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Author Topic: "Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs..."  (Read 5648 times)
Red
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November 01, 2011, 09:05:11 PM
 #21

Pretty much all of them. Argentina, Brazil, most recently Equador.

So if you are saying that the best thing we (as non-citizens of the target countries) can do is leave countries (and their citizens) alone to work out their own problems. To educate themselves in the ways of productivity and decide on their own rules for civility among themselves, I couldn't agree more.
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November 01, 2011, 09:24:47 PM
 #22

So if you are saying that the best thing we (as non-citizens of the target countries) can do is leave countries (and their citizens) alone to work out their own problems. To educate themselves in the ways of productivity and decide on their own rules for civility among themselves, I couldn't agree more.

I never said anything about leaving alone. Why wouldnt we trade, cooperate etc with Greeks or anyone else? Im not an isolationist or nationalist. Im just opposed to neocolonialism thinly disguised as neoliberalism or "free trade". As for what we should do, well one thing is expose and prosecute our corrupt businesses, regardless of the nationality of the people they expoited, and not turn a blind eye or go WAY further and doing their bidding just because they are exploiting another nation's population.

edit: if you meant we should stay out of their politics, then yes, we strongly agree. Unfortunately we do nothing else as meddling in foreign countries politics to benefit our corporations.

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November 01, 2011, 10:34:09 PM
 #23

edit: if you meant we should stay out of their politics, then yes, we strongly agree. Unfortunately we do nothing else as meddling in foreign countries politics to benefit our corporations.

I mean certainly we shouldn't be messing in other nation's politics. People should be allowed to form what ever kind of government they want. And if they should happen to want a kind of government that, in retrospect, ends up sucking, well then we should all learn from their mistake. If however it turns out to be genius, there is no law against copying productive social structures.

I never said anything about leaving alone. Why wouldnt we trade, cooperate etc with Greeks or anyone else? Im not an isolationist or nationalist. Im just opposed to neocolonialism thinly disguised as neoliberalism or "free trade". As for what we should do, well one thing is expose and prosecute our corrupt businesses, regardless of the nationality of the people they expoited, and not turn a blind eye or go WAY further and doing their bidding just because they are exploiting another nation's population.

I think we are arguing on the same side. I'm saying no one should be forced to trade on either side of the table. If Greece sets out to keep devaluing their new Drachma, no one should be forced to trade in or hold Drachma against their will. Even if they are evil banks or corporations. If South American countries don't want to sell us oranges, bananas or even oil, we shouldn't force them to.

But if a legitimately recognized national government says, "Bribes are how we do business!" Then that is between the people and their corrupt government. I don't feel the need to overthrow corrupt foreign governments just because I want to eat bananas. If they say the price is 30 cents per pound plus bribes, then that is what the market price is.

Furthermore, I don't feel the necessity to hamstring companies trying to optimize a service for me (like bringing me bananas), by saying they can not compete to the best of their abilities. International trade is the big leagues. If two parties want to make a deal, they each negotiation the best deal they can. Otherwise, there is no deal to be had. Neither side *must* trade if the deal goes against their best interest.
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November 01, 2011, 10:43:24 PM
 #24

Here's why I don't like socialism, or any sort of idea that has to do with redistributing wealth:

- My wife currently does not have health insurance, because I make too much money (which isn't very much) for her to be eligible for the state health plan.  I have insurance through my workplace with 20% co-pays.
- I pay taxes
- Those taxes go towards the state health plan, which means I am subsidizing other people's health plans, while not able to pay for health care for my own wife.
- If I wasn't working, we could both get free insurance with $0 co-pays through the state health plan.

Just seems wrong that people who work can go without insurance while anyone who does not work can get insurance with $0 co-pays whenever they want.  It almost makes me want to stop working, just to see what would happen.  If anything, it seems as though those people who are working and helping the economy produce more GDP should be the ones receiving benefits of state health insurance, instead of those who are sitting around watching TV all day.

JMO.
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November 01, 2011, 10:58:20 PM
 #25

Here's why I don't like socialism, or any sort of idea that has to do with redistributing wealth:

- My wife currently does not have health insurance, because I make too much money (which isn't very much) for her to be eligible for the state health plan.  I have insurance through my workplace with 20% co-pays.
- I pay taxes
- Those taxes go towards the state health plan, which means I am subsidizing other people's health plans, while not able to pay for health care for my own wife.
- If I wasn't working, we could both get free insurance with $0 co-pays through the state health plan.

