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Nicholas Scheuer
07-29-2009, 03:53 PM
Close a great many US Military bases around the World. Why can't other "Leading Indusrialized Nations" pay for their own defense?

Sure we need bases for advance troops, refueling aircraft, etc, but not nearly as many bases as we presently staff.

We used to defend S Korea because China was backing up N Korea. Guess what? China ain't backing N Korea anymore. S Korea is more than a match for N Korea, and Japan can pitch in, too.

Same for the rest of the World.

Keith Wilson
07-29-2009, 04:24 PM
Sigh . . . Do I have to go over it again? You want me to quote the statistics again for twenty other countries who manage to insure everybody yet pay on average 55% of what we do? To be blunt, "We can't afford it" is a damned lie. We can't afford what we have now.

elf
07-29-2009, 04:42 PM
we can not. not and keep the kind of care you want your parents to get when theyre old

if you want 3rd world cre then you might be on to somethign but i still doubt it.

I suppose all the illegals deserve a us citizen to be paying for their helathcare as well.

why dont we just send money to mexico direcrty for thier heatlhcare?

The bigotry is coming out into the open. This morning I heard on the news some gentleman from North Carolina say he was opposed to a public option because black people might actually take advantage of it to get more health can than they "should".

Are you listening to yourself, Steven?

Are you a bigot like you sound?

Keith Wilson
07-29-2009, 04:48 PM
we can not. not and keep the kind of care you want your parents to get when they're oldThis is completely false. Every other wealthy country manages to do it, and they all spend a lot less than we do. I'm not talking about Mexico; I'm talking about Canada and Germany and France and Australia and Japan and Denmark and Italy and Spain and Sweden and Norway - you want the numbers? It's so obvious it's painful. Third world my *ss. :rolleyes:

One dollar of every three we spend on health care goes to "administrative costs"; i.e. it's wasted.

Oh hell, here it is again. (Sorry for the repetition, but somebody else still doesn't get it). The US spends about 18% of GDP on health care. All the other OECD countries (the rich countries) spend an average of 10% We have 50 million people without insurance, and anyone under 65 can lose coverage at any time. They cover everybody, all the time. We get worse results than most (longevity, infant mortality, etc.), We pay a lot more. We get less. Universal health care is NOT a "giveaway" it's been proven in every other case to be far more efficient than what we have now.

Check it out - that line climbing into the stratosphere is the good old US of A.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/07/09/business/econgraphic3.jpg

Glen Longino
07-29-2009, 05:02 PM
Maybe Steven P owns an insurance company and is responsible for all those FEAR ads I've seen lately on TV?

Keith Wilson
07-29-2009, 05:03 PM
No, he just believes them.

2MeterTroll
07-29-2009, 05:58 PM
he's a cop of course. goes with the function in this country.

Captain Intrepid
07-29-2009, 06:03 PM
Just want to point out again, up here in Canada we have universal healthcare, and until the recession hit we were actually paying down the national debt for the better part of a decade.


Oh and since you brought up GDP, our debt/GDP ration is about 2/5ths of yours.

John Smith
07-29-2009, 06:10 PM
we can not. not and keep the kind of care you want your parents to get when theyre old

if you want 3rd world cre then you might be on to somethign but i still doubt it.

I suppose all the illegals deserve a us citizen to be paying for their helathcare as well.

why dont we just send money to mexico direcrty for thier heatlhcare?
Haven't put a lot of thought into this, have you? Medicare is socialized medicine. It ONLY covers the elderly; that part of our population with the highest per capita medical needs. If it covered everyone, the per patient cost would come down considerably.

Who pays now for health care given to anyone? Illegals go to the emergency room and get treated; who pays?

You and I pay for ALL of it, either as taxpayers, consumers, or in our health care premiums.

Much of the ER costs for treating the uninsured are dumped onto the insured. If we buy a product or service, we are paying premiums for whatever health insurance that company gives its employees. Our taxes pay for the premiums for health insurance for government workers.

It all falls on us, anyway. 1/3 of our premium dollars go into the "for profit" part of insurance companies, which leaves less of our premium dollar for actual benefits.

Our system is the most inefficient on the planet.

There are many, relatively painless, ways to kick this off, money wise. I can handle a small tax on soft drinks. I could handle a penny tax on all things shipped.

Since we are paying for all of it anyway, doesn't it make more sense to do all the paying via taxes and separate your health insurance from your job?

John Smith
07-29-2009, 06:14 PM
just call me an angry white man elfie.

call me anything you want it doesnt change the facts.

were currently sittting on $38,000 of debt for every person in this country. do you really think the chinese and japanese are going to finance our health care too?

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

No one denies the debt. Some of us are of the opinion that rising health care costs under our present system are a major part of the overall problem. Health care costs, even among those insured, take too large a part of my families income (I've got the same Blue Cross Congress gets), and cuts down on other spending. It impacts the quality of our lives, and the economy is hurt via the things we don't buy for lack of funds.

How are our employers to be competitive with foreign corporations when ours have to cover health care premiums and theirs don't?

paladin
07-29-2009, 06:36 PM
I started paying into a system over 40 years ago.....my contribution was about $60 a month to start. I also had a paid up life insurance policy.....it started at about $10 a month for my contribution...I didn't collect a nickle in any manner for almost 10 years. My contribution kept climbing to almost $600 a month until 1999. You can guess why I wouldn't change the system that I have. I do have a co-pay. $10 every time I see a doctor...no charge for lab works or to see a nurse. Meds are $10. I still pay out about 20K a year average for the additional services. Insurance was cheap early on...it just rises as you get older...and that's when you start to spend the bucks. I would be in the poorhouse if I didn't have the insurance But I do object to paying someone elses expenses unless I elect to do so...and it would be a loved one or family member. I think that anyone that uses emergency services should have to pay a fixed fee when they enter the facility. If they are employed...$50 would be not out of line. In this are the nearest hospital is 25 miles away., and there are commercial emergency care facilities close by. I think it's a bit ambitious to give free health care to those that are without insurance but are employed. Even minimum wage can afford something. If they are unable to work they won't have the funds to start with.

George Roberts
07-29-2009, 06:49 PM
Sigh . . . Do I have to go over it again? You want me to quote the statistics again for twenty other countries who manage to insure everybody yet pay on average 55% of what we do? To be blunt, "We can't afford it" is a damned lie. We can't afford what we have now.

In the US we tend to allow people to make their own individual choices.

The majority of the people have health insurance and they are happy with the health insurance they have.

If you wish to take the freedom of choice away on this issue, what other issues do you want to take the freedom of choice away on?

---

While other countries may have lower costs (based on GDP or whatever), the measure you choose may not be appropriate or accurate.

If health care costs are cut, someone loses income. I am sure you have looked to see that neither you nor your neighbors have lost income. Who's neighbors have lost income?

John Smith
07-29-2009, 06:59 PM
In the US we tend to allow people to make their own individual choices.

The majority of the people have health insurance and they are happy with the health insurance they have.

If you wish to take the freedom of choice away on this issue, what other issues do you want to take the freedom of choice away on?

---

While other countries may have lower costs (based on GDP or whatever), the measure you choose may not be appropriate or accurate.

If health care costs are cut, someone loses income. I am sure you have looked to see that neither you nor your neighbors have lost income. Who's neighbors have lost income?

Actually, I think the majority are NOT happy with their health insurance. It "beats a blank", and is better having it than not having it.

I have to admit to a bit of outrage in this thread. Seems we want to blame other citizens for the high cost of health care. Isn't that a little bit wrong?

Where does the greed of the health care insurance companies come in? Their efforts to find ways NOT to pay benefits?

Those who've not yet been victimized by their insurance company will be.

Imagine a life insurance company cancelling your policy because you died. Why can a health insurance company cancel your insurance because you get sick?

Nicholas Scheuer
07-29-2009, 07:46 PM
Getting back to the other part of the subject, do we still need so many bases?

How much of the Woerld is entitles to free defense?

