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Thread: So What Should The Government Be Doing Then

  1. #1

    Default So What Should The Government Be Doing Then

    There's been some ranting about the taxes and spending and so on specifically with the recent "deal" to spend like crazy for unemployment benefits and tax cuts up and down the income spectrum (I unloaded yesterday and I feel much better today for it, thank-you-very-much). There's also the money-printing the Fed's doing. And then there's the austerity approach the Euros are doing, about as opposite as you can get from the US, I suppose.

    Well, there's a few in this community who posture themsleves as knowledgable and/or level-headed on these things (you know who you are), and I've noticed they've stayed away, largely, from the ranting.... so:

    Regarding the US deficit, and the tax cuts up and down the spectrum, and economic stimulus, and the spending vs. austerity approaches to dealing with the global economic situation, and so on, would the level heads mind giving an assessment and an opinion on what ought to be done and why?

    Ranters: please hold back until we get some thoughtful responses.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    There's been some ranting about the taxes and spending and so on specifically with the recent "deal" to spend like crazy for unemployment benefits and tax cuts up and down the income spectrum (I unloaded yesterday and I feel much better today for it, thank-you-very-much). There's also the money-printing the Fed's doing. And then there's the austerity approach the Euros are doing, about as opposite as you can get from the US, I suppose.

    Well, there's a few in this community who posture themsleves as knowledgable and/or level-headed on these things (you know who you are), and I've noticed they've stayed away, largely, from the ranting.... so:

    Regarding the US deficit, and the tax cuts up and down the spectrum, and economic stimulus, and the spending vs. austerity approaches to dealing with the global economic situation, and so on, would the level heads mind giving an assessment and an opinion on what ought to be done and why?

    Ranters: please hold back until we get some thoughtful responses.
    1. Repeal Obama's Health Care Bill.
    2. Fix SS by gradually increasing the age where someone can receive those benefits. People are living longer. In addition aggressively combat SSI and Disability fraud.
    3. Eliminate excess government bureaucracy. Actually shrink the government by lowering the number of people who work at the government. Eliminate hold sections that are not needed, DEA/DOE.
    4. Ban earmarks.
    5. End Freddie/Fannie. End Mortgage/HomeEquity/RV interest tax deduction.
    6. End tax credits for things like hybrid/electric vehicles. Though who delight in class warfare should be happy since most people who buy those things typically have above average income....
    7. End double taxation via taxes on business then taxes on those who own the business. At the same time eliminate capital gains tax rates and just consider any income to be.... *drum roll* income.
    8. Federal government should quit subsidizing states.
    9. Legalize drugs, prostitution and gambling.

    There is give and take of taxes. Lowered taxes with the removal of the corporate tax rate and Obama Health Care bill. Raised taxes on things like capital gains and homes/ eliminate tax credits that are an incentive to buy the hybrid/electric vehicles. Reason for this is that the government should not encourage particular types of investment, housing or car purchases. This creates market distortions that lead to things like our recent financial crisis a couple of years ago.

    Government is saving money by trimming the size of the government (banning earmarks, end subsidizing of states, eliminating laws that hurt freedom that also take up the time of DEA and federal courts, raising SS age gradually and removing Freddie/Fannie from the picture.)

    Now because these would be tremendous shocks to the system I would support a gradual event on all of these. IE Freddie/Fannie would be mandated to raise standards on loans they will back so they will only do 80% of the business next year, then 60% then 40% ect. Ditto with the interest tax deduction being removed. Since many planned on having that deduction when purchasing a home I would extend that plan over 10 years. IE next year only 90% of what they would have otherwise been able to deduct the next year 80% ect.

  3. #3
    So much for reading comprehension.

  4. #4
    EK - I think either everyone who has an opinion on this will think they fall into the 'thoughtful' category and not the 'ranter' one, or no one will. Why don't you just open it up to everyone, but limit responses to a single post?

  5. #5
    I am perfectly willing to keep my trap shut if the less insane people want to discuss things!
    In the future, the Berlin wall will be a mile high, and made of steel. You too will be made to crawl, to lick children's blood from jackboots. There will be no creativity, only productivity. Instead of love there will be fear and distrust, instead of surrender there will be submission. Contact will be replaced with isolation, and joy with shame. Hope will cease to exist as a concept. The Earth will be covered with steel and concrete. There will be an electronic policeman in every head. Your children will be born in chains, live only to serve, and die in anguish and ignorance.
    The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

  6. #6
    I must be one of the ranters, since I've started a thread on all those topics.


    My thoughtful input is the same shit I rant about. We have a lot of problems. We usually tackle them piece-meal, but that isn't working. We've seen what generations of procrastination looks like, and it's ugly and full of rot.

