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My Personal Politics

October 20th, 2011 by skippy

This may shock some readers I debate with, but I have more in common with them than they may realize.

I consider myself a moderate. By that I mean that I find that whenever debate about politics happens, I frequently find my views tend toward the middle of the road. And while I do favor many policies that appear to be of a progressive viewpoint, I usually do not favor them for the same reason that folks of a liberal bent do.


I basically have three principle beliefs that I tend to follow. The first is that the government should stay the hell out of everybody’s business unless they have a damn good reason to interfere. The second is that I care more about the end results than ideology. And the last is that I am principally interested in protecting my own interests and those I call my own.

A lot of people might not realize that, seeing as how usually when I get into an argument in the comments section, it is with either a Conservatives or Libertarians.

The way I see it is that the difference is not so much the underlying philosophy so much as opinion about the details.

Some examples:

I believe the Founding Fathers had a great idea about Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. I think that was the cornerstone at the beginning of our society. And I think that it’s important to view that phrase in the order it was written. “Do whatever you like, so long as you don’t infringe on the freedom or safety of others.” Your right to make money are not more important than your fellow citizens rights to liberty or basic safety and health.

I believe that while the current health care bill was an improvement, more comprehensive reform is probably needed. I am fine with either a nationalized system like Canada, or a strongly regulated system like Germany. Don’t care which, both are valid. But free market health care clearly didn’t work, just like free market firefighters didn’t. Making sure that people can get healthcare costs some money upfront but gives us more productive workers, which in turn helps us economically.

I believe that we shouldn’t bother spending money testing welfare recipients for drug use. In the places it has been tried the testees test lower than the general population, and the state winds up actually throwing even more money down a hole for no benefit. And more to the point, whats the end effect when they do catch someone? They don’t miraculously stop needing to eat because they have taken drugs. Desperate people will resort to crime. We will pay for those folks one way or another. Either help them get by financially, or pay more for police, prisons, and the fallout from their victims.

I believe we shouldn’t have the death penalty in this country. Not because I have any moral qualms about executing dangerous criminals. I think our society’s resources have a better use than keeping folks alive who have made it plain that they will harm us if we let them. I object to executions because our legal system doesn’t exactly have a flawless record on separating the guilty from the innocent.

I believe that people and entities that make over a million a year should pay more in taxes than they do now. Taxes are at their lowest point for the wealthy since the fifties. And while excessive taxes can curb economic growth, that will only happen if companies do not have enough left after taxes to expand. Right now corporations have record profits, but not enough customers. They won’t hire new people when they don’t have more people to buy their stuff. Raise taxes and use it to fund infrastructure projects. You get to hire people for the projects, who will then buy stuff encouraging the companies to expand to meet the increased demand, creating a cycle that expands the economy rather than contracts it.

I believe that we should be reducing government spending. You can’t keep reducing your income while increasing you expenditures without expecting something bad to happen. That’s not to say that we can cut our way into solvency. Nor do I think we should panic and just start cutting everything. There are places we can trim the fat, and we should go for them. I just think we should make sure that any cuts won’t have a an obvious negative consequence.

I believe that large corporations have gained too much influence over our government to the detriment of all of us. I don’t think more regulations on them will actually hurt us economically, and in fact might curtail a lot of the excessive behavior that got us into the current financial mess we are in.

I believe that one of the defining moments of our country’s foundation was when a large corporation got a bit too much influence over the government, and set things up to it’s liking over the people’s expense. I seem to recall an awful lot of people taking on the trappings of the outcome of this mistake fairly recently in fact. I’d just like to think that we can fix our current mess without resorting to measures as drastic.

I believe that the folks arguing over politics have a hell of a lot of principles in common with each other and are getting worked up over the niggling details.

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115 Responses to “My Personal Politics”

  1. Phelps Says:

    I think you are not giving them enough credit over trappings vs outcomes. They are definitely against Crony Capitalism, but that doesn’t fit the Narrative and doesn’t get reported.

    The other end is railing against capitalism altogether — if they would compromise for just crony capitalism at the moment (and save Smashing the System for later), we could clean a lot of this country up. (The problem is that Their Guy is as deeply integrated with the crony capitalists as Alice Krige was with the borg.)

    Reply

    skippy reply on October 20th, 2011 1:16 pm:

    Same deal you are speaking of works both ways. Very few people are are against capitalism in general. Most are against crony capitalism, or are of the belief that without firm limitations in place capitalism will inevitably succumb to crony capitalism. But that doesn’t fit the narrative either and thus gets ignored.

    Reply

    Phelps reply on October 20th, 2011 1:18 pm:

    I agree that very few people are against capitalism in general.

    Those very few people are highly concentrated in various “Occupy Whatever” sites right now.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204479504576637082965745362.html

    Reply

    skippy reply on October 20th, 2011 1:32 pm:

    1) You are literally missing the point you were responding to. 2) The only evidence in your link was two assertions unbacked by the evidence Mr Schoen is presenting.

    This is exactly the sort of thing you complained about in your first comment.

    Phelps reply on October 20th, 2011 1:40 pm:

    When did polling by a reputable pollster become “unbacked by evidence”?

    Moderates (and everyone thinks they are moderate, btw) aren’t getting a level story. They are being told, “these are the two ends of the spectrum.” On one end, people who are largely moderate are being portrayed as extremists, and on the other end, extremists are being portrayed as moderates.

    skippy reply on October 20th, 2011 2:00 pm:

    “When did polling by a reputable pollster become “unbacked by evidence”?”
    Re-read this sentence carefully:
    “The only evidence in your link was two assertions unbacked by the evidence Mr Schoen is presenting.”

    The author made assertions that they were anti-capitalist, but never demonstrated it with his numbers.

    I mean the article goes on to claim that a majority of the protesters voted for Obama, when by the poll used it’s actually 42.5%, with 51% disapproving of him. Just because there is a number doesn’t mean it is applied properly.

    Phelps reply on October 20th, 2011 2:06 pm:

    You understand that there are a great number of people who voted for Obama three years ago that no longer approve of him, right?

    skippy reply on October 20th, 2011 2:20 pm:

    Yes I do. I’m not sure what you think my point is. Only 42% of the people there *voted* for Obama (not a majority because 42%<50%) This means that when the author claimed that a *majority* of those present voted for him he was incorrect, based on the numbers submitted by his poll. This is an example of the author misusing the poll data.(Or just not knowing enough about math to get to the correct numbers.) Go ahead and check my math if you want.

    51% Disapproval no doubt includes several that voted for him and don’t like the job he was doing. Was mainly an indicator that this was not a pro-Obama crowd, and mostly irrelevant to this discussion at this point.

    None of which addresses the original issue, which is that you presented this data as proof that the OWS protesters are anti-capitalists (And that they were extremists at a later time) At no point in the article is any evidence presented to demonstrates this idea. The closest to proof is that the author describes them as anti-capitalist twice. That’s it.