Moby Nick

downthecreek
07-30-2009, 02:51 AM
Getting back to the other part of the subject, do we still need so many bases?

How much of the Woerld is entitles to free defense?

Moby Nick

I agree with you. The US has far too many bases abroad. But their purpose is not the "free defence" of the countries in which they are situated. It is the projection of American military power and the protection of American economic interests and energy security.

This much is evident if you read some of the relevant materials published in the last 20 years or so, as is the specific intention to block any aspiration to rival this military and economic pre-eminence. American governments have been, to say the least, ambivalent about the development of independent systems of defence in other parts of the world.

Of course, the rise of the new super-powers is changing the picture dramatically now. But if you look carefully into the issues surrounding, for example, access to the enrgy reserves of central Asia (a subject very relevant to the war in Afghanistan) it quickly becomes evident why even nasty, undemocratic places like Uzbekistan are getting their "free defence" from the USA.

Nicholas Scheuer
07-30-2009, 05:07 AM
Hegemony has never worked before in World History. We in America like to talk about how our preeminence will last "forever", but it also stimulates others to "bring us down to size".

Gates will be expanding the size of the Army to face the needs in Afghanistan with less strain on Reserve Troops. He could staff Afghanistan with Troops from Korea and elsewhere, and save money not only in wages, but overhead.

I understand what yor're saying, downthecreek, but maybe it's time "for change". We have other needs for the cash, and our economy is loosing (at least in relative size) it's ace in the hole, manufacturing.

Moby Nick

Andrew Craig-Bennett
07-30-2009, 05:53 AM
It is very scary and difficult for ain Empire to "back off", since, almost certainly, whoever moves into a space that the Empire is vacating will be extremely hostile to it.

Britain did achieve it, but that was partly due to good fortune in having had a practice run with Ireland and in the character of Ghandi, who set a precedent for others, and partly because anti-British hostility could only go so far in the Pax Americana which replaced the Pax Brittannica.

We only really went pear shaped in Aden.

America does not have that option - give up military control of any space and anti-American forces will almost certainly take over.

PeterSibley
07-30-2009, 06:28 AM
Here's an interesting c&p from Commondreams which seems to back up Nick's proposition The numbers are staggering !
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0115-08.htm


At Least Seven Hundred Foreign Bases
It's not easy to assess the size or exact value of our empire of bases. Official records on these subjects are misleading, although instructive. According to the Defense Department's annual "Base Structure Report" for fiscal year 2003, which itemizes foreign and domestic U.S. military real estate, the Pentagon currently owns or rents 702 overseas bases in about 130 countries and HAS another 6,000 bases in the United States and its territories. Pentagon bureaucrats calculate that it would require at least $113.2 billion to replace just the foreign bases -- surely far too low a figure but still larger than the gross domestic product of most countries -- and an estimated $591,519.8 million to replace all of them. The military high command deploys to our overseas bases some 253,288 uniformed personnel, plus an equal number of dependents and Department of Defense civilian officials, and employs an additional 44,446 locally hired foreigners. The Pentagon claims that these bases contain 44,870 barracks, hangars, hospitals, and other buildings, which it owns, and that it leases 4,844 more.
These numbers, although staggeringly large, do not begin to cover all the actual bases we occupy globally. The 2003 Base Status Report fails to mention, for instance, any garrisons in Kosovo -- even though it is the site of the huge Camp Bondsteel, built in 1999 and maintained ever since by Kellogg, Brown & Root. The Report similarly omits bases in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Qatar, and Uzbekistan, although the U.S. military has established colossal base structures throughout the so-called arc of instability in the two-and-a-half years since 9/11.

downthecreek
07-30-2009, 06:51 AM
In the US we tend to allow people to make their own individual choices.

Same in the UK and almost everywhere else where universal coverage is the norm. In this respect, Canada is the exception.


The majority of the people have health insurance and they are happy with the health insurance they have.According to the Harvard Medical School Study, health care costs are the cause of 62% of bankruptcies and 75% of the people involved are insured. I expect many of these were happy with their insurance until the test came.

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/06/05/bankruptcy.medical.bills/index.html?eref=rss_health


If you wish to take the freedom of choice away on this issue, what other issues do you want to take the freedom of choice away on?Freedom of choice is a non issue, except for the scare mongers.

skuthorp
07-30-2009, 07:00 AM
It is very scary and difficult for ain Empire to "back off", since, almost certainly, whoever moves into a space that the Empire is vacating will be extremely hostile to it.

Britain did achieve it, but that was partly due to good fortune in having had a practice run with Ireland and in the character of Ghandi, who set a precedent for others, and partly because anti-British hostility could only go so far in the Pax Americana which replaced the Pax Brittannica.
We only really went pear shaped in Aden.
America does not have that option - give up military control of any space and anti-American forces will almost certainly take over.

Almost exactly what I was going to post ACB. And once the 'empire' (note no caps) is given up it will disappear very quickly as host nations realign their 'national interests' with the next big thing. In actuality it is happening already.
Of course that will concentrate the US electorate inwards, produce a lot of fear and I wonder if the political institutions and the system will be able to contain it. The role of the press would be very important and once again I wonder if that institution has the ethics and awareness to be a peacemaker not a provocateur. And in case you think I am writing the US off way too early there's a quote from one of Nicholas Scheur's posts, "We in America like to talk about how our preeminence will last "forever". Theere was another 20th century empire that thought it would last for a thousand years too.

Keith Wilson
07-30-2009, 08:39 AM
you can show anything you want and make any point you want with a well designed graph. No you can't, unless you are willing to lie. I'm not; the truth is a far, far more convincing argument. If there is some problem with the data shown in the graph, please tell us about it.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/07/09/business/econgraphic3.jpg
my bet is the GDP of the foreign and 3rd world countries is going up and the us is stagnant. This is not the case; in fact, exactly the opposite is true. US GDP growth has been a bit higher than the average in recent years, which means that our increase in heath care costs relative to GDP growth is also higher than in most other countries, exceeded only by Ireland and South Korea among the OECD countries. Take a look - growth rate is the slope of the line.

http://qmarks.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/oecd-gdp-per-capita.png



. . . . did you notice that the cost are going up for everyone on that graph of yours? Yes. But costs in the US are both higher than everyone else's, and going up much faster.

The numbers are irrefutable. The US has by far the least efficient heath care system among the developed nations. We pay much more, we get less, 50 million people have no heath insurance, and anyone under 65 - this means you - could lose coverage at any time.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
07-30-2009, 08:54 AM
....our economy is loosing (at least in relative size) it's ace in the hole, manufacturing.

Moby Nick

Error in tense.

I've just checked my desk and found exactly two items "Made in the USA".

A zippo lighter
A bottle of Sally Hansen "Hard as Nails"

Ace in the hole?

Keith Wilson
07-30-2009, 09:13 AM
I've just checked my desk and found exactly two items "Made in the USA"What about the software on your computer?

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
07-30-2009, 09:43 AM
What about the software on your computer?

Written by teams around the world - yes lots is from the USA - just is there is software running on US computers which was written in Wales - and an ever increasing amount written in either Mumbai or China.

I'm inclined to count software with the creative arts rather than manufacturing industry - but it's the same tale either way...

Keith Wilson
07-30-2009, 09:53 AM
Hmm - is software creative arts or manufacturing? For that matter, is machine design? Ah well - serious thread drift. There is a lot of stuff on my desk that was made in the US, though.

Back to health care?

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
07-30-2009, 09:56 AM
......
Back to health care?

Fair enough - I suspect that the simple answer to "How shall we pay for it" is that you as a nation already are paying for it - you're just getting shockingly poor value.

Keith Wilson
07-30-2009, 10:06 AM
the simple answer to "How shall we pay for it" is that you as a nation already are paying for it - you're just getting shockingly poor value. Indeed. The difference between 10% and 18% of GDP for the US is about $1.1 trillion per year. If we spent as much per capita as the average of the other industrialized countries, we'd save about $3600 per year per person.