    I think we need our government (federal and state) plus our business leaders, Educators and Scientists to stand back and take a good, hard look at the State of Our Union. Acknowledge that we're in decline, with too many structural flaws and deficits to keep applying band-aids. We need to have a Manhattan Project moment, treat this as a national crisis. Re-define what kind of country we want to be moving forward, not resting on our laurels of the past.

    Then make some bold moves like scrapping our entire tax code, start over fresh. Get our troops out of foreign wars that aren't doing anything good. Focus on making our Education and Health systems excellent. Prepare our youth to be flexible and employable in new ways, with higher standards and expectations, ready to compete with the world (and not just ourselves). Rebuild our decaying infrastructure, updating for the 21st century and beyond. Force our legislators to "drain their swamp" and streamline process, limit lobbyist power, demand accountability. Get to a place where teh gummint isn't seen as teh evil or a big problem, but works as intended for The People with Civil Servants. Do a better and more comprehensive job of regulating our financial system actors, so they can't topple our whole country.

    We need to stop demonizing concepts like SSSocialism or Welfare, and accept those will be part of a civilized democratic society. We need a bit more of nationalism or even "protectionism" and stop using those as derogatory slurs. We should admit that some of our biggest threats are coming from within, structurally and ethically, and stop this slow suicide.
    Last edited by GGT; 12-09-2010 at 08:57 PM.

  7. #7
    #1. A ranter is defined as one who rants without resorting to asking questions and reasoning out answers. Or something.

    #2. If you don't post a rant but try a reasoned response, then you're not a ranter. Take Lewk for example. Short on reason, but he's got a plan. Or something.

    #3. We have some people on the forum here that are pretty proud of their academic pedegrees and related accumulated smarts - you know who you are - so lets hear it. I want to hear a well reasoned opinion about why this recent 'deal' is not a total and complete hypocritical fuck up. I want to hear why its a good thing or bad thing. And I'd like to hear what good policy might be. And I'd like to hear it in the context of good reasoning - not following party line, not parroting Glenn Beck, not saying what we all know is true, not regurgitating what the Econ 305 text book said, but actual thinking, maybe actual experience and observation of things that have already happened in the past or something. And I'd like the real-world consequences of things like letting benefits expire or eliminating social security addressed. If more people have to go homeless and hungry to make a better nation, then say so.

    My mind is open to convincing because I can't make heads or tails of how bad things really are vs. why the government's doing what its doing and where this is all headed. Does any of this matter and should I just relax? Or does it matter a hell of a lot and I should be really worried because people are doing really stupid, unfixable things.

    Is that too much to ask for?

    I might as well add it to my Christmas list.... (I'm almost certainly on the Naughty List, though...)
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    EK - I think either everyone who has an opinion on this will think they fall into the 'thoughtful' category and not the 'ranter' one, or no one will. Why don't you just open it up to everyone, but limit responses to a single post?
    This is an uncharacteristicly short post. I wasn't really thinking to have that kind of control of the thread, but I was hoping to see something with a more academic feel. A sort of "...this is a good thing and this is why..." or "...that could really bite us in the ass if this happens but they are betting that will happen, back in 1908, it happened like this so they are going on past experience..." or "...this is a really foul mistake, if you look at what happened in Hungary in 1899, its the same situation and will probably have the same result..." or "....Professor so and so recently suggested blah blah blah would be a better move and his thinking is based on study hargle bargle, so hoop de doo . . . . "
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  9. #9

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Ominous Gamer View Post
    and instead you got Lewk
    I know. He made a good-faith effort though. I read his whole thing, though I didn't really have a comment. He doesn't like hybrid-EVs for some reason. I think its not uncommon, and not without positive results, for the government to put investment and incentives out there to develop certain technologies that would be very good for the future of the nation, and even the world, but might not materialize in an entirely unguided market situation. Not sure why he's got such an issue with that.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    I know. He made a good-faith effort though. I read his whole thing, though I didn't really have a comment. He doesn't like hybrid-EVs for some reason. I think its not uncommon, and not without positive results, for the government to put investment and incentives out there to develop certain technologies that would be very good for the future of the nation, and even the world, but might not materialize in an entirely unguided market situation. Not sure why he's got such an issue with that.
    It goes back to what people think the role of government should be. I do no think government should be the one to guide society on the "right" path. Choosing economic winners and losers by distorting the market and encouraging/discouraging behavior goes against what I believe the government should be doing. In addition the handout isn't even focused on people who might need help, almost everyone who makes use of that credit will be above average income... and liberal.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    I know. He made a good-faith effort though. I read his whole thing, though I didn't really have a comment. He doesn't like hybrid-EVs for some reason. I think its not uncommon, and not without positive results, for the government to put investment and incentives out there to develop certain technologies that would be very good for the future of the nation, and even the world, but might not materialize in an entirely unguided market situation. Not sure why he's got such an issue with that.
    It goes back to what people think the role of government should be. I do no think government should be the one to guide society on the "right" path. Choosing economic winners and losers by distorting the market and encouraging/discouraging behavior goes against what I believe the government should be doing. In addition the handout isn't even focused on people who might need help, almost everyone who makes use of that credit will be above average income... and liberal.

