Ace, made an interesting point the Big 3's decision to provide health care. The companies realized by pooling their employees together gave them a powerful bargaining chip to make plans affordable. This is the exact idea currently being discussed.


That just isn't the fact about the Big 3. Paul K. had the reasons right in #640. And if you imagine this proposal will make medical care easier to afford, the serious lack of understanding is yours. Every study of it--as well as common sense--says it will increase the costs of health care by plenty.

The same thing's happened with college tuition--the more the government has subsidized it, the more it's increased demand. And the greater demand has let the schools raise tuition--which prompts more call for subsidized loans, and so on and on, in a cycle. (The other thing this bill will do, if it's passed, is discourage people from becoming doctors. There are signs that's already happening.)

As I said earlier, tax breaks did more than anything else to encourage employers to buy medical insurance for employees. The first one of these appeared in 1943, but it was very limited. Starting in 1954, employers could deduct the cost of medical insurance for employees from their taxes, and in time it became standard practice for employers to make this insurance part of their employees' compensation.

As far as the carmakers' dealings with workers and unions, you might want to learn about the National Industrial Relations Act (or "Wagner Act.") It was part of FDR's New Deal, and by giving auto workers as much bargaining power as it did, it eventually had a lot to do with the collapse of General Motors.

The NIRA allowed the union to negotiate contracts with GM that saddled it with an enormous financial burden in pensions. Checks to people who no longer worked for GM at all represented several hundred dollars of the cost of each car it produced. That was several times what Toyota's labor contracts required it to pay ex-workers. When the competition's as tough as it is among carmakers, GM couldn't go on forever with that big a handicap. That was not the only problem GM had, but it was a very big one.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 248
Federal health care
Posted: 3/17/2010 1:56:09 PM
So Ace what does all that have to do with my freedom of choice to buy the health care plan that I want? How does this justify mandated coverage, I can choose the coverage I want on my car, house etc.


No one is going to die if they are refused insurance coverage for their house or car. The discrepancy in power between consumers and providers of health care is such that you cannot claim to have a market.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 249
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History
Federal health care
Posted: 3/17/2010 3:27:43 PM
^^^^^^I sometimes wonder what the effect will be of a Court that now has more empathy. I was reading several constitutional scholars yesterday who said they were sure the "deemed approved" rule House Democrats plan to use to pass this bill is unconstitutional. But they also said they weren't so confident courts would do anything about it.

The same may apply to the substance of this bill as to the method of passing it. Congress has no authority to make us buy something, pay a tax penalty, or subject us to criminal penalties for tax evasion if we don't do either one. If it did, why couldn't it apply that dodge to make individual Americans buy anything at all--say federally-approved vehicles, groceries, or clothes--or pay a tax penalty instead?
That sort of thing belongs in the old USSR or Castro's Cuba--not the United States. That would be nothing short of tyranny, and not a single person in this country should ever accept it.

I used to be sure the Court would never allow anything like that, but I'm less sure now. It rolled over for FDR, and I've seen how it rolled over for some of the Gitmo lawyers who now make policy in this administration. It knows how to dress up decisions to make them look official and constitutional, rather than the result of personal biases. Ms. Sotomayor doesn't even bother to hide that her personal bias has affected her decisions. In any case, it would be a couple years at least before the Court heard a challenge to anything that's being done now.

To get that boot off our necks, we may do better to turn to the ballot box than to the courts. Throw out this Congress, and as soon as we can, throw out this administration. It's full of people, from the president on down, who are ashamed of this country, dislike individual freedoms, and sympathize with our enemies.
 213history
Joined: 9/26/2009
Msg: 250
Federal health care
Posted: 3/17/2010 3:59:26 PM

The govt is bankrupt and has NEVER been more efficient than private business


This is not true. Business's taken over during WWII were more efficient.

/pumps up and pops off
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 251
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History
Federal health care
Posted: 3/17/2010 4:35:54 PM

This is not true. Business's taken over during WWII were more efficient.


I doubt that. Can you name any specific examples of these businesses, and describe how they were more efficient?
 213history
Joined: 9/26/2009
Msg: 252
Federal health care
Posted: 3/17/2010 5:04:19 PM
I doubt that. Can you name any specific examples of these businesses, and describe how they were more efficient?


I'll go back even further and cite actions taken by our government during World War I.

Eight months after the United States enters World War I on behalf of the Allies, President Woodrow Wilson announces the nationalization of a large majority of the country s railroads under the Federal Possession and Control Act.

The U.S. entry into the war in April 1917 coincided with a downturn in the fortunes of the nation s railroads: rising taxes and operations costs, combined with prices that were fixed by law, had pushed many railroad companies into receivership as early as late 1915. A year later, in a last-minute bill passed through Congress, Wilson had forced the railroad management to accept union demands for an eight-hour work day. Still, many skilled workers were leaving the cash-poor railroads to work in the booming armaments industry or to enlist in the war effort.

By the end of 1917, it seemed that the existing railroad system was not up to the task of supporting the war effort and Wilson decided on nationalization. Two days after his announcement, the United States Railroad Administration (USRA) seized control. William McAdoo, Wilson s secretary of the treasury, was appointed Director General of Railroads. The railroads were subsequently divided into three divisions?East, West and South. Passenger services were streamlined, eliminating a significant amount of inessential travel. Over 100,000 new railroad cars and 1,930 steam engines were ordered--designed to the latest standards--at a total cost of $380 million.

In March 1918, the Railroad Control Act was passed into law. It stated that within 21 months of a peace treaty, the railroads would be returned by the government to their owners and that the latter would be compensated for the usage of their property. Consequently, the USRA was disbanded two years later, in March 1920, and the railroads became private property once again.

/deactivates poisoned public educated mind
 213history
Joined: 9/26/2009
Msg: 253
Federal health care
Posted: 3/17/2010 5:28:32 PM
I understand that opposing views are difficult to hear, especially backed up by common sense and history.

There are many folks on here spouting mumbo jumbo including yourself.

Argue the post, but don't attack me if you are unable to make a rebuttal.
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