Monday, July 14, 2008

Capitalism, Freedom and Inclusion

I have been re-reading Milton Friedman's Capitalism And Freedom, may God have mercy on my wretched soul.  Here is a passage I find relevant to the discussions here:  
"The characteristic feature of action through political channels is that it tends to require or enforce substantial conformity.  The great advantage of the market, on the other hand, is that it permits wide diversity."
 Far more elegantly (and probably more glibly) than I have done, Friedman makes the case that I have tried to make (e.g. here and here,) that in asking DDS to provide too many assurances we not only create inefficiencies in the system by encouraging more central planning of the lives of the individuals served, we also undermine the inclusiveness the society we claim the intention to open.  Following Friedman's argument, the more activist we ask DDS to be, the less able our system will become to model the inclusiveness we promote. 
"...a major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that...it gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want.  Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself."
Incidentally, openness to diversity includes patience with extreme nerds,  For those interested, the reason I am rereading this book which was written the way Alan Greenspan speaks is an online book club being hosted by Free Exchange, the economics blog sponsored by The Economist newspaper's online entity.  Anyone unlovable and fascinated may wish to participate but please behave and don't tell them I sent you.  My subscription is my only friend besides my dogs, and they're Keynesians.

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

"...a major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that...it gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself."
Doug quoting Friedman

Preface/Disclaimer:
I am so unfamiliar with economics that I didn’t even get a chance to flunk it in school. I have not read Friedman, and thus I will probably ask some questions..

Stab in the dark:
I do see you point, but cannot Friedman and his concepts be distinguished in that the market we discuss here was created wholly and completely by government intervention!

If the price of a particular widget is reduced through subsidies, making it more attractive to the average consumer, would Friedman consider that an infringement upon our freedom to ‘freely’ choose what widgets we want?*

If the government subsidizes, intervenes, so very completely as to create a market that did not, and would not, exist without that intervention can we really then apply Friedman’s ideas to that market?

I would imagine (from the hip) that the closest thing to circumventing this problem is simply to hand ALL funding directly to the consumer [do I hear a Yessssssssss]. However, I see two problems with this (which does not mean the problems are insurmountable)

1. There would be a serious political hurdle in redistributing wealth from A to B without A having ANY input on how, when, and where, those funds are used, and of course the traditional desire for the question “is it worth it” AKA Accountability. If we choose a more centralized path to get to your laissez-faire [is there an oxymoron here?] redistribution, and cut those that are the givers out of the loop, we have an old yet familiar phrase “taxation without representation”.

2. Preface: I am not familiar with the details about what DDS calls “self-determination” But – no matter I doubt that they have really answered, or even asked, the really tough questions.

What happens when it is determined that 30,40,50 Thousand will do the trick. But – by May we find a homeless consumer with empty pockets? Do we say, ‘so sorry laissez-faire, don’t want to infringe upon your freedom? If we do not then are we not intervening and disrupting the very free market we are trying to establish. The average consumer (using the word generically) often spends everything he or she has regardless of the amount, and needs more in short order.

Is it possible to establish a ceiling that will properly thump start self-determination? By even allowing government to establish that ceiling can we not longer discuss the idea of a “free market” – Friedman?

I guess the ultimate question is: How much control can DDS have before we start cutting into freedoms, and his that control enough to have a healthy functioning service system?

Or

When does the hands-off approach cause so much pain that it can be said that it is simply not working?

It can be argued that the economic failure that we are seeming now would have triggered a full blown depression 100 years ago, when we were much more laissez-faire.

Is it better to be depressed and free, or have some freedom curtailed but be only suppressed as a result?

Etc…

And the most important question: Why can I not type an 'r' at the end of 'you' to make it a 'your'

*no Qs are rhetorical – area of complete ignorance for me.

paul said...

ooops - signiture for above

paul said...

'a' to replace the 'i' above

paul said...

Ultimately I guess my question is:

How much can we mix the ideas and concepts from the free-market and the laissez-faire into a socialistic welfare system?

Can the mix of the postentiallly conflicting basics be the reason for the failure of the welfare system?

Doug said...

Paul, I guess there are at least two answers to your question (ironically, a noted trait of John Maynard Keynes.) First, I would say that I bring Friedman up not from the standpoint of economic analysis but political analysis- the point being that inclusion, in the sense of a diverse community that honors everyone including people with developmental disabilities, at least according to Friedman, is a more a natural product of liberty than it is of central control.

Second, I have long thought, as you point out today, that this system is an odd hybrid in the sense that it was very intentionally built to mimic the marketplace, and yet it is a product of State government and central planning. Because it is neither fish nor fowl, the tendency has been to make it fishier and fouler. Apart from SDS, where I would call it right now a draw, the tendency has been to make the system more centrally planned and less marketplace-driven.

Much of the advocacy community has focused on telling DDS to tell regional centers to tell vendors how things ought to be for the people served. Often, the message in that game of telephone is "inclusion!" I think the notion that more inclusion might be achieved by promoting choice belongs in the debate.

I think if you attended a New Day conference, you'd see what I mean.

paul said...

“I would say that I bring Friedman up not from the standpoint of economic analysis but political analysis”
-Doug-

Same difference I think. The questions then become:

How big does government have to be, and how much intervention must it exert, to create the “inclusion” we desire for people with disabilities?

How big does it need to become, and how much intervention must it exertt, to begin to stymie that inclusion by inhibiting freedom?

How fine or broad is the line between these two?

Is it even possible to have a new fresh species called fiwl or fosh? Or – do have to decide between fish that is a bit foul, or fowl that spells a bit fishy, and which should we choose?

paul said...

And - much can government intervene and engineer before we risk cutting others out, perhaps a majority, of the political process which can be argued to reduces the majorities freedoms?

Is it the proverbial bubble in the clay? it cannot be eliminated by is only a matter of where the bubble [government intrusion] will rear its head?

If that is the case then it seems that the minority is always destined to tolerate the bubble.

Doug said...

Paul, I would say that no regulation ever written and complied with did not block innovation, although I'd add that waste, fraud and abuse are three products of innovation worth blocking.

I think the honest answer is we live in a massive grey zone between almost perfect central planning and an almost perfect market and we can and should debate where to end up. Again, though, that debate should include the possibility that trying to regulate both inclusion and quality might restrict rather than further both.

paul said...

I think the honest answer is we live in a massive grey zone between almost perfect central planning and an almost perfect market and we can and should debate where to end up. Again, though, that debate should include the possibility that trying to regulate both inclusion and quality might restrict rather than further both.
-Doug-

Nicely Said!

Nessa said...

Very interesting.

Nessa said...

I have no experience with finding help or services for a disability but I do have some experience with government regulated systems.

I have found that the more you allow any group to have power over what you need, especially government, you end up losing personal freedom. It also seems that government encourages a reduction in personal responsibility.

To me, personal freedom and personal responsibility go hand in hand.

I believe I recently heard Bernanke say that the mortgage crisis resulted because of Greenspan's policies and that Greenspan should have pushed for more government intervention and regulation and we would have the current mess. While on the surface that seems correct, it totally negates the responsibilities of the individuals who bought mortgages they knew hey couldn't afford. But many people who were smart and did their homework and weren't greedy were able to benefit from the way mortgages were structured.

When a government or a church or other group, gets involved in your personal life, they begin to dictate how you live your life.

If your need is great and they have a service you need, then it is wonderful they are there to help but they are going to be focused on their own special interests. That's why people have telethons and fund raisers - examples, I think, of a free market system.

Doug - I bought Capitalism and Freedom. I will read and follow along at the other site, but I will walk right by you and pretend we don't know each other.

Doug said...

Nessa, nice of you to join the conversation. It might help to know that a lot of the people we worry for are non-verbal, non-ambulatory and may have other challenges that should at least qualify conversations about "personal responsibility," at least in the sense that it may take government-sponsored intervention to help people act on the responsibility they take.

And I'm confident you'll behave on Free Exchange and I just might wink at you there. It's these cranky elves that are normally on this site I worry about (in jest.)

Nessa said...

People incapable of "speaking" for themselves do challenge us to give up our own agendas and struggle to do what is - right, best, needed, wanted - by another. So few people are truly able to do that.

I'm not sure government as an entity is the best advocate but can be a great tool (no pun intended.)

I will endeavor to catch up. I didn't know you help people physically incapable of communicating. It must be very difficult to determine what a person wants in that case. One must be extra aware and careful in that case to provide ways to meet personal freedom.

