San Francisco University Lays Off IT Workers; Jobs Head to India

Nukester

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How is a tax on sugar beyond someone's control? It just means the price of a can of Coca Cola would go up a little bit. Everyone has the ability to choose whether or not to buy a sugar drink, and sugar drinks are said by experts to be one of the leading causes of obesity and type 2 adult onset diabetes.

Regarding higher healthcare costs for those with body fat percentages over 30% (not BMI, actual measured body fat estimate), its simply about paying more for statistically using more with regard to insurance. Is it fair to make a 16 year old boy in a Camaro SS pay more for car insurance than a 45 year old man in a Camry LE? I would argue yes, because the insurance costs for the former are certainly higher than the latter on average, even though no one has control over their age. Ultimately though, when you set rules, they have to be for the 99.9%, as otherwise you can name rare exceptions for just about anything.

I agree with the principle, but don't agree with the way. Agree to disagree. You HAVE to have exemptions. "The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many". ;)
 

Nukester

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How is a tax on sugar beyond someone's control? It just means the price of a can of Coca Cola would go up a little bit. Everyone has the ability to choose whether or not to buy a sugar drink, and sugar drinks are said by experts to be one of the leading causes of obesity and type 2 adult onset diabetes.

Or artificial sweeteners affect on the body.
 

lcpiper

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Seems like the only places fairly safe right now for IT workers are jobs where security clearances are needed as can't just give those away (AFAIK)

Well yes to a great degree, at least when it comes to outsourcing.

The funny thing is if you apply for a contractor position with a defense contractor company and the position is in Germany. The Germans will not let you work in Germany unless you prove to them that you are qualified, (by German standards), for the Job. Their position is that a foreigner can not take a job from a qualified German. Now the German's can't be qualified to do the job because the job requires a security clearance from the US Government, and for Top Secret positions that means a US Person only. But just saying that the job needs a TS Clearance isn't enough for the Germans, they still want all of your education and work experience on a document saying that you are qualified and why a German can't fill the job before they will allow you to work there.

I have seen people who have been hired, told to move, and when they get to Germany this process falls through, the Germans deny them permission, and they have to pick right back up and move home. I've even heard of companies letting the people go and refusing to pay the relocation costs as underhanded as that sounds.

So when it comes to Countries that are protectionists when it comes to foreign labor, no one has the German's beat unless maybe it's North Korea.
 

lcpiper

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UCSF is a medical school though,......................

Maybe they're counting the cost of having offices for the people? Rentable space? Because a lot of that number just doesn't add up.

Unless they are renting the space and facilities etc, where is the cost ?
 

toast0

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How is a tax on sugar beyond someone's control? It just means the price of a can of Coca Cola would go up a little bit. Everyone has the ability to choose whether or not to buy a sugar drink, and sugar drinks are said by experts to be one of the leading causes of obesity and type 2 adult onset diabetes.

The taxes make no sense though -- it's a tax per volume of liquid in the 'sugary beverage', so if it's 12 ounces and 10 calories or 120 calories or go full Starbucks with 300 calories, it gets the same tax. Fruit juice, milk and alcohol are also full of liquid calories, but they get a pass. Sugary drink mixes (Kool-Aid / Tang / powdered ice tea, etc) don't seem to be targeted at all either. Some studies say that non-caloric sweeteners in diet soda don't actually make a difference in body outcomes versus sugar/corn syrup, but diet soda doesn't pay the tax either.
 

Ducman69

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The taxes make no sense though -- it's a tax per volume of liquid in the 'sugary beverage', so if it's 12 ounces and 10 calories or 120 calories or go full Starbucks with 300 calories, it gets the same tax. Fruit juice, milk and alcohol are also full of liquid calories, but they get a pass. Sugary drink mixes (Kool-Aid / Tang / powdered ice tea, etc) don't seem to be targeted at all either. Some studies say that non-caloric sweeteners in diet soda don't actually make a difference in body outcomes versus sugar/corn syrup, but diet soda doesn't pay the tax either.
What doesn't make sense about the tax? If a Coca Cola in the vending machine is $1 vs 50 cents, wouldn't that affect how much you choose to consume? This isn't rocket science.

