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#2059984 - 04/05/13 06:30 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: EssBrace]
patH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 601
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Good question. Seeing as the EU institutions are completely undemocratic and disinterested in the needs of individuals within nation states. Their political agenda has nothing to do with my needs and aspirations and they are so remote from me I have no way of making my voice heard.

Ever heard of the European Parliament?

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
For the record I have no problem with cooperation and common markets and useful, friendly relationships between nations. But I don't want to be a citizen of "Europe". By Europe I mean a single political entity with law-making powers that take precedence over national sovereignty.

I do. I like thinking of myself as a citizen of Europe.

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
Because certainly with the current structures it is essentially undemocratic. Unelected bureaucrats making decisions with wide-ranging effects on millions of individuals and those decision-makers are totally unaccountable. It's not right.
As opposed to the Queen in the UK who is elected, I suppose. Just as I would suppose that the Brits have consigned the Plurality voting system on the waste dump of history where it belongs.

For the record: The European commissioners are nominated by the national governments, which are all elected, as all states of the EU are democracies.

I concede that the system is not perfect. I would e.g. welcome more possibilities of direct votes (referendums), like in Switzerland. But leaving the EU?
Just because a good idea was not implemented perfectly at first doesn't mean that the idea in itself was bad. That would be like giving up the idea of a digital piano, just because the first models left a lot to be desired.
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#2059988 - 04/05/13 06:38 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: patH]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 593
Originally Posted By: patH
Reminds me of last year, when I bought my Yamaha C2. I bought it on March 31st in Sindelfingen, which is also the headquarter of Mercedes-Benz. And Mercedes also has a C-class in their product range.
So the next day I called my parents and said: "I went to Sindelfingen and bought a C class. April's Fool or not?"


I think the prices are about the same, tho. laugh
Piano will be cheaper in the long run... and more
fun. C-class Mercedes... meh...
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#2059991 - 04/05/13 06:48 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: gvfarns]
dewster Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4363
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
It's rare to find a liberal complaining about any news outlet besides fox.

I know terms like Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, etc. get redefined every so often and sometimes completely flip (we have always been at war with eastasia) but "right wing politics" seems fairly stable. From Wikipedia (insert standard disclaimer here):

In politics, right-wing describes an outlook or specific position that accepts or supports social hierarchy or social inequality. Social hierarchy and social inequality is viewed by those affiliated with the Right as either inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, whether it arises through traditional social differences or from competition in market economies. It typically accepts or justifies this position on the basis of natural law or tradition.

Call me crazy, but the US news media strikes me as quite corporate and fairly well defined by the above - not exactly a loving peace circle of gentle hippies. Pushing the status quo isn't a politically neutral thing to do when the man is on top and most of the world lives in squalor.
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#2059994 - 04/05/13 06:58 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: dewster]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 593
Dewdrop:
I guess with Chris Christie going "left",
so goes the whole state. help

Really - if you think the US media is
"mostly right-wing" you are either a
DIED IN THE WOOL LIBERAL or have NO IDEA what
you are talking about.
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#2059996 - 04/05/13 07:09 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: dewster]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: dewster
In politics, right-wing describes an outlook or specific position that accepts or supports social hierarchy or social inequality. Social hierarchy and social inequality is viewed by those affiliated with the Right as either inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, whether it arises through traditional social differences or from competition in market economies. It typically accepts or justifies this position on the basis of natural law or tradition.

Call me crazy, but the US news media strikes me as quite corporate and fairly well defined by the above - not exactly a loving peace circle of gentle hippies. Pushing the status quo isn't a politically neutral thing to do when the man is on top and most of the world lives in squalor.


News media is mostly owned by corporations of one sort or another but it does anything but portray social inequality and social conventions as desirable or natural. On the contrary, from what I see it's constantly throwing a TheJourney and trying to make us feel bad about how things are and incite us to change...in almost every respect. Our news is hard-core pushy and preachy. Every story practically is crafted to push us to change or at least feel bad. Someone is poor somewhere? Must be time to institute widespread wealth transfers. Someone got shot somewhere? Let's redo our whole system of gun control. Someone got injured somewhere? Must be time to institute regulations that will make sure no one ever runs that risk again. Someone is sick? They should be entitled to the best health care that can be had at any price and the government should be in charge of it. Someone has been made to feel bad about their sexual preferences? There should be a law against that! You never see or read just a plain story...giving you the facts of what happened. I don't particularly blame them...stories with a message are more interesting. But in our news liberal guilt is the norm.