Doug said...

Nessa, the pun might not have been intended but it is kind of apt.

stanley said...

[nessa say] I have found that the more you allow any group to have power over what you need, especially government, you end up losing personal freedom. It also seems that government encourages a reduction in personal responsibility. To me, personal freedom and personal responsibility go hand in hand.

nice to have an opine from one outside the DD community...those inside oft forget we are a minority and lose sight of general population concerns...and;

Perhaps a better understanding of personal freedom in the general population will foster better understanding of personal freedom for those w/ special needs...and improve service...and ensure freedom for all.

There have been many regulations, laws, whatever, passed in my lifetime...thinking of personal freedoms lost...

perhaps I should remain fat, dumb and happy (and old)...but as, it is always in season for old men to learn (aeschylus, maybe)...would someone illuminate what important personal freedoms i-anyone have lost...say in the last decade...solay on macduff and etc.

As long as on personal freedoms...perhaps explain how one argues for freedom to own a gun and at the same time against a woman’s freedom to choose...and;

on this kick should i-anyone have the freedom to do drugs...drugs dont kill, people do (themselves and others)...both guns and drugs cause much pain and suffering.

the reference to widgets brings to mind the difficulty in relating MF market theories to the special needs market...people are not widgets.

widgets could care less how policies effect them...not so with a special needs child/adult.

(BTW one might also be mindful of this when discussing quality control...go-nogo gages/ policies may not apply to people w/ special needs.)

prime example of not applicable is the abject failure of US health care compared to socialized health care systems in other countries.

Among the six nations studied Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States...the U.S. ranks last, as it did in the 2006 and 2004 editions of Mirror, Mirror.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DDRIGHTS/message/3941

[nessa say] One must be extra aware and careful in that case to provide ways to meet personal freedom.

Indeed say a cranky, bleeding heart, troll.

stanley seigler

paul said...

“...would someone illuminate what important personal freedoms i-anyone have lost...”
-Stanely Seigler-

This is a good question. I am uncertain that I understand the governement/freedom balance as we discuss it, and some particulars would help this empty mind. But – to fascilitate I will try to answer the question myself, and Doug or Nessa can tell me how off the mark I am.

All widgets cost .40 cents retail. If I have .50 cents of expendible income, and a blue widget (equivelant to a service or product - NOT a person) cost .40 and a green widget costs .25 cents (because government subsidizes). Has government reduced my freedoms to choose?

If the a red widget costs .60 cents (because of an excise tax), has government reduced my freedom to choose?

In regards to estate planning could it be argued that Government has reduced our freedoms because the methods used to transfer property are subject to various, and often very different, public policies?

In regards to estate planning public policy actually reduces the freedoms of the grantor via statute. Civil Code section 710 says on part that “Conditions imposing restraints upon marriage […] are void”

Does it reduce my freedoms to not be allowed to give all my property to my daughter as long as she does not marry?

Doug said...

Well welcomed, Stanley. Thank you. Naively, maybe, I still believe the purpose of the market is to satisfy consumers rather than widgets. Widgets also don't care what they cost.

Paul, the answer from Economics is that the government has not taken your freedom to choose but has biased your choice toward the center of the spectrum. If you are happiest with a green widget, then you benefitted at the expense of taxpayers. If you prefer red, you have incurred a cost either by paying the tax or by buying something that doesn't bring you the same joy as a good, old-fashioned, fire-engine red widget.

This is actually the normal state of affairs, where makers of green widgets convince the Sierra Club that virtue lies in the green widget and bribes elected representatives to make green the new red. This is why Ambrose Bierce defines politics as "A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage."

Nessa said...

I have to go get my dog from getting a hair cut, but that will allow me to think about the above comments. I'm off today, so I can play, so to speak.

stanley said...

should have had second thoughts before asking: “...would someone illuminate what important personal freedoms i-anyone have lost...” (really NOT a good question, actually stupid)

all I had to do was consider regional center qualifications (regs) for various programs...so

to eliminate the loss of personal freedoms in the special needs community...the solution is...as paul say: simply to hand ALL funding directly to the consumer...which aint gonna happen in God’s lifetime...probably shouldn’t...then there is still the how much to who question.

not sure Keynes v Friedman discussion will illuminate path to better service those w/ special needs...but interesting

BTW if you haven’t and interested...google personal freedoms and ron paul for some thoughts ...not much there relative to the special needs tho...at least not on first glance.

stanley seigler

Nessa said...

Stanley: When I speak of personal freedom I refer to the right to live my life as I see fit. This may include doing things that may be injurious to my health or that others may believe to be wrong or the opposite of what someone else believes.

You bring up several subjects that are quite volatile: guns, right to choose and drugs.

I have relatives who would have no meat on the table if they couldn’t hunt. Should we take away their guns and give them Velveeta (the cheese you get for protein from the government when you are on welfare)? Would people stop killing each other if we banned all guns?

Are you going to completely ban Oxycodone because teenagers are using it to get high? We’d need to get rid of drugs, alcohol, glue, food, sex, betting, shopping…to stop additive behavior. Scratch that. There will always be people who become addicted to something. Prohibition was a major bust.

On the flip side, there are some women who use abortion as birth control. Shouldn’t we stop that? I find there are more conversations pro/con abortion than there are in the realities of birth control and child rearing and just plain sex. We need more conversations on those subjects, but they aren’t as fashionable.

I was in the Canadian health care system and it wasn’t so grand. You didn’t get a good doctor unless you paid extra. Waiting rooms were packed, personnel cranky, care mediocre and prescriptions limited. I have relatives in Germany and Austria. Where we in the US would receive a procedure that would fix something the first time, they have gone through several other lesser procedures first or didn’t have the better procedure available at all. The reality of socialized health care is not perfection. And I don’t think new procedures, new drugs, or advances come out of socialized medicine. I read the article you sited and it doesn’t seem very scientific, more anecdotal (based on patient and doctor surveys.)

Here are some personal examples of loss of personal freedom and the government:

I was a single mom with limited funds. I could have gone on welfare to increase my income, but then I would have to name my daughter’s father so the state could try to get him to pay them back which would require me to give him visitation rights or fight him endlessly in court. I chose to have less money.

One of the first daycare centers I used was run by the state. My daughter is very active which at the time was not easy for an over-worked staff to handle. They tried to label her as hyper-active and wanted me to consent to put her on Ritalin as part of keeping her at the center.

I chose to pay more money and send her to private daycare. We lived for many years below the “average” family income because of these choices. And I certainly didn’t make life easier for myself by making these choices. Some people would say I was a bad mother for depriving my daughter in these ways. It’s these kinds of choices I am referring to when I speak of personal freedom and personal responsibility.

Because of the free-market system I was able to search for other day care (I went through many places) that met our needs. If I had stuck with the government day care, my daughter’s brain would be mush.

I have been racking my brain to come up with examples that relate to special needs, but I am so sadly ignorant on the subject. The only thing I can think of right now and I may be stretching here is that I heard someone refer to the internet as one of the greatest innovations in giving people with limited mobility access to the rest of the world. It is my understanding that the www is a direct result of the free-market and the government wants to limit it in many ways because some people abuse it and other people don’t watch their children. I think that would be a big mistake.

I used to know someone who made customized prosthetics. He worked for himself. He said if he had taken government subsidies they would have told him what kind of materials to use and how to use them which would have limited his ability to innovate for specific individuals.

Paul: It does reduce your freedom to limit how you can bequeath your property. Is it right for a parent to make such a decision for their child? Parents make those kinds of choices all of the time as my examples above show, for good or bad.

Nessa said...

I'm off to read previous posts to get a better idea of what is going on here.

Nessa said...

I read The Consumer's Guide to the Lanterman Act. It sounds like a wonderful thing: ask and you shall receive seems to be the gist of it. I suspect it isn’t so in the real world.

The bottom of page 34 kind of made me laugh, “REMEMBER, if you do not agree with a regional center decision, you must tell them IN WRITING. If you have trouble writing, the regional center must help you write your complaint.” Wouldn’t that be a conflict of interest?

Is it true that the board of directors of each regional center consists of half clients and half parents of children with DD?

It seems to me that the key to the success of this Act would be very clear and quantitative behaviors as the goals and objectives on the IPP’s, for example, “one doctor exam per month” as opposed to “adequate medical care.”

stanley said...