Just seems wrong that people who work can go without insurance while anyone who does not work can get insurance with $0 co-pays whenever they want.  It almost makes me want to stop working, just to see what would happen.  If anything, it seems as though those people who are working and helping the economy produce more GDP should be the ones receiving benefits of state health insurance, instead of those who are sitting around watching TV all day.

JMO.

Excellent point. I also dont like socialism because I have a company car, and my girlfriend doesnt, so she keeps borrowing mine or I have to drive her around, and then she wants to drive, and she cant drive very well and I fear she will damage it.

Seriously; Im assuming you are in the US; about the only industrialized country in the world where not everyone has healthcare insurance. If for a second you would use your brain, you might find out that healthcare should NOT be related to your job. Its an insane concept, it makes you a slave of your employer (scared to quit to find another job or start a business because you cant afford to lose healthcare), and when you need healthcare most, you likely wont have a job.

Then after you realized that, if you do some reading, you might find out no country on earth has higher health care costs than the US, while most industrialized countries have better healthcare for a fraction of the cost. On many metrics even Cuba does better. Blame your corrupt and idiotic system, rather than "socialism", which has nothing to do with it. Fixing your healthcare system will not only improve your lives and that of 50 million uninsured and many more underinsured, it will also solve your budget deficit overnight. Just dont call it "socialist" I guess, because thats evil!





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November 01, 2011, 11:17:22 PM
 #26

Excellent point. I also dont like socialism because I have a company car, and my girlfriend doesnt, so she keeps borrowing mine or I have to drive her around, and then she wants to drive, and she cant drive very well and I fear she will damage it.

You mean in socialism some people don't have cars? That is pretty rare in the US. Even people without health insurance have cars. (true sarcasm)


If for a second you would use your brain, you might find out that healthcare should NOT be related to your job. Its an insane concept,

This is pretty clear to everyone. Except perhaps for our president who decided that making it the employer's problem means he doesn't have to make it his problem.


Fixing your healthcare system...

I'm quite certain you will find every American is in favor of improving our health care system. The politicians however keep proposing systems that make, the already clear, problems much worse. We tend to be against that.
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November 02, 2011, 12:03:32 AM
 #27

Here's why I don't like socialism, or any sort of idea that has to do with redistributing wealth:

- My wife currently does not have health insurance, because I make too much money (which isn't very much) for her to be eligible for the state health plan.  I have insurance through my workplace with 20% co-pays.
- I pay taxes
- Those taxes go towards the state health plan, which means I am subsidizing other people's health plans, while not able to pay for health care for my own wife.
- If I wasn't working, we could both get free insurance with $0 co-pays through the state health plan.

Just seems wrong that people who work can go without insurance while anyone who does not work can get insurance with $0 co-pays whenever they want.  It almost makes me want to stop working, just to see what would happen.  If anything, it seems as though those people who are working and helping the economy produce more GDP should be the ones receiving benefits of state health insurance, instead of those who are sitting around watching TV all day.

JMO.

Excellent point. I also dont like socialism because I have a company car, and my girlfriend doesnt, so she keeps borrowing mine or I have to drive her around, and then she wants to drive, and she cant drive very well and I fear she will damage it.

Seriously; Im assuming you are in the US; about the only industrialized country in the world where not everyone has healthcare insurance. If for a second you would use your brain, you might find out that healthcare should NOT be related to your job. Its an insane concept, it makes you a slave of your employer (scared to quit to find another job or start a business because you cant afford to lose healthcare), and when you need healthcare most, you likely wont have a job.


Taxpayer funded healthcare isn't the answer to that either.  There are many Canadians who cross the border just to be able to get timely health care.  Like any other public good, health care will be rationed in some fashion.  The US system is broken because it's partially socialized care, and thus has many of the problems that plague social systems (deferred care, lengthy waits, poor service) as well as issues that drive the public want for such social systems (incompatible compensation networks, varied service models, uncovered populations).

The question is this, is provision of health care a right?  No, it's not.  For if it's a right, then you and I have a claim to the skilled labors of medical professionals, and that is as close to slavery as our modern societies will tolerate.  I say that access to health care is a right, and it is in the US but not in many other places.  I have the literal right to be seen by any specialist without discrimination, provided that I can pay his wages as well as anyone else.  That is not the case in Britain, which can deny such access to medicine as a means of controlling the public cost of health care.