  13. #13
    So Lewk hates the environment? Guess an idea like this would really get to him then:
    really fucking long:





    but really, above average income? for owning a hybrid? Does the CR-Z really need anymore help inflating a ricer's ego?

  14. #14
    ricer?

    Can you post link to the comic strip its annoying having to scroll to the bottom to go right and left since it doesn't fit on the screen.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    ricer?

    Can you post link to the comic strip its annoying having to scroll to the bottom to go right and left since it doesn't fit on the screen.
    This is why you need to learn how the quote button works, since that would have given you the link.
    http://img258.imageshack.us/img258/6...entaxshift.png

    Ricers, street racers with needlessly modified import cars. A new favorite is the CR-Z, a hybrid car that comes in under $20,000. Making it cheaper than the Camry, Altima, Fusion, Genesis, and every muscle car. Hybrids are no longer only upper bracket people movers.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    It goes back to what people think the role of government should be. I do no think government should be the one to guide society on the "right" path.
    There is no other entity that can and will guide society. And doing it via government isn't so bad when its somewhat representative of the public, like ours. In a sense we the poeple are guiding the nation through the government. And what worse way to make certain decisions is there than the market? Think cigarettes. Think fast food. Think television programming. Think viagra. Think disco!!!Its not absurd, its ludicrous to say the market's the best way to shape national policy and goals.
    Choosing economic winners and losers by distorting the market and encouraging/discouraging behavior goes against what I believe the government should be doing.
    Its not just about economics, though. And its not just about fair competition within our national borders.
    In addition the handout isn't even focused on people who might need help, almost everyone who makes use of that credit will be above average income... and liberal.
    Its not just about people that need help, either. Its about laying the ground work for the next big global industries and trying to make sure the US economy gets a share of the opportunity despite our dogged refusal to accept what is coming. Otherwise its too late and twenty years down the road we're importing all our cars and exporting all the profits. And don't think every other nation in the world isn't priming the pump in their own economies to get a leg up in the new energy and transportation industries that the world is most certainly going to embrace in the coming years.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  17. #17
    Sweet comic OG. How does that work when the competition is international but the regulatory and tax based incentives are not?
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    There is no other entity that can and will guide society.
    Personally I believe in a free society. One where people are only constrained from doing direct harm to other people. I do not want an overlord (be they a despot or a tyranny of the majority) to guide society/ie tell people what they can and can not do. This is a fundamental difference between liberty and control. You would like a benevolent government to guide people to a better life. The issue is - there will never be this Utopian "better" government that can guide people. Corruption will always occur and special interests will always dominate any legislative process. The only solution to avoid corrupt freedom destroying government is to try to limit the government as much as possible and only use coercion to prevent violence/theft/rape/ect. Government is necessary. A necessary evil. While the alternative to any government (pure anarchy) is terrible we should never forget government is and always will be an enemy to freedom.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    Personally I believe in a free society. One where people are only constrained from doing direct harm to other people. I do not want an overlord (be they a despot or a tyranny of the majority) to guide society/ie tell people what they can and can not do. This is a fundamental difference between liberty and control. You would like a benevolent government to guide people to a better life. The issue is - there will never be this Utopian "better" government that can guide people. Corruption will always occur and special interests will always dominate any legislative process. The only solution to avoid corrupt freedom destroying government is to try to limit the government as much as possible and only use coercion to prevent violence/theft/rape/ect. Government is necessary. A necessary evil. While the alternative to any government (pure anarchy) is terrible we should never forget government is and always will be an enemy to freedom.
    So indirect harm shouldn't be hindered by government control?
    .

  20. #20
    Luckily Lewk didn't repeat that rant in his local walmart

    If Lewk's understanding of what freedom meant was anywhere near sane, the debate might have been constructive and interesting. Except, as he has shown so many times before, sanity and constructive debate ain't showing up anytime soon.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Being View Post
    So indirect harm shouldn't be hindered by government control?
    I don't want to get into too many details but it all depends on what you consider indirect harm. For example if I open up a business that undercuts sales for a product you are selling that would be an example of "indirect harm" and the government shouldn't get involved.