[nessa say] I read The Consumer's Guide to the Lanterman Act. It sounds like a wonderful thing: ask and you shall receive seems to be the gist of it. I suspect it isn’t so in the real world.

As said great to have one not intimately involve contribute...thanks for your concern and time.

I [nessa] suspect it isn’t so in the real world...buttbut

Could be if Lanterman enforced...ie,

If the department of developmental services (DDS) followed its mandate as summarized by [section 4434b]:

The department [DDS] shall take ALL necessary actions to support regional centers to successfully achieve compliance with this section and provide high quality services and supports to consumers and their families.

for additional DDS mandates pls see: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DDRIGHTS/message/4021

[nessa say] It seems to me that the key to the success of this Act would be very clear and quantitative behaviors as the goals and objectives on the IPP’s

agree...then DDS ensure goals are pursed and met (or changed)...as mandated by 4500 (d):

It is the intent of the Legislature that the department [DDS] monitor regional centers so that an individual consumer eligible for services and supports under this division receive the services and supports identified in his or her individual program plan.

sad DDS does follow and stakeholders excuse DDS for not following the legislative mandates...ie, the law.

[nessa say] It sounds like a wonderful thing

it is and would ensure personal freedom for those with special needs...if only Lanterman were enforced...sad

stanley seigler

stanley said...

[sanley say] sad DDS does follow and stakeholders excuse DDS for not following the legislative mandates...ie, the law.

CORRECTION
sad DDS does NOT follow and stakeholders excuse DDS for not following the legislative mandates...ie, the law.

Doug said...

Stanley, I agree. It is nice to have someone from outside the community to give an opinion and Nessa's a good one.

Thank you, Nessa for joining us here.

stanley said...

[nessa say] It sounds like a wonderful thing

it's the Bill of Rights for those with special needs

stanley said...

[doug say] Here is a passage I find relevant to the discussions here: “The characteristic feature of action through political channels is that it tends to require or enforce substantial conformity. The great advantage of the market, on the other hand, is that it permits wide diversity.”

Friedman (MF) advocated minimizing the role of government in a free market as a means of creating political and social freedom...

By one definition, a free market is a market in which prices of goods and services are arranged completely by the mutual consent of sellers and buyers. By definition, in a free market environment buyers and sellers do not coerce or mislead each other nor are they coerced by a third party

An environment where buyers and sellers do not coerce or mislead each other...this is utopian theory...and much like it’s diametric opposite, Marx’s utopia, it doesn't exist...extreme economic/political freedom (eg, libertarian concepts) based on a utopia wont work...works for the takers, maybe...very little trickles down to the po folks...especially those w/ special needs.

Should the developmental disability (DD) system/market function as a free market...guess the stock market is as close to a free market as there is...is this the model for the DD market...how would a DD free market function...

What's the source of capital for a DD free market...how do you control a DD Enron (give me a do nothing DDS over arthur andersen any day to monitor the DD system)...cause in the real world free market buyers and sellers do mislead...see mad ave crap.

IPPs functioning as intended...enforced by DDS permits wide diversity...not substantial conformity...a program plan for each individual...200,000 plus plans...how more diverse can you get (well, one day maybe 200,000, if stakeholders demand accountability vice accepting rationalizations.)

to relate general economic and political freedom theory to human service economic and political real world freedom is difficult...besides, where have free markets really worked as theorized...certainly not in the field of health care.

[MF say] The kind of economic organization that provides economic freedom directly, namely, competitive capitalism, also promotes political freedom because it separates economic power from political power and in this way enables the one to offset the other.

competitive capitalism (probably doesn't exist...ie, there are always subsidies and bailouts for the takers) probably wont work in the DD field...weel, perhaps with substantial modifications.

besides competitive capitalism does NOT separate economic power from political power...its promotes the union of economic and political power...the golden rule: he who has the gold (economic power) rules (political power).

[doug] Following Friedman*s argument, the more activist we ask DDS to be, the less able our system will become to model the inclusiveness we promote.

Where are the successes of those who follow MF’s argument...as mentioned certainly not in the health care field...believe there have been successes in education on a small scale...perhaps it could transfer to public education.

Is less DDS involvement suggested...well, they are doing very little now...the results are Broken Homes and a system that sucks...how much less should DDS do (how much less involvement) is needed to provide less broken home conformity and more diversity than 200,000 separate programs.

(actually, as andy says, it’s the implementation of the system that sucks...maybe because DDS does not ensure implementation of Lanterman.)

it's really not about more DDS central planning (power)...it's about DDS guaranteeing the Bill of Rights...enforcing Lanterman...for those with special needs.

There is a golden mean (somewhere) between keynes and friedman theories...but in the human service fields: a tip of the hat to keynes...My best to dougs keynesians dogs. Good dog!

stanley seigler

Doug said...

So, Brer Stanley, there is still a question, though as to whether we want DDS implementing Lanterman at the IPP level, in which case we should expect more sameness, less creativity and similar costs. Or whether DDS should serve as an enforcement mechanism while regional centers, clients, families and providers implement Lanterman.

paul said...

First
Ness,
Thank you for adding your mix to the blog…It is needed.

The topic of DDS intervention vis-à-vis freedom is certainly applicable. I also think that the shoe does not quite fit. But – it is not a round peg in a square hole. A discussion about Supply and demand curves requires a “perfect market”, which we rarely have. That does not preclude us from discussing aspects and applications of supply and demand. Even in regards to California’s development services!!

“Paul: It does reduce your freedom to limit how you can bequeath your property.”
-Ness-

I agree

“Is it right for a parent to make such a decision for their child?”
-Ness-

Good question.
I think both questions, together, is what bakes my noodle a bit..

The questions make me realize that one person’s undiminished and unregulated freedom can encumber the freedom of others. This very scenario seems quite analogous to California’s system serving people with disabilities. More on the analogy later

I hate to step into the philosophical, but since it is Doug’s strong suit, among his many, and it seems necessary, I will take the leap…

I believe that Rousseau (sp?) spoke of the “social contract”. If my memory serves me correctly Rousseau said that to have any REAL freedom we must be willing to give up some freedom. That is – to own private property that is secure from invasion we must recognize the property rights of other and the restriction upon my freedom to travel freely upon any property I choose. There is a quid pro quo [said that just for you Andy] that says in order to have freedom I must relinquish some freedom. If I want an efficient road with minimal accidents I relinquish my freedom to drive on the left hand side when I see fit, and go through red lights we I see fit…etc.

So, if the point that more government intervention reduces freedom is correct, and I think that it is – then that fact forms only one premise within a larger argument with more considerations. I think that when Doug says is correct, “in asking DDS to provide too many assurances we not only create inefficiencies in the system”, but the key term is “too many.” Without more – without seeing what we get in return for out reduction in freedom, we do not know what “too many” means and we really only have a one legged stool.

Reflecting upon the above I do not agree that, “…the more activist we ask DDS to be, the less able our system will become to model the inclusiveness we promote.” Because I think it can be argued that instances exist where government activism can fascilitate more inclusion than it diminsishes through that same activism.

It all shows how hard it is to discuss government intervention into a system that is cut whole cloth by government intervention and exists, and continutes to exist, only because of government inervention.

Is not the important question in regards to where the freedoms we relinquish under the social contract begin to produce diminished returns and begin to take away more freedoms than they produce?

Providers can credit most of their freedom to provide, and consumers can credit much of their freedom to consume to a 4 billion dollar line item in the state budget. Can the state say to both provider and consumer, “here is your freedom to provide, and here is your freedom to consumer, but here, here, and there are the freedoms you need to relinquish to produce the freedom’s that never existed in the first place?”

It would seem certain the state can impose any strings it wants in exchange for the 4 billion dollars. Our beloved purchase of service standards (POS), being just one example being discussed on a regular basis. But – that does not mean that a string wont chop off a nose and spite the face.

It seems that we have a sliding scale. To provide more freedoms to the consumer we must remove the freedom of the state to regulate. The more freedoms we provide for the consumer the more freedom we remove from state. The key, is finding the sweat spot. Like the perfect MPG for a car, too fast and you waste gas, slower and you may do the same. The very act of increasing government intervention and decreasing the freedom of the consumer, or decreasing government intervention and increasing the freedoms of the consumer, is not enough on its own to determine if we move closer to, or further away from a rather intangible target.

The sliding scale works in many places, and is in play almost everywhere – even with the volatile subject of gun control.

