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#2064445 - 04/14/13 11:33 AM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: Virgo Cluster]
Temperament Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 424
Loc: Hun,EU
Nice posts, Virgo Cluster, Dewster

It is a widespread illusion in all societies that we are owing all of our well-beeing and fortune solely to our own strengths, competences and assertiveness. We rely heavily on the performance on the public, our personal achievements are relative to that of the others, but rely on the national and global efforts and achievements of the present and of all of that past generations.

A Ferrari is no use if you don't have smooth roads (but both are the product of others skills and efforts).

We are more rich, than the richest Pharaohs was in ancient Aegypt. (They had no access to modern medicine, they had no televisions and internet and airplanes and....)

Just another but similar cultural and behavioral difference seems gun legislation. To bear a weapon I regard here as not a real contribution to my own security (at least here in Europe not where situations of personal threats when a proper response is only with a gun are negligible rare). The US must be either a much more insecure place to live or there must be much more people susceptible to symbolism: having a gun as the main source of ones invulnerability.

It is a highly deceptive feeling of freedom and security: the many guns in others hands are much more a threat than the response to them with a weapon protects against them. I prefer the freedom and comfort of not having to bear a gun.

Unlike in the US in European countries the right to possess a gun was never even a political issue - men who are require these freedom are mostly regarded as belonging to a split subculture ("macho", ending up in the French Legion or just infantile personalities).

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#2064446 - 04/14/13 11:34 AM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: Dave Horne]
dewster Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/09
Posts: 4332
Loc: Northern NJ
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
I'm reminded of a FaceBook friend in the US who is retired US Army (USMA Band). He collects a military pension, will collect Social Security when the time comes, has the privilege of shopping in government stores (PX and Commissary), pays nothing or very little for government health care ... and was going on and on about how he wants a smaller government all the while benefiting from that same government.

For whatever reason many middle class people here who are firmly and undeniably on the dole seem to be the most vocal about the evils of socialism and government assistance. If nothing else this demands a level of hypocrisy that one wouldn't think humanly possible.
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The DPBSD Project!
THE RD-700NX Thread!
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#2064485 - 04/14/13 12:48 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: dewster]
KLSinCT Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/07/12
Posts: 148
Loc: Stonington, CT USA
Originally Posted By: dewster
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
I'm reminded of a FaceBook friend in the US who is retired US Army (USMA Band). He collects a military pension, will collect Social Security when the time comes, has the privilege of shopping in government stores (PX and Commissary), pays nothing or very little for government health care ... and was going on and on about how he wants a smaller government all the while benefiting from that same government.

For whatever reason many middle class people here who are firmly and undeniably on the dole seem to be the most vocal about the evils of socialism and government assistance. If nothing else this demands a level of hypocrisy that one wouldn't think humanly possible.


+100!!!

K.
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#2064499 - 04/14/13 01:08 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: dewster]
gvfarns Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 3480
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: dewster
For whatever reason many middle class people here who are firmly and undeniably on the dole seem to be the most vocal about the evils of socialism and government assistance. If nothing else this demands a level of hypocrisy that one wouldn't think humanly possible.


No one would be against the government assisting people in various ways if there no costs to doing so. But the costs are terribly high. They take people who would otherwise be well into the middle class and push them into poverty. Just because someone isn't starving or unable to own a car as a result of paying their taxes doesn't mean the government hasn't harmed them greatly by taking that money.

People pay a lot of attention to the relatively small number of people that the top whose lifestyle isn't affected even if they pay tons of taxes and to people at the bottom who don't pay any. But most of the story is about the guys in the middle who work hard experience great stress as they try and make their way through this world (put a decent roof over their kids, pay for their education, etc.), but nevertheless are not so poor that the government cuts them any slack. These hard working folk bear almost the entire cost of the various government programs. Taking money from someone who can barely afford it and must make great sacrifices to give it up and then giving it (or a small percentage of it, after all the waste) to someone else who isn't making sacrifices or working hard is offensive to a large percentage of Americans, even if the first group doesn't starve.

And we should remember throughout this discussion that the argument is about a marginal change from the way things are now, not a complete change. No one advocates eliminating all social programs or the entirety of the safety net. No one in America seriously advocates total government control of healthcare. Obama has shifted power to insurance companies and employers away from the individual. This means the individual has less control over who provides insurance. There is less competition, the insurance companies can charge more, and losing your job will be yet a bigger deal. Actually it's a mixed bag. There are many good things in his health care bill, but the thing is absolutely huge, unbelievably complex, in some cases not even feasible to implement (at any cost), and full of little pieces of unrelated pork stuck in by one politician or another.

If everyone paid their own health insurance, the way people pay their own auto insurance, insurance companies would compete much harder and offer a much greater variety of plans and better service. Auto insurance (which is mandatory) is one of the industries with the highest satisfaction rate there is. If companies provided auto insurance, auto insurance would cost far more and treat you much worse.

The health care bill in question didn't actually make that large of changes to the system, but it ignored the most broken parts of the system and made others worse than they are now. If his health care bill was for socialization like in Europe or Canada this would be a different discussion.