    Is there any particular reason you have trouble believing that people who agree with your politics might manipulate data to get the narrative they want, or do only people you disagree with try that?

    Phelps reply on October 20th, 2011 2:27 pm:

    Where are you getting these numbers? I don’t see any of them in the article. The article says this:

    An overwhelming majority of demonstrators supported Barack Obama in 2008. Now 51% disapprove of the president while 44% approve, and only 48% say they will vote to re-elect him in 2012, while at least a quarter won’t vote.

    skippy reply on October 20th, 2011 2:32 pm:

    1) I got them from him http://www.douglasschoen.com/pdf/Occupy_Wall_Street_Poll_Douglas_Schoen.pdf

    2) Still not addressing the anti-capitalist extremism thing.

    Phelps reply on October 20th, 2011 2:36 pm:

    Not gonna address it. I made an argument, you said “nah nah nah nah boo boo, stick your head in doodoo.” I think that stands on its own.

    skippy reply on October 20th, 2011 2:41 pm:

    Heh. Your entire argument consisted of “Some guy said so.”, I countered with “How is that proof?” and you resorted to ad-hominim.

    I don’t mind debating with you, but do try to act like an adult when you do it here.

    Reply

  2. Phelps Says:

    If disagreeing is childish here, I don’t think I’ll bother commenting anymore.

    Reply

    skippy reply on October 20th, 2011 2:59 pm:

    “I don’t mind debating with you, but do try to act like an adult when you do it here.”

    ” I made an argument, you said “nah nah nah nah boo boo, stick your head in doodoo.” I think that stands on its own.”

    Dude have I ever told anyone to fuck off for disagreeing with me here before? My issue isn’t that you disagree, or debate, my issue is that you disagreed, and then insult me because your argument was crap. (Note: Funny insults are still allowed/encouraged)

    Reply

    Phelps reply on October 20th, 2011 3:04 pm:

    Yeah, you have. And then you put the clown nose on when you get called on it.

    Reply

    skippy reply on October 20th, 2011 3:13 pm:

    To be fair, the clown nose rarely comes off. People don’t care about this website for the politics.

    Phelps reply on October 20th, 2011 3:14 pm:

    Fair enough. People only stop caring about this website for the politics.

  3. Susan Says:

    Skippy – 3rd para – should be “principal,” not “principle.”

    Reply

    Cyn reply on October 20th, 2011 5:24 pm:

    Are you sure about that? I always thought “principal” was the job title (I had this way of remembering it in elementary school… the Principal is your “pal”…).

    Or, did I have it wrong all these years? ;)

    Reply

    Phelps reply on October 20th, 2011 5:26 pm:

    This one is pretty weird. I think you are using it in the principal sense (meaning, first or highest) but principle (meaning a ideal or moral imperative) is at the least related.

    Reply

    Cyn reply on October 20th, 2011 5:29 pm:

    :: sigh ::

    Yes…. was being just a wee bit sarcastic… ;)

  4. Psychlycan Says:

    I think i’m going to skip the great debate here. I don’t know enough about the inner workings of the government enough to believe that I have a perfect plan for it all.

    Reply

  5. AriesOmega Says:

    I am kinda in the same vote. I am middle of the road. People call me a “liberal Republican” or a “conservative Democrat”. I like to say I am a “volvo with a gun rack”. Not very common but they do exist. Anyhow…Skippy…love watching you debate. I was a little depressed, read over things and made laugh a little. So..when DOES the clown nose come off eh?

    Reply

    Sgt. Spooky reply on October 24th, 2011 11:16 am:

    “Volvo with a gun rack”- Robin Williams 2002 tour. Excellent quote.

    Reply

  6. Ogredjinn Says:

    I’m going to de-lurk to take issue with Skippy’s basic premise. Skippy posits that the rights to “Life, Libery, and the Pursuit of Happiness” include the right to proper health care under the right to life.

    Reply

    AriesOmega reply on October 21st, 2011 7:00 am:

    For me at least…yes that is the case. I feel that proper health care is not a Dems or GOP issue, it’s a human rights issue. No one “deserves” to die because they can’t afford to pay for treatment for cancer.

    Reply

    Phelps reply on October 21st, 2011 9:26 am:

    That’s the slipperiest of slopes. By that logic, no one “deserves” to die because their mother decides not to carry them to term. No one “deserves” to die because a random guy walking down the street won’t donate a kidney to them.

    Reply

    skippy reply on October 21st, 2011 9:52 am:

    It’s only a slippery slope if you think that there is no middle ground. I doubt very many people consider higher taxes or more regulations the equivalent of a forced medical procedure or having a child. No more than any reasonable person would think that when you say you should have the right to make money however you please that it could end in a slippery slope where you murder people and rifle through their pockets.

    Phelps reply on October 21st, 2011 10:03 am:

    C’mon, man, this is American politics. We don’t do middle ground.

    Here is the best argument I have against government-paid healthcare. When the government is in control of it, they are in control of it. And your guy won’t always be the one in power. Personally, I don’t want my guys making my medical decisions.

    What happens when we get people in office who are pro-life? They don’t have to ban abortions. They just stop the now-single-payer from paying for them. By deciding what they will and won’t pay for, we’ve given puritans another way to control what everyone is doing. They don’t have to “force” people to donate kidneys. They just decide that they aren’t going to pay for that liver transplant unless you give up a kidney while they have you under. For “cost-cutting.”

    The American system was designed that start so that liberty would be safest when we are bickering. Things like this make it so that we are at our least safe when we are bickering. And bickering is our natural state of affairs.

    Anna reply on October 21st, 2011 1:01 pm:

    It works in Canada, and while I’m not saying there aren’t issues and the wait times are pretty bad, but at least when I walk into the emergency room i always know I’m going to get treatment.
    As for extremists in office forcing you to donate a kidney, don’t you have a checks and balances system just for that purpose?

    Reply

    Squab reply on October 22nd, 2011 2:56 pm:

    Consider this in your argument against government-paid healthcare: I’m pretty sure the US of A is the one single solitary first-world country that doesn’t have public healthcare in some way.

    Squab reply on October 22nd, 2011 2:57 pm:

    I think I hit the wrong reply button… oh well. Close enough to where it needs to be.

    Prodigal reply on October 23rd, 2011 11:11 am:

    One could argue that a system of government health care like the Canadian or German models Skippy* cited apply to all three rights, insofar as affordable health care prolonged life, makes one more capable of exercising one’s liberty, and better enables one to pursue happiness.

    *The accursed autocorrect feature of my new phone** tried to tell me our host’s name is “Sloppy”. That’s just rude.