As far as the stability of the terms liberal and conservative, the best I find is that liberals want to change society in the direction that it's currently heading and conservatives want to protect society as it is now or go back to the way it used to be. That's one reason so many teens and college kids are liberal and so many old folks are conservative. Some day those teens will be old too and they will vote conservative.

But since "the way things are heading" is always changing, so do the actual things liberals and conservatives want. At the moment the US is slouching toward a more European way of doing things. Eventually we will get there and then liberalism and conservatism will have to mean something different.

Don't quote me on this but IIRC my friend from India tells me that the words mean the opposite thing there. Their history is more socialist so liberal there means in favor of deregulation and the loosening up of government control of commerce. I know very little about India...just repeating what he told me, but I thought it was interesting. I guess in America we'd call that libertarian.


Edited by gvfarns (04/05/13 07:36 PM)

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#2059998 - 04/05/13 07:16 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: gvfarns]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 593
I don't think people realize that
the corps are no longer exclusivly run by
the "Mr. Burns" archtype...

The libs are everywhere.


There is only one place I WANT liberalism and only
get conservatism: blush


Edited by Plinky88 (04/05/13 07:17 PM)
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#2060025 - 04/05/13 08:15 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: Dave Horne]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3900
Loc: North Carolina
Wow. I've not heard so much misinformation in a long time.

Nixon liberal? Obama conservative? Astoundingly absurd, and beyond belief.

Nixon is no longer around to disagree. But Obama is. He's an extreme liberal, and he admits it (proudly).

Shall I wait for more historical revisionism? Perhaps someone will hold forth FDR as a conservative? Or Bush as a liberal? smile

If you folks want to support one side or another, that's a matter of opinion. But the left/right ratings assigned to these guys is not opinion. It's just wrong. Utterly wrong.

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#2060030 - 04/05/13 08:29 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: MacMacMac]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 593
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
If you folks want to support one side or another, that's a matter of opinion. But the left/right ratings assigned to these guys is not opinion. It's just wrong. Utterly wrong.


yes, yes and YES.
I can understand confusion from
someone from outside the country,
but for an American to get
confused over this.... whome

Mac - what part of Florida are you from?
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#2060043 - 04/05/13 09:11 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: Dave Horne]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3900
Loc: North Carolina
I am (was) from South Florida. Been there 31 years.
But I'm moving to North Carolina this weekend.
So I'll have to change my profile.

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#2060049 - 04/05/13 09:20 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: MacMacMac]
Scott Hamlin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/12
Posts: 593
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
I am (was) from South Florida. Been there 31 years.
But I'm moving to North Carolina this weekend.
So I'll have to change my profile.


Sounds like a good move - get a little bit
of seasons instead of either hot, rain or
hot and rain. eek
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#2060053 - 04/05/13 09:31 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: Dave Horne]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3900
Loc: North Carolina
Exactly. I'm tired of having 8 months of summer. (This year ... 11 months. It was hot through Jan and Feb.)

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#2060062 - 04/05/13 09:58 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: MacMacMac]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9679
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
[Obama is]... an extreme liberal, and he admits it (proudly).


Can you provide some examples, please? Or perhaps a quote or two of Obama proudly admitting his 'extreme liberal' beliefs?

If not, I'm afraid I may have to disagree with you.

If Obama was an 'extreme liberal', he would have:

- Increased taxes and spending
- Ended the drug war
- Broken up the 'too big to fail' banks
- Pulled troops out of Afghanistan
- Provided Medicare for all
- Halved the defence budget

Instead, he has:

- Extended Bush's warrantless wire-tapping programme
- Expanded the drone programme (both abroad and now domestically)
- Given up on domestic environmental and climate-change legislation
- Expanded off-shore drilling, while tripling loan guarantees to build nuclear power stations

If you do not believe that Obama is conservative, I urge you to read http://www.obamatheconservative.com , which provides an excellent summary of his administration's conservative policies.