B_B
07-30-2009, 10:19 AM
Close a great many US Military bases around the World. Why can't other "Leading Indusrialized Nations" pay for their own defense?
well, to be realistic, the US doesn't have bases all over the world as a form of altruism, it has bases all over the world to project its power.

but by all means, close them all, start with Guantanamo...

pacman77
08-04-2009, 10:28 PM
In Australia you have medicare although classed as free every worker pays $270 annually into the scheme most do not realise they are paying as it is included in tax it is only if you read your tax bill that you see it,if every American paid $270 they could have medicare as well.

Milo Christensen
08-04-2009, 10:54 PM
Close a great many US Military bases around the World. Why can't other "Leading Indusrialized Nations" pay for their own defense?

Sure we need bases for advance troops, refueling aircraft, etc, but not nearly as many bases as we presently staff.

We used to defend S Korea because China was backing up N Korea. Guess what? China ain't backing N Korea anymore. S Korea is more than a match for N Korea, and Japan can pitch in, too.

Same for the rest of the World.

Dude! Far out! Hallelujah! The Obama maniac has seen the light and converted to Ron Paulism. Welcome, my friend, welcome. I forgive you all the really rotten, pissy-assed things you've said to me over the years. All members of the Ron Paul Revolution are my brothers and all are forgiven.

John Smith
08-05-2009, 07:42 AM
Dude! Far out! Hallelujah! The Obama maniac has seen the light and converted to Ron Paulism. Welcome, my friend, welcome. I forgive you all the really rotten, pissy-assed things you've said to me over the years. All members of the Ron Paul Revolution are my brothers and all are forgiven.
This is ONE area where I agree with Ron Paul. There are other areas where I do not. What does that make me?

John Smith
08-05-2009, 10:06 AM
Let's tax churches.

http://www.npr.org/templates/player/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=106115324&m=106116637

Larch_Keelson
08-05-2009, 05:30 PM
Before you go talking about "closing military bases," you may want to read Jim Carrol's book House Of War. Talk like that will get eveyone a seat in a parade car wheeling through Deely Plaza. The "...totemic center of evil' does not like it's funding threatened. Close bases and Iran will suddenly have the same nukes as North Korea.

I just skimmed a book titled Best Care Anywhere: Why The VA Health Care Is Better Than Yours. As soon as I read it, I be shooting off my mouth about this and that and whatever heath care solutions I may or may not find therein.

So, quit your whining and be thankful you're not affraid of being tried for crimes against humanity like most of those Hells Bottom bureaucrats at that five sided gargantua on the muddy banks of the filthy Potomic.

"If we would have lost the war, we would have been tried for war crimes." Gen. Curtis Lemay reflecting on the young Robert McNamara's sucessful planning in the maximization of civilian casualties in the fire bombing of Tokyo.

dennisbur
08-05-2009, 06:12 PM
there are basic flaws in all systems. However, the one glaring fact is that the US spends more per capita on health care than the "universal" countries and yet almost 25% have no coverage at all. this allows those with insurance to receive care quicker because the others can't get it. the essence of a free market system functioning exactly has it should. However, somewhere I read something that goes like, " ... Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness..." Having the best health possible is a great start to achieving those ideals.

And before anyone starts bringing out the political insults, I believe that health care is the best form of "charity" ( basic humanity - call it what you will) there is. If someone has their health they can provide the rest on their own.

Larch_Keelson
08-05-2009, 06:32 PM
Anyone remember Huey Long's Share Our Wealth campaign? Huey did not realize that the USA was founded by Satanists who could give a flying monkey's ass about humanity.

"We were wrong." Robert McNamara on US intervention in Viet Nam.

ahp
08-05-2009, 06:41 PM
I suggest that we start extending Medicare to lower age groups. I have Medicare plus AARP "C" and I like it. Medicare is deducted from my Social Security. If you were still working and not collecting SS your paycheck could have a deduction for Medicare rather than the group insurance premium. The insurance industry would fight it tooth and nail. It would mean slow death for many of them. Good riddence! I hate 'em.

ahp
08-05-2009, 06:44 PM
Regarding our quality of health now, by one parameter, infant mortality, we are tyed for 26th place with Poland and Bulgaria. All those SOCIALIST western European countries do better than we for less money.

High C
08-06-2009, 09:21 AM
.....almost 25% have no coverage at all.....

It's really something how this propagandized figure grows and grows and grows. :rolleyes: When you consider how many of our uninsured are either so by their own CHOOSING, or are illegal immigrants who have no business being here at all, the true figure is well under 10%.

Pugwash
08-06-2009, 09:37 AM
It's really something how this propagandized figure grows and grows and grows. :rolleyes: When you consider how many of our uninsured are either so by their own CHOOSING, or are illegal immigrants who have no business being here at all, the true figure is well under 10%.


Orly Taitz??

Is that you?

:confused::)

High C
08-06-2009, 09:40 AM
I think you're making an incorrect assumption. It matters not whether the uninsured are uninsured by their own choosing, or because they can't obtain insurance...

It matters a great deal. Unless we are to become slaves to those of you who fancy that you know what's best for all of us, we are free to make that choice. It is not your place to force anyone to buy health insurance and you will be fought tooth and nail to prevent it. Period.

downthecreek
08-06-2009, 09:42 AM
illegal immigrants who have no business being here at all,

Why do they come? Presumably to work? That is very convenient, I suppose, for the many employers, large and small, that get a cheap, captive labour force to exploit at will. I suspect corporate America is ambivalent, to say the very least, about illegal immigrants.

Maybe if the employer could be sent the bill every time an "illegal" turned up at the ER? But then, I suppose, people would just get sacked and be even less likely to get health care for themselves or their families.

High C
08-06-2009, 09:45 AM
....Maybe if the employer could be sent the bill every time an "illegal" turned up at the ER?...

Maybe if the employer could be sent to jail every time an illegal (no quotes necessary) turned up anywhere in a country where he was illegally employed.

TomF
08-06-2009, 09:47 AM
It matters a great deal. Unless we are to become slaves to those of you who fancy that you know what's best for all of us, we are free to make that choice. It is not your place to force anyone to buy health insurance and you will be fought tooth and nail to prevent it. Period.Out of curiosity, does the same logic apply to roads, police services, or sewage treatment plants?

If not, why not?

High C
08-06-2009, 09:52 AM
Out of curiosity, does the same logic apply to roads, police services, or sewage treatment plants?

If not, why not?

Because we ALL use those public assets. Health care is not a public asset. It is a product offered between individuals.

Does your logic that health care is in the same "government must provide" category as roads, police services, or sewage treatment plants extend to food, clothing, and transportation, all of which are more necessary than health care?

If not, why not?

High C
08-06-2009, 09:56 AM
Do you carry automobile insurance? As far as I know, every state in the union requires it...

No state requires everyone to carry auto insurance. Auto insurance is only required if one chooses to drive on public roads and place others at risk. Many people choose not to drive. The cost of insurance is certainly a factor for many of those people.

You are suggesting that the choice we have concerning auto insurance be TAKEN AWAY with regard to health insurance.

Keith Wilson
08-06-2009, 09:59 AM
Because we ALL use those public assets. Health care is not a public asset. It is a product offered between individuals. We ALL use heath care at some time in our lives. As a society, we decide what should be public services and what should be private. There is no compelling reason, for example, that water and sewage should be public, but electricity and natural gas should be private; we decided at some point that it should be that way; it could easily be otherwise.

Most other countries have decided that heath care should be a public good. Their results are excellent evidence that this is a more efficient, equitable, and cost-effective way to provide heath care. Why should we not do the same?

High C
08-06-2009, 10:18 AM
Most people can provide for their own health care and have done so for centuries. I support charitable government support for those who cannot. None of us, however, can provide our own roads.

It's an invalid comparison.

High C
08-06-2009, 10:25 AM
But do you support charitable government support for those who WILL NOT?

Because that's precisely what you (and the rest of us) are doing, in the case of people who don't buy health insurance by choice.