    Now on the other hand if I run a night club right next to your home that has loud music playing at 3:00 AM that would be something I would consider it "direct harm." Now other people would view direct/indirect in other fashions. And of course there is no easy rule or maxim that can be used to describe every possible scenario but I hope you get the idea.

    Now if you are

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    ....Government is necessary. A necessary evil. While the alternative to any government (pure anarchy) is terrible we should never forget government is and always will be an enemy to freedom.
    Odd way to use the terms evil and enemy. Government is necessary to protect our freedoms, too.

    Sounds like you want to return to the 18th century Wild West with a Sheriff in town.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    You would like a benevolent government to guide people to a better life.
    Don't tell me what I would like. That's not only totally unnecessary to this discussion, the statement is also incorrect. The reality is that our nation faces problems that can't be solved by individuals exercising their rights in a free market. You know this, its why we have a military and a law & order system. But its not limited to national and personal safety. There's issues of public health as well and an extension of that is the environment, which is why we have the Clean Water act and the Clean Air Act. Beyond that there's economic competition to consider - the system of import duties and import security and consumer protections that keeps individuals safe and our economy safe from unfair foreign competition.

    Somewhere in there is the reality that the rest of the world's economies, aided by their governments, are tooling up for the Next Big Thing, which is alternative energy and transportation. Its going to happen and the market isn't going to get us there. If we sit back and wait, we will not be able to compete, we will lose those opportunties to our competitors. THAT'S what HEV incentives - and wind and solar too - are all about. It's what investment in scientific research is all about. Without these things we'll end up a backwater economy.

    The issue is - there will never be this Utopian "better" government that can guide people.
    No, this has nothing to do with what I was talking about. I don't believe in Utopia. But I believe in a central government leveraging (some of) the collective resources of the nation to help guide and boost the private sector. Sometimes its very necessary.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    Don't tell me what I would like. That's not only totally unnecessary to this discussion, the statement is also incorrect. The reality is that our nation faces problems that can't be solved by individuals exercising their rights in a free market.

    No, this has nothing to do with what I was talking about. I don't believe in Utopia. But I believe in a central government leveraging (some of) the collective resources of the nation to help guide and boost the private sector. Sometimes its very necessary.
    Your preferred role is for government to be the guide. You believe this is necessary, your own words show that you want the government to guide people. Maybe you feel this should be more limited then a command and control run economy but you still believe the government's role is to guide people. Call it "leveraging the collective resources" or guiding its the same thing.

  25. #25
    Lewk, do you oppose federal funding for NASA, or that we sent men to the moon with government-guided goals and money? How about medical research funded by the CDC or NIH, or things like vaccinations? What about agencies like FDA or FAA, setting national safety standards for our food, planes, trains and automobiles?

  26. #26
    Listening to White House press conference with Bill Clinton weighing in.....he briefly brought up a great point that I hope everyone pays attention to.....

    The government has done pretty much everything it can do, to 'stimulate' the economy, 'grow' jobs, 'prop up' credit and banking. Those 2 TRILLION corporate dollars are still sitting there, not being put to work. If banks can lend $10 for every $1 of collateral, that's 20 TRILLION dollars available for credit and loans for business, for capital expenditures, expansions, hiring.

    *Put it to work. Plenty of tax credits and carrots have been created for the private sector, so stop saying 'uncertainty' is holding back investment in America. Show some spine and even a bit of nationalism as the incentive. Stop waiting on the sidelines for more government help or special favors. Step up to the plate, get America back to work.

    JUST DO IT.*


    edit #2: It's time to stop dissecting the political side-show circus, it's really just a huge distraction.

    For all those people who love to bang the drum for Freee Markets and Freee People, where's the pressure on private business and big corporations to fly their true colors? Are they willing to watch the US circle the drain while counting and mounting their personal profits? Is it more important to chase money in emerging markets, than to strengthen the US in its growing potential as re-emergent? What about viewing our People as our most valuable asset? Whatever happened to putting your money where your mouth is, and national alliances? When did that kind of patriotism get jumbled up in protectionism and become a dirty word?
    Last edited by GGT; 12-10-2010 at 09:21 PM. Reason: * My opinion

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    Lewk, do you oppose federal funding for NASA, or that we sent men to the moon with government-guided goals and money? How about medical research funded by the CDC or NIH, or things like vaccinations? What about agencies like FDA or FAA, setting national safety standards for our food, planes, trains and automobiles?
    NASA has important defense related implications. I don't think its too important these days but during the Cold War I would have supported the funding.