    **It didn’t recognise “autocorrect” either. Which I probably find more amusing than I ought. But I digress even farther…

    Reply

  7. Ogredjinn Says:

    I’m going to de-lurk to take issue with Skippy’s basic premise. Skippy posits that the rights to “Life, Libery, and the Pursuit of Happiness” include the right to proper health care under the right to life.

    The problem is that none of those three was considered any more–or less–important than the other two. It was written that way for the flow of words, not to indicate order of importance. This was reflected in some of the corespondence between Jefferson and Adams at the time.

    If we run that out, a person has the right to life, so long as it does not infringe on the basic rights of others. If you say someone has a right to health care, then you infringe on someone else’s rights, either by telling the doctor he must practice on the person reguardless of ability to compensate, or else you infringe on the taxpayer’s rights by confiscating his money (taxes) for the purpose of giving it to another person.

    Charity, no matter how well intentioned, should not be enforced on a federal level. It should be state-level at worst, and independant of government all together ideally.

    (Sorry for the unfinished post above. I accidentally sent it early.)

    Reply

    AriesOmega reply on October 21st, 2011 7:14 am:

    @Ogredjin – Once again. Yes…everyone should have healthcare. I think no one “deserves” to die due to poor health care. No one deserves months of pain and agony as their body eats them away from cancer because they can’t work because of cancer. Sorry…just how I feel. No one should have to make the choice between food or medicine they NEED. We need a different system for healthcare. It doesn’t work. Mind you I have EXCELLENT health care, a job, house, car and all that. I am NOT hurting for need or want. I have it pretty good all things considering. What we have doesn’t work and it’s insanity thinking if we keep doing it that it will. I am of Skippy’s opinion that we either need to go the route of Canada or Germany.

    Reply

    Ogredjinn reply on October 21st, 2011 8:16 am:

    Then may I suggest working on changing the rules for insurance to allow for companies to write policies accross state lines, and for individuals to form a collective to buy insurance in the same way business does? You can even form your own charity for the express purpose of paying for cancer treatments for persons who cannot pay on their own. What you shouldn’t do is have the government confiscate money against someone’s will for the purpose of giving it to someone else. Just because you have a good reason doesn’t make it any more right.

    I agree that no one “deserves” to to die. Indeed, it is the very essence of the basic human right to life. But, ultimately, the money I earn comes to me because I traded part on my lifetime in return for that paycheck. Boiled down to the ultimate simplification, when you take my money, you’re taking a part of my life. Is your hypothetical cancer patient more deserving of my life than I am? Should I not have a choice in the matter as to if I want to trade part of my life to them or not?

    Reply

    AriesOmega reply on October 21st, 2011 8:53 am:

    Thank you Ogredjin for being civil about this. I usually don’t post because I don’t need the drama. With that said I personally don’t see that option of working. I would love for it to do so, but in general I think it would fail. Secondly if I could start a charity for cancer treatment I would for sure. Even when I was a kid…grew up in the barrio. We had jack and sh*t but every December my Dad would have a pot of soup always going for whoever blew in and was hungry. Thanksgiving…the day of from sun up until sunset anyone can come in and be fed. After sunset it was the family dinner. My wife looks at me funny when I tell her this…”honey are you asking to bring a crackhead to Thanksgiving?” kind of look. No…but I do bring home “strays” when I can.

    Anyhow I want people to have lots of freedoms…very liberal in that. However I feel people in general…not everyone mind you but by and far most are are friggin idiots. I am a bit authoritarian in that respect. You want freedoms show me you can be responsible. Maybe I read Starship Troopers (yes the book is way different) too many times in the Army…it was required reading back in the day, but hey that is how I feel.

    As I stated before…health care for everyone. No if, ands or buts. It’s pretty sad when Warren Buffet and others are staying “tax me”. That money could go to health care…particularly preventive care in my opinion but nevertheless I feel it’s morally wrong to deny someone healthcare when sick.

    Phelps reply on October 21st, 2011 9:28 am:

    Aries, what you describe was the natural way of things until the 60s or so. What killed that culture? The War on the Poor, I mean Poverty. Once it’s “the government’s” job to take care of the poor and those that are slipping through the cracks, then it isn’t our job anymore.

    “Why should I feed them? That’s what I pay taxes for.” I would rather people didn’t pay taxes for welfare and just fed people instead.

    skippy reply on October 21st, 2011 9:31 am:

    Ogredjinn – While I see your point, I do not see your time as the equivalent of your life in this set up. By that logic a sales call or going to court become a form of murder.

    And as I pointed out, we can do the German system where the government doesn’t pay for it, they just regulate basic coverage to the point where everyone can have it.

    Phelps reply on October 21st, 2011 10:08 am:

    Actually, Skippy, I think they are at least related. That’s why liberty is tied to life. If someone uses force to make you sit for that sales call, that’s kidnapping, and a crime. The fourth through sixth amendments are there because bringing someone to court without just cause is another form of kidnapping.

    The problem with trying to apply a German solution here is that we aren’t Germans. Things that will at least hold together in Germany won’t work in places more, uh, rambunctious. How do we know? Because they tried to apply German fiscal policy to the rest of Europe in the EU. What did we end up with? Greece, Italy, Ireland, Spain, etc. What works in Germany and Sweden will not work without Germans and Swedes.

    Ogredjinn reply on October 21st, 2011 10:34 am:

    Firstly, you’re welcome, and back at you. My friends (ranging from a Mormon ultra-conservative to a rather liberal Spanish professor)and I have some knock-down,drag-out debates at times, but we all walk away friends at the end. A shame not everyone can handle disagreements the same, eh?

    I too read Starship Troopers (and laughed my way through the movie–they really needed a military consult on the tactics, at the very least), and I’m of two minds on mandatory military service. But that’s whole other kettle of fish. You have a point about personal responsability, though.

    On setting up your own charity: You don’t have to start big. Maybe you start by helping one person at a time. As you get things rolling, you help a second person when the money coming in allows. You’d be surprised how fast something like that can grow. The starting curve is steep. You’ll need to learn how to get your charity accredited, how to keep it legal, and how to solicit for donations. It won’t be easy, but it can be done. Big things are made from small things and a lot of effort.

    Finally, you may want to be a bit careful holding up Buffet as a standard. At least one of his companies is way behind in taxes–almost a billion dollars behind. In addition, if Buffet wishes to pay more taxes, there is a process where he can give the government more of his funds if he wishes to. One has to wonder why he doesn’t just use the process to basically donate to the government, instead of trying to get everyone in his tax bracket to pay more?

    Really, his personal tax rate would raise very little under an income tax hike, as his income is mainly (about 85% per Forbes) from capital gains these days, and those are taxed at a lower rate to encourage investment. So the people who would take the brunt of a raise in taxes are not the folks who have already made their money, and invested it, but those people who declare their small business income as personal income. Those taxpayers, in general, reinvest most of that money back into their own businesses for stock, expansion, maintenance, ect. What Buffet is really setting up here, on purpose, or out of good intentions, is to more heavily tax the smallest businesses that can use current tax rules to save a bit of money.