Absolutely not. And I think the cost of that demographic to the rest of us is grossly exaggerated to help sell the idea. Very, very few of them incur unpayable bills. Many of those who do work out payment plans with the provider. Sure, some skate, but it's almost a zero in the big picture. The cost shifting we endure from Medicare is INFINITELY worse.

Nanoose
08-06-2009, 10:25 AM
How to pay for it?
1. enact laws changing it from a 'for profit' business format
2. pay a reasonable amount for gasoline - guzzled by all in the U.S. - and use the increase to pay for it
3. tax executive bonuses at a more appropriate level....say....80%? Whaddya think?
4. lay off the "fruit lady" working at the border into California

George Roberts
08-06-2009, 10:28 AM
I suggest that we start extending Medicare to lower age groups. I have Medicare plus AARP "C" and I like it. Medicare is deducted from my Social Security. If you were still working and not collecting SS your paycheck could have a deduction for Medicare rather than the group insurance premium. The insurance industry would fight it tooth and nail. It would mean slow death for many of them. Good riddence! I hate 'em.

Extending Medicare to everyone has been suggested by many others. I don't know the economics of it, but it certainly seems an option to consider if one is going to propose a government run option.

The payment method is a problem. Many of the uninsured lack jobs, income, or assets. I am in favor a providing free health care to the poor. But requiring people who have incomes under $250K to pay seems to be objectionable to many.

Of course, when people have an option they tend to eventually make rational decisions. So one would expect the poor and/or sick to move to any free plan and the rich and/or healthy to move to lower cost plans. The outcome is that there is not enough money to pay for health care for the sick and/or poor.

Keith Wilson
08-06-2009, 10:29 AM
Most people can provide for their own health care and have done so for centuries. I support charitable government support for those who cannot. None of us, however, can provide our own roads. It's an invalid comparison. Nonsense. I can no more take out my own appendix than I can build a freeway by myself. No one "provides for one's own heath care"; we pay others to do it for us, just like we pay others to build the roads. The dispute is about how the payment should be organized. The experience of other countries shows that a more public system is both more equitable and more efficient. Why should we not to the same?

George Roberts
08-06-2009, 10:33 AM
But do you support charitable government support for those who WILL NOT?

Because that's precisely what you (and the rest of us) are doing, in the case of people who don't buy health insurance by choice.

Having the government force people to pay for insurance seems to be "charitable government support." Using tax dollars to subsidize health insurance for the poor seems to "charitable government support."

Nanoose
08-06-2009, 10:36 AM
Why should we not to the same?

Because the mental shift required is anti-American. It is anathema to the American way of life, the American sense of 'my rights', the current interpretation of the founding documents....because it is anti-greed, the foundation of American capitalism and therefore, American identity and actual existence.

TomF
08-06-2009, 10:36 AM
Because we ALL use those public assets. Health care is not a public asset. It is a product offered between individuals.

Does your logic that health care is in the same "government must provide" category as roads, police services, or sewage treatment plants extend to food, clothing, and transportation, all of which are more necessary than health care?

If not, why not?They're public assets because we chose to structure them that way. Toll roads are a viable, market-reflective alternative. Private sewage treatment plants could be too - and are, for instance, if RV or marina pump-out facilities discharge into a septic leach field. Both are examples of viewing something as a product for private exchange, rather than collective provision.

The fact is, we've chosen to mostly have public roads, mostly have public sewage treatment. But that's a collective choice, rather than a statement of how things must be. They've been different before! Health care is no different. I receive an individual service when I consult a physician, but no more individual than driving my car to the grocery store.

Bear in mind that the skilled surgeon and the road can only be there for my private interaction when enough other people also use the service. It's implicitly collective; the surgeon needs enough work to be busy day in-day out ... or he/she will leave. In fact, if I'm a billionaire and retain a surgeon to look after ONLY me, his/her skills will atrophy from underuse. The road needs enough traffic flow to justify its construction and maintenance costs, or it won't be built. In both instances, the service won't exist without enough individual transactions aggregating into collective demand.

So the decision that health care's private, but sewage treatment's public is arbitrary. Both are accessed individually, neither can be sustained except through collective demand. The decision to label one a "public good" and the other a "private commodity" is a value judgment; not something intrinsic to the service itself.

As to your other point ... yeah, I do think there's a collective obligation to provide a safety net for people who cannot provide for their own food, clothing, and shelter. My values speaking. Whether because of disability, or unemployability for a raft of reasons - most of which should be testable. I do not think there's an obligation to fund this at vastly high rates, but also don't think welfare rates should be well below the poverty line; physical or mental disability etc. isn't a crime, so shouldn't be punished. To be frank, it's punishment enough in itself.

Should the state be the vehicle to discharge that collective obligation? Well, charity works - but inevitably it's patchy. A disabled person needs to eat every week, not just the weeks where I choose to make a donation. And equity argues that a disabled person living next door to Bill Gates and a disabled person living next to me each need to eat ... and should have help that addresses their needs, not their philanthropists capacities or whims.

High C
08-06-2009, 10:37 AM
Nonsense. I can no more take out my own appendix than I can build a freeway by myself. No one "provides for one's own heath care"; we pay others to do it for us.....

What do you think the word "for" means? Paying someone to take out your appendix IS precisely providing for your own health care. :rolleyes:

You've truly run out of things to argue when you dream up a turkey like this! :D

Keith Wilson
08-06-2009, 11:02 AM
Oh, come now - I pay people to build freeways, and so do you, just as much as we pay for heath care. We pay taxes, which are then used to build roads. We decide as a society which things should be public and paid for through taxes, and which private and paid for by individuals.

Again, the dispute is about to what degree heath care should be public, and to what degree private. The experience of other countries shows that a more public system is much more efficient than ours in cost, and much more equitable in that it both covers everyone, and one's health care does not depend largely on one's wealth.

You still haven't attempted to answer the question: Why should we not do the same?

Gonzalo
08-06-2009, 11:10 AM
Toll roads are a viable, market-reflective alternative.This option was never effective. There were some private toll roads in the US as in the UK, (I don't know about Canada), but the history of road- building in the US, anyway, is that private roads were often not completed because of lack of funds, and were seldom successful.

Even most toll roads today were built by government entities, though I believe there are some exceptions. Some existing toll roads have recently been sold to private companies once they were complete and construction costs paid.

Private railroads fared better, but in the US, most received significant government support, and many railroads were built by state governments because private enterprise couldn't or wouldn't tackle the expense.

TomF
08-06-2009, 11:16 AM
This option was never effective. There were some private toll roads in the US as in the UK, (I don't know about Canada), but the history of road- building in the US, anyway, is that private roads were often not completed because of lack of funds, and were seldom successful.

Even most toll roads today were built by government entities, though I believe there are some exceptions. Some existing toll roads have recently been sold to private companies once they were complete and construction costs paid.

Private railroads fared better, but in the US, most received significant government support, and many railroads were built by state governments because private enterprise couldn't or wouldn't tackle the expense.Not many toll roads, I agree ... though I'm familiar with 2 toll highways, constructed by private firms under contracts with government(s). Substantial parts of the costs were paid by tolls, amortized over 20 years.

Bottom line, though, is that toll roads working or not is simply evidence of market forces, no? If enough people want the road, it can be privately constructed.

What you're saying, though, is that there's a public benefit - probably a significant economic and productivity boost - to having public roads instead. I agree. There's a significant public benefit - including economic and productivity boosts - for public health care too.

Keith Wilson
08-06-2009, 11:26 AM
A possibly better example: I have two pipes coming into my house, one for water, one for natural gas, The water is public, installed by the city, and the supply comes from facilities that are publicly owned and operated. I pay by usage, but the infrastructure is tax-supported. The gas pipe is privately owned,and the gas comes from privately-owned sources, all for-profit business. Both seem to work OK, It's certainly conceivable that the water could be private or the gas public ,but both seem to work OK, and I see no reason to argue for a change. If one or the other was not working well, then I might.