Cheers,
James
x
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"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2060072 - 04/05/13 10:25 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: Dave Horne]
pv88 Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2722
[Edited]

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#2060096 - 04/05/13 11:27 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: Kawai James]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Kawai James

- Increased taxes and spending
- Ended the drug war
- Broken up the 'too big to fail' banks
- Pulled troops out of Afghanistan
- Provided Medicare for all
- Halved the defence budget


He's done plenty of increasing taxes and spending. Well, spending, mostly. He probably would do the other things if he could, but he can't. He has nowhere near that kind of political muscle. He's just the president, and not one with a congress that particularly supports him.

Quote:

- Extended Bush's warrantless wire-tapping programme
- Expanded the drone programme (both abroad and now domestically)
- Given up on domestic environmental and climate-change legislation
- Expanded off-shore drilling, while tripling loan guarantees to build nuclear power stations


Most of those those things have broad support (in some cases crossing party lines) that he can't possibly fight, especially as he was preparing for an election he just barely won. Most of them aren't particularly conservative or liberal.

Just because a president is liberal doesn't mean he can implement any hairbrained idea that might qualify as liberal in someone's mind.


Edited by gvfarns (04/05/13 11:34 PM)

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#2060140 - 04/06/13 01:25 AM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: Scott Hamlin]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Plinky88
Dewdrop:
I guess with Chris Christie going "left",
so goes the whole state. help

Really - if you think the US media is
"mostly right-wing" you are either a
DIED IN THE WOOL LIBERAL or have NO IDEA what
you are talking about.


It is interesting to observe first hand here (with one notable exception) that those Americans that stayed in America and are "arguing" from the right on this thread only use three techniques:

1. ad hominem, personally attacking their interlocutor;
2. expression of personal opinion "it is because I say it is";
3. passive-aggressive use of adolescent humor;

with no logical arguments or reference to facts to support their position.

That is of course one of the main reasons why dysfunctional politics has been bringing America to her knees during the past years: for vast swaths of the population rational discourse and critical thinking is not even on the radar screen. Historical fact and observable reality is not relevant: only personal opinion "I am free to believe what I want!" (which itself is often formed by the echo chambers of a failed educational system, highly concentrated, inward-looking and appallingly bad media focused on sound bites, entertainment and advertising rather than journalism, facebook and vapid internet bulletin boards of the like-minded).

Thank God only a tiny percentage of Americans actually bother to exercise their democratic right and duty to vote.


Edited by theJourney (04/06/13 01:30 AM)

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#2060143 - 04/06/13 01:36 AM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: Temperament]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Temperament
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Rather than passively whinging about how undemocratic your EU government is, why not become responsible and accountable and start actually taking personal action to make it better?
Could You give some examples for possible effective personal actions to be taken to make it better, beside voting or posting here and on other fora?


Well, what action is appropriate certainly depends on your view of the EU and your position in it. If you believe that the EU has robbed you of objective personal freedoms and is depriving you of your human rights, then depending on which freedoms have been stolen from you, you could have a very specific course of action.

I would first like to understand excatly what EssBrace means so I can give a concrete example rather than only generalities.

Originally Posted By: theJourney
Bump...

Originally Posted By: theJourney

Originally Posted By: EssBrace

Europe does look like a failing political experiment and the cost has been the huge withdrawal of personal freedoms,

confused Can you elaborate on which personal freedoms you have lost?


EssBrace, certainly something as important as "the huge withdrawal of personal freedom" which seems to form your opinion of the EU and your strongly worded posts, deserves to be explained?


Edited by theJourney (04/06/13 01:37 AM)

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#2060153 - 04/06/13 01:50 AM ) [Re: dewster]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
It's rare to find a liberal complaining about any news outlet besides fox.

I know terms like Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, etc. get redefined every so often and sometimes completely flip (we have always been at war with eastasia) but "right wing politics" seems fairly stable. From Wikipedia (insert standard disclaimer here):

In politics, right-wing describes an outlook or specific position that accepts or supports social hierarchy or social inequality. Social hierarchy and social inequality is viewed by those affiliated with the Right as either inevitable, natural, normal, or desirable, whether it arises through traditional social differences or from competition in market economies. It typically accepts or justifies this position on the basis of natural law or tradition.