The First Analogy

By NOT allowing the grantor (me/state) to attach strings to what is vouchsafed (property/services) we are impinging upon my/its freedom to dispose of, and regulate, property/resources has I/it sees fit, but we are maximizing the freedom of the grantee (my daughter/consumer). *I have no daugher – just an example.

By allowing the grantor (me/state) to attach strings to what is vouchsafed we maximizing my/its freedom to dispose of my/it’s property/resources has I/it sees fit, but in doing so we reduce the freedom of the grantee (my daughter/consumer).
We just have to decide where place the slider bar, and the position of that slider bar may change with time, technology, and circumstances.

Question:

What if more service standards (POS) [more Gov. Intervention] created more equitability and as a result created more freedoms, in total, than it took away. It might do so by spreading limited resources more evenly. What if government intervention takes awy about 1/2 the freedom of ONE person, but that act results in the freedom of 10 others to be increased by 20%? Kinda like fixing the levy evenly instead of reinforcing areas that do not need to be reinforced at the expense of compromising areas that need to be reinforced. Is that ‘good’ government intervention, or is ALL government intervention implicitly bad?

What if our reality is that without POS we have a one consumer, Consumer A, that is a boulvedere with a speedy power wheelchair, and B is bed bound and never gets out to even see the boulevards let alone the capitalistic wonders of Wallmart, and with government intervention both A and B have a manual wheelchair and are able to get out and about, and both can go to Wallmart?

I am not implying that what the state has introduced as POS would present the above.
I am not making ANY comments, prediction, opines, assertions about the POS as introduced by the state today, yesterday, tomorrow.

Attach here the other 5 pages of qualifiers that may be necessary for some…

stanley said...

[doug] there is still a question, though as to whether we want DDS implementing Lanterman at the IPP level, in which case we should expect more sameness, less creativity and similar costs. Or whether DDS should serve as an enforcement mechanism while regional centers, clients, families and providers implement Lanterman.



The OR. DDS enforce RC-etal implementation...ie, IPPs functioning as intended, enforced by DDS...a IDT program plan for each individual...apologies if I use enforce and implement interchangeably.



but seems DDS NOT implementing nor enforcing has lead to the current state...so not sure DDS implementing at IIP level would lead to more sameness...anyway opine DDS hands on at IPP level not intent of Lanterman.



free market update



[LATimes say*] The strong presumption in favor of markets, which has dominated public policy since the late 1970s, has been thrown very much into question.



[m. friedman said] The great advantage of the market, on the other hand, is that it permits wide diversity.



well, the wide diversity we now have [LATimes say] is: housing crisis, turmoil in financial markets, spiking oil prices, disappearing jobs and shrinking retirement savings.



And how does current “diversity” effect the rich marketeers...very little...their life style lives on through the good times and these times of wide diversity and of course they need tax breaks.



Another (not original, not dds related) thought re keynes v friedman...free markets v marx: add God to marx theories and we have parallel religious teachings...Christian and others.



how favorably does free market theory results (eg, the stock market, mad ave crap) compare to Christian religious teachings, many free marketeers espouse...how many free marketeers will sell all they have and follow Him...how many will share...more than the trickle down crumbs from their rich table...with the least of these...OTOH



it is understandable they cant share more and need more tax breaks...they need private jets...and at least three 10,000 sq ft homes.



lots of irony...no easy answers in this crazy, “best of all worlds."



stanley seigler



*http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DDRIGHTS/message/4025

stanley said...

apologies...hit publish vice preview for #30 post...so too much space and no i, b, tags...and probably other errors.

stanley seigler

paul said...

“People incapable of "speaking" for themselves do challenge us to give up our own agendas and struggle to do what is - right, best, needed, wanted - by another.”
-Ness-

It certainly does challenge, and I think that challenge brings to the table another set of consideration when discussing public policy and government intervention.

It should be noted that not ALL consumer are incapable of communicating for himself or herself. I think this fact is important in regards to government intervention. The due process that applies to a person that is not able to clearly communicate his or her wants needs or desires is, and probably should be, different from the due process that applies to a person that is competent and clearly able to communicate preferences, wants, needs, and desires.

It may make sense to have substituted judgment proceedings for a consumer that is unable to clearly and definitively communicate and has been found to be incompetent. It would be silly, and a probably a violation of the law, to have a substituted judgment proceedings for a consumer that is unable to clearly and definitively communicate and has NOT been found to be incompetent.

I bring this up for only one point. Particular methods of government intervention (due process) can severely restricting the freedoms of one person, while providing freedoms for another!

I think that it is important to keep this in mind. It means that while the assertion that government intervention = less freedom is true it is not a linear formula, and there is much more to the equation that needs to be considered.

“Your IPP is an agreement between you and the regional center. Your IPP is very important because it lists your goals and the services and supports that the regional center will help you get. […] The Law says the regional center must follow certain rules when writing your IPP.”
Consumers Guide to the Lanterman Act

Nessa,

As a fresh outsider I would like to ask you a somewhat simple question and see what you think.

IF:
In our universe we have an adult consumer that needs specific “goals and the services and supports” to “to live like people who don’t have disabilities.” [The basic entitlement under Lanterman].

AND IF:
In a parallel universe [help from Asimov] we have the consumer’s parallel universe twin with the same needs and specific “goals and the services and supports” and the same Lanterman Act.

Should they both get the same services and supports?

What if in our universe the adult consumer has an at home Mom that works as an accountant only during the tax season (she spends the rest of the year studying the Lanterman Act and is active in a ‘stakeholder’ organization like “Mother’s for the enforcement of Lanterman [MEL], or something like that), and an Attorney for a father, and a household income of 473,000/yr.

What if in the parallel universe the consumer has two parents working 55 hours a week, a household income of 50,000, and both parents, and the consumer have English as their second language.

Under the Lanterman Act both consumers are entitled to the same services and supports. Do you think that both consumers will get that same services and supports?

Paul don’t be so Naïve!

I hear ya!
I understand that privatization [what the Lanterman Act does] has the potential of altering the distribution of resources and concentrating power upward. I think it was Benjamin Franklin that said that without a doubt, his second 100 dollars was far easier to earn than his first. This aspect of capitalism is a natural side effect of the laissez-faire, and it can be argued that it is a tolerable side effect and a small price to pay for the benefits of the freedoms conferred upon everyone by the hands-off approach. However, how much disparity must exists before we must begin to consider the possibility that the system is broken, unfair, and that our privatization should perhaps be more public? When is the disparity just a statistical anomaly and when is the disparity the result of one consumer having a family member on the board of managers of the organization that decides what a consumer gets, and does not get?

There are many considerations that come into play when forming a consumer’s I.P.P. It can be convincing argued that the #1 consideration, as dictated by law, is the need of the consumer.

If it could be convincingly shown that the most predictable variable that determines the type and amount services that a consumer ultimately receives is his or her socioeconomic status. Would that be a problem?

If the above has been shown, will not the Lanterman Act be the first system that redistributes resources upwards? Does this not sound a bit Manorial?

If the above is true, then why do we not hear anything about it? One reason might be that the system is working well for those in the upper socioeconomic brackets, and if those are the individuals that occupy most, if not all, the seat at the discussion table, then it stands to reason that we will maintain the status quo or possibly alter the system so as to increase the power and influence of the “socioeconomic” factor

73% of consumers served in California live in a Home of a family member or guardian. 12% live in settings such as a Community Care Facilities (CCF), Foster Homes for Children, and Family Homes for Adults (FHA). 8.7 live in Independent Living Setting (ILS) or Supported Living Setting (SLS), and 1.3% are served in developmental centers.

But – should you peruse that Internet, stakeholder organization, and Sacramento committee meetings you will find that most of those, and sometimes ALL of those, in attendance come from our small 8.7%, or 1.3%. Most are providers, consumers, or family members of the same of this 8.7%/1.3%. This means that a very GREAT % of representation on boards, stakeholder organization, and in the capital comes from 10% of our pie chart.

It seems that restrictions upon freedoms can come from either government interventions, or from the lack of it, when the lack of it produces a situation when a small minority, in this case 10% controls the direction of the system.

This is NO editorial about the service models (on the contrary – if I had anything thing to say about SLS it would be why is it available to so few), just the assertion of the simple fact that a super-minority seems to have the representation and clout of a super-majority.