Examples of things ignored in Obama's health care bill:

1. The AMA artificially restricting the number of doctors, causing acute shortages and high incomes. In some specialties (dermatology, anesthesiology, radiology, orthopedic surgery, etc.) the shortage and wages are absolutely unbelievable.

2. A government committee that has been lobbied hard into paying certain doctors millions of dollars per year instead of something like a market wage. Normally when there's an easy job that pays a ton, lots of people enter the profession and drive prices down, but they can't do it here because of #1.

3. Company sponsorship of heathcare plans instead of individual choice prevents insurance companies from needing to treat people well and also insulates people from realizing how much of their wealth is paying for medical care. This does affect the life choices they make and their expectations.

4. Doctors can be sued for millions in malpractice, but can buy insurance against this. This means they charge much more than they would (in order to pay for the insurance) but if they do bad things and harm their patients, they can continue to practice without hindrance. In other words the lawsuits are not about punishing the doctors or making sure malpractice is avoided, but just about dumping huge sums of money on victims (or people pretending to be victims) and their lawyers.

5. Hospitals charge individuals, small insurance companies, and medicare far, far less than they charge big insurance companies and medicaid for the same services. The difference is so large that it's basically not feasible to pay for even routine treatments yourself. As a result, people without insurance just don't pay at all, which passes the costs on and leads the hospitals to mark up prices for individuals even more in order to write it off on their taxes.

6. Hospitals are compelled by law to provite for lots of things for people who will not pay. My brother is a doctor and tells me that he sees people all day who either are trying to get drugs from their doctors (many doctors just prescribe them...it doesn't cost them anything and it gets these people out the door faster) or taking advantage of the fact that the hospital can't kick them out easily to treat a very expensive hospital bed like it was cheap housing. There are many stories of people who couldn't afford treatment they needed, but for the most part these are people who have not learned how to cheat the system.

These are all things a bill could have changed, which would have helped us far more than what was done without socializing the whole thing (I am not a doctor, so I don't know all the others). In my opinion, total government takeover makes more sense than what was done, and I hate government takeovers.

The vehement anti-Obama sentiment about Obamacare stems mostly from partisanship, not good cause--that's true of almost all vehement sentiment. The bill does hurt things and for the most part doesn't help, but it's nowhere near changing the US healthcare system in a fundamental way.


Edited by gvfarns (04/14/13 02:04 PM)

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#2064539 - 04/14/13 03:00 PM Re: WSJ article on N2 [Re: Dave Horne]
MacMacMac Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 3779
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
... replying to my post about a Canadian seeking medical care in the US. ... This wasn't addressed to me, but it wasn't stated what type of surgery it was, whether it was an urgent operation such as an organ transplant or heart operation, or a less serious procedure such as a hernia operation or cosmetic surgery.
There was no surgery, just routine care from a physician. Lucky for her that she lives right across the border, just a short drive. Q: What would she do if she lived farther north? A: Suffer.

Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
If the loss of your perceived freedom is participating in universal health care ...
Nope. My objection is in being forced to accept government choices. If you're satisfied with government running your life, feel free to be so ensnared. But I choose otherwise.

I'll say it again: I don't mind that other get what they want. But I object when they force me to get what I don't want.

It's hypocrisy. Suppose government forced my religion upon you. (It's been done before, yes?) Would you object? Why must you accept personal choices made by others? Why must I?

Suppose government forbade gay people certain rights. (Oops. "Suppose" is inappropriate. It's being done right now.) Wouldn't they object? (Oops. That's a rhetorical question. They do object!) Why must one lifestyle be accepted and another rejected. Why must someone accept personal choices made by others?

In sum: You do it your way, I'll do it mine. And government need have NO say in the matter.

Originally Posted By: Temperament
A Ferrari is no use if you don't have smooth roads (but both are the product of others skills and efforts).
Quite true. But both the Ferrari drivers and the Corolla drivers like to have roads, so we willingly pay for them. Yes, the roads are the product of others. But those people are being paid for it? I don't see a problem.

Originally Posted By: dewster
For whatever reason many middle class people here who are firmly and undeniably on the dole seem to be the most vocal about the evils of socialism and government assistance. If nothing else this demands a level of hypocrisy that one wouldn't think humanly possible.
I'm not sure what you mean. Which people "here" are vocal and on the dole? People here on the board? People in your home location?

Anyway, that might be a true anecdote. But don't make it a general conclusion. I am in the middle-class. I am vocal about the harm socialist government inflicts. And I have NEVER been on the dole. (And I await criticism for being "successful", the cardinal sin of American socialism.)

Originally Posted By: dewster
No one advocates eliminating all social programs or the entirety of the safety net.
Perhaps some people advocate complete elimination, but I don't. But I DO wish to eliminate programs that benefit special interest groups at the expense of others.

Originally Posted By: dewster
Obama has shifted power to insurance companies and employers away from the individual. This means the individual has less control over who provides insurance.
Correct. That drives to the heart of the problem: government control.

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