Given a choice between the two perspectives; the right to access versus the right of provision, I'll choose access.

Quote

Then after you realized that, if you do some reading, you might find out no country on earth has higher health care costs than the US, while most industrialized countries have better healthcare for a fraction of the cost. On many metrics even Cuba does better. Blame your corrupt and idiotic system, rather than "socialism", which has nothing to do with it. Fixing your healthcare system will not only improve your lives and that of 50 million uninsured and many more underinsured, it will also solve your budget deficit overnight. Just dont call it "socialist" I guess, because thats evil!



The US has been the market for medical innovation for decades.  Without the high potential profits that such a market represents, many of those great health care services that you can get for less elsewhere wouldn't be available at all.  And teh Cuba reference is rediculous.  Again, it's a matter of access.  Sure the political class has access to free & high quality health care in Cuba.  The ruling classes have such access in every nation on Earth.  This is nothing new.  Yet, even the politicos in Cuba would not have such access if the US's semi-free market in advanced medicine did not exist.

I can solve the debate in ten minutes.  If there must be taxpayer funded health care in the US, then it should be simply defined and never require a new government agency to manage it.  Simple enough rule, if a medical procedure, prescription medicine or device was available to the wealthest American 50 years prior to the current year, then the state should have no problem providing such a service through a public clinic.  But if there is a preferred modern procedure, over the counter alternative, or more advanced medical device; pay for it yourself.  In this way, anyone could go to the public clinic, staffed by government employees, to have a bone set and cast or get a polio vaccine. 

As an aside, I work for a major international corporation founded by some guy who invented a light bulb.  Where I work there is a clinic that is sponsored by the company itself, staffed by salaried employees of the company, using modern medical devices invented by the company, that charges nothing for the use of their services during normal business hours.  At the turn of the year, this clinic will be able to handle full 'primary care' for employees (as opposed to just work like a walk-in urgent care clinic, like it presently does) and plans to open up primary care services to all employees and their dependents regardless of which company sponsored health care plan (traditional, HMO) or unsponsored (Health savings account) that said employee has chosen.  At present, the clinic intends to remain at it's current cost point for all services.  This is a model that existed due to 'mutual aid societies' that were very common in the US prior to FDR, and were the model that American trade unions developed around in the 30's & 40's.

Considering that at least some of those same employees have chosen to not use the company sponsored plans, one might just wonder what motive that a souless company only after the pursuit of profit might have to pay the salary of such a clinic staff.

1) Happy employees with healthy children are productive employees and...

2) company sponsored access to affordable health care (not just health insurance) is a kind of goodwill that promotes loyalty among management salarymen and unonized wage earners alike, even when those who are being manipulated know the motive of the company. 

There is a silver lining to employer based health insurance that you might not recognize in a nation that taxpayers fund medical needs.  Another is that, in order to be adequately covered, one actually must be a productive member of society or otherwise be able to pay for care yourself.  Socially darwinistic, perhaps, but true nonetheless.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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November 02, 2011, 12:28:47 AM
 #28

There is a silver lining to employer based health insurance that you might not recognize in a nation that taxpayers fund medical needs.  Another is that, in order to be adequately covered, one actually must be a productive member of society or otherwise be able to pay for care yourself.  Socially darwinistic, perhaps, but true nonetheless.

OMFG! You heartless bastard! (sarcasm)

I pretty sure you just did something a kin to uttering the name of the lord aloud. And you did in public for all to see! Zeus will surely strike you down with his thunderbolt!

Yes, I know that is the wrong god, but all those supernatural deities tend to stick together. They're like evil bankers or CEOs but they don't even have to answer to stock holders.
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November 02, 2011, 12:45:25 AM
 #29

Excellent point. I also dont like socialism because I have a company car, and my girlfriend doesnt, so she keeps borrowing mine or I have to drive her around, and then she wants to drive, and she cant drive very well and I fear she will damage it.