A few years ago the Department did a study that attempted to discover possible biasing factors in purchase of services. It concluded that, “there was no evidence of discrimination.” How Wonderful. But does that mean there is no discrimination. Did we ask the correct question?

Such a studies can be difficult, there were over 40 variants involved. That is – factors influence the amount of expenditure on any given consumer. The study dealt with the variants by not only comparing the weighted marginal mean, but what is known as the least squared means.

In other words:
Lets remove all variants aside for two, race, and service type. Let us say that we have a GROUP HOME that houses 10 non-white individuals and 2 white individuals at a cost of 50,000/per. We also have a group of 2 10 whites and 2 non-whites in SUPPORTED LIVING that cost 30,000/per.

Our question is: Are white consumers getting equal funding for equal services when compared to non-white.

The weighted marginal mean would indicate that non-whites are receiving on average 47,000/per while whites are average 33,000 per. Wow – if anything there is discrimination against whites eh!!!

However, because our question asks “Are white consumers getting equal funding for equal services when compared to non-white.” We have to control for the fact that the weighted mean compares “across service types”. This control is done by using what is known as the least squares mean.

When applying the least squares mean we discover that everything is kosher. We discover that EVERYONE in a group home is treated equally regardless of race, and everyone getting supported living services is treated equally regardless of race. How wonderful!!

The problem is the fact that such studies treat ALL variants equally. That is, they do not ask if there is a quantifiable difference between a GROUP HOME and SUPPORTED LIVING. All variant are treated equally, they are just variant.

But we ALL know that a group home is not the equivalent service to supported living, and we SHOULD be concerned with the fact that, in my EXAMPLE above, most non-whites resided in Group Homes, and most whites resided in Supported living.

The Study done by the department did NOT address this, and despite of the caveats mentioned by the authors [will post next if I can find] of the study, I do not think that DDS has commissioned another look.

NOTE: In my opinion of discrimination in regards to race occurs in shown in any large quantities, I believe it is because race probably serves as a shortcut/indicator of socioeconomic status. Another co-viaraint...Call me naïve.

I guess my point to the last 5 paragraphs is that some evidence exists, or at least we have not ruled it out with any good study, that socioeconomic status might be a LARGE contributor in determining the type and amount of services that people receive. This was NOT the intention of the law.

Is this a problem? Is it the kind of problem that warrants government intrusion? In regards to freedoms does this reality not give one-group freedoms and pay for it by removing freedoms from others?

A recent Anecdote is persuasive circumstantial evidence that my above representation exists. A few years ago the state changed the eligibility standard for services. The state made is MORE difficult to be found eligible for services, and a slice of the 4 Billion dollar pie. Do you think there was uproar? There was not! Why not?

The eligibility changes where done prospectively. That is, they would only apply to future consumer, and not current consumers. It would only apply to the yet unborn, the yet unknown, the yet to find out that they have a disability. The yet to know that services exists. The yet to even know that there is a table to sit at. It will ONLY apply to those that physically cannot occupy a seat at the table.

Is it a coincidence, or strong evidence to that what Ambrose Pierce says of Politics, "A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage." Is analogous to our private develpmental service system with only one change.

"A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of [private] affairs for private advantage."

Is it even a problem that all “Designated Family” positions, and “Designated Consumer” positions on Regional Center boards come from the same small slice of our pie chart?

It is interesting to note that many years ago some regional centers did not have ANY representation from consumers or their family members, and the state had to MANDATE the participation. Is this mandate a restriction upon the freedom of the Regional Center to form a board of managers as they please? Of course! Was it overreaching? Should the Region Centers with a double digit million-dollar budget from taxpayers be free to choose anyone they wish even if there choices are biased and will result in arbitrary increase in freedoms to some paid for by decreases in freedoms to others?

paul said...

Note: the following is in reference to a statistical example explaining the difference between weighted marginal means and least squares mean that asked the question “Do women get equal pay for equal work”

Highlights added.

Question: if those at the table, which are probably those in the Manor, could choose to do another study that asked, “does socioeconomic status effect which service delivery form is provided to a consumer?” Would they choose to do that study?

What if an affirmative YES would mean that a solution could possibly mean that those at the table would lose a part of their estate. Would they choose to do the study?

“Each method of estimation – weighted marginal means versus least squares means –
provides an answer to a particular question, but the precise form of the question is often implicit and not well articulated. But, we have seen that only the least squares means get all of the answers “right” in our hypothetical salary example. The reason for the superior performance of the least squares means is the fact that this method of estimation controls statistically for other factors that may influence salary. That is, when asking about the average salaries for women and men, their level of appointment (assistant vs associate professor) was controlled because level of appointment will surely affect one’s salary. Thus, with regard to the question regarding equal pay for equal work, the answer is clear that women earn more than men for the same work. Now, one might wonder why so few women were employed (that is, only 33% of the sample, or 66 of 200
persons, were women), and one might have severe concerns about why only 33% of the women were in the higher paid associate professor category, whereas over 80% of the men were in this category of job.
But, questions regarding differential hiring rates for men and women or differential promotion rates for men and women – while being perfectly valid and important questions – are not the same as the question regarding equal pay for equal work. And, with regard to this latter question, only the least squares means “got the answer right.”


Purchase of Services Study II:
Report #1: Modeling the Variation in Per Capita
Purchase of Services Across Regional Centers
A Report to the Legislature
August 2003


NOTE: “while being perfectly valid and important questions” they were NOT addressed in this study!!!

stanley said...

[paul say] There are many considerations that come into play when forming a consumer’s I.P.P. It can be convincing argued that the #1 consideration, as dictated by law, is the need of the consumer....If it could be convincingly shown that the most predictable variable that determines the type and amount services that a consumer ultimately receives is his or her socioeconomic status. Would that be a problem?

Seems paul is arguing for socialism...maybe even...oh my communism: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs...or perhaps we are witnessing the epiphany of another paul...

Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. (Acts 4:34-35)

Ok sarcasm aside;

of course his or her socioeconomic should be a consideration and should not be a problem...

If I won the lotto or some worthless penny stock popped I would tell RC thanks...but no thanks...and there are some rich folks who do not get state funding...that said;

Policy should not be based on actions of greedy, free marketeers who use and abuse the system.

stanley seigler

paul said...

To clarify

“Seems paul is arguing for socialism...”
-Stanely Siegler-

I would disagree.

“It can be convincing argued that the #1 consideration, as dictated by law, is the need of the consumer....”
-paul-

The key phrase is, “as dictated by law”. It simply states a fact, and does not argue for or against the virtues or vices of that fact.

If paul says, “It can be convincing argued that, as dictated by law, california has the death penalty” that comment does not argue for or against the death penalty. It simply states a fact.

stanley said...

[paul say] To clarify “Seems paul is arguing for socialism...”-Stanely Siegler...I [paul] would disagree. “It can be convincing argued that the #1 consideration, as dictated by law, is the need of the consumer...The key phrase is, “as dictated by law”. It simply states a fact, and does not argue for or against the virtues or vices of that fact.

suggested argument for socialism comes when: [paul say]: If it could be convincingly shown that the most predictable variable that determines the type and amount services that a consumer ultimately receives is his or her socioeconomic status. Would that be a problem?

The key phase here is: “the type and amount services that a consumer ultimately receives is his or her socioeconomic status”

No it would not be a problem and perhaps should be dictated by law...butbutt;

Not sure just how much weight “dictated by law” carries as Lanterman dictates by law: The department shall take all necessary actions to support regional centers to successfully achieve compliance with this section and provide high quality services and supports to consumers and their families.

And its not enforced and stakeholders argue DDS does not have the resp/auth to enforce.

BTW know paul not arguing for socialism...but providing services based on socioeconomic status is not a free market argument.

stanley seigler

stanley said...

[paul say] If it could be convincingly shown that the most predictable variable that determines the type and amount services that a consumer ultimately receives is his or her socioeconomic status. Would that be a problem?

Perhaps I misunderstood the comment. I took it as a question should, rich folk pay (all or part) for programs...thus my comment it would not be a problem, but that this was not a free market argument.

If it is a statement of fact that rich folks can advocate and get more funding than po folks...it is a problem to be corrected...the #1 (perfect world) consideration, as dictated by law, is the need of the consumer...and this must be enforced.

stanley seigler

Doug said...

OK, getting caught up.