The US heath care system is not working well at all. Other developed countries ALL have some form of public health care, and in every case it is both more efficient and more equitable than the US system. I realize I'm being tiresome, but why should we not do the same?

downthecreek
08-06-2009, 11:37 AM
Most people can provide for their own health care and have done so for centuries. I support charitable government support for those who cannot. None of us, however, can provide our own roads.


Education?

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
08-06-2009, 11:39 AM
Education?

Eaton? Harrow, Fettes et al?


And then there's the messy business of the M42/M6 link....

Gonzalo
08-06-2009, 11:39 AM
What you're saying, though, is that there's a public benefit - probably a significant economic and productivity boost - to having public roads instead. I agree. There's a significant public benefit - including economic and productivity boosts - for public health care too.I mostly agree. Transportation systems, such as canals, railroads, airports, and seaports have always been seen as keys to prosperity. Most private systems were built with significant government leadership, even when private companies did the work and owned the result. The history of these efforts shows that private leadership and funding has usually been an ineffective way to provide for this public good.

Private business does some things well and some things poorly. Providing for health care in a modern world is one of those things that is a mixed bag. Medical technology is provided well by private industry--supported by public research and publicly regulated so that it is safe and effective. Funding access to that technology for all that need it is also a mixed bag; private insurance works well for many, but not for all, and much of that coverage is illusory, as shown by the numbers of patients being canceled as soon as they need the coverage they paid premiums for. On the whole, I think the record shows that private funding for health care access is ineffective, just as privately-built transportation systems were not often successful.

George Roberts
08-06-2009, 01:18 PM
Government projects turn out so well. Space travel has turned out very well.:mad:

A few years ago people complained about the impending failure of Social Security and other government programs. Nothing like a diversion to hide problems.

How about public opinion. Some people wanted to control their own Social Security account. Do their own investing. Huge government oversight failure killed off that opinion.

High C
08-06-2009, 01:21 PM
....
You obviously don't know any hospital administrators....

I'm married to one. She deals with these issues every day.

You're right about the emergency room problem, but big picture, the unpaid bill problem is not nearly as great as it's made out to be. Again, the cost shifting we endure from Medicare is far worse. Just wait 'til we're all on Medicare. Where will the shifting occur then? Who will get stuck with less then? Patients, docs, hospitals, all of us?

High C
08-06-2009, 01:26 PM
...You still haven't attempted to answer the question: Why should we not do the same?

I've answered it numerous times. I do not trust our government to take on anything more than they already have. I am not one of those who waves the flag and yells that this is the greatest country in the world. I have grave doubts about the ability of this over sized, hyper diverse nation to manage itself. The corruption and inefficiency are all around us to see.

Don't trust 'em, no sir.

Gonzalo
08-06-2009, 01:45 PM
Space travel has turned out very well.Space exploration has turned out very well, indeed, and has revolutionized not only communications and navigation, but scientific knowledge in many fields.

Manned space travel has achieved little because there hasn't yet been much practical reason to do it. (Except beat the Soviets to the moon, enhance national prestige, and entertain lots of sci-fi buffs.) However flawed the policy regarding manned space travel has been, it has been implemented pretty darned well, IMHO. Getting people into space, to the moon, supporting their work in a hostile environment, and bringing them safely home again, is extraordinarily difficult, expensive, and dangerous. Government agencies such as NASA, the Department of Defense, and other agencies, have succeeded extremely well, though imperfectly, in developing the hardware and procedures to carry out this mission routinely.

George Roberts
08-06-2009, 02:31 PM
"Getting people into space and bringing them safely home again"

Seems a lot of people think that part was a failure several times - a failure driven by politics.

Keith Wilson
08-06-2009, 02:33 PM
I do not trust our government to take on anything more than they already have.So you are arguing that our government is not competent to do what the government of every other developed nation already does?

Gonzalo
08-06-2009, 02:52 PM
"Getting people into space and bringing them safely home again"

Seems a lot of people think that part was a failure several times - a failure driven by politics.All human enterprise is prone to failure; failures are part of the human condition. Having worked in private enterprise all my life, I have certainly seen my share of expensive failures, many caused by poor decision-making, short cuts, poor planning, underfunding, over-optimism, ill-advised policies, outright fraud, and yes, internal politics. The more difficult the task, the more prone to failure. To my mind, NASA's failures have been no more egregious, though more public, than the failures of private industry, and far less costly than some. Its mission is many times more difficult and dangerous than most tackled by the private sector. Some, though not all, of NASA's failures were caused by errors of the private contractors with which it engages.

Edited to add: No reasonable person would expect airlines never to lose an aircraft, or steam ship companies a ship, or railroads a train, though any reasonable person would hope that the company is doing anything in its power to prevent accidents. Frequently they are not. People who claim the government can't do anything right are just closing their eyes to the fact that all enterprises, private and public, that are run by humans experience failures. It can't be helped.

Personally, I don't think NASA should be sending people into space. Most, but not all, of what astronauts do can be done more cheaply and not much less effectively by machines. But it appears to be the national will to do so, supported by both parties to a greater or lesser extent. I think NASA is doing a pretty good job of carrying out that difficult mission, and an extraordinary job of exploiting space with unmanned craft.

downthecreek
08-06-2009, 02:57 PM
Eaton? Harrow, Fettes et al?



Colchester Grammar? Chelmsford High School for Girls? King Edward VII School for boys?

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
08-06-2009, 03:18 PM
So education can be private, or public.

I can think of nothing which cannot be done privately - you might like to consider the Duke of Atholl.

downthecreek
08-06-2009, 03:28 PM
So education can be private, or public.

I can think of nothing which cannot be done privately - you might like to consider the Duke of Atholl.

Whatever you are talking about, it ain't what I am talking about. I suppose I could expound, but sometimes I grow weary......

ahp
08-06-2009, 03:33 PM
Could the US defended itself in WWII with a private army? Way back in time we had private fire companies. They were a failure. Now we have a few private for profit prisons, which lead to all kinds of abuses.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
08-06-2009, 03:38 PM
Whatever you are talking about, it ain't what I am talking about. I suppose I could expound, but sometimes I grow weary......

Sorry, I had understood that you were citing "Education" as an example of a thing not done privately - apparently you meant something else..

High C
08-06-2009, 03:39 PM
So you are arguing that our government is not competent to do what the government of every other developed nation already does?

Exactly.

TomF
08-06-2009, 03:40 PM
Could the US defended itself in WWII with a private army? Way back in time we had private fire companies. They were a failure. Now we have a few private for profit prisons, which lead to all kinds of abuses.Blackwater, Haliburton ...

There've always been for-hire armies. Machiaveilli described why they weren't a very good idea ... loyalty's not to the state, but to the paycheque.

Clauswitz said that Europe's armies were simply stupified with fear at what Napoleon accomplished - being the first to truly mobilize a whole population to fight (thereby unleashing "Total War"), rather than a only fielding a fairly limited professional army. That changed the scale of wars between big powers to where mercenaries for regular troops were an unworkable option.

Keith Wilson
08-06-2009, 03:46 PM
HighC, thanks for the clear and direct answer. So why do you think the governments of every other wealthy country can manage heath care more or less effectively, but the government of the US cannot? This is really quite an extraordinary claim - that we have the least competent government in the civilized world! Evidence, please.

TomF
08-06-2009, 03:47 PM
This is really quite an extraordinary claim - that we have the least competent government in the civilized world! Evidence, please.I thought the Italians had that sewn up.

George Roberts
08-06-2009, 03:52 PM
HighC, thanks for the clear and direct answer. So why do you think the governments of every other wealthy country can manage heath care more or less effectively, but the government of the US cannot? This is really quite an extraordinary claim - that we have the least competent government in the civilized world! Evidence, please.

I looked up the military expenditures of countries. The US is up near the top. What does that say about our ability to wage war in a productive manner?

Not much I guess. But perhaps if we cut military spending by 50% so we spent about what the other countries did, we could deliver military power more efficiently.:)

Perhaps evidence that our form of government is not as competent as others.