You mean in socialism some people don't have cars? That is pretty rare in the US. Even people without health insurance have cars. (true sarcasm)


Irony is that this comes back to my comment about access being more important than provision.  There are some great hospitals in Havana, Cuba.  It's also likely that a poor citizen who can get to said hospital is going to get care so long as the hospital isn't already at capacity with citizens with a higher political value.  It's not true that it matters how good the hospitals in downtown Havana might be, if you can't get transportation to said hospital when you need to.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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November 02, 2011, 03:38:52 AM
 #30

Your definition of socialism is so diluted as to be meaningless. Adam Smith qualifies as a socialist under that convoluted meaning.

He might at that, but the word has differnet meanings to different people.

Then he probably shouldn't run around telling people they don't know the definition of socialism when his is one shared by maybe 0.00001% of the world's population. You can argue over the little details of socialism, how it should be achieved, the proper place of unions, all of that stuff, but the definitions shared by no actual socialists and only fierce opponents who see a socialist lurking in every shadow are most assuredly not what Marx had in mind.

Quote
Taxpayer funded healthcare isn't the answer to that either.  There are many Canadians who cross the border just to be able to get timely health care.

Oh good, this again. Canada has a higher life expectancy and lower infant mortality rate than the U.S.

Also:

Quote
In a Canadian National Population Health Survey of 17,276 Canadian residents, it was reported that only 0.5% sought medical care in the US in the previous year. Of these, less than a quarter had traveled to the U.S. expressly to get that care.

Quote
A 2009 Harris/Decima poll found 82% of Canadians preferred their healthcare system to the one in the United States, more than ten times as many as the 8% stating a preference for a US-style health care system for Canada while a Strategic Counsel survey in 2008 found 91% of Canadians preferring their healthcare system to that of the U.S. In the same poll, when asked "overall the Canadian health care system was performing very well, fairly well, not very well or not at all?" 70% of Canadians rated their system as working either "well" or "very well".  A 2003 Gallup poll found only 25% of Americans are either "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with "the availability of affordable healthcare in the nation", versus 50% of those in the UK and 57% of Canadians. Those "very dissatisfied" made up 44% of Americans, 25% of respondents of Britons, and 17% of Canadians.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Canada

Once again, unpleasant facts stand in your way, but I'm sure they'll be forgotten by tomorrow, to be replaced by uncited assertions that line up more properly with your beliefs.
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November 02, 2011, 04:58:08 AM
 #31

Your definition of socialism is so diluted as to be meaningless. Adam Smith qualifies as a socialist under that convoluted meaning.

He might at that, but the word has differnet meanings to different people.

Then he probably shouldn't run around telling people they don't know the definition of socialism when his is one shared by maybe 0.00001% of the world's population. You can argue over the little details of socialism, how it should be achieved, the proper place of unions, all of that stuff, but the definitions shared by no actual socialists and only fierce opponents who see a socialist lurking in every shadow are most assuredly not what Marx had in mind.

Quote
Taxpayer funded healthcare isn't the answer to that either.  There are many Canadians who cross the border just to be able to get timely health care.

Oh good, this again. Canada has a higher life expectancy and lower infant mortality rate than the U.S.

They have a higher life expectancy because they have a lower infant mortality rate.  They have a lower infant mortality rate because they record infant deaths differently.  In the US, if a fetus is delivered naturally, and was not known to already be dead before labor began, it's counted as an infant death instead of a late term miscarriage.  Thus skewing the life expectancy stats compared to nations that don't include infants that die during or shortly following birth.  I'm not sure how Canada does it, but it's still apples to oranges.  There is also the differences in a higher likelyhood of a US citizen dying as a young adult due to risker lifestyles.  Extreme sports have participants from everywhere, but they are almost invariablely invented here for a reason.  Also, Canada doesn't have nearly the minority population that the US has, and blacks are prone to heart disease for genetic reasons, just as an example.  There are so many things affecting the overly simple metric of life expectancy that comparing two different nations like that is apples to oranges.

Quote

Also:

Quote
In a Canadian National Population Health Survey of 17,276 Canadian residents, it was reported that only 0.5% sought medical care in the US in the previous year. Of these, less than a quarter had traveled to the U.S. expressly to get that care.