    Squab reply on October 22nd, 2011 3:03 pm:

    I said this somewhere else, I’ll say it again: last time I checked, your good old US of A is the only first world country on the planet to not have public health-care.

    As for the “rightfully earned money” thing, that falls to shit very quickly when you realize how much of an effect your birth has into how much money you make. If you are born to a middle class familiy, chances are 9/10 that you will grow up and make a middle class income. If you grow up in a very poor scenario, chances are high that you’ll grow up and either be poor, or possibly end up committing crimes and go to jail. If you are born rich with a trust fund, you can coast through life fairly easily.

    Sure, it’s not necessarily right to straight-up take money from someone to use it for someone else’s benefit. But how “right” is it that you have that money?

    Reply

    Phelps reply on October 22nd, 2011 7:38 pm:

    You are wrong on both counts. The US does have public healthcare. The US also has more income mobility than anywhere in the world. It’s not 1/10, it is 1/3. Only 40% of your trust funders stay rich, and a full 20% end up in the bottom quintile.

    Reply

    Prodigal reply on October 23rd, 2011 7:05 pm:

    Since 20% is a quintile, it would be shocking if any other percentage wound up in the bottom one.

    Prodigal reply on October 23rd, 2011 7:10 pm:

    Also, the family of former Ron Paul campaign manager Kent Snyder, who died with $400,000 of unpaid medical bills, might possibly disagree with you about the availability of public care.

    Phelps reply on October 23rd, 2011 11:15 pm:

    First, Snyder’s bills somehow invalidate Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP?

    Second, Squab claimed that you could coast through life if you are a trust-funder. The facts show that 20% of trust funders end up in the bottom quintile – having the same result as a random distribution should be shocking if you think that “with a trust fund, you can coast through life fairly easily.”

    Prodigal reply on October 24th, 2011 12:56 am:

    If the US actually had public healthcare then Snyder’s family would not have wound up four hundred thousand dollars in debt from the care he received. Your statement about “public health care” is at best facile incomprehension and at worst willful ignorance.

    And since “quintile” means “one-fifth”,and is therefore the same thing as “20%”, I’m leaning toward the worst case scenario.

  8. AriesOmega Says:

    That’s all we need is more immigrants from other countries trying to get us to be more efficient and making us sing more ABBA songs. We are American’s dammit, I defended America for years and we ain’t no Europeans. They can have all their fancy, high falutin stuff and let us American’s be. Yeah…that’ll work right. I think personally…IF we did borrow ideas from other nations that it would work in the US because we are if anything adaptable.

    Reply

    Phelps reply on October 21st, 2011 11:01 am:

    We are in fact so adaptable that tax evasion and gaming the system are our national pasttimes.

    Reply

    AriesOmega reply on October 21st, 2011 11:20 am:

    *chuckles* You mean it’s NOT BASEBALL! Oh the humanity! The way I see it is the tax code is all kinds of screwed up. Both sides are to blame. Have it my way, new elections for every one, clean out the house…but that is another can of worms there. Anyhow tax code has made it kinda like how in my LARP group it was when we had issues getting donations to cover events and stuff. The coordinator put a bucket out says “hey please put stuff in it so we can have cool, kick ass games in interesting places”. Nickel here, dollar there. This went on and on for a bit and we all tried to encourage people to be charitable. It was for nicer stuff for game and to help support the charities that we pledged to raise money for. It benefitted us and all it and the thing is people complained we didn’t have nice stuff and we aren’t raising money. There were finger pointing about who should pay and that this is organization is a volunteer thing and there shouldn’t be any dues except the $20 yearly membership. It got ugly.

    So when that didn’t work it became “hey…if you are a member of THIS domain and my problem you want to game it is $2 for a full day. If not then we will have to ask you to leave” and yes you can prepay months ahead of time and whatnot. We do games every Saturday…from noon to midnight. Many people who host provide free snacks and refreshments. That is 8 dollars a month for fun if you do everything or 6 in my case since I need one weekend of nongaming to get things done with the family. That is a cheap hobby…cheaper then WoW and the girls at game are real girls.

    Anyhow…suddenly BAM we have money and we can afford nice things. Like I said…I’d like to believe hey that we can say “hey do good for goodness sake, not because God says so but because it’s the right thing to do” but that doesn’t happen normally. Sometimes people have to be told “hey dick…get off your ass and help.” Also…we have higher game attendance then before the “$2 a weekend” rule.

    Bottom line…taxes and how things are IS NOT working…needs to change. If it means the “big and scary government” needs to get involved fine, because on our own it doesn’t seem that we can organize things that get things done.

    Reply

    Phelps reply on October 21st, 2011 11:33 am:

    There’s a key difference between that and taxes.

    People who didn’t want to play could quit. Taxes means going door to door around the neighborhood telling people, “We’re holding a LARP league, and we need money, so we are taking $3 from everyone. But you can play if you want.”

    Squab reply on October 22nd, 2011 3:10 pm:

    Phelps will disagree with but, “We’re making a public health-care system, and we need money, so we are taking $3 from everyone. But you can get public health-care if you want” is something that I think is a good idea.

    Well, except that $3 probably isn’t enough.

  9. Ogredjinn Says:

    @Skippy

    I’m not familiar with the German style of healthcare, so I decline to to comment on it until I have studied it.

    On the sales calls, why do you think there is a federal-level no-call list? We may argue about the enforcement or effect of it, but it was put in place to stop the unwanted domination of a, frankly, small part of a person’s life.

    On the going to court, that is covered in two ways. If you are called to court to defend yourself, there is a certain burden of proof that must be met to prove that you are involved in something that has, theoretically, deprived someone else of their basic rights in some way. The government cannot detain you in either trial or arrest without proving you denied someone else’s rights first.

    On being forced to court, either as a witness, or jury member: One of our basic duties as citizens is to make sure the government is to make sure that it is not taking away the basic rights of another citizen unjustly. There are even payments for doing so, and hardship rules for jurors to be excused. I think the juror payments should be more, but at least there is compensation for your time. Unwilling witnesses can be compelled because the government has a duty to enforce the basic rights due to all citizens. The general consensus so far has been that avenging the rights of the harmed overides the rights of the witness. In most cases, however, the witness is in the court willingly.

    Now I’ll throw one back at you. Why is theft a criminal act if the item is insured, and the rightful owner made whole again? By your standards, the owner has not been denied Life, Liberty, or the Pursuit of Happiness. Merely a short setback until the insurance replaces what was stolen.

