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Old 12-15-2006, 11:52 AM   #1
tk102
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Universal Health Coverage for the USA - "The Healthy Americans Act"

As the results of our recent elections shift the balance of power in Congress, my senator, Ron Wyden (D-OR), has put forth a bill that, if made law, would abolish the system of employer-offered health insurance. Employers who currently offer health insurance would instead augment the incomes of the employees by the amount the normally spent on insurance. Americans, in turn would then be required to enroll in a health plan offered by their state. These plans would have to meet or exceed the standard set by Blue Cross/Blue Shield (which is the plan used by Congress). Enrollment would be mandatory -- making this health care plan "universal". Federal subsidies would be granted to those making an income of 4x the poverty line or less.

Links:
PDF of Healthy Americans Act
Ron Wyden's homepage

What are your views on this?

I personally applaud this effort and am very proud to be a constituent Senator Wyden. It's about time the U.S.A. started looking after their own.
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Old 12-15-2006, 02:08 PM   #2
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Might finally bring us into the modern era in terms of health care coverage for all citizens. The only thing I don't want to see is some of the detrimental things in universal coverage--long waits for care, sometimes to the point that it makes the original health problem a terminal problem.
For instance, a gal in England had her surgery for cervical cancer put off so long that by the time she did get the surgery, it had metastasized and she ended up dying of something that could have been easily cured if it had been treated in a timely manner. A Canadian friend of mine had to wait several months to have her badly needed gall bladder surgery, I only had to wait a couple weeks. When Jimbo was on active duty and we were using military health facilities, I had to wait months to have my knee scoped, and since I had a bone chip the size of a small marble floating around in there for months, the delay likely caused more damage than it would have if I'd had the surgery in a more timely manner as would have happened in the civilian sector. If we can avoid those types of problems, great. I wouldn't mind seeing a Medicare-style model--it works for patients, it works for us docs. If Clinton ends up in office (which I think is a very real possibility), I would not be surprised if we saw some kind of universal coverage fairly quickly, and that would be overall a good thing. I think the only ones who would lose out are the insurance execs who make obscene bonuses at the expense of their insurees. It might have the benefit of encouraging tort reform, which would drop the insurance costs for docs (and thus medical expenses overall), which would be a good thing. Last I heard in IL, it cost something like $100,000 per year for an OB/GYN to buy liability insurance.

My classmates all thought I was nuts for supporting universal health care when we were all in school, but then again, I was the token liberal in our class.


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Old 12-15-2006, 03:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I wouldn't mind seeing a Medicare-style model--it works for patients, it works for us docs.
I agree. Why don't they go the easy route and just offer Medicare-coverage to everyone on an income-based premium? That way, there would be no need to 'reinvent the wheel', so to speak, and spend time and money researching something that they may or may not implement, and that may or may not work. Here in the UK, they have universal coverage (our NHS), but they also have private medical insurance and providers for those who want to pay for it. They could do the same thing in the States.

Medicare works fine. The system is already in place. They just need to extend it to the rest of the population.


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Old 12-19-2006, 11:27 AM   #4
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Beware of universal health care. It has its own demons.

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Old 12-20-2006, 04:12 AM   #5
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Ah, Canada. As far as health is concerned there it's quetopia. The medical system is really where Homer Simpson is in the upcoming movie: between a rock and a hard place. More hospitals means more doctors, specialists, chemists ect that cannot meet with demand now. It also means more tax dollars that will have to be made up by the tax payer. And even if there was a perfect universal health coverage you're looking at waiting times can be years, I heard one that was TWENTY years. I wish there was a solution to it, I really do, and the Democrats putting in universal health coverage may well be the solution we need, but it's still fraught with problems that will need to be overcome. I just hope that these will be better handled than the current medical crisis spreading the world.
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:33 PM   #6
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Most people seem to assume that universal health care will stop any from existing outside the government's control. On the contrary, I think there'd still be a market it. If someone has to wait twenty years for an operation, they'd probably pay to have it done earlier if they weren't extremely tight on money.

Since companies that provide health care would be facing large competition from the government, the only logical thing for them to do would be to try and improve their services to the point people would rather go to them. I'd definitely pay for medical treatment and have it the next day than rather wait until the next year and have it for free.

If people still want private health care, they can pay for it and life will go on as normal. If someone can't pay for it, the government can take care of them. They might have to wait a while, but it's better than nothing at all.

Taxes would be the only problem with this concept. Allowing people to be exempt from them if they get their health care privately would be the logical solution, though that could result in a shortage of funds for the government.

Meh, it still sounds better than what we currently have.


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Old 12-20-2006, 04:00 PM   #7
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Your Health = Not my problem
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Old 12-20-2006, 04:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnmax221
Your Health = Not my problem
A libertarian indeed.