Quote
A 2009 Harris/Decima poll found 82% of Canadians preferred their healthcare system to the one in the United States, more than ten times as many as the 8% stating a preference for a US-style health care system for Canada while a Strategic Counsel survey in 2008 found 91% of Canadians preferring their healthcare system to that of the U.S. In the same poll, when asked "overall the Canadian health care system was performing very well, fairly well, not very well or not at all?" 70% of Canadians rated their system as working either "well" or "very well".  A 2003 Gallup poll found only 25% of Americans are either "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with "the availability of affordable healthcare in the nation", versus 50% of those in the UK and 57% of Canadians. Those "very dissatisfied" made up 44% of Americans, 25% of respondents of Britons, and 17% of Canadians.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_Canada

Once again, unpleasant facts stand in your way, but I'm sure they'll be forgotten by tomorrow, to be replaced by uncited assertions that line up more properly with your beliefs.

Those aren't facts, they're statistics.  Numbers never lie, but the polled sure as hell do.  What kind of result would you have expected?

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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November 02, 2011, 05:29:18 AM
 #32

Seriously? That's your response? That the rate of Canadians going to America specifically for medical treatment is not one quarter of 0.5%, but in fact much, much higher because 17,000 Canadians all lied on the survey? And then they all lied on repeated surveys about how satisfied they were with their medical care, as did the British, while Americans told the truth?

Also, the reason Americans die younger than Canadians? Extreme sports!

Honestly, you couldn't make this shit up if you tried. Just how intellectually dishonest are you capable of being in the name of Free Market Jesus?
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November 02, 2011, 05:55:57 AM
 #33

Quote
Some residents of Canada travel to the United States because it provides the nearest facility for their needs. Some do so on quality grounds or because of easier access. A study by Barer, et al., indicates that the majority of Canadians who seek health care in the U.S. are already there for other reasons, including business travel or vacations. A smaller proportion seek care in the U.S. for reasons of confidentiality, including abortions, mental illness, substance abuse, and other problems that they may not wish to divulge to their local physician, family, or employer.

Canadians offered free care in the US paid by the Canadian government have sometimes declined it. In 1990 the British Columbia Medical Association ran radio ads asking, "What's the longest you'd wait in line at a bank before getting really annoyed? Five minutes? Ten minutes? What if you needed a heart operation?" Following this, the government responded, as summarized by Robin Hutchinson, senior medical consultant for the health ministry's heart program. Despite the medically questionable nature of heart bypass for milder cases of chest pain and follow-up studies showing heart bypass recipients were only 25-40% more likely to be relieved of chest pain than people who stay on heart medicine, the "public outcry" following the ads led the government to take action:

"'We did a deal with the University of Washington at Seattle' said Hutchinton.. to take 50 bypass cases at $18,000 per head, almost $3,000 higher than the cost in Vancouver, with all the money [paid by] the province..In theory, the Seattle operations promised to take the heat off the Ministry of Health until a fourth heart surgery unit opened in the Vancouver suburb of New Westminster. If the first batch of Seattle bypasses went smoothly..then the government planned to buy three or four more 50-head blocks. But four weeks after announcing the plan, health administrators had to admit they were stumped. 'As of now..we've have nine people sign up. The opposition party, the press, everybody's making a big stink about our waiting lists. And we've got [only] nine people signed up! The surgeons ask their patients and they say, "I'd rather wait", We thought we could get maybe two hundred and fifty done down in Seattle..but if nobody wants to go to Seattle, we're stuck,'".

More damned dirty lies from lying liar socialists, I guess?

I also love this one:

Quote
In 2005 Shona Holmes of Waterdown, Ontario, traveled to the Mayo Clinic after deciding she couldn't afford to wait for appointments with specialists through the Ontario health care system. She has characterized her condition as an emergency, said she was losing her sight, and portrayed her condition as life-threatening brain cancer. OHIP did not reimburse her for her medical expenses. In 2007 she joined a lawsuit to force the Ontario government to reimburse patients who feel they had to travel outside of Canada for timely, life-saving medical treatment. In July 2009 Holmes agreed to appear in television ads broadcast in the United States warning Americans of the dangers of adopting a Canadian style health care system. After her ad appeared critics pointed out discrepancies in her story, including that Rathke's cleft cyst, the condition she was treated for, was not a form of cancer, and was not life-threatening. In fact, the mortality rate for patients with a Rathke's cleft cyst is zero percent.

I notice that there's always an American company with pockets full of money waiting to broadcast the full experience of every Canadian who's ever waited 8 hours in an emergency room, but they somehow manage to ignore all of the times we wait just as long. And none of the media ever seems bothered by the fact that 45,000 Americans a year die due to lack of health insurance, which you'd think should be a pretty big deal, but hey what do I know?
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November 02, 2011, 06:16:54 AM
 #34

Canadians are certainly an interesting breed.