Call me crazy, but the US news media strikes me as quite corporate and fairly well defined by the above - not exactly a loving peace circle of gentle hippies. Pushing the status quo isn't a politically neutral thing to do when the man is on top and most of the world lives in squalor.


You are not crazy. You also understand that to have a discussion you have to use words that have been defined and that the definition is agreed to as opposed to the moving targets and personal definitions that are being used on this thread as if men on the streeet were being interviewed for a New Zealand television show.

One of the problems with US politics is that, due to faults in the electoral system, it can only be a winner takes all two party system -- that is just one political party shy of being a one party system such as the old USSR or Communist China -- rather than a country with many political parties that give true freedom of choice and stimulate working together and actually offer nuanced and differentiated positions to more than 300 million people. This results in artificial polarization and a characterization of the two parties as a caricature of "left" and "right" while they basically do the same thing, beholden to the same monied interests that "bought their government fair and square". At the end of the day, not a democracy and not so much different at all from the one party rule of the forementioned countries. Just a lot more money being spent (billions!) on years long lasting sham elections to give everyone the impression that there is a choice while the distracted masses scream at each other: " Socialist!" and " Right-wing Nut!"...


Edited by theJourney (04/06/13 02:15 AM)

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#2060170 - 04/06/13 03:28 AM Re: ) [Re: Dave Horne]
maurus Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/11
Posts: 867
I'm surprised to see how informative, and civilized, this discussion has developed in many posts. Thanks TheJourney, KawaiJames and dewster for your well-informed input.

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#2060193 - 04/06/13 05:25 AM Re: ) [Re: Dave Horne]
Kawai James Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 9679
Loc: Hamamatsu, Japan
theJourney, EssBrace, you may be interested in this episode of 'Intelligence Squared Debate'

Intelligence Squared Debate: Britain and the EU

(I'm watching it now on BBC World News).

James
x
_________________________
Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 fan & occasional rare groove player.

"Richard, none of us could forget you have a CLP-990." - EssBrace, 2014

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#2060201 - 04/06/13 05:52 AM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: patH]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Originally Posted By: patH

Originally Posted By: EssBrace
But I don't want to be a citizen of "Europe". By Europe I mean a single political entity with law-making powers that take precedence over national sovereignty.

I do. I like thinking of myself as a citizen of Europe.

I concede that the system is not perfect. I would e.g. welcome more possibilities of direct votes (referendums), like in Switzerland. But leaving the EU?
Just because a good idea was not implemented perfectly at first doesn't mean that the idea in itself was bad. That would be like giving up the idea of a digital piano, just because the first models left a lot to be desired.

Thx. Very true + all our nations seem more civilized, even with the more publicly debated conflicts. At least no real war within the EU in its history. Recent wars just in the neighboring abroad (Balkan) should remind us how peace a real important acheivement is, not only an empty phrase!

Yes, I know that even individuals can bring their case to the EU instances. In todays development especially in Hungary we can see, how strong the role of the EU is to discipline some erratic politic ambitions. (On the other side the quality of some reactions and feedback of the EU are often inadequate, inappropriate, uninformed, week and erratic too.)

EU is far from being perfect and it needs some more crisis to enforce development of the system, I am afraid.

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#2060204 - 04/06/13 05:58 AM Re: ) [Re: Dave Horne]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3900
Loc: North Carolina
Maurus: You're giving credit to the ill-informed.

KJ:
- Obama HAS increased taxes and spending ... massively, and it hurts. He did so mostly in his first term while armed with a fully-leftist Congress.
- He has not ended the drug war. But this is not a left/right polarized issue. Neither side wants to end it.
- As you say, he did not break up the 'too big to fail' banks. But this is pure politics. Money talks to both sides of the aisle.
- He did not end involvement in Afghanistan, despite promises. But to end it would have been a mistake, regardless of his party. Afghanistan (and the small wars before it) are all about exerting power and influence in the world. That's what a powerful nation does. Many bemoan this ... but tough nuts to them. You can be on top, or you can sink.
- You say a lefist-Obama would have provided Medicare for all. That's true. But he was 40 years too late. Johnson already did that long ago.