    Reply

    Ogredjinn reply on October 21st, 2011 11:29 am:

    Gah…apologies for the odd wording in places. That’s what I get for trying to reply in between loading software on computers. I don’t have enough mind to spread it any thinner. Heh.

    Reply

    skippy reply on October 21st, 2011 1:04 pm:

    No on the wording, it happens.

    Germany has an interesting system worth looking up. Short version: it’s completely private, but with maximum profit allowed on basic policies. Insurance companies make their profit on Cadillac plans.

    Addressing the other points: Not being taxed isn’t a fundamental right. The constitution was actually written in part to allow for taxation which wasn’t permissible under the Articles of Confederation.

    You can still get sales calls on the DNC list, for instance if you run a business. I get head hunters calling my personal phone all the time. There are a myriad of ways that other people can waste your time, and I don’t consider any of them to be “stealing my life”. I think actual life trumps money. I think this is a universal belief, otherwise mugging wouldn’t work.

    I mean if we as citizens have a duty to the safeguard the rights of others, including the right to be alive (Such as jury duty, or heck, the draft is still legal)
    then how is it that claiming that duty includes the small donation of time that would equate to a tax increase to pay for health care is too far?

    Now as to the last point:
    Owning property is part of “liberty and pursuit of happiness”. So a theft victim has been denied something basic. Unless the thief can demonstrate that they genuinely needed to take the item or death and/or serious harm was likely to have resulted. Even then they should have to give it back.

    Reply

    skippy reply on October 21st, 2011 1:05 pm:

    Dammit, or as I meant to say, NP it happens.

    Ogredjinn reply on October 25th, 2011 8:01 am:

    It does indeed, happen.

    Back from a weekend away from the net.

    On Taxes: I never suggested that the government not tax at all. There are certain things the government should be doing, and it needs some way to fund those activities. Where I disagree is with how much the government is taking on.

    On the DNC: You can still be murdered despite it being against the law, too. Laws are in place to deter and punish criminal activity. If someone continues to call you after the first warning, there are processes in place to punish that person and get recompense. I actually know someone who went after two different serial DNC List offenders, and was awarded several thousand dollars for her trouble. Heck, you can probably do a quick search on Google for step-by-step directions on how to build a case.

    On Time/Money/Life: I have a different view on it. If someone breaks into my home and steals my computer, then they have taken something that I traded around eighty hours of my life to my work place to be able to afford. Even insured, I have to take a part of my life to file the claim, follow up on it, then shop for parts and build myself a new ocomputer. There is also the time I cannot enjoy the fruits of my labor while that process goes on. To me, theft is like a small percent of murder. It is not completely killing someone, so we don’t punish thieves as harshly as murderers, but we do increase the penalties for higher end thefts.

    On Duty vs. Healthcare: As citizens, the duty to protect rights placed on us is the protection from government infringement on those rights. The duties of the citizen does not include making sure other citizens are making the most of thier rights. That’s where personal responsability and charity come in. My deciding to support cancer research or a local family who is struggling with their bills is very different from the government confiscating my money for the purpose of providing charity I have no say in. What I would rather the government do on the healthcare front is what I stated before: Change the laws so insurance can be offered accross state lines, and allow private citizens to form insurance collectives and buy insurance just like businesses can.

    Phelps reply on October 25th, 2011 9:58 am:

    Change the laws so insurance can be offered accross state lines, and allow private citizens to form insurance collectives and buy insurance just like businesses can.

    There’s wide support on both sides of the aisle for these changes. That it didn’t happen in the last round of “reforms” is telling.

    There are a ton of things that have either the support of the right or at the least no opposition from the right that could be done. Very few of those things are pursued by the “reformers.” Widening the insurance market. Extending COBRA. Regulating the fees that insurers are allowed to charge for premiums on COBRA. Covering the 2-4 million people under a public program who actually want insurance but can’t get or afford coverage (as opposed to people who don’t need anything but catastrophic accident coverage, like 20-something males.)

    These things don’t make it into the “reforms.” The only things that make it in are things that either push the ball towards single-payer socialist healthcare, or things that make insurers less able to actually cover the insureds (and therefore creating undercovered people, and indirectly increasing the cry for single-payer, socialist healthcare.)

    Prodigal reply on October 25th, 2011 10:34 am:

    Relying on personal responsibility and charity left Kent Snyder’s family with $365,129.47 of unpaid medical bills after his death. Just saying.

    skippy reply on October 25th, 2011 11:09 am:

    @ Ogredjinn –
    Taxes – So as it usually goes, we are just reasonable debating over where the line is.

    DNC – The DNC only applies to personal lines, not business lines, which was my point, sorry if I wasn’t clear or if I just assumed that was common knowledge. It also doesn’t apply to tax exempt non-profits.

    Time/Money/Life/ I do see you point, and taking that to it’s logical conclusion, if taking property is taking some of a person’s life, then killing them is taking all of it. All > Some. which brings us to –

    Duty: We have president that the state has a duty to protect the rights of the people (property, life and liberty rights) in the form of Military, Police, Firefighters, and so on, all of which are paid for by taxes.

    The things you suggested would help, no doubt, but only, in my opinion, with some form of check and balance built in. For instance group insurance already tends to be built around lowest legal requirement. We can open up the field nationally, but then we need to take steps to make sure that the coverage offered will make sure that people can get the treatment that they need.

    skippy reply on October 25th, 2011 11:13 am:

    Phelps – Much of what you said is covered by the multitude of people that felt the current reforms didn’t reform enough.

    Ogredjinn reply on October 26th, 2011 7:35 am:

    @ Prodigal

    Yes it did. It was also Mr. Snyder’s choice to follow a career path where he knew the medical insurance would only be what he could afford. Choices have consequences, and unfortunately, Snyder took a chance that worked out poorly for himself and his family. My current health insurance mostly covers me up to one million dollars, so if I was afflicted with the same medical condition as Snyder, me and mine would be protected. That was my choice.

    It sounds harsh, but life isn’t fair. Somtimes we take chances that don’t work out. Snyder did, and left his family in debt. The good thing about our system is that you can recover from such a blow. In the Snyder case, the family can declare bankruptcy and clear themselves of a good portion of that debt. It will be a bit harder life for them in the short term, but at worst, that bankruptcy only follows you for seven years or less, depending on the state. Then you get a chance to have another go at it with a clean slate.

    Prodigal reply on October 26th, 2011 8:15 am:

    You apparently missed the part where I mentioned how the insurance companies Snyder tried to get coverage from denied him coverage due to preexisting conditions. So which did Snyder choose; the fatal illness, or the preexisting conditions that prevented him from being able to have health insurance?

    Phelps reply on October 26th, 2011 8:26 am:

    “Hello. My house just burned down. I would like fire insurance, please.”

    Prodigal reply on October 26th, 2011 8:40 am:

    More like “You had to buy a new air conditioner five years ago? In that case you can’t buy insurance for your boat.”