There are really only two conceptually different types of public health care system.

1) Everyone is entitled to a certain level of care paid for by the government. Those who want better care can pay for it on their own.
2) Everyone is entitled to a certain level of care paid for by the government. No one is allowed to purchase better care than that received by every other person.

The last I checked, Canada was in the second category. They are also very proud of the equality of their concept. I find Canadians some of the most civil people on the planet. I don't find your statistics very shocking. It is clear most Canadians would rather wait in line out of respect for civil equality, than sacrifice that principle even if the additional cost for immediate service was trivial to them.

I, however, am a whiny bastard. When I get sick, if I can pay extra to get treated, then get back to bed... Well fuck stoicism.

----

(Edit) I wonder if there are any Canadian bitcoin users? I would be shocked to find even one who thought their Loonie currency should be abandoned just because it was mandated by fiat.
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November 02, 2011, 07:13:57 AM
 #35

The question is this, is provision of health care a right?  No, it's not.  For if it's a right, then you and I have a claim to the skilled labors of medical professionals, and that is as close to slavery as our modern societies will tolerate. 

So you dont feel like you have a right to education, or a right to justice, or a right to security, because claiming the skills of educational professionals or judges or police officers is close to slavery? Doesnt make sense to me.

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I say that access to health care is a right, and it is in the US but not in many other places.  I have the literal right to be seen by any specialist without discrimination, provided that I can pay his wages as well as anyone else.  That is not the case in Britain, which can deny such access to medicine as a means of controlling the public cost of health care.

First of all, you seem to be confusing universal health insurance with free medicine. I dont know any place where healthcare is entirely free, I dont even think on cuba; but where I live everyone has insurance, which means that medical costs arent going to bankrupt you and your kids, but its not free. Well, technically, there is a maximum ceiling of medical bills, no matter how much healthcare you need, depending on your income, there will be a ca 2500 euro per year limit. Anything over that is free, even if you are hospitalized 365 days. But that doesnt mean I dont have to pay a dime if I go see a heart specialist, it means having a heart attack or car accident wont put me in a position where I have to sell my house or deny my kids a proper education.

Secondly, Britain is hardly a shining example of socialized medicine. In fact, its as close to the US system as any EU country and about as bad as it gets around here. Its no wonder the US insurance industry likes to point to the UK.  We point to the UK as proof of why privatized health insurance doesnt work.

THirdly, about the right to access; it exists here just as well. Its not mutually exclusive with the right to provision, its a  false dilemma. You are free to go to see any specialist you want. Depending on which type of specialist and the urgency of the condition, you might need to see a general doctor first. Actually, you dont even have to, but if you dont get a letter of referral, insurance wont pay the cost. If you pick a private hospital or a specialist that works outside the public system, the insurance may not pay or may pay only a small amount of the bill. Sounds imminently reasonable to me. You do have choice here as well. Its just that the public system is pretty darn good that hardly anyone feels a need to go outside of it.

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I can solve the debate in ten minutes.  If there must be taxpayer funded health care in the US, then it should be simply defined and never require a new government agency to manage it.  Simple enough rule, if a medical procedure, prescription medicine or device was available to the wealthest American 50 years prior to the current year, then the state should have no problem providing such a service through a public clinic.  But if there is a preferred modern procedure, over the counter alternative, or more advanced medical device; pay for it yourself.  In this way, anyone could go to the public clinic, staffed by government employees, to have a bone set and cast or get a polio vaccine. 

Thats a plain silly system. Preferred modern procedure should be insured as well, if its deemed to be worth the cost. Yes, someone will have to make that call, and therefore it will never be perfect, but the idea that only rich would be able to afford, say, state of the art dialysis, because there are machines from the 1950s that also work to some extent, is ridiculous. Thats not to say I dont agree that anyone feeling they should spend or waste money on a unproven or extremely expensive treatment with dubious advantages shouldnt be allowed to do so. Its not like you can not do that over here, there are private clinics, who's costs for the most part are not covered by our universal health care. Thats fine by me, but the public insurance system shouldnt  only pay for WW2 medicine; it should pay for any reasonable treatments.