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Old 12-20-2006, 06:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnmax221
Your Health = Not my problem
Actually, it _is_ our problem. Addressing basic health issues when you're young and the problem is minor will cost the gov't less than dealing with it later on when someone is older and on Medicare and the problem is major. It costs a lot less to screen women yearly for some cancers than it is to pay for their cancer treatment of massive chemo and radiation later on because they couldn't afford the screening tests that would have caught it at an early enough stage to make it treatable with a simple in-office procedure.
I'd rather my tax dollars paid for simple health screenings than to pay out the nose for problems that got out of hand and the person's now on disability for it (and thus using even more of my tax dollars). That's aside from the ethics issues of wanting everyone to have a good quality of life and all that.


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Old 12-20-2006, 07:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Actually, it _is_ our problem. Addressing basic health issues when you're young and the problem is minor will cost the gov't less than dealing with it later on when someone is older and on Medicare and the problem is major. It costs a lot less to screen women yearly for some cancers than it is to pay for their cancer treatment of massive chemo and radiation later on because they couldn't afford the screening tests that would have caught it at an early enough stage to make it treatable with a simple in-office procedure.
I'd rather my tax dollars paid for simple health screenings than to pay out the nose for problems that got out of hand and the person's now on disability for it (and thus using even more of my tax dollars). That's aside from the ethics issues of wanting everyone to have a good quality of life and all that.
Well thats rather simple, you get rid of Welfare and then you don't need any of it. Thats even less of your tax dollars wasted.
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Old 12-20-2006, 07:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnmax221
Well thats rather simple, you get rid of Welfare and then you don't need any of it. Thats even less of your tax dollars wasted.
And then I'll be paying enormous amounts of tax dollars into the prison system because people will turn to crime to pay for their health care, or I'll be paying extra to companies so they can cover the costs of those who declare bankruptcy and don't pay their debts. Works for me.


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Old 12-20-2006, 07:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
And then I'll be paying enormous amounts of tax dollars into the prison system because people will turn to crime to pay for their health care, or I'll be paying extra to companies so they can cover the costs of those who declare bankruptcy and don't pay their debts. Works for me.
Can't go to prison when you're dead, and thats quite likely to happen if you attempt to rob or assault me. The mistake here is the idea that everyone is entitled to free stuff. I really don't care why people seem to think that every pathetic person in the world needs to be looked after, I do care when people try to force their beliefs on me, and yes making me pay for someone else's health care is forcing your ideas on me.
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Old 12-20-2006, 07:41 PM   #13
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Even if you wanted universal health care, there remains the issue of convincing the doctors that they want to work for the government. Why would they do that when they can likely make more money from the private sector? These guys probably have outstanding loans to pay (med school isn't the cheapest thing) and getting a government salary isn't going to pay that off anytime soon. When they're rid of that, you think they're just going to take a lower paying, likely lower quality job because they're really nice? Some might, sure, but not nearly enough to cover everyone. I like the idea of everyone being covered, but I'm not sure it can be done as easily as enacting some legislation.


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Old 12-21-2006, 12:10 AM   #14
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@sam--you may not pay directly yourself, but you're paying indirectly now anyway.

Student loans for med/professional schools runs around 100,000-200,000. I'm not kidding.
If it's administered like Medicare is now, the docs work independently, not for the gov't.

The quality of the job docs do is not likely to change much if any. Docs are all held to a certain standard regardless of where we work. It doesn't matter where I'm at or who I'm seeing--I give the same type of routine exam regardless (specific problems get specific evaluation/treatment, of course). I may not be getting the same picture of 'lower quality job' you're getting--what specifically are you meaning?
Being a doc for the gov't (e.g. for the VA) currently is not a bad thing--it has decent hours, pay, and benefits. In fact, the hours are less than in private practice and you don't have the headaches associated with running a business. You aren't going to get filthy rich like you might if you're a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, but it's not a bad job at all.
The ones who will lose out a lot are the insurance companies, unless the gov't has some kind of basic plan for everyone and people are allowed to do add-on premium plans that insurance companies sell.
I think if they do anything they'll expand Medicare to everyone since it's working reasonably well and has been since it began in the 60's.


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Old 01-06-2007, 03:41 PM   #15
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America's Health-Care system rewards drug companies for keeping patients with lifetime illnesses alive rather than curing them


<------------ Diabetic.






I'm all for Public Medicine. I actually wrote a paper on it, let me dig it up...

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Old 01-06-2007, 03:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoxStar
America's Health-Care system rewards drug companies for keeping patients with lifetime illnesses alive rather than curing them
Thats a problem with the US Government meddling in business, not any reason why I should have to pay for anyone else's Health-care.
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnmax221
Thats a problem with the US Government meddling in business, not any reason why I should have to pay for anyone else's Health-care.
bull****.