You say he has ...
- Extended Bush's warrantless wire-tapping programme. This is not a left/right issue at all.
- Given up on domestic environmental and climate-change legislation. I've not paid this much heed lately. But it makes sense politically. In tough times, people care about their economic position, and snail-darters be damned. In times like these, the environment doesn't get votes.

Despite all of his harmful positions, Obama is a smart politician. There's no denying that.

As for the rest of the agenda, there's one massively leftist item you've not mentioned: Obama-care (aka Pelosi-care). Many see this as brilliant. I see this as a colossal mistake. You have a problem: health-care costs too much. The proper solution is to identify the root-causes of the problem and solve them.

But the left ignores the real problem, and inserts an artificial one: many people cannot afford health care. While this is a true statement, it is NOT the problem. It is the symptom and the outcome ... and you don't solve a problem by addressing the symptom.

America did not have this problem 50 years ago. No one had health-care coverage. You might have had hospitalization coverage, which is a true insurance covering the high-cost but less-common cases requiring hospital care.

But a doctor's visit? No coverage. Medicines? No coverage. Was there a problem? NO!!! And why is that? Because medical costs were low.
Examples from the 1950's:
Doctor visit: $2
House call: $6
In-hospital baby delivery: $140

Adjusting for inflation (using labor department figures), today those prices become:
Doctor visit: $16
House call: $48
Baby delivery: $1120

But wait! The doctor visit today is $85 to $100. And the baby delivery costs nearly $10,000. But why? When people have insurance, they don't care about the prices. Under these conditions, what happens to the price? smile

And that, friends, is the problem in America. The costs have been out of control. The left addresses it by inventing insurance for all. It makes no sense.

This country is descending into socialist losership. Meanwhile, China is taking the opposite tack. It has embraced capitalism. It is today very much like America was a century ago: capitalism in ascendancy. Smart move.

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#2060275 - 04/06/13 10:05 AM Re: ) [Re: MacMacMac]
dewster Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4363
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
And that, friends, is the problem in America. The costs have been out of control. The left addresses it by inventing insurance for all. It makes no sense.

(I'm surprised that so far no one has declared Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist at Princeton, to be a socialist nutcase.):

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/25/why-markets-cant-cure-healthcare/

The bigger the pool of insured, the lower the administrative costs can be, and the more clout the pool has to rein in big pharma, for-profit hospitals, and other medical leeches. Throw everyone into the pool, and if it is done even halfway competently, costs will actually go down. Right now the US government (not even talking about what citizens pay on top of) spends much more per person on healthcare than any other nation in the world - and yet we still have many uninsured and rank way below the other industrialized nations with every single benchmark. This is a huge, huge scandal, and one we can't afford to bicker about / ignore / pay for any longer.

Why aren't fiscal conservatives screaming about the huge chunks of $ removed from their pay and forked over to inefficient-by-design markets, middlemen, and other assorted grifters and drains on the system? I thought they were the serious guys with all the answers, but the only answer they seem to know is "markets" even when the result is unending fail for as far as the eye can see.
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#2060277 - 04/06/13 10:08 AM Re: ) [Re: Dave Horne]
raikkU Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/20/13
Posts: 73
Confused, what does the last page of posts have to do with the article?
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#2060292 - 04/06/13 10:26 AM Re: ) [Re: Dave Horne]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5282
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
I really get tired of educating my fellow Americans on universal health care. (All of Western Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, Canada, and Japan have universal health care, everyone is covered, everyone pays less than what Americans pay, and we all have a lower infant mortality rates and greater longevity rates. If anyone is interested I can provide links ... I've done this many times.)

raikkU, you're correct, many posts in this thread are off topic. smile
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#2060295 - 04/06/13 10:45 AM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: MacMacMac]
dewster Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4363
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
And all the while that same government wants to further raid my wallet by opening the borders to yet more gimme-gimme immigrants.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
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#2060347 - 04/06/13 12:38 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: Dave Horne]
toddy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 1860
Loc: Portugal
Quite so......the 'gimme-gimme immigrants' are requesting what exactly? A job I should imagine. Much like most other generations of newcomers to America, wouldn't it be?
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#2060360 - 04/06/13 12:59 PM Re: ) [Re: Dave Horne]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3484
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
I really get tired of educating my fellow Americans on universal health care. (All of Western Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, Canada, and Japan have universal health care, everyone is covered, everyone pays less than what Americans pay, and we all have a lower infant mortality rates and greater longevity rates. If anyone is interested I can provide links ... I've done this many times.)