Perhaps if we had better health care, we would have a better and cheaper military.

downthecreek
08-06-2009, 04:04 PM
Sorry, I had understood that you were citing "Education" as an example of a thing not done privately - apparently you meant something else..

No. I was wondering why it might be thought acceptable to use tax income to pay for education as a "public good" but not health care. It is certainly an individual asset.

Too cryptic, obviously. Never mind..... :)

Gonzalo
08-06-2009, 04:22 PM
This is really quite an extraordinary claim - that we have the least competent government in the civilized world! A new kind of American exceptionalism. We aren't the greatest country in the world; we're the worst!

High C
08-06-2009, 04:34 PM
HighC, thanks for the clear and direct answer. So why do you think the governments of every other wealthy country can manage heath care more or less effectively, but the government of the US cannot? This is really quite an extraordinary claim - that we have the least competent government in the civilized world! Evidence, please.

The words "we have the least competent government in the civilized world" are yours, not mine. Your attempt to put them into my mouth has failed.

As for your question, I don't know why this country is so poorly run, but if I had to guess I might lay it at our great size. There comes a point where any enterprise is simply too big to manage well. Perhaps we are there. Otherwise....maybe it was too many decades of easy prosperity have lead us to not watch the foxes in the hen house as closely as we should've and they became too entrenched to extract.

I don't claim to have the answer, but the evidence of incompetence, waste, and corruption is all around us. It didn't begin with some Republican administration, and the election of a Democratic majority won't end it. It's a constant that grows steadily no matter who holds the reigns.

A year or two ago you were as down about our government's abilities as I am. Now you're practically a flag waving cheerleader, even though very little has changed. Don't let the temporary name tags on the doors of power fool you.

Keith Wilson
08-06-2009, 04:55 PM
You really don't understand, do you? I was extremely critical of the Bush administration's competence , both in deciding on direction and achieving their goals. I still am. But the government is much, much more than the administration of any one president.

Yes, the government is often inefficient, and sometimes corrupt. The same can be said of the government of every other country; some are better than ours, some worse. But every other wealthy country manages to do a better job with heath care than we do, and every one of them does it by treating health care as a public service like roads or schools. They pay less, they cover everybody all the time, their results are generally better than ours, and their citizens are generally satisfied with the situation. It seems extremely unliklely that the US government is so horrible that it can't do something that Italy and Spain manage every day.

HighC, with all respect, you are repeating "government can't do it like an article of religious faith. No evidence needed, credo quia absurdum. Now, you may not want government to do it - but arguing that it can't be done is contrary to all the evidence.

High C
08-06-2009, 05:00 PM
....HighC, with all respect, you are repeating "government can't do it like an article of religious faith. No evidence needed, credo quia absurdum. Now, you may not want government to do it - but arguing that it can't be done is contrary to all the evidence.

I haven't argued that it can't be done. I've argued that I do not trust our government to do it properly. I do not trust them with my life. You have that faith where I don't. It's as simple as that.

Flying Orca
08-06-2009, 05:02 PM
Man, I'd trust the government to administer health care payments before I'd trust a for-profit insurance company. That IS what we're talking about here, right? I mean, the actual care decisions are made by doctors in either case...

Keith Wilson
08-06-2009, 05:03 PM
Not faith, evidence - based on the experience of every other prosperous county.


I'd trust the government to administer health care payments before I'd trust a for-profit insurance company.Me too.

Nanoose
08-06-2009, 05:32 PM
More to the point: why is it that so many developed nations, some of which have reputations of being overwhelmingly MORE corrupt that the US, manage to provide clearly superior health care for less money?

My post #63 seems to have been missed.
The centrality of greed and the for profit capitalist system.

Flying Orca
08-06-2009, 06:24 PM
perhaps A new form of aids, Ebola; or maybe one of the oldies but goodies.
Ring around the Rosie any one?

I read pneumonic plague has broken out in China, can't recall where... southwest, maybe.

TomF
08-06-2009, 06:36 PM
I haven't argued that it can't be done. I've argued that I do not trust our government to do it properly. I do not trust them with my life. You have that faith where I don't. It's as simple as that.But you do trust them with your life. You do regarding foreign affairs, homeland security, law enforcement and the jails. You do regarding the contents of processed foods, the effluents dumped into the environment by industry, the standards for building construction and product safety. Not to mention regulating the introduction and safety of medicines.

There's scarcely a piece of your day, High C, where you're not directly or indirectly trusting your life to the government. Sometimes they screw up, but mostly not - you're still here, eh?

So why's health insurance so different from the building code? Or auto safety standards?

John Smith
08-06-2009, 06:39 PM
I suggest that we start extending Medicare to lower age groups. I have Medicare plus AARP "C" and I like it. Medicare is deducted from my Social Security. If you were still working and not collecting SS your paycheck could have a deduction for Medicare rather than the group insurance premium. The insurance industry would fight it tooth and nail. It would mean slow death for many of them. Good riddence! I hate 'em.
If I may, what is the Medicare deduction. I'll be 65 in April, and Medicare will be my primary. My current Blue Cross premium won't go down, but they tell me ALL my out of pocket (medicine excluded) will be covered by the combo of the two.

John Smith
08-06-2009, 06:41 PM
It's really something how this propagandized figure grows and grows and grows. :rolleyes: When you consider how many of our uninsured are either so by their own CHOOSING, or are illegal immigrants who have no business being here at all, the true figure is well under 10%.
Care to provide a source?

John Smith
08-06-2009, 06:43 PM
Maybe if the employer could be sent to jail every time an illegal (no quotes necessary) turned up anywhere in a country where he was illegally employed.
That, I agree with.

John Smith
08-06-2009, 06:44 PM
Do you carry automobile insurance? As far as I know, every state in the union requires it.

I personally don't care if you get severed in half due to an accident caused by your own fault... but the reason insurance is mandatory is for the protection of others... it's a 'community' thing, as opposed to an 'every man for himself' thing. In Massachusetts (and in other states I'm aware of) you don't have to carry insurance to cover your own vehicle, or even your own injuries... but you DO have to carry it for the sake of liability to others.

You think it's a bad idea? What would happen if you get T-boned by some other driver... and you end up with $500,000 in medical expenses, nearly lose your life, maybe lose a limb or two. It could ruin your life, completely... maybe you'd lose a loved one in the accident.

Do you still think it's some unreasonable impingement of government to compel you to carry automobile liability insurance?

If we had truly universal health insurance, we'd not need medical on our car insurance, and those premiums would go down.

John Smith
08-06-2009, 06:52 PM
Extending Medicare to everyone has been suggested by many others. I don't know the economics of it, but it certainly seems an option to consider if one is going to propose a government run option.

The payment method is a problem. Many of the uninsured lack jobs, income, or assets. I am in favor a providing free health care to the poor. But requiring people who have incomes under $250K to pay seems to be objectionable to many.

Of course, when people have an option they tend to eventually make rational decisions. So one would expect the poor and/or sick to move to any free plan and the rich and/or healthy to move to lower cost plans. The outcome is that there is not enough money to pay for health care for the sick and/or poor.
Why is it, then, that we keep getting told the sick and poor all get health care at their ER?

Are people in the US being refused health care or are they not? It's not a thing one can have both ways.

John Smith
08-06-2009, 06:55 PM
So, does that mean you're retracting your previous position, that people shouldn't be obligated to buy health insurance? Because if you don't think that you should be paying a tax to provide health care to people who refuse to provide for themselves, that seems to be what you're saying... which is in opposition to your previous statements.



You obviously don't know any hospital administrators. In inner cities, a huge proportion of hospital overhead that is unpaid for comes from emergency room visits by people with no health insurance. (How do I know this? My wife used to be Director of Medical Records for a nearby hospital... and still has friends in the industry).