    CDC again also has defense implications in regards to the use of biological weapons. I don't really know what all the CDC does but I'm sure they do some things that I'd find that cross the line.

    FDA is responsible for the deaths of thousands.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/node/116131

    People suffer and die because the government "protects" us. It should protect us less and respect our liberty more.

    The most basic questions are: Who owns you, and who should control what you put into your body? In what sense are you free if you can't decide what medicines you will take?

    This will be the subject of my Fox Business program tomorrow night.

    We'll hear from people like Bruce Tower. Tower has prostate cancer. He wanted to take a drug that showed promise against his cancer, but the Food and Drug Administration would not allow it. One bureaucrat told him the government was protecting him from dangerous side effects. Tower's outraged response was: "Side effects — who cares? Every treatment I've had I've suffered from side effects. If I'm terminal, it should be my option to endure any side effects."

    Of course it should be his option. Why, in our "free" country, do Americans meekly stand aside and let the state limit our choices, even when we are dying?

    Dr. Alan Chow invented a retinal implant that helps some blind people see (optobionics.com). Demonstrating that took seven years and cost $50 million dollars of FDA-approved tests. But now the FDA wants still more tests. That third stage will take another three years and cost $100 million. But Chow doesn't have $100 million. He can't raise the money from investors because the implant only helps some blind people. Potential investors fear there are too few customers to justify their $100 million risk.

    So Stephen Lonegan, who has a degenerative eye disease that might be helped by the implant, can't have it. Instead, he will go blind. The bureaucrats say their restrictions are for his own safety. "There's nothing safe about going blind," he says. "I don't want to be made safe by the FDA. I want it to be up to me to go to Dr. Chow to make the decision myself."

    But it's not up to Lonegan and his doctor. It's up to the autocrats of the Nanny State. Tomorrow, I will show my confrontation with Terry Toigo of the FDA about that. She calmly and quietly explained that such restrictions are necessary to protect the integrity of the government's safety review process until I shouted: "Why are you even involved? Let people try things!"

    She replied, "We don't think that's the best system for patients, to enable people to just take whatever they want with little information available about a drug."

    So people suffer and die when they might have lived longer, more comfortable lives.

    The FDA's intrusion on our freedom is supplemented by another agent of the Nanny State. The Drug Enforcement Agency's war on drug dealers has led them to watch pain-management doctors like hawks. Drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin provide wonderful pain relief. But because they are also taken by "recreational" drug users, doctors go to jail for prescribing quantities that the DEA considers "inappropriate." As a result, pain specialists are scared into underprescribing painkillers. Sick people suffer horrible pain needlessly.

    Think I exaggerate? Check out the website of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) (aapsonline.org). It warns doctors not to go into pain management. "Drug agents now set medical standards. ... There could be years of harassment and legal fees," says the AAPS. Today, even nursing-home patients, hardly candidates for drug gangs, don't get pain relief they need (http://tinyurl.com/yb4ykxg).

    The DEA told us that good doctors have nothing to worry about. But Siobhan Reynolds, who started the Pain Relief Network (painreliefnetwork.org) after her late husband was unable to get sufficient pain medicine, says the DEA's cherry-picked medical experts persuade juries that they should jail any doctor who administers higher doses of pain relief than the DEA's zealots think appropriate. News of those jail terms spreads. Doctors learn to be stingy with paid meds.

    All drugs involve risk. In a free country, it should be up to individuals, once we're adults, to make our own choices about those risks. Patrick Henry didn't say, "Give me absolute safety, or give me death." He said "liberty." That is what America is supposed to be about.
    I really don't know enough about trains to make any kind of informed decision. As far as cars the only thing the government should ensure is truth in advertising. Government should be in the business of contract law, there should be civil courts when one party violates their contractual obligations. But if someone wants to drive a car without seat belts... more power to them.

  28. #28
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    GG, you do know that credit is a fancy word for debt don't you?
    Greece shows us that there is a kind of politician worse than the ones that break their election promises; the ones that keep their election promises.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    Whatever happened to putting your money where your mouth is, and national alliances? When did that kind of patriotism get jumbled up in protectionism and become a dirty word?
    Protectionism helps nobody. Do you like a lower quality of life? Do you like things costing more? Do you like violating our international agreements?

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Hazir View Post
    GG, you do know that credit is a fancy word for debt don't you?
    Yes. Some short term credit for business isn't the same as long-term debt, in the flow of money (commercial paper). I'm just tired of the private sector whining about moving forward, blaming the government for their tepid response and near-paralysis.

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