But obamacare is not universal health care. There's no debate about whether to have universal healthcare in the US (in the sense that the government pays for it all). No one has seriously proposed it. Obamacare just imposes extra restrictions on people and forces them to rely yet more heavily on overpriced health insurance. Health insurance is super bad and expensive in the US primarily because we don't choose it, like we do our other types of insurance. Instead because of the government's intervention, it's provided by our companies. Since we don't get to choose whether to have insurance or which company to use, the insurance company has no incentive to treat us well.

In addition to forcing us into bad health insurance, the government also makes healthcare more expensive because it restricts the number of doctors we can have (via the AMA) so there's a massive shortage. It also decides what procedures cost by committee. That committee is made up of doctors and some specialties have lobbied it to death. For example, dermatologists make many times more than other doctors--they are super-millionares. Another example: the guy who puts in a pacemaker in 15 minutes in his office gets paid the same for those 15 minutes as the surgeon who performs a quadruple bypass gets paid for however long that operation takes---it's a lot more than 15 minutes. Prices are all messed up and the fault is the government's, primarily.

I can see an argument for universal health care, but it in no way resembles Obamacare. Rather Obamacare makes our woes with insurance companies worse. The only way to interpret Obamacare as pushing us toward universal health care is that it breaks the system even worse so eventually maybe we'll get sick enough of it and just let the government take over health care for real.

BTW we do have universal health care in the sense that if you go to a hospital they are obligated by law to treat you. They then bill you later and if you don't have insurance you are likely to just never pay and they write it off for tax purposes. So they jack up the prices for individuals relative to what they charge insurance companies to maximize this writeoff. This means if you actually intend to pay out of pocket you will pay many, many times more than is reasonable. Which means fewer people choose to do so. With uninsured people not paying their bills, rates for insurance companies go up. Then more people can't afford health insurance. Viscous cycle.


Edited by gvfarns (04/06/13 01:13 PM)

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#2060370 - 04/06/13 01:18 PM Re: ) [Re: gvfarns]
dewster Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4363
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: gvfarns
But obamacare is not universal health care. There's no debate about whether to have universal healthcare in the US. No one has seriously proposed it. Obamacare just imposes extra restrictions on people and forces them to rely yet more heavily on overpriced health insurance. Health insurance is super bad and expensive in the US primarily because we don't choose it, like we do our other types of insurance. Instead because of the government's intervention, it's provided by our companies. Since we don't get to choose whether to have insurance or which company to use, the insurance company has no incentive to treat us well.

Read the Krugman link above, you can't have a market for insurance like you do for bread, it just doesn't work. Children and old people generally can't afford it, those in the middle don't want to pay for it until they are old / sick, and insurance companies are basically in the business of not signing up the risky in the first place and denying claims after the fact.

Insurance companies run this country, that's the short answer as to why we don't have universal coverage. Lots of serious people proposed single payer as the only real and best solution, but their voices continue to be marginalized by our corporate press due to the Overton window being so far right.

So we have Obamacare as a bandaid on a bad bleed out, which the R's are doing their best to kill. From what I've read it seems like much of what we already have in NJ - no pre-existing conditions clauses or refusals, no dropping the sick just because they are sick, etc. IOW basic consumer protections anyone should expect in this or any rational country.
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#2060397 - 04/06/13 02:20 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: Dave Horne]
pv88 Online   blank
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/31/10
Posts: 2722
[Edited]


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#2060418 - 04/06/13 03:19 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: Dave Horne]
Clayman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/07/13
Posts: 300
Loc: Prague, Czech Rep.
Well, if anything, this thread clearly shows this forum needs an off-topic section. Oh, wait, it has one...


Edited by Clayman (04/06/13 03:20 PM)
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