    Phelps reply on October 26th, 2011 8:50 am:

    No, Snyder died of complications around cancer. The pre-existing condition was cancer. You want him to have been covered for cancer.

    “Hi, my house is flooded. I would like to buy flood insurance to cover that.”

    Phelps reply on October 26th, 2011 8:53 am:

    Actually, let me walk that back. I haven’t seen anything that says what the pre-existing condition was, which is suspicious. (Maybe the cancer, maybe something like AIDS, which would be a distraction from the issue because of bigotry surrounding it.)

    What I can find is this quote from his sister:

    He was uninsured, his sister Michelle Caskey said, because a pre-existing condition made the premiums too expensive.

    My emphasis. Not denied coverage — just that he didn’t want to pay that much.

    Prodigal reply on October 26th, 2011 9:06 am:

    Yeah, how dare he want to be able to afford to feed his family and keep a roof over their heads! Have we no workhouses?

    Ogredjinn reply on October 28th, 2011 7:56 am:

    Actually, Prodigal, his choice was to follow a career path that didn’t offer him the chance to get into a non-screening insurance plan.

    Businesses can buy no-screening plans at a higher cost to them or the employees, but as individuals we legally cannot organize into a insurance buying group to get the same deal. Just one of several insurance rules I’d like to see change.

    I’d also point out that you havn’t made a case here for a nationalizing health care. Insurance would not have kept the man alive, seeing as he still got care to the tune of $400k. You’ve been making a case about his finances, not a difference of care.

    Prodigal reply on October 28th, 2011 9:17 am:

    If I had ever argued that Snyder would not have died if his insurance situation had been different, then your closing statement might have had anything whatsoever to do with any post of mine at all. Unfortunately for you, however, I never wrote anything even remotely resembling the argument you chose to dispute.

    What I actually have been saying is that A: a nationalised plan would have made the situation Snyder’s family wound up in of owing hundreds of thousands of dollars at best nonexistent and at worst far less likely than the everyday commonplace thing it is under the system we currently have; and B: the American model under which Snyder’s family was just one of countless families that was financially ruined is therefore not preferable to the alternative.

    Now to the point you raised at the beginning of your post: you might as well say that someone who is crushed to death while driving to work by a cow falling out of the sky accepted the risk of winding up the bottommost layer of a meat and airbag pie* by getting behind the wheel. Snyder made a good faith effort to put his ideals into effect by managing Paul’s campaign, while also trying to get health coverage whose cost would not make it impossible to pay his other bills. It was not a case if him deciding to just keep his fingers crossed and hope nothing bad would happen we’re talking about here.

    *Because let’s face it, any car whose airbag won’t deploy when a cow drops onto it from 20,000 feet is a car that simply is not built to acceptable safety standards.

  10. Shadowydreamer Says:

    comments.. tl’dr.

    Skippy for president.

    Hey, what do I care? I’m Canadian. :)

    Reply

  11. hm Says:

    Another lurker and Canadian.

    I agree that the canadian system has its problems but guaranteed access to care is there for everyone. It is not completely free (at least not in my province – sliding scale based on means).

    One of the things that I’ve seen on the 99 tumblr is the denial of care when the individual has healthcare. How can a for profit system police the denial compani

    Reply

  12. hm Says:

    Another lurker and Canadian.

    I agree that the canadian system has its problems but guaranteed access to care is there for everyone. It is not completely free (at least not in my province – sliding scale based on means).

    One of the things that I’ve seen on the 99 tumblr is the denial of care when the individual has healthcare. How can a for profit system police the companies that actively deny care because its more profitable to not do preventive care.

    I’m not tying to be provocative but it is something I’ve seen mentioned numerous times.

    Reply

  13. Adam Says:

    I think you are the first person I’ve met who also independently compared free-market healthcare to free-market fire departments. This should be explored further.

    Skippy you totally called the reactions you got. Kudos, sir.

    Reply

  14. ltc_insane Says:

    heh it always amuses me that here in Australia you have 2 extremes in government, You have the Liberal party which is pro-buisness and Labor which is pro-union both are controlled by either big business or the unions.

    I get the most amusement out of watching the leaders of either party champion something that would be a good idea but would anger either Business or the Unions and watch as a day later they have changed their views. lol

    Reply

  15. SCAlexD Says:

    SKIPPY FOR PRESIDENT!

    Reply

  16. SSG Hay Says:

    My $.02 on the above – I think the best comment I’ve heard on health care reform is from the Freakonomics Radio podcasts: we need to separate health care from employment. Why do we get health care insurance in America from our employers? We don’t get our car insurance from them, nor any other insurance, so why is health insurance tied to employment? I understand why it started there, and the momentum that tradition imbues onto any society or organization, but as rational, logical folks, why can’t we now change it?

    That hit home earlier this year with my sister and brother-in-law – she was pregnant and he had gotten a job offer for a much higher salary. He had to turn down the job because with his wife at 6 months pregnant, he couldn’t afford to change jobs because of the interruption in health care service while changing over to a new provider might have proven very dire.

    I’m not saying we have to have government run health care (nor saying that we shouldn’t have it), but we do need a better system than what we currently have.

    Reply

    Phelps reply on October 24th, 2011 10:02 am:

    I agree 100% on separating healthcare from employment. The only reason we do it that way is the tax code. You can pay for it pre-tax if you get it through your employer, so it became a tax shelter. Remove the shelter, and there isn’t any reason not to start shopping around.

    The other part of this should be ending the medical cartels and the War on Drugs. A significant percentage of doctor visits are “Mother May I?” trips for medications. I understand the dangers of overused antibiotics, for example, but we would do better with public education programs than the current rationing. These two things — letting people buy their own meds and letting people go to other professionals under the MD level like Nurse Practitioners (already legal in some states for some things) would actually be real reform.

    As for Medicare/Medicaid not being real public health care, then what are they? So some people aren’t covered. That doesn’t make them any less public. It just makes the non-universal. If you mean universal, say universal. Right now, we have:

    Public healthcare for the poor (Medicaid)
    Public healthcare for children (SCHIP)
    Public healthcare for the elderly (Medicare)

    That is a HELL of a lot of the population. It’s the largest part of our current budget burden. It’s creating a ton of debt already.

    We are already covering the poor, the young, and the old on the public dole. How much more public healthcare do we really need? At what point is a 35 year old single man supposed to do for himself?

    Reply

    Prodigal reply on October 24th, 2011 10:46 am:

    By your “So what if some people can’t get coverage?” definition, the private insurers that refused to cover Kent Snyder due to preexisting conditions are “public care”.

    So my answer to your question about how much more we need would be “How much more will it take until people saddling their families with crippling levels of debt isn’t so common anymore?”