As for Medicare, just try changing it. As Obama pointed out, the woman who said, 'I don't want the government to be running health care.... but don't you DARE touch my Medicare!'
You'll take note that when a congressman submitted an amendment to kill Medicare, not a single opponent of socialized medicine voted for it.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
08-06-2009, 06:57 PM
Sigh . . . Do I have to go over it again? You want me to quote the statistics again for twenty other countries who manage to insure everybody yet pay on average 55% of what we do? To be blunt, "We can't afford it" is a damned lie. We can't afford what we have now.


You mean they ain't gonna tell Grandma to commit suicide?:confused::confused:

Milo Christensen
08-06-2009, 10:00 PM
ya its interesting what will happen if we actually get a critter that hits the population. i wonder how fast we can run incinerators? the last hard hit we took had secondary deaths due to the purification of corpses in the streets and homes.

How do you purify a putrifying corpse? We used to throw the dead in pits and throw a thick layer of quicklime over them, but they never seemed to get purified, just a little less putrified.

John Smith
08-07-2009, 08:15 AM
You mean they ain't gonna tell Grandma to commit suicide?:confused::confused:

No, they are not. What is proposed is help, and encouragement, for making an advanced directive or a living will.

Wouldn't it have been nice if Terri Schiavo had one?

An advanced directive lets YOU determine the extent to which you wish, or don't wish, external life support to be connected.

George Roberts
08-07-2009, 09:49 AM
New Rasmussen poll is out.

68% of voters have health-insurance coverage that they rate as good or excellent.

I bet Congress will go with the voters and drop the health care issue.

Nanoose
08-07-2009, 09:53 AM
My understanding is they can keep it. It is the uninsured that are the target of the legislation.

Keith Wilson
08-07-2009, 10:11 AM
I haven't argued that it can't be done. I've argued that I do not trust our government to do it properly. I do not trust them with my life.Tom made the point once, but I'll say it again. You DO trust the government with your life. You trust them with your life every time you go out of your house, knowing that if a band of murderous brigands starts operating in the country outside of town, that armed representatives of the government will hunt them down and stop them. You trust them with your live every time you get into your car, knowing that the roads and bridges and traffic signals are built and maintained by the government, and that the gasoline and tires and steel in the car, and many details of its construction are regulated by law so that it's reasonably safe. You trust them with your every time you buy something to eat, read the government-mandated list of ingredients, and can be reasonably confident that what's on the list is what's in in the package, and you won't be poisoned because somebody tried to make a quick buck. You trust them with you life every time you get sick, knowing that you doctor really did go to medical school and is not a quack, that the drugs he prescribes are what they claim to be, not powdered goat dung or blue chalk, and they will generally do what they are supposed to do. You trust them with your life every day, knowing that if another bloodthirsty conqueror came to power somewhere and threated they US, the government would defend your home.

I get very very tired of the complaints about how government is inherently evil and can't do anything right, particularly when those doing the complaining live a life that's proseperous, easy, and secure beyond the wildest dreams of most of the people who have ever lived on earth, and that prosperity, ease, and security is to a large extent made possible by reasonably benevolent and well-organized government.

Now the government certainly screws up, sometimes very badly; it's composed of human beings, and like everything made by human beings, it's a very long way from perfect. And reasonable people can and do differ about what functions the government should perform. A government that becomes too intrusive is very bad indeed; examples, unfortunately, have been far too common in the last hundred years. But arguing that government should not perform some particular function because government is always inherently idiotic, corrupt and incompetent is truly spectacular nonsense. It isn't.

And once again, all the evidence, the experience of every other wealthy county, shows that government can do a much better job with heath care than our current system; that treating health care as a public good results in a system that's less expensive, more efficient, more equitable, and better-liked by the vast majority of citizens. With all respect, HighC, the US can no longer afford your ideological prejudices, and we will no longer permit those who have an irrational fear of government to ruin people's lives.

Gonzalo
08-07-2009, 12:27 PM
...because it is anti-greed, the foundation of American capitalismTo be fair, I don't think it is greed that the right is defending, but property rights and freedom of choice. I think their understanding of the relative value of these rights vs. some others is misguided, but I think there are perfectly valid reasons for opposing government programs that impinge on those rights.

Property and freedom of choice are foundational to capitalism, not greed, but untrammeled property rights and freedom can certainly promote greed. I doubt there is anyone on this forum that doesn't support property rights or freedom of choice, though we may value them differently than others do.

High C is on record elsewhere in this forum as supporting an understanding of property rights that some of us might consider extreme, but I don't really think greed is behind his opposition to health care proposals.

Captain Intrepid
08-07-2009, 12:34 PM
To be fair, I don't think it is greed that the right is defending, but property rights and freedom of choice. I think their understanding of the relative value of these rights vs. some others is misguided, but I think there are perfectly valid reasons for opposing government programs that impinge on those rights.

Property and freedom of choice are foundational to capitalism, not greed, but untrammeled property rights and freedom can certainly promote greed. I doubt there is anyone on this forum that doesn't support property rights or freedom of choice, though we may value them differently than others do.

High C is on record elsewhere in this forum as supporting an understanding of property rights that some of us might consider extreme, but I don't really think greed is behind his opposition to health care proposals.

In the end the driving force behind capitalism is greed. Without it people would settle for enough, and we'd have no billionaires and moguls and tycoons.

The American dream has morphed from one of the pursuit of prosperity, to one of pursuit of "success", defined as being richer and better looking than your neighbors.

Nanoose
08-07-2009, 12:36 PM
I do not see how this impinges on freedom of choice.

I see how it may be perceived as impinging on property rights, i.e. taking a bit from everyone to pay for it, but property rights are not isolationist. And I would argue with those holding such a view, that the current medical system there impinges MUCH MORE on property rights, in actuality and potentiality, than a national health care system would. I can't remember the % of US bankruptcies due to health issues....% where national care exists? Zero.

This is really about a 'mentality' issue, not a healthcare issue....a 'my rights!' issue, which is ultimately a 'greed'/self centeredness issue.

downthecreek
08-07-2009, 12:49 PM
I can't remember the % of US bankruptcies due to health issues....

Recent report from Harvard Medical School reckoned 62% of bankruptcies arose from health care costs. 75% of those were people who had insurance.

I imagine there are lots of people who are happy with their insurance now, but will feel rather less happy if they ever contract an illness or have an accident that is very, very expensive to treat.

Gonzalo
08-07-2009, 12:59 PM
I do not see how this impinges on freedom of choice.I don't either, as long as what Obama says about everyone being able to keep current insurance if they are happy with it. Lots of people fear a public option would be a step toward removing that choice. I don't.
I see how it may be perceived as impinging on property rights, i.e. taking a bit from everyone to pay for it....That's it exactly, and some consider that to be a major infringement of property rights. I don't.

...property rights are not isolationist.I agree, and that is where we differ from those with a much stronger understanding of property rights that we have.
And I would argue with those holding such a view, that the current medical system there impinges MUCH MORE on property rights, in actuality and potentiality, than a national health care system would.I agree that a national healthcare system would promote general prosperity more than the current non-system. But the freedom of choice to use your property as you alone see fit is a very strong underpinning of many conservatives' understanding of property rights, and the general welfare is not part of that understanding.


...a 'my rights!' issue, which is ultimately a 'greed'/self centeredness issue.Yes, I generally agree that extreme insistence on private rights rather than public welfare is self-centered and often mistaken, but I would not go so far as necessarily to call it greed. That was the point of my earlier post, that the point of contention is difference in understanding of the relative value people put on property rights, and that supporting greed is not the actual issue.

Personally, I would prefer a national single payer insurance, which would severely infringe on freedom of choice and property rights, but that option doesn't appear to be on the table at this time.

Nanoose
08-07-2009, 01:06 PM
Posted above by Gonzalo: "I agree that a national healthcare system would promote general prosperity more than the current non-system. But the freedom of choice to use your property as you alone see fit is a very strong underpinning of many conservatives' understanding of property rights, and the general welfare is not part of that understanding."

Agreeing to be a participant in a society, by its very nature, impacts my using my property as "I alone see fit". This is the thinking that needs challenging. If one wants to retain that right, they need to remove themselves from society, and there are plenty of ways/places to live in isolation. However, those who choose to be part of a society need to appreciate that their very decision impacts that view.