And you're arguing about how its implemented, not if it should be implemented, and there is no unified state or national implementation of this yet, so that's moot. It can be setup however you want, such as simply taxing based on corn-syrup and sugar added to sodas. So a drink with 5g of sugar in it would be taxed less than one with 50g of sugar in it per serving. Most "fruit juice" has no fruit in it whatsoever, and is full of added sugar, added sugar that can be taxed and is arguably one of the main contributors to the obesity epidemic.

I can assure you, Americans drinking too much milk is not why Americans are fat. Americans drinking unlimited refill extra-large cups of Dr Pepper are the reason that adult onset diabetes is out of control, and its costing tax payers a fortune.

The real question is have taxes elsewhere allowed people to indulge in unhealthy activities like downing sugar drinks if they want to, but discouraged how much is consumed, and the answer is yes. On average, in places that have implemented this, consumption of added-sugar drinks is down 25%. I find middle ground on things the Democrats push that I think make America stronger, and this is one of those things IMO... although not even all liberals agree, as Sanders had a hissy fit saying it disproportionately affects the poor, when its the poor that are fatter than any other demographic in the US and could save a fortune in the first place by just drinking healthy WATER.

We are (collectively) fat as fuck, particularly in industries with low-activity desk jobs like IT, and we can be stronger and better than that.
 

Exavior

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Whilst this is true, those "costs" aren't as clear as just being costs. That money goes into various internal coffers and is spent within the economy that earns it. There is a net benefit to that money being earned and spent in house. It's also invested in savings, pensions and more. If that money is paid to an outsourced company, especially one abroad, that money is lost from the economy forever. That's why, in my opinion, outsourcing is an extremely short sighted process. Not only is the service typically poorer, but the money leaves the economy entirely.

I wasn't saying that I was for outsourcing. I think that is a terrible idea. I was just trying to help explain how if you get paid $100,000 a year at the end of the year you didn't actually ONLY cost the company $100,000 because there are other things that they have to pay for also. So in the end the total cost is going to be higher. So we can't just take the total amount spent that they are saying and try to assume that 100% of that is wages.

That is a bucket-ton of money.

In South Africa we call that "Cost to Company," which is - rather surprisingly! - the total cost to the company for an employee. We have a salary and a CTC and both are listed on our payslips at the end of the month.

That is an interesting idea.

UCSF is a medical school though, it's not like 4 year college take what you want stuff. These IT guys are not "students" as a result, and I can tell you this if they were students their salaries would be absolutely tiny compared to someone who's actually hired.

I would question the need for 97 IT workers myself, and you have to realize half of those were contractors, so those don't get any of the health/pension benefits that the worker gets which might balloon those numbers a bit.

Health is the tricky one as that's a union negotiated price, but even me (as a teacher) don't save THAT much unless 1) it's just me with health, or 2) I have a lot of kids (price increase stops after the first), but having just done my taxes I think the employer paid value of the health was something over $10k a year, that's big but not super huge by any stretch.
Pension could be the issue, as those can balloon out of control if you have a large retiring workforce that ends up living a long time, but firing them does not in any way remove an employers pension responsibilities, they simply don't get as much when they retire now. But a lot of schools are getting rid of pensions in favor of cash balance accounts for new workers, so that would only increase the employer cost by 4-8%
Salaries are not going to be 100k for every IT work either, that is the senior supervisor roles, again do they really need 97 of them?

Maybe they're counting the cost of having offices for the people? Rentable space? Because a lot of that number just doesn't add up.

You live in SF so you would know the pay scale much better than me, although I really was just trying to show examples more than show concrete numbers that it HAS to be this. Although I have to say that given the cost of living there that I am very surprised that anything around $100,000 would only be management level pay only. My only comparison is Chicago which I am not that far away from. I know that there $80,000 - $120,000 is nothing for some lower level jobs. I had a few people apply for some of my open positions that was for an entry level job doing some more basic IT work and got a few people that were making within that area, had to inform them that they were looking at a job in an area an hour from Chicago with a much lower cost of living and thus lower pay than Chicago. The article yesterday about Twitter's base salary being $160,000 and too low to live off of. I guess they are paying well above average pay rate then.

As for tuition, maybe there isn't as many people taking advantage of that then. Although some still could be for their children maybe. The program is in place though for employees themselves https://registrar.ucsf.edu/registration/reduced-fee-enrollment , any active employee can save 2/3rd of the cost of schooling for either 3 classes or 9 credit hours (whichever is higher) for most classes, if selecting from a different list they can go 12 credits or 4 classes instead.