Paul, philosophy is only my strong suit insofar as it is indistinguishable from BS. Happily, this is the case. Rousseau, who I wrote a report on in 8th grade a limerick in French about in or around 2006 and still haven't read might have been right and might have said what you said. To my thinking, though, the social contract is a trade-off between liberty, the freedom to act as I please and sovereignty, defined for this discussion as the freedom to control others. The social contract in our constitution is essentially a surrender of sovereignty in exchange for liberty.

My opinion of this system is less, well, systematic, than that. There is no question that, practically, clients and families surrender some liberty to have sovereignty over their supports. Legally, however, they don't. That means there is either a problem in the law or its implementation. While we patiently hold our breath for that to be solved, though, I'm inclined to think service providers ought to place an emphasis on returning the lost liberty.

Stanley, I sometimes find you a little too enthusiastic for conflating disparate issues. I absolutely agree that the mortgage meltdown, credit crisis, etc. are the products of liberty and the free markets. But it is very easy to see the dumb things that people do as evidence that someone else should be in control. In my experience, the wise counselor is usually about as brilliant as the fool you are trying to correct and, anyway, nobody likes nosey nancies.

Paul, I agree that the POS II study was deeply flawed. They did a pretty good job demonstrating that we treat similar people similarly, which was the question but did not demonstrate that we treat different people differently, which is a much better question.

Stanley, I agree. In fact, the evidence that where you choose to live is the main factor in funding which suggests that the system probably underestimates the needs of people who live on their own or with families while overestimating the needs of people in group homes. This is not a surprise.

OK, I think I'm caught but apologies if I missed something. Carry on.

stanley said...

[doug] Stanley, I sometimes find you a little too enthusiastic for conflating disparate issues. [...] In my experience, the wise counselor is usually about as brilliant as the fool you are trying to correct and, anyway, nobody likes nosey nancies.

Conflate: a: to bring together :FUSE b:CONFUSE2:to combine into a composite whole

Fuse or confuse?

too enthusiastic for conflating disparate issues...shouldnt disparate issues be conflated...

Sorry have no idea what you say...but makes no differenence as all is bs...and has little...no effect...on the lives of those w/ special needs.

OTOH

maybe there is something in the bs for providers (all stakeholders) to consider.

stanley seigler

Andy said...

PAUL WROTE (a way up yonder): The more freedoms we provide for the consumer the more freedom we remove from state. The key, is finding the sweat spot.

I suggest first looking under the armpits. If not there, try the spot behind the shin, just below where the calf ends . . . or maybe that’s just me.

Freedom results only after much blood, toil (aka sweat) and tears.

Glad I could contribute to the discussion.

--Andy

Andy said...

Okay . . . one more thoughtful and startling contribution. I think many of the principles and forces of a free market, for a service industry, can be great for its customers. Assuming those customers have wide and easy access to the market. When someone else retains the access to the market, acting as the customer’s proxy to find and purchase the service, the needs and interests of the proxy will often direct the purchasing decision. Particularly when there is no free market of proxies!!!

And then . . . when quality and demand have NOTHING to do with the price of the service!!!! . . . well, you get something pretty darn stupid . . . but you don’t get a free market.

. . .but, but, . . . none of this matters. Blather on, Brownie. A free market is superfluous subterfuge . . . promoted by the go along to get along, fat cat, steak-eating stakeholders vested in the status quo. If DDS would just flex its muscles and squash a few thousand proxies and peasants, we’d be well on our way to the dawning of “Utopia Developmentia.” A simple mandate to implement the will of the People, from the Central Committee of DDS, like the highly successful collectivization of Ukrainian farms . . . (ignore the famine behind the curtain) . . . would be the start of our great leap forward ( . . . sorry if I’m confusing my commies). Is that what you want, Comrade? All power in the hands of a chosen few? All directives emanating from Sacramoscow? A Stanley Stalin at the head of the Department?. . . ya’ old red bastard!

(Sorry, Doug . . . “bastard’s” not a profanity, is it? I certainly don’t mean it in its pejorative sense. Stanley and I have been playing very nicely, lately, offline . . . in the shadows of my inbox, he agrees with absolutely everything I say . . . he just can’t show that side of himself—the extremely intelligent side---when others are watching. I love all sides of the man . . . even the nasty pink one)

--John Birch

stanley said...

[jb] I think many of the principles and forces of a free market, for a service industry, can be great for its customers

name one

[jb] he agrees with absolutely everything I say

do not

stanley seigler

paul said...

Well – I pondered a response that I hoped would provide some amount of proof of my upright position and opposable thumbs, or my pedagogic flair, but then Birch pointed to an emperor that needs some sun…or was it an elephant BBQ in the Potemkin village?…chess game in wonderland?…

No matter… all I have to say now is Hallelujah

“When someone else retains the access to the market, acting as the customer’s proxy to find and purchase the service, the needs and interests of the proxy will often direct the purchasing decision. Particularly when there is no free market of proxies!!!”
-Johnny B-

“Particularly when there is no free market of proxies”
you won’t read that on CDCAN!!!

Although I agree with the thoughts oozing from Doug, Milton, Andy, and Johnny in regards to government intervention vis-à-vis freedoms it may be, in this case, like mixing oil and water.

The choices, freedoms, entitlements we bandy are created whole cloth by the government and are all but completely vouchsafed from the same. And as Johnny has articulated, choice is often a delusion that includes no real choice to choose who will exercise my choice.

Unless you are part of our urbane 10% with powdered wigs and T-shirts that say “do the Right thing”, underwear embroidered with “Just follow Lanterman” and a perfect “proverbial mousetrap” it is hard to show that there are any real freedoms and liberties actualized for the entirety therein. If this is the case then any discussion about state reducing freedom’s via intervention is merely autocerebralism.

I guess if you stir hard enough oil and water will mix, but it needs constant stiring and in my case my wrists and forearm should be spent in altenative and more valuable pursuits.

But, but…and…OTOH

“name one”

Yeah Johnny – name one! The interrogator here has done nothing but graciously answer every question asked of him! There is a severe question deficit! It is high time he gets to ask some questions!!!

paul said...

“There is no question that, practically, clients and families surrender some liberty to have sovereignty over their supports. Legally, however, they don't.”
Doug

Doug
While my imagination can produce several examples of the above, I aways try to keep my imagination in a cage. The vision of Brer Stan siting at his computer in proletariate gray with a picture of Frank D. Lanterman on the wall is chilling.

Can you give an example of clients and families surrendering some liberty to have sovereignty over their supports?

As for Rousseau, I agree. The analogy is not perfect, and maybe not even good. My basic thought is that something is needed to viably weave your point, based on Milton Friedman’s ideas, into our developmental service system. A belief in ideological oil does not mean that it mixes with every other liquid.

If I understand the basics correctly – if Milton Friedman had his druthers he would have replaced Social Security with lump sum cash in hand with no strings attached. Fine – but the bard’s rub comes in regards to a question asked of Friedman by a University of Chicago student some 3 years ago.

“If you did that, how would you protect people from making really stupid decisions?”

Friedman replied. “I don’t! Why should I? You mean freedom does not include the freedom to make a stupid decision?”

I think that you mirror Friedman’s comments when you state that, “the wise counselor is usually about as brilliant as the fool you are trying to correct and, anyway, nobody likes nosey nancies.” Friedman’s comments got a laugh in chicago I wonder if they would have gotten a laugh in our context?

For the moment lets ignore Birch’s comments. Lets assume that the “consumer” is the ultimate consumer. Let’s pretend that every consumer is able to act, participate, and exert the same liberties that our urban 10% can exert.

Are we willing to allow consumers to have unencumbered freedom over their supports and the funding for those supports?
Are we willing to allow the chips to fall as they may (and I hope nobody will deny the possibilities), because freedom of the consumer includes the freedom to make stupid decisions?

If the answer to both question is a yes then I will understand your basic point/position (but not necessarily agree)

If we are not willing to allow the chips to fall as they may then we find ourselves sniffing for Andy’s armpits. If we are not completely hands off then we begin to encumber the freedom and inclusion of people with disabilities. If we begin to distance ourselves from our nirvana then the real question is how far will distance ouselves, and how far will we move our slider bar to the left.

The comment, “the more activist we ask DDS to be, the less able our system will become to model the inclusiveness we promote”, may be true but might very well be, for all practical purposes, quite useless as well. Every single law, rule, or norm encumbers my liberty and my freedom suffers. That is not rocket science. The tougher question is when the laws, rules, or norms become insufferable.