All drug companies are inherently rewarded in a free market scenario by keeping their respective consumer base alive and using their medicines. If a cure for diabetes (or cancer or AIDS or alzheimer's etc etc) was found entire corporations (BD Logic, Medtronic/Minimed/ Novo Nordisk) would fail.

The only way to even hope for a cure is from a nation with government medicine that will pay for the cure because they won't spend the ridiculous amount of money needed for each diabetic (AIDS victim, cancer sufferer, etc etc) to continue living

The US government itself doesn't meddle with business, it's the extremely wealthy businessmen from said companies that get governmental positions and full the cycle.

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Old 01-06-2007, 08:10 PM   #18
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Oh please, give it a rest. If a company developed a cure for an incurable disease they could and would sell it for as much as possible and make a giant profit. On the other hand a company that is told by the government that they have to develop a cure is not going to see the benefit. The government does meddle in business, haven't you ever heard of subsidies? You still haven't answered why I need to pay for your health-care.
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Old 01-06-2007, 09:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnmax221
You still haven't answered why I need to pay for your health-care.
You wouldn't directly, the government would use your tax dollars (which of course would demand a tax increase). You would pay for my health-care the same way I would pay for yours even though I would most likely need more of it. Your logic of "your health = not my problem" causes me to assume that you also believe "your safety = not my problem" and "your roads = not my problem" and "your public works = not my problem" and so on and so forth. This attitude makes me believe that you would complain of any tax dollars you paid that wouldn't directly benefit you even if they benefit the country as a whole. Therefore, I can not give you an acceptable answer as to why you would have the burden of paying for my health when you are *most likely* against the taxation system as a whole and seem to be against aiding others in any way as exemplified by your views on welfare:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnmax221
Well thats rather simple, you get rid of Welfare and then you don't need any of it. Thats even less of your tax dollars wasted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnmax221
Oh please, give it a rest. If a company developed a cure for an incurable disease they could and would sell it for as much as possible and make a giant profit.
The government would be paying for the drug, and since they control the health care system, would control the set price for the drug because the company would lose its business for that entire country.

Oh, and "give it a rest" is probably the weakest argument I've ever heard

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Old 01-06-2007, 10:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoxStar
You wouldn't directly, the government would use your tax dollars (which of course would demand a tax increase). You would pay for my health-care the same way I would pay for yours even though I would most likely need more of it.
It simply makes more sense if everybody pays for their own.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RoxStar
Your logic of "your health = not my problem" causes me to assume that you also believe "your safety = not my problem" and "your roads = not my problem" and "your public works = not my problem" and so on and so forth. This attitude makes me believe that you would complain of any tax dollars you paid that wouldn't directly benefit you even if they benefit the country as a whole.
People do not exist as a whole, people exist as individuals, individuals are masters of their own fate. The government simply can't put people into nice neat little compartments and start deciding what is best for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoxStar
Therefore, I can not give you an acceptable answer as to why you would have the burden of paying for my health when you are *most likely* against the taxation system as a whole and seem to be against aiding others in any way as exemplified by your views on welfare:
Welfare and Social Security have been failing for years, do you see things getting any better? All Taxation and Spending has done is destroy jobs, you want to help the poor and the sick, do it with your own money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoxStar
The government would be paying for the drug, and since they control the health care system, would control the set price for the drug because the company would lose its business for that entire country.
The government would simply award contracts to it friends as it always has, if a company who isn't on their list of friends makes a breakthrough in medicine they won't be allowed to sell it, and knowing our government they'd probably seize it by force. Companies with lobbyists have always gotten a pass from the government to sell inferior and possibly dangerous products to the public, they have kind invitation from me to not interfere with my health.
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Old 01-07-2007, 01:47 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnmax221
It simply makes more sense if everybody pays for their own.
What about those in poor families? Nearly everyone does not deserve the economic ills they're born into, after all. Sure, they're not your trouble, but do you really think they should be put into the street(think of the children too, here: they had no ability to get into a better situation for themselves)?

To further the subject, do you believe public education should also be abolished since fundamentally it's none of your concern?



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Old 01-07-2007, 02:22 AM   #22
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What about those in poor families? Nearly everyone does not deserve the economic ills they're born into, after all. Sure, they're not your trouble, but do you really think they should be put into the street(think of the children too, here: they had no ability to get into a better situation for themselves)?
If companies get their subsidies cut off then they are forced to compete for your business. Competing means attempting to undercut the other companies, next thing you know you have a price war on your hands and everything gets cheaper. Under a Universal Health-care Program certain companies get a monopoly and get to sit pretty without producing much in the way of results, and charge the government large amounts of money to produce next to nothing. Rich or poor everyone is better of when they have an opportunity to decide which company they want to buy their drugs from in a competing market.