BTW, if you got rid of your private insurance cleptocracy, for the money the US spends on healthcare you could afford to give everyone state of art treatments. You spend 2x to 3x as much on healthcare per capita as most EU countries (while providing services for only part of them). I honestly dont feel like Im not receiving state of the art healthcare, but imagine what it would be like if you would triple the budget.


JA37
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November 02, 2011, 07:49:29 AM
 #36

Canadians are certainly an interesting breed.

There are really only two conceptually different types of public health care system.

1) Everyone is entitled to a certain level of care paid for by the government. Those who want better care can pay for it on their own.
2) Everyone is entitled to a certain level of care paid for by the government. No one is allowed to purchase better care than that received by every other person.

The last I checked, Canada was in the second category. They are also very proud of the equality of their concept. I find Canadians some of the most civil people on the planet. I don't find your statistics very shocking. It is clear most Canadians would rather wait in line out of respect for civil equality, than sacrifice that principle even if the additional cost for immediate service was trivial to them.

I, however, am a whiny bastard. When I get sick, if I can pay extra to get treated, then get back to bed... Well fuck stoicism.

----

(Edit) I wonder if there are any Canadian bitcoin users? I would be shocked to find even one who thought their Loonie currency should be abandoned just because it was mandated by fiat.

I'm in the first category. I think the system works wonderfully, although I don't feel I get "better" care by paying extra. I get "speedier" care. I can bypass some queues. This is something my company pays for me to have me back on the job quicker. I guess it pays off for them.

The comfort in having a baseline service in healthcare is wonderful. And I think the maximum fee for healthcare is about €500/year here, that includes both treatment and medication.

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FredericBastiat
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November 02, 2011, 04:13:56 PM
 #37

Then he probably shouldn't run around telling people they don't know the definition of socialism when his is one shared by maybe 0.00001% of the world's population. You can argue over the little details of socialism, how it should be achieved, the proper place of unions, all of that stuff, but the definitions shared by no actual socialists and only fierce opponents who see a socialist lurking in every shadow are most assuredly not what Marx had in mind.

Perhaps I shouldn't use any -ism words at all as they do in fact have many different interpretations by many people. However and notwithstanding that, if your modus operandi is to force a man to relinquish his property for a purpose other than self-defense (or for restitution), you would be stealing, injuring or enslaving. Frederic Bastiat described this as the difference between legal plunder and extralegal plunder.

Legal plunder was where you could legislate laws or statutes which could expropriate another man's property for purposes other than lawful defense. Examples of this would be: government health care, welfare programs, unemployment insurance etc.

Extralegal plunder was more obvious, but neverthess equivalent in its effect. These were things like stealing, murdering, raping, kidnapping, etc.

I'll leave you with one of his quotes as that would be very apropos to this thread, considering the fact it actually began with someone paraphrasing him.

"Collective right, then, has its principle, its reason for existing, its lawfulness, in individual right; and the common force cannot rationally have any other end, or any other mission, than that of the isolated forces for which it is substituted. Thus, as the force of an individual cannot lawfully touch the person, the liberty, or the property of another individual—for the same reason, the common force cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, the liberty, or the property of individuals or of classes.

For this perversion of force would be, in one case as in the other, in contradiction to our premises. For who will dare to say that force has been given to us, not to defend our rights, but to annihilate the equal rights of our brethren? And if this be not true of every individual force, acting independently, how can it be true of the collective force, which is only the organized union of isolated forces?

Nothing, therefore, can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense; it is the substitution of collective for individual forces, for the purpose of acting in the sphere in which they have a right to act, of doing what they have a right to do, to secure persons, liberties, and properties, and to maintain each in its right, so as to cause justice to reign over all."

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November 02, 2011, 04:38:44 PM
 #38

I'm in the first category. I think the system works wonderfully, although I don't feel I get "better" care by paying extra. I get "speedier" care. I can bypass some queues. This is something my company pays for me to have me back on the job quicker. I guess it pays off for them.

The comfort in having a baseline service in healthcare is wonderful. And I think the maximum fee for healthcare is about €500/year here, that includes both treatment and medication.

I don't know where "here" is but €500/year seems pretty in inexpensive. I imagine that is on top of your normal taxes.

Without making an specific accusations, I do want to point out something that you can only learn through experiences. There is a dramatic difference between "good" care and between "great" care. All doctors are not alike.