    Reply

    Phelps reply on October 24th, 2011 11:13 am:

    So, you want the right to the services of another person without paying for them. Sorry, slavery is non-negotiable with me.

    You have the right to negotiate for healthcare. You have the right to arrange debt to do it.

    And if you claim to be working for RON PAUL the uber-libertarian and say otherwise, you are a fraud.

    skippy reply on October 24th, 2011 11:33 am:

    “So, you want the right to the services of another person without paying for them. Sorry, slavery is non-negotiable with me.”
    Um that isn’t what he said. He never claimed that he worked for Ron Paul. He referenced a well known case of one of Ron Paul’s supporters, a fundraiser, dying in debt due to not having or being unable to get, medical insurance.

    Also there is a difference between restrictions on your trade, such as “If you want to be in the insurance field, you are not allowed to turn people down for pre-existing conditions” and slavery.

    Prodigal reply on October 24th, 2011 12:01 pm:

    It wasn’t just a supporter; it was Ron Paul’s campaign manager I was talking about.

    When asked about cases such as Snyder’s, Paul said that they should appeal to charity to cover their medical bills. As of the latest figures I could find, however, Snyder’s family had only been able to raise $34,870.53 of the $400,000 debt his medical care left them owing. That remaining $365,129.47 is going to have to come from somewhere. I’d rather it was from a government system like the ones in the Canadian or German models than from the far more likely price increases at the hospital that cared for Snyder – which will in turn almost certainly result in the same insurance companies that denied Snyder coverage passing their increased costs along to their customers as increased premiums.

    Phelps reply on October 24th, 2011 11:41 pm:

    Your “pre-existing condition” argument is moot now in any case. Obamacare/PCIP closed that complaint, so find a new stalking horse for socialist healthcare.

    skippy reply on October 24th, 2011 11:53 pm:

    It will be closed in 2014 anyways, as long as the program stands. (Not sure how thinking it’s a good idea is rendered invalid because we already got it though.)

    Prodigal reply on October 25th, 2011 8:04 am:

    Are you trying to argue that Snyder wasn’t denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions, Phelps, or are you instead just desperately trying to change the subject?

    Phelps reply on October 25th, 2011 9:48 am:

    I am arguing that you won the argument. The law has been changed. I’m not arguing to change it back.

    I’m going to give you some unsolicited advice. (I feel safe doing that, since I doubt any lurkers or any google drive-bys are going to read this far down.) When your debate opponent agrees with you, stop debating. If it is obvious that they agreed with you, it just makes you look like an ass when you sit there and chant, “say it, say I won, say I won.”

    More importantly, when you think that it is obvious to an outside reader when your opponent is just grasping at ridiculous arguments, stop arguing there too. Their ridiculous argument is the last thing on the thread, and that means that they either lose any followers they had lurking, or they are forced to come back and argue against themselves. If you stop and go back through the thread with an objective eye, you’ll see several places where I did just that.

    Prodigal reply on October 25th, 2011 10:51 am:

    Most people who concede that they have lost an argument tend to stop arguing. Given that you A: have yet to admit to any of the failures of reading comprehension that caused you to accuse me of having claimed to work for Ron Paul (just to name one example), and B: have kept on arguing an argument you say you lost downthread, it’s looking like “desperately trying to change the subject” was the correct hypothesis.

    skippy reply on October 25th, 2011 11:24 am:

    How about all parties, on this portion of the debate go like this:

    a)I was conceding this portion, sorry if I didn’t make that clear enough. My bad.

    b)I’m sorry that I didn’t realize that you were conceding. My bad.

    Phelps, I misread what your wrote and didn’t realize you were conceding. My bad.

    Reese reply on October 24th, 2011 6:42 pm:

    I feel bad for your sister and brother-in-law. I can speack from experiance that atleast in Canada that wouldn’t have been an issue. Even if he didn’t have a job she still would have been able to see a doctor and go to the hospital when her time came. Sure she wouldn’t have been able to get a private room, but what’s so worng in shareing a room with another new mom and her new child in a semi-private? Besides, there’s always the curtain.

    Reply

    Phelps reply on October 24th, 2011 11:37 pm:

    Actually, that is the case in America. They could have carried the old coverage over via COBRA, which is expensive, but would only have had to be carried for a few months. And if you are having a baby and are unemployed, you almost always qualify for Medicaid (unless you have some other steady income.)

    Seriously, if someone is insinuating that women are having babies on the street because hospitals are kicking them out for not having insurance in America, you are being lied to.

    “I can’t take a better job than the one I already have because I would have a gap in my employee provided health insurance” is top of the list of First World Problems.

    Reply

    skippy reply on October 24th, 2011 11:49 pm:

    COBRA goes away if the company that supports it does. And it’s easy to find yourself in a situation where you have enough socked away to disqualify for Medicaid, but not so much that a problem pregnancy wipes you out financially, which is pretty close to the situation I found myself in a few years ago (The company stayed in business just long enough for my kids to be born without putting us in debt for the rest of our lives and/or killing my wife and children) And no that’s not near the top of the list of first world problems because there is only one first world country where that can happen. People being trapped at mid-range jobs can have a huge economic ripple effect.

    Phelps reply on October 24th, 2011 11:52 pm:

    “Trapped at a mid-range office job” — First World Problem.

    “Trapped in sex slavery” — Third World Problem

    skippy reply on October 24th, 2011 11:57 pm:

    So is the standard then, “must be worse than being traffic as a prostitute” before people want to see an improvement?

    I mean hell didn’t you already argue that separating insurance from employment was a good idea? That just sounds like a decent supporting argument (it just so happens that it can support socialized medicine as well as a new way of running a privatized system)

    Reply

    Phelps reply on October 24th, 2011 11:58 pm:

    When the opposing argument insinuates “can’t have children because evil employer has me chained to desk”, then yeah, I think it is a fair comparison.

    skippy reply on October 25th, 2011 12:07 am:

    I don’t think that was the insinuation. It was that you can be trapped at a job due to insurance conditions, even if you qualify for better work elsewhere.

    And while lack of upward mobility pales in comparison to some of the horrors in the third world, so does paying slightly higher taxes, or watching some corporations profits go down slightly due to new regulation.

    “My quarterly bonus was down due to new healthcare regulations limiting our profit margins” – First world problems.

    “Government forces cam to our village, burned it to the ground, shot our children, and forced the survivors to sing bad show tunes.” Third world problem.

    Phelps reply on October 25th, 2011 12:17 am:

    So which one is “died of cancer because the treatment for my type of cancer is illegal due to costing the state too much” or “spent over a year in pain and unable to walk waiting on hip replacement waiting list?”

    Are those first world or third world problems? They sound third world to me, but hey, I just live in a country where those things don’t even happen to the poorest.

    skippy reply on October 25th, 2011 12:28 am:

    Are you claiming that the poorest in this country never go without expensive medical treatment necessary to their survival or major quality of life in this country?