Quote:
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To further the subject, do you believe public education should also be abolished since fundamentally it's none of your concern?
No, when it comes to public education I think that government restrictions need to be eased so public schools don't get to enjoy a monopoly. As I'm sure you know the American Education System is rather poor compared to the Education Systems in most European countries, this could be fixed if public Schools had to compete with many different private Schools, if they can't they close down.
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Old 01-07-2007, 04:28 AM   #23
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Don't you think you're taking libertarianism a bit... far?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnmax221
If companies get their subsidies cut off then they are forced to compete for your business.
Which will inevitably drive some out of business. They're all working against each other, not for the greater good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnmax221
Competing means attempting to undercut the other companies, next thing you know you have a price war on your hands and everything gets cheaper.
They have profit on their minds, not humanity. The government is the one concerned about the later, and as such, will take measures to accomplish that over a profit (such as practically giving goods away), which the individual companies will not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnmax221
Under a Universal Health-care Program certain companies get a monopoly and get to sit pretty without producing much in the way of results, and charge the government large amounts of money to produce next to nothing.
If they don't work, they don't get paid. There's no reason the government shouldn't fire people if they're not doing their jobs.

It's a common socialist/Communist flaw. People will have more incentive if their careers aren't set in stone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnmax221
No, when it comes to public education I think that government restrictions need to be eased so public schools don't get to enjoy a monopoly.
Since education doesn't seem to be very high on the government's list of priorities, I would agree. Other schools deserve a chance when the ones with a monopoly don't make the best possible effort.


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Old 01-07-2007, 05:14 AM   #24
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It shouldn't be exclusive to those born with a silver dining set up their ass. Besides, if there was some catch all health scheme that benefited everyone then some rich guy could get injured and be supported by a system that they and everyone else pays for. Ditto for the blue collar grunt who, statistically, by rights would need such a system more as they would be more at risk of injury through the physically demanding manual labour.
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Old 01-07-2007, 05:43 AM   #25
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Fools! Don't you see the benefit's to a universal health program!?
So what if you die before the treatment is administered? It's your own bloody fault for not booking a check-up a month in advance by using your mystical time seeing abilities like everyone else!

When I stay up, my post's get weird.


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Old 01-07-2007, 12:46 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Which will inevitably drive some out of business. They're all working against each other, not for the greater good.
If you can't compete then you should go out of business, you can't reward people for being incompetent.


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Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
They have profit on their minds, not humanity. The government is the one concerned about the later, and as such, will take measures to accomplish that over a profit (such as practically giving goods away), which the individual companies will not.
Why not, if you're not going to get any profit out of your efforts then why in the hell should you try?

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If they don't work, they don't get paid. There's no reason the government shouldn't fire people if they're not doing their jobs.
That simply doesn't happen. State controlled business has always had a pass to run amok with taxpayer money.
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Old 01-07-2007, 03:02 PM   #27
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Sam's attitude would be morally acceptable in a true capitalist state. Of course, our states are not truly capitalist, but state-capitalist at best. The state interferes in business to ensure the flow of cash back towards the existing elite. This means that merit does not equal cash.

In an ideally capitalist state, merit and hard work would equal cash. Therefore, those who had skill and/or put in the hours would extract the medical care they "deserved" from society. But we don't live in such a society.

Furthermore, Sam's attitude does not take into account the fact that luck is a factor in determining financial success. A man can work hard all his life, and suddenly lose his job, his pension and his house, through no fault of his own.

Therefore in the real world (and in our current societies), the best option is to have a publically funded healthcare system, and a publically funded welfare system as well. This means that if one is unlucky enough to fall on hard times, one is supported by the state both financially and medically. In turn, when one is successful, one's taxes are put back into the state systems, which perpetuates the welfare system.

Now these welfare systems are of course open to abuse... People faking poverty, etcetera... but they're still broadly effective as long as the abuse is kept at a minimal level.

However for Sam's idea of a healthcare-meritocracy to be effective AT ALL (and moral)... we would have to be living in an IDEAL capitalist state. Which will be very very hard to attain. Therefore the currently most moral option- taking into account human nature- is the welfare state.

However I would be all for a true meritocracy. It'd be great. I just doubt that it's attainable.

As for the assertions that the current US welfare system is dying horribly... there are differing opinions. Many people believe that the corporate elite is putting the word about that the system is already failing, just so they'll have an excuse to scrap it. Many non-establishment economists think that the system isn't in danger of keeling over just yet. But I'm not qualified to comment in any more detail than that on the welfare system of a foreign nation.


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Old 01-07-2007, 03:44 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnmax221
If you can't compete then you should go out of business, you can't reward people for being incompetent.
Competence is not as black and white an issue as some capitalists make it out to be. Simply because someone is driven out of business does not mean they are unskilled. There are various degrees of competence, after all - one person doesn't have to be the most well-known expert in his field to be better at it than most people.

Expecting some people to remain in business when competing against a superior opponent is not reasonable to expect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnmax221
Why not, if you're not going to get any profit out of your efforts then why in the hell should you try?
The researchers can still be paid. The government is the most wealthy organization in the country, after all.