For example, my Aunt is 95 years old, and has a blood disease. She was expected to die 5 years ago. However, she so vibrant and active that her doctor thought he should put some extra effort in her treatment. She got blood transfusions almost twice a week for several years. She still gets them every couple of months now. However, if she needs help when her particular doctor is on vacation, the other doctor's best medical judgement is to treat her very basically. She is 95 years old, they think. Why waste good blood! This cause her to spiral downhill until her doctor comes back and treats her properly. Then in less than a day she is up walking and out in the world again. Keep in mind, both of these "standards of care" come from within the same hospital and are provided using standard government medicare insurance for the elderly. She does not pay extra to be treated properly.

I can give you other personal examples of a father in law receiving "good" care in two different local hospitals while remaining near death, but then being "life flighted" three states over to a noted hospital for "optimal" care. He recovered in less than a day.

My own father is 10 years past a stroke and 5 years past colon cancer. You would never know to look at him. He went to the cancer research hospital where they invent the drugs and treatment processes. His doctor sees 500+ colon cancer patients a year. The practical reality is a doctor who sees 5 colon cancer cases a career may still be a good doctor. But there are "better" doctors, and there are clearly "best" doctors for any given medical problem. Again this was medicare, not out of pocket premium care.

I learned this problem most clearly by sitting on a jury. A guy was injured an a car accident. He broke his leg. His doctor testified that it was the most complication leg operation he'd ever had to do. There were multiple screws and pins. It was a horrific injury and this poor gentleman would be on crutches and in constant pain for the rest of his life. The doctor seemed competent and serious.

Then the defense asked another doctor to testify, he said "My name is... I'm the head of sports medicine for...". They asked him if he had seen an injury like this before. He said, "Yes, I do 300 of those a years. It is very common in high school and professional sports." And when they asked him what was the expected recovery rate was, "100%" he said. He was dead serious. I really felt bad for the guy who went to a "good" doctor when he really needed to go to the "best" doctor. And this was just for a broken leg!

Most people know instinctively that you should hire the "best" lawyer you can find. After all, your freedom may be at stake.
Doctoring they think, "is a noble profession" I can trust them, they all look out for my best interests. After all, it's not like I'm risking my freedom, it's only my life.
P4man
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November 02, 2011, 05:28:59 PM
 #39

You have good, bad and fantastic specialists everywhere; it doesnt depend on what sort of healthcare system you have or who pays for it. Its just that some people are more gifted than others, and you cant teach certain gifts at a university. But if healthcare system makes any difference in that regard, perhaps its the fact I can afford to go see the same surgeon that makes international football stars travel here for their treatment as he happens to be a world authority when it comes to knees. For me its not more expensive than any other hospital or any other knee specialist, although obviously, I may have to wait a while as no healthcare system in the world can make him work 20 days per week.

Having affordable healthcare also means you can get second and third opinions and not have to worry too much about the costs. And all too often its a good idea to get second or even third opinions on complex issues. Even doctors are mere mortals, and as you rightly point out, not all of them equally qualified or experienced. And even the gifted ones get it wrong on occasion.

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November 02, 2011, 06:38:46 PM
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Having affordable healthcare also means you can get second and third opinions and not have to worry too much about the costs. And all too often its a good idea to get second or even third opinions on complex issues. Even doctors are mere mortals, and as you rightly point out, not all of them equally qualified or experienced. And even the gifted ones get it wrong on occasion.

Keep in mind all of my examples happened in the US. None required extra costs. Most of them involve medicare (public healthcare).

I had a friend who was shot in the face. (Not accidentally.) It was treated completely free including follow up plastic surgery to remove a dimple. If I lined up my friends you could not tell who it was. Again, this was done 100% free for someone who has never worked a day in their life. No insurance, no co-pays, no judgement, no threats of lawsuits, no bill collectors. It just gets done.

Somehow the rest of the world has gotten the view that the US has some kind of 3rd world healthcare. It is simply not the case. We have expensive healthcare because of rampant irresponsibility and wackko billing systems. But the actual care is top notch. The rest of the world hears about "high infant mortality" but we walk through hospitals where they regularly save 1 and 2 pound pre-mature babies that would die elsewhere and never having been recorded as a "live birth". This sort of pre-infant care turns out to be very expensive and it runs up all of our cost averages. But quite frankly, absolutely no one is interested in average care.
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