That all said I don't know what they pay for anything in the background. I just know that employees have additional cost associated with them. If I want to hire somebody I know that while I am only asking for X amount for pay there are all the other things that we as a company have to pay for. Might only come to a fraction of the pay but that is still additional cost that meant that it isn't salary = cost to company but salary + benefits + misc cost = cost to company.
 

fwiler1

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1st some things I have read.
"In 2015, 7,393 people applied and 437 were interviewed for 149 positions in the entering class" 149!! I know this is just the medical center, but still. How many IT people do you need?
"first among all public medical schools, receiving awards totaling $532.8 million"
"In January 2017, UCSF announced a $500 million gift from the Helen Diller Foundation to increase financial aid for faculty and students, invest in cutting-edge research projects and expand scholarships for dental, medical, nursing and pharmacy students."

So while receiving this money they are distributing it out to another country. I wonder if the donors knew this before hand.

2nd point.
I've worked for a global company as a server admin with as many people as this University ~6000. I didn't control the budget, but knew exactly what is was and where the money went.
I can't figure out how they are spending that much money on IT. I would really like to see where the money is going, and why so many IT staff were hired in the first place.
We had 2 support per thousand people. We had 1 for network. 1 for server. 1 programmer. 1 security in each region (4 regions) So 30 total full time, not including contractors for SAP which totalled 3.
Our budget included everything from payroll, equipment for all employees, all servers, cloud services, travel expenses, communication, internet access, software, etc..
If we had even half their budget I can't imagine what we would do with it all. And we supplied everything for employees in manufacturing, qa, development, sales, accounting, hr.

I believe the issue is how they are distributing funds, number of IT employees, number of contractors, and capital spending. And creating a real team that works together where each person knows what the other is doing.

The person in charge of the budget should be fired, for not controlling costs in the first place, and not realizing how to spend the money in the right places.
 

sfsuphysics

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Unless they are renting the space and facilities etc, where is the cost ?
Well I was thinking in the other direction, they're counting it as space THEY could rent. Or maybe they're really stretching on costs, and saying "well if they have an office, then this doctor doesn't have an office, and last year we built a new building, and newer doctors are in that, so they could have used the old space, blah blah blah" i.e. pretty thin stretch.
 

lcpiper

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Well I was thinking in the other direction, they're counting it as space THEY could rent. Or maybe they're really stretching on costs, and saying "well if they have an office, then this doctor doesn't have an office, and last year we built a new building, and newer doctors are in that, so they could have used the old space, blah blah blah" i.e. pretty thin stretch.

Yes, it's never that simplistic is it. No matter there would be costs.
 

Kaitian

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Seems like the only places fairly safe right now for IT workers are jobs where security clearances are needed as can't just give those away (AFAIK)
Correct. As mentioned before, my previous government contract stipulated only US citizens could man the contract. Microsoft wanted to use the sister team Mindtree (they use mostly Indian/Russian H-1B employees) to do the contract and asked for exception. Government told them to get bent on that.
 

lcpiper

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I just mean "encouraging". People don't enjoy feeling manipulated or with any trickery or of course worse yet force, but you can look at incentives in place for things like energy star and cars and the like, and apply some of that to health:

1) Promote building of public projects like parks, build more bicycle lanes, build bicycle locking areas near commercial areas, build skating areas, and mountain bike paths, etc. and when designing new roads and the like consider walk paths and scenery and the like to make people want to be active (my area is so dangerous, I wouldn't ride a bicycle in a million years as I would literally be killed by the out of control traffic, or at least shoved into a ditch as we have no shoulder).
2) Target the young with food education, because its important and is affecting our bottom line, far more even than say learning French or something.
3) Require very large chain restaurants to clearly advertise their nutrition labels, such as pre-printed on the wrapper for the taco-supreme or whopper with cheese, or even better would be Chick-Fil-A style where its right on the menu the calories.
4) Allow categories of health and sports equipment to be tax free
5) Allow raw vegetables and other fresh produce to be tax free to make it more economical
6) Provide tax incentives for businesses to include gyms for employees, for a building with an occupancy above a minimum threshold.
7) Break even on the tax breaks for the above two, with a tax on drinks or foods that have above a certain sugar content per standardized serving size
8) Higher insurance premiums for individuals with body fat percentages over 30%.
9) Public education that comes from the top, with campaigns like Arnold used to have with Bush to raise awareness.

We often talk about whether or not we have enough money for NASA collectively, while ignoring the fact that the obesity epidemic is estimated to be costing US tax payers $190 billion a year, and that's hurting everyone.

There are a lot of options, with the goal being not to force, but to provide incentives. Do something that helps your country = get a little something for your effort. Do something that hurts your country = get a disincentive.


Specificly with reagrds to your concept of encouraging via tax incentives and punishments, I can't disagree with you enough. As a former smoker I know all too well how horrible this is. I'm sure it didn't seem so bad to all the non-smokers, but the people who did smoke and were literally robbed of income, this is terrible policy.

I remember those days well, as my cigarette prices climbed and climbed, City Taxes on top of State taxes on top of Federal Taxes all levied on the sinner smokers. Just how do you justify making someone pay 500% more in taxes?

They said that money would go to help the smokers, and to help smokers who were having medical problems due to their smoking, phooey, that shit never happened, That money went toward guess what? It went to the people who were not smokers that's where it went.

Within ten years of the coastal cities and States taking the hard line banning smoking in bars and restaurant, the mid-west was catching up finally following suit. It didn't stop the mid-west from following along when we all started hearing that the coasts were allowing bars and restaurants to get waivers to allow smoking again.

I used to tell people how bad this was, the idea that if you can't make something illegal, just tax the hell out of it. I used to say "Wait till it happens to you". Well here you are Ducman69, you think it's OK to tax the unhealthy for the benefit of the health conscious. I remember the Army used to kick soldiers out for being overweight, but before they do that, they give you a "last chance", see if you are too heavy for your height, you are over weight, but before they are done with that, the check your body-fat as a sanity check. But part of the body-fat testing involves measuring your body and most importantly, your neck. If I remember correctly, if you had a fat neck you were screwed, or maybe it was a skinny neck, either way, I remember guys who were monsters, really heavy built guys who could not pass these tests and would get kicked out. These guys were not fat, the were not over weight, they looked like bulls ... and they failed the body-fat tests and were put out.

How much money are you going to spend monitoring peoples weight and body-fat? Will that come out of the increased taxes you charge the unhealthy? Will it work against your attempt to balance tax incentives with tax penalties?

If this had ever happened to you, you would not be suggesting this. But keep thinking these kinds of policies are a good deal and sooner or later they will get around to you too. Sooner or later it will be you getting taxed way beyond reason for the benefit of others. Crazy, your the one who needs the help and it's you're wallet they climb into.

It's wrong to use taxation as a social engineering weapon.

EDIT: Oh, and you might be wondering, I did say former smoker didn't I?

A smoker quits when he finally makes up his mind to quit and not before. My wife pushed me and pushed me, and I would quit for a little while and start again, her too. We both spent years going back and forth, frequently hiding our smoking from each other. I had money, it was robbery, but I could at least afford it. What I got sick of was the on again off again bullshit.

Now don't get me wrong, I am glad I have finally quit, it's been 5 years maybe. I honestly can't even remember, I just decided one day that "I don't smoke", and that is what I told myself, and I never did again, not one. But don't go thinking I don't have a real hate on for the assholes that took all that money from me.

When the cost of your habit jumps from $120 a month to over $500 a month you'll be pissed off about it too. So don't go getting a little fat Ducman69, don't become diabetic or have a degenerative condition that limits your mobility so that you start packing on the pounds. Be careful what you wish for or one day, even if you get a "medical pass" for your over weight condition, you'll still be going in every month to get weighted, and taped, and redo the same old paperwork to "prove" that you aren't really a fatty.
 
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Ducman69

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Specificly with reagrds to your concept of encouraging via tax incentives and punishments, I can't disagree with you enough. As a former smoker I know all too well how horrible this is. I'm sure it didn't seem so bad to all the non-smokers, but the people who did smoke and were literally robbed of income, this is terrible policy.
Of course they were, that was the whole idea. Why? Because smokers were costing other citizens a fortune for their unhealthy behavior. And its a success, as smoking went from the number one cause of preventable death and hugely expensive medical treatment (which ultimately is passed along to everyone else in our society) to I believe number four.

Sure, banning smoking would have been an option too, but a stupid one, because people have a right to do what they want, and smoking on rare occasions is not a serious health risk. So a mere tax deterrence encourages people to smoke less, or at least pay for the burden they place on society.
I remember those days well, as my cigarette prices climbed and climbed, City Taxes on top of State taxes on top of Federal Taxes all levied on the sinner smokers. Just how do you justify making someone pay 500% more in taxes?
Because I'm not allowed to just let you die. If we had a law in place that said that when smokers get lung cancer or other medical complications, we can deny them treatment and kick them to the curb and say "sucks to be you", then we would have zero right. But since smokers were reaching into my pocket and taking my money, indirectly, they should be paying for their later healthcare in advance.

They pay for this huge expense in advance via higher taxes on the cancer sticks.
How much money are you going to spend monitoring peoples weight and body-fat? Will that come out of the increased taxes you charge the unhealthy? Will it work against your attempt to balance tax incentives with tax penalties?
None. Do you want healthcare coverage? No. Cool. You're taxed a coverage waiver that covers emergency services if you need it, because again if I find you dying on the side of the street, I'm not allowed to let you die. As such, you need to cover those unanticipated emergency services you may need... kind of like liability insurance on a car.

You do want healthcare coverage? GREAT! Require an annual physical. Annual physicals drastically reduce healthcare costs, because it is far cheaper to prevent a problem than it is to treat a problem. Doing a quick body fat percentage estimate during a physical is necessary anyway, as that directly relates to your health.
 

Ducman69

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No amount of incompetent workers make up for a competent worker.
Infinite monkey theory says that eventually they will reproduce the complete works of William Shakespeare just randomly smashing keys on a keyboard.
 

polonyc2

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I think all the IT folk in the USA should move to India and take all the jobs from the Indian workers :D
 

lcpiper

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Of course they were, that was the whole idea. Why? Because smokers were costing other citizens a fortune for their unhealthy behavior. And its a success, as smoking went from the number one cause of preventable death and hugely expensive medical treatment (which ultimately is passed along to everyone else in our society) to I believe number four..................

The ends justify the means then? The good of the many out weight the rights of a few?

What about all those smokers who weren't like me, who were not able to manage such an extravagant expense?

You don't honestly think they stopped smoking?

Is that what you see when you go about your daily life, that all the lower income people out there have stopped smoking?

Do you really call a 500% increase in the cost of a product due solely to taxes a deterrence?

If it hits 600% is there another name for it or is deterrence the most severe synonym for robbery that we can come up with?

In 1982 I paid $3.25 for a carton of Marlboro Reds.
By the early 90s the price had climbed some and until the taxation rage started a carton was anywhere from $13 to maybe $18.
Then the US began using taxes as a social engineering tool and a carton of Marlboros today is $72.20 at Walmart.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Marlboro-Full-Flavor-King-Box-Carton/132575167

What about when it's not smoking, and it's not alcohol, and it's not sugary bad for you drinks.

What about when it's Red cars? They say Red cars get more tickets and so cars that are Red cost the city more because of traffic enforcement costs therefore a Red car is taxed $1,000 more than any other color car.
It's for everyone's good though.

It just is your bad luck that the new car you want, well all the ones on the lot that have driver assist are Red. Go figure

How does that happen?
 

lcpiper

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..............................You do want healthcare coverage? GREAT! Require an annual physical. Annual physicals drastically reduce healthcare costs, because it is far cheaper to prevent a problem than it is to treat a problem. Doing a quick body fat percentage estimate during a physical is necessary anyway, as that directly relates to your health.

I joined the Army in 1981, retired in 98, been a retiree since then.
How many physicals do you think that adds up too?

Never ever once have they done a body fat test on me.

In fact, other than injuries, in all those years I have only been to the doctor for let's see ....

I saw the medics in 82 for a virus
A virus almost killed me in Korea in 90
Let's see I retired in 98, ummm I smoking cessation in maybe 95 or so, until I developed an allergy to welabuterin so it was patches alone after that.

Here's the thing. I had a physical going in, a physical leaving active duty in 98, and one when I hit 50 in 2010. Three physicals in all those years and I smoked at one point 3 packs a day, 5 if I had 24 hour duty. And I avoid doing the blood work cause needles make me feint. They tell me to go do it and I just never show up. If they ever get me in again, I dodge them again.

I'm 57 now.

My kid though, she was 29 when she had a stroke, went to the emergency room, had another stroke right in front of the doctor he sent her home. Now she's all fucked up cause they didn't think someone so young would have a stroke and dismissed the obvious. Now she has seizures all the time and the doctors keep flipping back and forth, it's epileptic, it's psychological, it's epileptic. It was doctors fucked her up and doctors are still fucking her up.

Live your life, don't be stupid, and move, just move.

And stay the fuck away from doctors cause they'll fuck you up.
 

Ducman69

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I joined the Army in 1981, retired in 98, been a retiree since then.
How many physicals do you think that adds up too?
Everyone should get a physical once a year, its free and highly encouraged by every healthcare provider. If you're not going, and eventually you end up with an undiagnosed issue that requires hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of treatment, are you pulling a few hundred grand out of your savings account? Most people can't and don't. Its gotta be one way or another. Either we have socialized systems of combined risk, and we don't allow people to just die on the side of the street (I prefer this), or we take care of people with emergency and life threatening issues but then we have to have people contributing to their voluntary increased risk factors.

Put plainly, if I want to smoke ten packs a day and drink gallons of coke straight from the bottle and weigh seven hundred pounds, that's my right, but I better be throwing some extra money in the pot for my far greater chance of racking up huge healthcare bills. That's all.

Its just about being responsible by either being healthier or throwing more money into the medical pool.
My kid though, she was 29 when she had a stroke, went to the emergency room, had another stroke right in front of the doctor he sent her home. Now she's all fucked up cause they didn't think someone so young would have a stroke and dismissed the obvious. Now she has seizures all the time and the doctors keep flipping back and forth, it's epileptic, it's psychological, it's epileptic. It was doctors fucked her up and doctors are still fucking her up.
That's sad, but I don't think the doctors caused the stroke, nor would regular checkups once a year have caused the stroke either. It can't hurt to have yourself checked out, and once a year isn't that often. Doctors are humans, and I'm sure they are trying their best.
 

Ducman69

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The ends justify the means then? The good of the many out weight the rights of a few?
You're making something complicated that is really simple.

If there are ten of us at a party, and we agree to go in together on pizza, and you eat one slice like everyone else, but I eat fifteen slices... should I pitch in the same amount of money as you, or more?

You pay for your contribution of risk/cost. The more risk/cost you are, the more you should contribute. The more you smoke, the more you increase your risk for high healthcare costs, so the more you should contribute in taxes. That's fair.
What about all those smokers who weren't like me, who were not able to manage such an extravagant expense? You don't honestly think they stopped smoking?
Yes, I think a lot of people factor cost into how much they smoke, or stop entirely. It worked for my coworker, as he stated it was getting too expensive and went cold turkey. And for people that still want to smoke a ton, that is their right.

But if you're going to place a burden on society later, pay up extra in advance. That's not too much to ask.
 

lcpiper

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You're making something complicated that is really simple.

If there are ten of us at a party, and we agree to go in together on pizza, and you eat one slice like everyone else, but I eat fifteen slices... should I pitch in the same amount of money as you, or more?

You pay for your contribution of risk/cost. The more risk/cost you are, the more you should contribute. The more you smoke, the more you increase your risk for high healthcare costs, so the more you should contribute in taxes. That's fair.

Yes, I think a lot of people factor cost into how much they smoke, or stop entirely. It worked for my coworker, as he stated it was getting too expensive and went cold turkey. And for people that still want to smoke a ton, that is their right.

But if you're going to place a burden on society later, pay up extra in advance. That's not too much to ask.

Ahh, we want fair then?

Cause we all know how fair the world is. We all know how fairly the government applies fairness. You think the way to handle this is through taxation. Sounds fair.

I live in Arizona less than 30 miles from Mexico. My wife and I, just like so many others, used to go to Mexico for tourist reasons. Then this "fairness" started getting real, so real that it was cheaper to buy cigarettes in Mexico so we started buying them there. We started noticing that it was taking longer to cross the border, the traffic was increasing, and prices for cigarettes in Mexico was going up as well, cheaper even making the trip, but demand was certainly up. Of course we also started hearing about other sources of cigarettes that weren't taxed, a black market for cigarettes was growing. I think a lot of American money was going to Mexico.

But then the cartel shit heated up and the border became too dangerous to screw with. There were still long lines of people crossing the border but it's mostly all Mexicans now. Tourism is dead on the border these days. But don't put too much confidence in decreased sales reported by tobacco companies as a sign of how effective this has all been.

When I was in the Army very few Officers smoked and the Army was making some progress in reducing smoking in the ranks. But with the war that all changed right away. Shit they almost all smoke now, even the officers, openly. You never saw an officer lighting up out where enlisted could see them before the war but now, all that has changed. 15 years of that has erased all the gains you think they made through social engineering. You just won't see it for awhile longer cause these people stay so fit otherwise but wait awhile and watch the healthcare costs linked to the military war vets. 15 years of a revolving door of recruitment created a whole lot of new smokers.

But like I said, wait until it's you and we'll see how you feel about driving social change through taxation. Maybe then you'll remember this conversation.

As for the "burden", everybody dies Ducman69, from one thing or another. If Smoking isn't what's killing them it's diabetes or a car accident, whatever. Something is going to kill every single one of us now or later. You aren't eliminating those costs, you are just forestalling them. Some people think of this thing like they are going to save a life and that isn't happening.

You are not saving any money doing this, you are just stealing from people with a good excuse to fool yourself with.
 

Ducman69

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As for the "burden", everybody dies Ducman69, from one thing or another. If Smoking isn't what's killing them it's diabetes or a car accident, whatever.
Its about paying for risk, and as I mentioned I also think healthcare costs should be higher for people that engage in a risky lifestyle such as gross obesity that causes adult onset type 2 diabetes. Its your life, you do whatever you want, but someone has to pay the healthcare costs in the end, so contribute more into the pool while you can. Same with driving. Everyone drives cars, but people that engage in risky behavior have higher insurance premiums than people who don't.

You're paying for risk, and the risk is how much of a bill you are likely to incur. You seem to be selling the idea that no matter how much of a bill you are likely to rack up, you shouldn't have to contribute more and just take money from everyone around you. That doesn't make sense.

If everyone was equal risk and equal cost, everyone would contribute the same. But if people wanna eat 6000 calories a day of salty fast food and drink a lot of alcohol while smoking three packs, hey, that's their choice, but they should pay in advance for the greater risk they are incurring so that when ultimately the bigass healthcare bill comes, they have contributed a bit more over the years to pay for their risk.
 

lcpiper

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Jul 16, 2008
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Its about paying for risk, and as I mentioned I also think healthcare costs should be higher for people that engage in a risky lifestyle such as gross obesity that causes adult onset type 2 diabetes. Its your life, you do whatever you want, but someone has to pay the healthcare costs in the end, so contribute more into the pool while you can...................

So who's insurance isn't paying ?

Oh wait, I forgot, we are giving away health insurance for free these days, or were, maybe.

Now I see your point, all those people getting free healthcare but a kink in the system and so now we have to come up with a whole new model. Now only are we going to allow insurance companies to raise premiums for risky behaviors, we are going to lay unbelievably taxes on them as well.

But people still only die once. And it doesn't matter how health a life style you adhere too, the simple facts are, unless you are killed in a straight up accident, chances are, sooner or later, something is going to put you into a hospital, the docs won't be able to "cure you", and you will die there or in a hospice, or maybe at home. The costs aren't going to be cheaper just because it wasn't smoking that killed you. Hell most smokers die from heart attack, stroke, or incurable cancer in which case, they actually go on the cheap. But it doesn't save any great amount of money postponing the day or swapping one death for another. Shit, they keep people who are dead technically alive and billable all the time. Now that's money you could save if you changed that bullshit.

You are giving all of this effort far too much credit. And the cost ...... I'll keep saying it, wait until it's something else, wait until it's you. Then we'll see how you feel about it. Cigarettes went from $14 to $72 a carton and that's like five times the cost.

Wait until it's the cost of bicycles because of the rise in bicycle use, we get an increase in accidents and costs and someone says whatever is costing us too much so your $200 bicycle is going to cost $1,000 and they tell you your money is going to go to help pay for increased bicycle safety and instead it goes to support others, others who are not the bicycle crowd.
 

lcpiper

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Ever hear that saying?

"Some people just can't go near a cliff, without jumping off"
 
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