If they'll be paid for results and fired for laziness, that seems like enough incentive to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samnmax221
That simply doesn't happen. State controlled business has always had a pass to run amok with taxpayer money.
That has nothing to do with being able to fire people for incompetence.


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Old 01-10-2007, 09:16 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SA
As for the assertions that the current US welfare system is dying horribly... there are differing opinions. Many people believe that the corporate elite is putting the word about that the system is already failing, just so they'll have an excuse to scrap it. Many non-establishment economists think that the system isn't in danger of keeling over just yet. But I'm not qualified to comment in any more detail than that on the welfare system of a foreign nation.
Medicare (medical care for those 65 and up or are disabled) seems to be working OK from both a patient and doctor point of view--patients get good care, docs get reasonable reimbursement. The problem will be when the bulk of the baby-boomers are in the over-65 category, because it'll cause significant strain on the entire system. I expect reimbursement to docs will drop tremendously and benefits will get cut.

Medicaid--the program run by each state for those at/below the poverty line, is perpetually underfunded (by both the states and the feds). The reimbursement for seeing medicaid patients is awful, and the program goes bankrupt in some states (Illinois' medicaid program owed 10 million to doctors and hospitals at the end of last year, and couldn't pay it until the new fiscal year started). The care is generally adequate but there are limits. For example, docs have to choose off of a certain formulary of medicines, and if those don't happen to work for you, you have to jump through a million hoops to get something that's not on the list, if you can get it at all. There are not as many docs accepting medicaid patients (because in some cases it actually costs you money to see them--the reimbursement is ridiculously low and the labor costs to fill out all the crazy paperwork to get that reimbursement costs more than what one gets back). Medicaid patients typically have to wait longer to get appointments with providers as a result.

In terms of finances, Medicare is doing fine, but the state-run medicaid programs are usually in trouble.


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Old 01-10-2007, 11:17 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Which will inevitably drive some out of business. They're all working against each other, not for the greater good.
Ah, but perhaps all of this competition brings out the greater good in the long run. As opposed to having an incompetent government working for the greater good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
They have profit on their minds, not humanity. The government is the one concerned about the later, and as such, will take measures to accomplish that over a profit (such as practically giving goods away), which the individual companies will not.
Really? You really think that? You honestly think that the government has humanity in mind in their dealings? Ultimately, the government is just like a for-profit business, except that it's a state-run monopoly that can throw its "customers" in jail for not paying their bills - not just cut off their electricity, cable, phone, whatever.

You see, the government is in the business of making money just like a private company. But a good company needs financial feedback in order to be successful. The government gets its money no matter if they're doing a good job or a ****ty one. If a company is losing money, they fix their mistakes and fire those responsible. If a company is making a profit, then they know they're doing the right things.

When it comes right down to it, very little in the world is done simply for humanitarian purposes. Government is certainly not for humanitarian purposes. It's for profit like a business, but is not forced to compete to stay in power. Just because a company is simply in it for the money isn't a BAD thing. Money and competition can bring about good things. The problem with government is that it's not forced to do well - the money just keeps on coming. So they have no way to know what works and what doesn't, who to fire and who to promote.

Anyway, I'm tired and that's enough rambling about government incompetence for tonight.
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Old 01-10-2007, 11:41 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
Ah, but perhaps all of this competition brings out the greater good in the long run. As opposed to having an incompetent government working for the greater good.



Really? You really think that? You honestly think that the government has humanity in mind in their dealings? Ultimately, the government is just like a for-profit business, except that it's a state-run monopoly that can throw its "customers" in jail for not paying their bills - not just cut off their electricity, cable, phone, whatever.

You see, the government is in the business of making money just like a private company. But a good company needs financial feedback in order to be successful. The government gets its money no matter if they're doing a good job or a ****ty one. If a company is losing money, they fix their mistakes and fire those responsible. If a company is making a profit, then they know they're doing the right things.

When it comes right down to it, very little in the world is done simply for humanitarian purposes. Government is certainly not for humanitarian purposes. It's for profit like a business, but is not forced to compete to stay in power. Just because a company is simply in it for the money isn't a BAD thing. Money and competition can bring about good things. The problem with government is that it's not forced to do well - the money just keeps on coming. So they have no way to know what works and what doesn't, who to fire and who to promote.

Anyway, I'm tired and that's enough rambling about government incompetence for tonight.
I agree with TK here.
The government don't give a damn about none of us unless some of us are useful to the goverment; scientists, mathematicians and engineers...etc.
If the useless of some of us happen to become really sick and don't have enough paper to deny death of it's prize, then luck will only save our asses.