I agree with Doug’s basic thoughts about government intervention vis-à-vis freedom. However, I view this perspective as a tool to be utilized when trying to reach an objective. I do not see it as an ideology.

Be that as it may, this discussion may just be nothing more autocerebalism. I also cannot help but wonder if this discussion, as it reflex on EVERY consumer, is two decades outta season. From the beginning the 21 Regional Centers have bowled gutter balls time and time again. As a result DDS has intervened and held their incapable hands through the building of the board of managers, to eligibility standards, to telling them when they should poop and pee.

However, in regards to the bluebloods and all the cutting edge hands off approaches this discussion is still viable, and since the bluebloods set the agenda….

In othe words, I disagree that, "nobody likes nosey nancies.” I think that are some consumers begging and praying for a nosey nancy, and would probably love to give up the freedoms that they never really had in order to get a chance to discuss the loss of freedom. But we dont wish to discuss these folks at our tea parties. Lets face it, the tea parties are NOT for them...

stanley said...

[andy] Is that what you want, Comrade? All power in the hands of a chosen few? All directives emanating from Sacramoscow? A Stanley Stalin at the head of the Department?. . . ya’ old red bastard!

All wanted is for DDS to obey the law:

The department [DDS] shall* take ALL necessary actions to support regional centers to successfully achieve compliance with this section and provide high quality services and supports to consumers and their families. (4434 b) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DDRIGHTS/message/4021

As they did when they sent paul carleton to run a RC that was NOT implementing Lanterman...

Would you have DDS continue to do nothing...at no time has anyone, including stanley stalin espoused all power in the hands of a chosen few...from day one all stanley stalin suggested is that DDS obey the law.

cute...but why do you keep harping on this power to the chosen few bs...

stanley seigler

Doug said...

Stanley, and we do consider BS at length.

Andy, "bastard'"s fine. I used it recently.

Stanley, choice is the point. That's what you get with a market model and not with a traditional command and control social services model. Also, arguably, quality.

Paul, I actually can't give specific examples, because of confidentiality, but I can give some specific examples:

A) A client who enjoys marijuana but has mandatory reporters in his/her home.

B) Every client accepting services through a regional center agrees to have a relative stranger come in and negotiate with them about their preferences.

C) Choosing not to take medications may often be dumb but it doesn't risk judicial involvement until you have support staff around.

D) A client looking for residential services is typically required to not only work, but specific kinds (vendored) of work.

I agree with your premise that every regulation and law impinges freedom but I don't think debating both sides of the case regarding how activist DDS ought to be is worthless. It's a specific version of the great American tradition of seeking the right size and role for government.

Stan, we all agree that we want DDS to obey the law, along with regional centers, vendors and clients. But sometimes "all necessary actions to support compliance" is sit out and shut up, sometimes its partnership, and sometimes it means being the boss. I'm one who thinks that authorities sitting down and shutting up is rarer than it should be and being the boss way more common. Even under circumspect authorities like the current DDS leadership.

stanley said...

[doug say] Stanley, choice is the point. That's what you get with a market model and not with a traditional command and control social services model. Also, arguably, quality.

Not sure how suggesting DDS enforce IPP goals and needs support became “a traditional command and control social services model”...or as that bastard john birch makes DDS enforcing IPP goals an All power in the hands of a chosen few? All directives emanating from Sacramoscow

as asked how does one get more choice than 200,000 individual programs...granted this is utopia...but it is basically the intent/goal of Lanterman...the goal DDS is asked (mandated) to enforce.

There are w/o doubt more instances, where DDS has enforced Lanterman...than the one (take over of a RC) Andy related and the personal instance w/ my daughter...but based on the state of the system...enforcement has been lax to non existent

BTW DDS action on both of the above mentioned instances was due mainly to the effort of one individual, paul carleton.

Who in my daughter’s case immediately took action...just wonder if he has any idea of the enormous effect his phone call had on my daughter’s life...and

I’ll bet the farm there were many similar instances where his actions (enforcing Lanterman) had immeasurable (compared to what might have been) positive effects on the lives of many w/ special needs...

[doug say] A client looking for residential services is typically required to not only work, but specific kinds (vendored) of work.

What does the client's IPP say re work she/he wants to do...guess what happened at Valley Village...

client and families were encouraged to make the ?-choice-? that created less problems for Valley Village rate negotiations w/RC...consultants (paid by VV) encouraged the encouragement (hard to believe, eh!)

[doug say] I'm one who thinks that authorities sitting down and shutting up is rarer than it should be and being the boss way more common. Even under circumspect authorities like the current DDS leadership.

seems if DDS had enforced Lanterman from day one...the system just may have been the model some stakeholders believe it to be (because for their precious child it is...actually better than the model)...ie;

if DDS had taken ALL necessary actions to support regional centers to successfully achieve compliance with this section (4434 b) and provide high quality services and supports to consumers and their families.

as asked andy, would you have DDS continue to do nothing...well do less than now...will them doing less improve the system...will doing less ensure choice for 200,000 individuals...

stanley seigler

ps. am glad paul carleton didnt sit down and shut up.

stanley said...

OFF Subject...but important.

warning...beware of doug's subliminal messages...eg, see the pic of his dog (sad eyes and all) embedded in the pic of stars attached to Entitled to what discussion

maybe seeing things as i did see stalin's face in my grits the morn.

stanley seigler

flip flop paul said...

Doug,

Thanks for the examples. I promise that I will not report that there is someone, someplace, west of the Mississippi who enjoys marijuana. I am sure that they did not inhale. But – I certainly hope that the staff are not allowing the consumers to go blind!!

“I don't think debating both sides of the case regarding how activist DDS ought to be is worthless.”
-Doug-

Nor do I. But – “not worthless” is a pretty low bar and I think that it is likely that the majority has much more serious and pressing concerns. Jefferson and Washington discussed the vices and virtues of liberty and government tyranny. I highly doubt that their slaves did the same. Without a doubt those slaves where likely much too busy trying to find the other 2/5th of their corpus before they bled to death. No matter – I believe any discussion has worth, even if I believe that there is not worth in the issue at hand.

Doug,

I would bet the basement of the outhouse that the examples that you have provided are realized because of the actions, policies, and procedures of the Regional Centers. As you stated earlier those actions are probably NOT sanctioned by the law. This would not be the first time the internal policies of the Regional Centers violated the Lanterman Act.

It has been said that the greatest threat to free speech is not from our government, but from our neighbor. Even if a person disagrees with the specifics I think this could apply to our realities. The greatest threat to the liberties of the consumer does not come from the state, but the Regional Center.

Over 20 years ago it was time for the Regional Centers to conduct business or get off the pot. Today, the Regional Center system is still sitting on the potty, and few demand that they do their business or leave. Perhaps it is because we know that we will have to wipe up should we ask them to leave. Their continual excuse is that they need more TP. While at times this may be true, most of the time it is not, but we continue to pander.

It is my belief that those most responsible, those that allow the Regional Centers to enjoy endless time with Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Series do NOT work for the state. I also believe that having the RC occupy the loo endlessly DOES benefit some, and the some are the ones that decide whether to provide a laxative, ask the RC to leave, or – the popular choice. Do nothing…

My prating might certainly seem like a build up to advocating DDS intervention – maybe, but probably not. I think that an argument for some type of intervention probably exists and has some merit, even though no good arguments have been provided here. Quoting a section of WIC multiple times is unfortunately NOT an argument, but only shows competence in ones ability to cut and paste.

Whether or not the state has authority to act in any given situation depends upon the details. But details are such a pain. Conclusions and criticism are so much easier and make us look like we care to boot!!!

In my opinion, we are well beyond DDS intervention and such intervention would be nothing more than thimbles of water upon the flames of Big Sur. If this is the case then we might as well save the cost of the water. If things are going to improve it is solely upon our non-governmental participants. If any serious intervention by the state should occur I would like it to be burning sections 4400 – 4906 of the Welfare and Institution Code and starting from scratch. But since this will help EVERYONE at the expense of the bluebloods, the chances of such an event is slim to none…

I am certain that at least one person I know who desires DDS intervention would be the first person to criticize that intervention should he get his way. How do you say it, be careful what you wish for? How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.

No matter - regardless of the details, or the merit of intervention I do not think intervention is likely. As already mentioned, those that could serve as a catalyst for state intervention are better served with little or no intervention, and our silent majority does not even know what a Regional Center is…So – we need not worry much.

