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TOPIC: WTF
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That is really what i find so fascinating about people, and one reason I became a social worker.

The examples are endless. The gas example, voting behavior, spending habits, relationships. There is almost no limits to how some people will delude themselves.

We used to have a lot of family poker games. Almost every weekend. It used to frustrate me to no end when a family member would come to the game and say, "I have to win tonight or I don't have gas money for the week..."

WTF are you doing here, then? Of course, I would make it my mission to break them, so they really didn't have gas money. I'm kinda a bastard that way...

But they always managed to get to work the next week.

San Diego CA
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Mrs. VA has noticed my building frustration with people in general over the last couple of years and composed a hypothesis. For a very long time I spent my time around other scientists, people who thought like I did and could follow these arguments, people who lived and died by numbers and understood these things.

For the last now almost 8 years I have been withdrawn from this environment and this has removed my outlet to have discussions with people who I can relate to. I get very little of this from my current work. Well, sometimes with the guys at the FBI, but not often. I get to USE my math and reasoning in my job, but I am rarely challenged on it, and when challenged I have never lost.

So yes I'm impatient, and you could describe me as an arrogant intolerant prick. Ok. I'd rather talk about something else like boobs, cycling or . I need to stay out of topics like this; they will earn me nothing but isolation.

Windermere FL
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I guess I cannot understand why people can't realize that basic arithmetic will save them from countless bad decisions in life. People will not go to the doctor because they can't afford it, but then blow $150 on a night out drinking. They post on facebook that they can't afford gas from their $1,000 iPhone.

Every time the price of gas goes up you see some idiotic poll about people cancelling their vacations because of the high price of gas. A fairly extreme example is from mid-2007 when gas prices were up around $4 a gallon from what was $1.50 pre-Katrina. A WNBC/Marist poll showed that 55% of Americans were either canceling their vacations altogether or altering their plans due to the price of gas.But does this make sense with the math?

If you're driving 800 miles for a vacation, and your car gets a shitty 20 mpg, that's 40 gallons. At $2.50 a gallon above and beyond the $1.50 a gallon 2 years earlier, your cost of your vacation went up $100.

55% of Americans will cancel or alter a vacation over $100? If your vacation budget won't accommodate a $100 gas bill, I argue that you couldn't really afford a vacation, could you? No. $1,000 a day at Disney for a family of four, no problem, but the $10 extra in gas to get there? Fuck that....

The world belongs to people who can do math and more importantly know what to do with it. I've said this before. Either learn it or get steamrolled by someone who did.

Windermere FL
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I would actually look at CEO pay not in relation to total revenue, but individual possible income from other sources.

In many cases the compensation for these guys is inflated to obscene levels. Yeah, I know, what is obscene?

Compensation is often (or maybe it is just the guys we hear about) largely stock options. This gives the receiver a perverse incentive for short term gain at the expense of the long term health of the organization or society at large.

So the guy is not going to give up a $10 million (or whatever) stock option by making a decision that negatively affects the stock price, even though it may be the right thing for the long term.

San Diego CA
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I dislike that jalapeño and don’t believe it worth a penny. That jalapeño’s ass ain’t on the line when it comes time to eat and it’s just been taking a free ride in my basket because The grocer places it there without my consent.

Just sayin’. :-)

~Allen

Charles Town WV
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Current, this isn't directed at you so much as you just happen to be the most recent person to set me off on the topic. So, this isn't completely personal.

"I follow your math VA, but I don't like where it leads, so here's a general complaint about the cost of health care..."

I don't care how many enemies it makes me, I refuse to bend to this sort of warped thinking that you choose to ignore a mathematical certainty just because you find it unpalatable. It's obviously not just you - look down this thread. It blows my mind how smart people can be so illogical and blind when it comes to the inability to accept undeniable and provable truths that they "don't agree with". I may not agree that it's 75 degrees outside, or I might not like it, or maybe I can't even explain it, but no amount of how I feel about it is going to change it. I can't just deny it just because I don't like it. (although actually, I rather do like it)

To blame your $200 cart full of groceries on the TEN CENT (0.05%) single jalapeno in it is stupid. There's no nicer way to say it. It's just stupid. This is the reality, and no amount of not agreeing with it (or changing the subject) is going to change it. This is what the CEO of Pfizer is to the cost of Pfizer drugs - a $0.10 jalapeno in a $200 cart of groceries. I am not going to entertain the argument that that jalapeno is the reason (or even A reason) the groceries are so expensive anymore. If you can't understand that, I can't help you.

I am beyond done on this topic. As tbr would say, I'll try to be nicer if you try to be smarter.

Windermere FL
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Interesting discussion.

I follow your math VA but I don't buy into the old general saw that "executive compensation gets lost in the rounding" of the company's balance sheet. Note that I don' single out the CEO here from the larger corporate culture. I think this applies regardless of the particular industry involved but, given the particular regulatory environment the drug companies work in, and the strategic response of the industry to that regulatory/competitive environment, there has been a fairly well deserved antipathy toward big pharma. In recent years one expression of this has been a backlash in the provider community to the influence of marketing money (bling and junkets for two examples) by pharmaceutical sales people on practitioners. The concern has been the conflict of interest vis a vis what's in the patient's best interest. Currently much of the focus seems to have shifted to perceived anti competitive activity within the generic manufacturing industry

I recently brought up the theory that, as in the cost of higher education, the overall framework of runaway inflation in health care in general, as fundamentally rooted in the way we pay for these things. Good bad or indifferent, I think you can agree that the whole discussion would would have a different frame of reference if we as a country had a single payer system. I'm no offended by obscenely compensated CEOs nearly as much as I am offended by the fact that when someone I love gets sick their main focus is on avoiding bankruptcy for their family rather than getting well. There is no other first world country where this is the case.

Wenatchee WA
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A CEO spends half his time babysitting employees so that they preform on time and on budget. The other half the the time is spend wheeling and dealing with everything from suppliers to goverment to end users. This is done many times on the golf course or at formal parties where the wife is part of the action.

Without a sharp savvy wife no man can become a CEO and can only rise to VP of the company.

Employees are the biggest nightmare for any CEO or boss, a constant soap opera that one has to deal with the keep them working and meeting deadlines on time and on budget.

Never again will i have employees, never, then the unions come and terrorize my employees until they vote union and i have to deal with all that shit.

Las Vegas NV
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Actually, the CEO in any corporation is responsible for increasing shareholder value, within the law and at the direction of the Board of Directors. Period. The CEO reports to the BoD, and the BoD reports to the shareholders.

However, there's a lot of wiggle room in that. Depends on how much power the BoD cedes to the CEO, how the by-laws are written, etc. The company strategy (short-term gains, long-term gains, social responsibility, corporate ethics etc) are designated by the BoD, and the CEO is directed to run the company by those guidelines. Oftentimes, the BoD takes a hands-off role and simply provides a limited direction to the CEO like, "make us money, but don't get us thrown in prison". That's where you often run into corporate problems.

In any case, the BoD has the most culpability, either by being lazy and not properly supervising the CEO's work or by being rapacious assholes who direct the CEO to make money by any means necessary. Or some mix of the two.

Waxahachie TX
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Uh, alright.

Windermere FL
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TOPIC: WTF
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