Last edited by windu6; 01-11-2007 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 01-11-2007, 01:19 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
As opposed to having an incompetent government working for the greater good.
Are you implying that governments are incompetent based on the simple fact that they are governments? Don't be absurd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
Really? You really think that? You honestly think that the government has humanity in mind in their dealings?
Would you like proof? I'd be happy to oblige you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
Ultimately, the government is just like a for-profit business, except that it's a state-run monopoly that can throw its "customers" in jail for not paying their bills - not just cut off their electricity, cable, phone, whatever.
Given how those people used the police, the public education system, public roads, public courts and all that other free public stuff, I think they have an obligation to give back. You truly can't expect to use what society provides for you without providing anything back... such an attitude is nothing but looting, really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
The government gets its money no matter if they're doing a good job or a ****ty one.
That fails to explain why governments suffer and prosper as their countries do. It's a universal principle - governments can't expense to get a profit if what they govern is incapable of producing one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
Government is certainly not for humanitarian purposes.
If such a thing were true, they would promptly 'nationalize' all private businesses and exact tribute from its citizens on a daily basis... they do possess the guns with which to do it, after all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
Just because a company is simply in it for the money isn't a BAD thing.
Entirely incorrect. It's profitable for companies to pay their workers barely enough to survive, dump their waste across the country rather than dispose of it properly, blackmail its workers into working overtime, making use of child labor, drive companies that could benefit the people at cost to themselves out of business (hybrid cars), refuse to hire women, since they might decide to have children, sell violent video games to small children, I could go on for hours...

The simple fact is, capitalism and money-seeking is built entirely off of greed, really... there's truly nothing humane, let alone good, about that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
Money and competition can bring about good things.
A surefire way in capitalism to help ruin your competitor is to reduce your own expenses, the most efficient of such methods being entirely unethical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
the money just keeps on coming.
Come come now, TK. Humanitarian efforts are fare easier to achieve if you don't have to worry about earning the money with which to do them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
So they have no way to know what works and what doesn't, who to fire and who to promote.
A common misconception about the government... you truly would not want the incompetent in such high positions of authority, supposing they are even able to reach them.


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Originally Posted by Sabretooth
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Old 01-11-2007, 04:16 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Are you implying that governments are incompetent based on the simple fact that they are governments? Don't be absurd.
Well, not ALL governments are incompetent. Most are. Our current one is, for damn sure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Would you like proof? I'd be happy to oblige you.
Sure. I'm curious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Given how those people used the police, the public education system, public roads, public courts and all that other free public stuff, I think they have an obligation to give back.
The police are corrupt, the schools are a joke, the roads are ****ty and crowded, the courts are unjust, and nothing is free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
You truly can't expect to use what society provides for you without providing anything back... such an attitude is nothing but looting, really.
I'd much rather pay a private company to provide me with my services than an incompetent government that gives me ****ty stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
That fails to explain why governments suffer and prosper as their countries do. It's a universal principle - governments can't expense to get a profit if what they govern is incapable of producing one.
A lot of the time, a population suffers because of poor decisions by the government. The people aren't the problem... it's the system in place to govern them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
If such a thing were true, they would promptly 'nationalize' all private businesses and exact tribute from its citizens on a daily basis... they do possess the guns with which to do it, after all.
That's basically what we have right now. Capitalism has died in America. We now have state-run crony capitalism, if not out-right corporatism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Entirely incorrect. It's profitable for companies to pay their workers barely enough to survive, dump their waste across the country rather than dispose of it properly, blackmail its workers into working overtime, making use of child labor, drive companies that could benefit the people at cost to themselves out of business (hybrid cars), refuse to hire women, since they might decide to have children, sell violent video games to small children, I could go on for hours...
I don't know where the **** you have been working, but my job isn't anything like that. You need to quit your job and go work elsewhere if that's what you're going through, dude. Not all companies treat employees like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
The simple fact is, capitalism and money-seeking is built entirely off of greed, really... there's truly nothing humane, let alone good, about that.
Marx would be proud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
A surefire way in capitalism to help ruin your competitor is to reduce your own expenses, the most efficient of such methods being entirely unethical.
What the hell is wrong with that? You reduce your expenses, that means you can sell things cheaper to consumers. Ultimately the company would get MORE money in the long run than overcharging their customers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Come come now, TK. Humanitarian efforts are fare easier to achieve if you don't have to worry about earning the money with which to do them.
Right... until you run out of money.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
A common misconception about the government... you truly would not want the incompetent in such high positions of authority, supposing they are even able to reach them.
George W. Bush.
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Old 01-13-2007, 10:30 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
Well, not ALL governments are incompetent. Most are. Our current one is, for damn sure.
That's better. Now, most are incompetent? That some are is indisputable, though I would be hesitant to put any merit in that statement... Provided you can't prove it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
Sure. I'm curious.
In the 20th century alone:

Theodore Roosevelt's Square Deal
Antitrust laws
The 17th Amendment
The Federal Reserve Act
The Clayton Antitrust Act
The Adamson Act
Entering WWI
The opposition to the Treaty of Versailles
The Young Plan
The New Deal
Actions during WWII
The Marshall Plan
The stabilization of Lebanon
The War on Poverty
Medicare
Food Stamps
Great Society
The toppling of Mozambique and Angola's dictatorships
The World Bank
The Gulf War

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
The police are corrupt, the schools are a joke, the roads are ****ty and crowded, the courts are unjust, and nothing is free.
A heavily biased oversimplification at best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
I'd much rather pay a private company to provide me with my services than an incompetent government that gives me ****ty stuff.
And what, pray tell, would stop those private companies from getting together, raising all their prices, lowering them now and then, and then repeating the cycle? I don't know about you, but I'd hate to pay through the nose for basic necessities like what the government provides.

Besides, how would you pay these private companies? Pay a toll every few miles? Get sent a yearly bill on your use of the roads? It would be far too difficult to manage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
A lot of the time, a population suffers because of poor decisions by the government. The people aren't the problem... it's the system in place to govern them.
The situation in the Middle East disproves that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
That's basically what we have right now. Capitalism has died in America. We now have state-run crony capitalism, if not out-right corporatism.
A bit surprising you can still start your own business, no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
I don't know where the **** you have been working, but my job isn't anything like that. You need to quit your job and go work elsewhere if that's what you're going through, dude. Not all companies treat employees like that.
I have not and will not work for a company that treats its employees in such a way. However, my point still stands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
Marx would be proud.
Probably.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
What the hell is wrong with that?
Don't be silly. Many methods that can reduce expenses are entirely unethical, as I showed earlier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
Right... until you run out of money.
Irrelevant. That can happen regardless of how you collect it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
George W. Bush.
Not the best President, but not the worst either. However, the means with which he reached his post were not entirely true to the system. Thank goodness for the 2-term limit, though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabretooth
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Old 01-13-2007, 11:45 PM   #35
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1. Governments are not as a rule incompetent, and our governments (US/UK) are not exceptions. Our governments are extremely competent at performing the task they are set up to perform: Keeping the higher echelons of the corporate community happy.

Our governments are subsidised, elected and formed by heads of business. Those with economic clout indirectly control our societies via the vast influence they exert upon the political sphere. Essentially all the major political parties are merely one arm of a huge mercantile consortium.

Any honest economist or political analyst will confirm this.

2. The fact that our governments aren't running the countries in our (the public's) interest is not an indication that they are incompetent. It is an indication that they are running the country in someone ELSE'S interest. Namely, that of the corporate elite. The wealthy, in other words.

So Devon is technically correct in his assertion that government is not incompetent.

However, government in our countries is not and has never been "for the people". It is and always has been "for the wealthy".

Quote:
Originally posted by Emperor Devon:

A bit surprising you can still start your own business, no?
TK is correct here. Our states are NOT capitalist in nature, but state-capitalist at best. This is not capitalism. It is a state in which government directly interferes with business and the economy ostensibly in order to filter more cash back into the pockets of the already wealthy corporate elite.

The fact that you can "start your own business" in a country does not mean that the country is pure capitalist. Pure capitalism would be far more beneficial to ordinary people than our current systems would be.

So would pure communism.

Quote:
Originally posted by Emperor Devon:

In the 20th century alone:

Theodore Roosevelt's Square Deal
Antitrust laws
The 17th Amendment
The Federal Reserve Act
The Clayton Antitrust Act
The Adamson Act
Entering WWI
The opposition to the Treaty of Versailles
The Young Plan
The New Deal
Actions during WWII
The Marshall Plan
The stabilization of Lebanon
The War on Poverty
Medicare
Food Stamps
Great Society
The toppling of Mozambique and Angola's dictatorships
The World Bank
The Gulf War
Your list was intended to be a list proving that governments can have altruistic motives in mind when performing actions.

But frankly, as a whole your list does not show this, and I'm appalled that you've deluded yourself about so many of these list items. World War II? Altruistic motives? What? Gulf War... Altruistic motives? Eh? Are you actually aware of the historical record in these matters? Not the usual neo-con kindergarten propaganda mind you, like "the US entered the war to save the world from Nazism", but the actual facts of the matters in question? If you were, I highly doubt that you would regard most of these as shining examples of humanitarianism.

And as for the few genuinely beneficial social reforms you could list, almost without exception they were brought into being by popular activism, and governments were forced by popular pressure to adopt them.

I'm sure there must be examples of truly beneficial, humanitarian policies that some governments have spontaneously adopted in the past out of pure concern for the public... but I don't really know of any.

Quote:
Originally posted by Emperor Devon:

Not the best President, but not the worst either. However, the means with which he reached his post were not entirely true to the system. Thank goodness for the 2-term limit, though.
Again this irrelevant focus on a substanceless figurehead.

It's highly unlikely that presidents affect US policy in any meaningful way. A good president is a president who can read an autocue and sound vaguely "everyman" while doing so.

From this point of view, I suppose GW is an OK president.


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Old 01-14-2007, 01:46 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Our governments are subsidised, elected and formed by heads of business.
A black and white view of it, indeed. Various figures in our governments are rather partial to big business, though your statement is far from the absolute truth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider Al
Those with economic clout indirectly control our societies via the vast influence they exert upon the political sphere. Essentially all the major political parties are merely one arm of a huge mercantile consortium.
You'd think major corporations would run rampant that way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider Al
So Devon is technically correct in his assertion that government is not incompetent.
On general principle, no... Though they could all definitely use some improvement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider Al
However, government in our countries is not and has never been "for the people". It is and always has been "for the wealthy".
Can you verify this? It's elementary school history that the beginnings of the U.S. government decided to revolt against Britain rather than join them in the plundering. (The early years of the U.S. were not very good for the rich. Hardly a country for those interested in wealth to want to be involved with)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider Al
TK is correct here. Our states are NOT capitalist in nature,
Of course he is. Pure, raw, capitalism is only compatible without a government.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider Al
Pure capitalism would be far more beneficial to ordinary people than our current systems would be.
Entirely incorrect, Spider... Capitalism favors those who can make the most money, to put it simply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider Al
So would pure communism.
That's Communism, darn it! Show some respect!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider Al
Your list was intended to be a list proving that governments can have altruistic motives in mind when performing actions.
Those were hardly examples of way to "filter more cash back into the pockets of the already wealthy corporate elite."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider Al
But frankly, as a whole your list does not show this, and I'm appalled that you've deluded yourself about so many of these list items.
Spider, in many of your posts, I have seen you describe those who disagree with you in similar manners. Try and remember that the fact that an opinion differs from yours doesn't automatically make it incorrect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider Al
World War II? Altruistic motives?
Toppling the Nazi regime was a nice thing to do. Heck, even the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagaskai wasn't too bad. (In retrospect and compared to the alternatives, that is - killing civilians usually isn't the nicest thing to do)

But, my opinion on WWII is quite biased.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider Al
Gulf War... Altruistic motives?
The U.S.' interestes were tied with Kuwait's, of course, but repelling an evil regime from taking over another country was far from unethical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider Al
Are you actually aware of the historical record in these matters?
I've been interested and studied a good deal of them for years. I'd advise you to look that list over again... There's hardly any room for debate on a good deal of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider Al
"the US entered the war to save the world from Nazism",
An oversimplification at best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider Al
If you were, {snip}
If you'd like to discuss them, at least start with a specific one. I don't have time to give a lengthy explanation on the effects of every single one to you in one sitting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider Al
Again this irrelevant focus on a substanceless figurehead.
A common label given to Bush these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider Al
It's highly unlikely that presidents affect US policy in any meaningful way.
I'd study some more about the U.S. government if I were you. The role of our Presidents is far different from your Kings and Queens.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabretooth
We will be great failures one day, you and I
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:54 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Entirely incorrect, Spider... Capitalism favors those who can make the most money, to put it simply.
You act as if being rewarded for hard work is a bad thing.

Work hard = get money.

Don't work = be broke.

It's really that simple.
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Old 01-14-2007, 02:24 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
Work hard = get money.

Don't work = be broke.

It's really that simple.
Haha. No. Ever heard of the expression "it's who you know, not what you know". Many of the richest people in America don't work and never have worked.



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Old 01-14-2007, 02:29 AM   #39
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I see you have ignored everything I typed up in response to your arguments... Oh well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
It's really that simple.
No, it truly isn't. There are people who are geniuses at developing products, but complete idiots at marketing or dealing with them. My dad knew one person who wrote up a program that worked wonderfully, but he had no "people skills" and ended up being unable to sell it to his clients because he made such a bad impression on them. He eventually sold it to a company for a fairly small sum of money, and they ended up making far more off it than he was paid.

Things are rarely so black and white. Hard work does not always equal lots of money.

There's also what jmac mentioned, which is unfortunately quite commonplace nowadays.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabretooth
We will be great failures one day, you and I
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Old 01-14-2007, 02:37 AM   #40
Tyrion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
No, it truly isn't. There are people who are geniuses at developing products, but complete idiots at marketing or dealing with them. My dad knew one person who wrote up a program that worked wonderfully, but he had no "people skills" and ended up being unable to sell it to his clients because he made such a bad impression on them. He eventually sold it to a company for a fairly small sum of money, and they ended up making far more off it than he was paid.
In a sense, though, his hard work would have had far more returns if he had put more effort into improving his weakness-in this case, his people skills- and finding someone who could market his product to various companies.



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