We probably have more to fear from the potential blogocide that might result from Agent Stanlin dropping propaganda bytes from Sacromoscow. So – what to do what to do….

Well – Over the last 15 years I have seen a single consistent pattern amongst our advodivas (Comrade Stanlin is the only person that I have experienced that breaks the mold. Perhaps he really is the real McCoy, a genuine reincarnate of Eugene Debbs). Combine my experience with “when in Rome” and the pathway is clear. If intervention benefits me and mine then do it, if not then not. So – if DDS intervention costs me less money then Yahooooo, if it will cost me more money then long live laissez-faire!!

stanley said...

[paul say] I am certain that at least one person I know who desires DDS intervention would be the first person to criticize that intervention should he get his way. How do you say it, be careful what you wish for? How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.

Gawd it must be great to be so certain...the only simple wish is that DDS obey the law and stakeholders hold them accountable for same...at least ask why not obey the law...vice saying it's OK...cause it really wouldnt make a difference anyway.

[paul say] In my opinion, we are well beyond DDS intervention and such intervention would be nothing more than thimbles of water

DDS intervention in sending paul carleton to run a RC was substantially more than a thimble of water...and Carleton's intervention was orders of magnitude more than a thimble in my daughter's life...

perhaps DDS intervention could make a difference for one person at a time (follow a carleton example)...

a difference in one RC at a time...a pilot RC that followed the intent of Lanterman vice being a bean counter for the state...

perhaps DDS could submit a budget based on needs vice meaningless historic data.

[paul say] Quoting a section of WIC multiple times is unfortunately NOT an argument, but only shows competence in ones ability to cut and paste.

Isnt quoting the law what judges do in their arguments...writing opinions, etc...is this just an indication of their ability to cut and paste...

So much prattle to justify DDS not obeying the law... why justify not obeying the law.

stanley seigler

paul said...

”a difference in one RC at a time...a pilot RC that followed the intent of Lanterman vice being a bean counter for the state...”
-Stanley-

Comrade,

Thank you so much for making my point. Back in 1965, over 40 years ago, Assembly Bill 691establishing two pilot regional centers to do what you demand. They failed. Now you propose a redux, a mulligan, take-over, doesn’t count?

Please see re: getting of the loo.

”Isnt quoting the law what judges do in their arguments...writing opinions, etc”
-Stanley-

No

“...is this just an indication of their ability to cut and paste...”

No

paul said...

”Isnt quoting the law what judges do in their arguments...writing opinions, etc”
-Stanley-

Sorry
yes they do...along with some other "stuff"

paul said...

“Gawd it must be great to be so certain...”
Stanley Siegler

Comrade Stanlin,

I used to laugh at such comments believing that you intended humour through irony. I am learning that this is not the case – albeit slowly.

The assertions that you make based upon Welf. & Inst. Code, § 4434 subc. (b) have been made by Capitol People First in CPF v. DDS. After some details and arguments [your betes noires] the Court of Appeal stated that Capitol People First failed to show that DDS failed to perform its ministerial duty as required by Lanterman.

Of course, a failure to demonstrate does not mean the accusations by Capitol People First, and youself are not warranted or incorrect.

Capitol People First amended it's complaint and preserved the cause for appeal. The amended complaints contain your beloved section 4434. Capitol People First alleges, as you do, that DDS has violated your section 4434(b) as well as other subdivisions of this section.

Before you celebrate and brag about your litigious skills and your “cut and paste” skills that rival those of judges there is a BIG distinction between what you provide this blog and what Capitol People First will do, in it’s attempt to demonstrate that what they assert is true. The mere mention of a statute does not a guilty party make. The plaintiff’s will do MUCH more than cut and paste section 4434(b).

“So much prattle to justify DDS not obeying the law... why justify not obeying the law.”
Stanley Siegler

the only simple wish is that DDS obey the law and stakeholders hold them accountable for same...at least ask why not obey the law...vice saying it's OK...”
Stanley Siegler

I do not recall saying that it is OK for DDS to disobey the law. In fact I have not accused them of obeying the law [intended]. I have only asserted that simply quoting a section of Lanterman ad naseum does not proof of guilty party make. Such a comment causes you to accuse people of saying “It’s Ok” not to obey the law. Should we just quote section 187 of the penal code everytime we have a murder trial? It would, faster, and more efficient. Is this southern justice?

If I disagree with one thing that Mary C says you accuse me of dismissing 105% of everything she says. Even if I irrefutably show that she was in error.

If I disagree with something that Right-Wing Andy sez (that you approve), you will probably accuse me of hating his guts, his kids, wife, and his gold fish Bernie.

You think that DDS is not performing it duties under 4434. FINE – I do not necesssarily disagree. I just assert that it is an OPINION until you provide more. That means that when someone disagrees with you, and there is nothing wrong with that, then that retort is an OPINION as well. Neither is worth more than the other.

Now you know when I laugh when you say, “Gawd it must be great to be so certain...”

I am NOT, and probably never will be..

When I ask you why you ARE so certain that DDS is guilty the question brings accusations of condoning blatant state violations of the law. If such responses are not a reflection of certainty then I not know what is.

Comrade,

I would not be surprised to hear you say, “I am the humblest man I know”

stanley said...

[paul say] whatever

As someone pointed out previously paul/stanley should have off blog discussions...

soo

stanley will nor comment here...if anyone is interested (doubt if anyone is) in paul’s fetish w/ stanleyflaws there may be, maybe not, comments on DDRights...

paul too cute put downs of stanley been going on for too long...see CAL-DD archives for same old same old.

stanley seigler

Anonymous said...

I am sorry – I know I can be a bit gruff. As I have mentioned once before the point was not about you personally, but about your habit, your behavior of providing large conclusions with nothing for support. That is not helpful and is a public issue.

My jabs are poor attempt at humor and perhaps I should stop. Sensitivity is difficult to detect over the Internet. However, it seems from this end that you will accept nothing less than an obsequious sycophant in reply. Anything less you will interpret as a personal attack, or words that unequivocally condoning genocide and mayhem.

I disagree about offline/online – as I said, it is not about you but about the general need to have some substance behind our accusations, and besides, offline you use swear words and call me the exit end of digestion.

Online you are civil and sweat.

You can have the last word, and then I will cease to comment on your input. You and doug have the tete-a-tete.

paul said...

Not "sweat" but sweet. I am NOT attacking you. I am not implying that you perspire too much. It was an accident. Or - the Bourbon

sorry

paul said...

"Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it."
- Samuel Johnson -

Anonymous said...

Is anyone other than me having a hard time following these posts? I read that DDS either does nothing or does everything; it either breaks the law or supports the law (ie, taking control of a regional center); RCs are in the gutter or constrained by law/DDS. Bogeymen all over the place!

Doug said...

Sorry, everyone. I've been remiss on moderation and posting. Let's call a draw on this conversation and I'll try to post something fresh this week.

Anonymous, I hope I'm not being defensive but I see no bogeymen in the original post. In the comments there tend to be many, but this is a fairly informal dialogue and flourishing demons are pretty common when people do politics informally. or formally.

Andy said...

Anonymous said...
Is anyone other than me having a hard time following these posts?


Annon, the posts are "all over the place" because we can't, don't, or won't agree.

If your confusion extends beyond the unrelenting repetition of the arguments, I am certain it is due to the styles, talents, personalities, or interests of the posters.

Doug is refined to the point of vapor. Paul believes (i.e. wishes and prays) that Latin isn't really a dead language---it's just a sound sleeper. Stanley is a one-man cultural revolution. Jeffery disdains punctuation as yet another oppressive clampdown from The Man.

My posts, you will find, are clear, cogent and concise. You really shouldn't need any others.

Hope this helps . . .

--Andy

paul said...

My posts, you will find, are clear, cogent and concise. You really shouldn't need any others.
-Andy-

I agree – Andy is our Agnus Dei - the bomb...

But Anon, you should know that rumor has it that And(Y) and Stanl(eY) are one in the same and….when too many oysters are involved sometime Samm(Y) makes an appearance. Stanley works with both the savagery of Sitting Bull and military precision of Patton while Andy can be a fine policeman but is a cowboy at heart. Sammy is like a construction worker, and repairs the damage when Andy and Stanley play cowboys and Indians too long.

I like to think of t(him) as our Y people or more fondly….our Village People.

Vivat DDS
Memento Mori DDS