Gonzalo
08-07-2009, 01:28 PM
Agreeing to be a participant in a society, but its very nature, impacts my using my property as "I alone see fit". This is the thinking that needs challenging.Agreed. Remember, I am not trying to defend my own understanding of property rights relative to other rights. I was objecting to your characterization of greed as the foundation of American capitalism, and I tried to frame the point as a matter of such principles as freedom of choice and property rights than of a vice such as greed. This, I think is a more sympathetic and accurate way of understanding the opposition.
If one wants to retain that right, they need to remove themselves from society, and there are plenty of ways/places to live in isolation.Not sure what those places would be...the Canadian north woods? That area might not be too congenial for a southerner and opera singer like High C. In any event, it is perfectly legitimate for those who hold strongly to principles to try to shape society to those preferences. It is, however, worthwhile for those of us who disagree to try to understand their opposition as a matter of principle, when that is what it is. Adherence to principle, even when mistaken in application, is not always a vice.

Keith Wilson
08-07-2009, 01:31 PM
Now THAT's as SOCIALISTS and DICTATORIAL AS IT GETs...
No, just civilization. Just about every single law on the books restricts your freedom to use your property as you see fit. It is the price we pay for living lives that are not poor, solitary, nasty, brutish, and short.

Now we can reasonably disagree abut whether any particular law is necessary or beneficial, but it's ludicrous to argue that any restriction of your property rights is wrong.

TomF
08-07-2009, 01:34 PM
Now THAT's as SOCIALISTS and DICTATORIAL AS IT GETs...

YOU know better than I do what MY PROPERTY should be used for???Gary,

You've got property rights, including the right to own a car.

What happens to your right if you choose to exercise it by driving full-tilt towards a Presidential motorcade?

Gonzalo
08-07-2009, 01:44 PM
In the end the driving force behind capitalism is greed. Without it people would settle for enough, and we'd have no billionaires and moguls and tycoons. Most people, including most business owners, do settle for enough, though "enough" often seems like it is just out of reach. I wouldn't call that greed.

There are tycoons I'd call greedy. Those people play a part--an undesirable part, to my way of thinking--in capitalism. But greed is not the right word for the the average entrepreneur or employee who works to get ahead and invests for the future.

George Roberts
08-07-2009, 02:09 PM
"In the end the driving force behind capitalism is greed. Without it people would settle for enough, and we'd have no billionaires and moguls and tycoons."

I suspect that control of one's life is more of a driving force. My wife owns her business. She works when she wants to.She vacation when she wants to. (Much the same can be said about me and my business.)

But capitalism allows people to work for others. It is common for those running businesses to take a cut of the income the workers.Those cuts add up not out of greed, but out of volume.

Keith Wilson
08-07-2009, 02:13 PM
"Greed" is a very loaded term; it's inherently negative. The driving force behind all capitalism is people's desire to get material things, which except for a few ascetics, is pretty much universal. The strength of capitalism is that it takes people as they are, using motivations that come naturally to most people, rather than requiring them to be unusually virtuous. "Greed" is an excess of what all of us have. Many things are good in moderation but bad in excess - beer, ambition, wooden boats . . . . ;)

Captain Intrepid
08-07-2009, 02:32 PM
Most people, including most business owners, do settle for enough, though "enough" often seems like it is just out of reach. I wouldn't call that greed.

There are tycoons I'd call greedy. Those people play a part--an undesirable part, to my way of thinking--in capitalism. But greed is not the right word for the the average entrepreneur or employee who works to get ahead and invests for the future.

I'd say materialism is at it's core driven by greed, and it's just part of behind human. Most people in the west are greedy, myself included, it's just hard to see. Just most people don't show it too well.

Flying Orca
08-07-2009, 03:02 PM
"Greed" is a very loaded term; it's inherently negative. The driving force behind all capitalism is people's desire to get material things, which except for a few ascetics, is pretty much universal. The strength of capitalism is that it takes people as they are, using motivations that come naturally to most people, rather than requiring them to be unusually virtuous. "Greed" is an excess of what all of us have. Many things are good in moderation but bad in excess - beer, ambition, wooden boats . . . . ;)

Ah, now, I see it differently. Greed is what kicks in when you have enough but want more. Too many people don't have a functioning "enough" switch.

John Smith
08-07-2009, 03:03 PM
I don't either, as long as what Obama says about everyone being able to keep current insurance if they are happy with it. Lots of people fear a public option would be a step toward removing that choice. I don't.That's it exactly, and some consider that to be a major infringement of property rights. I don't.
I agree, and that is where we differ from those with a much stronger understanding of property rights that we have.I agree that a national healthcare system would promote general prosperity more than the current non-system. But the freedom of choice to use your property as you alone see fit is a very strong underpinning of many conservatives' understanding of property rights, and the general welfare is not part of that understanding.

Yes, I generally agree that extreme insistence on private rights rather than public welfare is self-centered and often mistaken, but I would not go so far as necessarily to call it greed. That was the point of my earlier post, that the point of contention is difference in understanding of the relative value people put on property rights, and that supporting greed is not the actual issue.

Personally, I would prefer a national single payer insurance, which would severely infringe on freedom of choice and property rights, but that option doesn't appear to be on the table at this time.
Keeping one's present insurance depends on keeping one's job, and one's employer staying in business and keeping that insurance.

None of that is promised under our current system.

Gonzalo
08-07-2009, 03:25 PM
I'd say materialism is at it's core driven by greed, and it's just part of behind human. Most people in the west are greedy, myself included, it's just hard to see. Just most people don't show it too well.Greed is a vice. For what you call greed I would use a different word, say, ambition, the desire to get ahead. As Keith wrote, greed is a loaded word that is inherently negative. Ambition, the desire to get ahead, is not usually negative, though in extremes it may be. To call all forms of ambition "greed" is an example of black-and-white thinking that leaves little room for ethical evaluation, and does not accurately describe reality. You are left a single word describing all forms of acquisitiveness, and there are no points at which the attribute is positive. There are other words to use that express the point better.

If, for example, I'd rather reach a little higher for a whole apple, instead of picking a convenient wormy one, is that greed? Certainly not. If I want to feed my family enough instead of too little, so I work for a few more hours of pay, is that greed? Certainly not. Yet both are examples of ambition to obtain material goods.

I'd be happy to accept a definition of greed that puts it at one extreme end of a continuum, along which most points are neither negative nor worthy of being called greed.

Gonzalo
08-07-2009, 03:27 PM
Keeping one's present insurance depends on keeping one's job, and one's employer staying in business and keeping that insurance.

None of that is promised under our current system.Of course, which is one reason I said in the post you quoted that I would prefer a single-payer system.

John Smith
08-07-2009, 06:20 PM
Ah, now, I see it differently. Greed is what kicks in when you have enough but want more. Too many people don't have a functioning "enough" switch.
I agree.

When someone asks me what I'd do if I hit one of those huge lotteries, I confess, I've got do some serious thinking.

I'd like to have a small home and a small boat built to my own design.

After that, I have no idea.

Nanoose
08-07-2009, 07:10 PM
YOU know better than I do what MY PROPERTY should be used for???

Where did I say that?
By being a part of your society you have already agreed to public ideas about what YOUR PROPERTY should be used for. This is NEWS to you?!? :rolleyes:

Flying Orca
08-07-2009, 08:00 PM
When someone asks me what I'd do if I hit one of those huge lotteries, I confess, I've got do some serious thinking.

I'd like to have a small home and a small boat built to my own design.

After that, I have no idea.

I have this elaborate fantasy that involves somehow obtaining banking information for all my friends and making anonymous deposits to their accounts. The upside is that I could spend MY excess cash without arousing suspicion: "Yeah, man, that's weird, somebody gave me a hundred grand, too!"

The downside is that due to banking regulations and the lottery foundation's publicity rules, it's basically impossible. :mad: