Discussion Group Issues
Bill Schrader Pavilion
25 March, 2015
A – Middle class kids nowadays are seldom let loose. This has to limit their growth, as compared with the way we were brought up. Is the protection necessary?
B – Voting is compulsory in Australia and Obama has recently mused that the US should follow Australia’s example. The reason for his “like” and the Republican’s efforts to limit voting are fairly clear. What compulsory voting improve American democracy?
C – A little known gross failure of Canadian Medicare is that it does not cover non-hospital drugs until one is 65 or older, (or on welfare). The justification has always been cost. But now research estimates that a national drug plan would save about $7.3 B a year. (Having worked on such estimates, the saving would be less because consumption would rise, but so would healthiness.) Would drug coverage be a good investment? Prescription drug spending in private sector is $31.1 B in 2010.
D – A Fin was fined $103,000 (equivalent) for speeding 65 mph in a 50 mph zone. Finland found that rich people regarded traffic fines as a nuisance. To be fair, and effective, they made the base fine equal to half a day’s income, and this base fine was multiplied 15 times to arrive at the total. It is not the largest fine ever levied for speeding. Do you think its fair? (estimated annual income $5,012,667.00)
E – Climate denial pays well and is terribly effective. A new documentary exposes five of the most popular deniers as well paid self-confessed liars. My problem is I do not believe these, and other quacks, can fool everyone. In fact Pew finds that more than 61% of Americans believe climate change is true. What they do is allow politicians with other significant personal reasons for public doubt to appear credible. Agree?
F – “If an Algorithm Wrote This, How Would You Even Know?” is the irresistible title of a recent NYTimes article that tells us that much of what we read on the web. Is this what you want? What jobs will be left in a few decades?