    That’s not true. And again, bear in mind, that I find a regulated private system just as workable. (By regulated I mean more regulated than we have now Obamacare is an improvement but there is more we can do)

    Prodigal reply on October 25th, 2011 8:33 am:

    He’s arguing that government-run health care will always lead to people being denied health care, which is a common argument from people whose only experience with government-run systems is the third-hand “have no experience other than listening to or reading rightwing horror stories” kind of experience.

    While I don’t know a huge number of Canadians or Brits, none of the people I know from the UK or Canada would want to trade their health care system for something based on a US model.

    Phelps reply on October 25th, 2011 9:40 am:

    Funny, all the people who are claiming that the American system is so bad all seem to be running from third hand “have no experience other than listening to or reading leftwing horror stories.”

    I do know a huge number of Americans, and very few of them would want to trade their health care system for something based on the UK or Canadian models. (In fact, over half the country rejects the “reforms” that were passed last year.)

    Phelps reply on October 25th, 2011 9:43 am:

    Are you claiming that the poorest in this country never go without expensive medical treatment necessary to their survival or major quality of life in this country?

    No. There are always going to be the mentally ill or misanthropes who can not fit into any social system. Those people also would not get treatment under a socialist system, unless that system also included actively going out and imprisoning the sick unless they seek treatment.

    What I am saying is that the American safety net is solid, and the poorest in this country are guaranteed coverage (under Medicaid/Medicare) that is easily within the quality range of the typical policy carried by a member of the upper-middle class.

    Prodigal reply on October 25th, 2011 11:03 am:

    Ron Paul’s campaign manager dying with $400,000 of unpaid medical bills is not a “leftwing horror story”; his name and the hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical debt are a matter of public record. You have yet to cite anything similarly verifiable, instead tossing out allegations that you are either unwilling or unable to substantiate.

    skippy reply on October 25th, 2011 11:58 am:

    “I do know a huge number of Americans, and very few of them would want to trade their health care system for something based on the UK or Canadian models. (In fact, over half the country rejects the “reforms” that were passed last year.)”

    1) The people you hang out with tend to share your views? Shocking! :) Same for me. The vast majority of Americans I know would prefer the Canadian model.

    2)And saying that over half reject the reform law is a slight misrepresentation of the poll data. The largest part of those who don’t like the HCR want it to go farther, followed by repealed, then followed by replaced with a Republican version. If you divide it along “Keep it as is/go more liberal vs get rid of it/make it more conservative it has favored the former.

    “What I am saying is that the American safety net is solid, and the poorest in this country are guaranteed coverage (under Medicaid/Medicare) that is easily within the quality range of the typical policy carried by a member of the upper-middle class.”

    My personal experience is that this is not the case. My friend’s kid who almost didn’t make it out of the hospital because the insurance would cover a problem he was born with shows that this is not the case. Even when available, people in the middle class can wind up in lifelong debt, and which while it’s good that they got the health care, I’d just as soon see them as economically viable afterwards. Remember one medical issue can reduce you from middle class to broke and in debt for the res of your life. Although the HCR did fix a large amount of that, now everyone can get in the Federal High Risk Pool.

  17. Joe Canuck Says:

    Ok…Absolutely NOBODY has the magic bullet to fix your economy at the moment, but all the Obama bashishing is miss placed. The economists can’t even agree how to turn it around. The problems started along time ago amd manifested with Regan’s “Trickle Down” theory. That raised your debt exponentially. Good thing you voted for Clinton, who managed to drop that significantly.

    To save yourselves, you have to grow the middle class which has shrunk and tax the hell out of companies that send those jobs overseas.

    You did it to yourseves, take control and demand they bring those jobs back. So what you have to pay an extra $1 for a product…you’ll reap the rewards in the end.

    Just my $0.02, a Canadian (who pays taxes though the nose, but doesn’t need pay up BEFORE he needs medical assistance).

    I wish you and ALL my American friends a speedy recovery from this.

    Reply

  18. kat Says:

    The way I see it, a good 50% of our country is already on “government-funded health care” once you include Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, Tricare (military and their families), VA, civil servents (which includes teachers, EMS ect and, oh yeah, politicians) and everyone else who is employed by the government. Ironic that it’s the people who already HAVE government-funded healthcare that are screeching the loudest about keeping it away from everyone else.

    Also, as I’m sure anyone who has ever had to deal with Tricare could tell you, it’s not exactly always a picnic getting everything we need, but at least we can usually get it.

    Reply

  19. Phelps Says:

    The funny thing about all of this is that, getting back to the original post, I oppose allowing the government to take over healthcare because… I want sick people to get better.

    I shudder at the thought of the sort of people who work at the DMV or the post office making medical decisions. And that is exactly what people endure in other countries. Do they say they like it? Sure. What do they have to compare it to? Third world countries and wild stories about how American hospitals toss sick people out onto the street for not having insurance. Compared to that, the abattoirs some NHS hospitals are isn’t that bad.

    Fuck you if you think I want people to get sick and die so someone else can make a buck.

    Fuck you if you think I want to keep the government out of healthcare because I hate poor people.

    Fuck you if you think I oppose Obamacare because I hate black people.

    Reply

    skippy reply on October 25th, 2011 12:31 am:

    Nobody said any of that dude. We’re not arguing about your motives. I understand what you want. You want the same thing that I do, and most people here do. We just disagree on how to accomplish that goal.

    No system is going to be perfect. But there are many that are better than what we have now.

    Reply

  20. Phelps Says:

    And while lack of upward mobility pales in comparison to some of the horrors in the third world, so does paying slightly higher taxes, or watching some corporations profits go down slightly due to new regulation.

    Opposition == preferring sick people to slightly higher taxes or corp profits going down.

    Reply

    Prodigal reply on October 25th, 2011 8:24 am:

    Were you trying to say “does not equal”? Because you just described your position as the very thing you’get previously said it was not.

    Reply

    Phelps reply on October 25th, 2011 9:38 am:

    I was quoting Skippy, in response to his claim that no one had argued that those were my motives.

    Reply

    skippy reply on October 25th, 2011 11:19 am:

    I understood what you meant this time.

    But at that point I believed we were arguing economics rather than actual healthcare. (Has healthcare, can’t find a better job or he could lose it)

  21. kat Says:

    For the record, I would like to add one more thing, this is especially in reference to certain people here who think that “the system” catches those who are in need. I worked in an Emergency Room for three years. During that time I saw alot of BS with health-care, I’d like to share a little of that now. Obviously this is just anecdotal, but I think it’s telling of how “the system” works.
    1) A woman is laid off from her job, she is six months pregnant. She doesn’t qualify for Medicaid because the state uses last years tax return, which would indicate that she makes/has too much money. She cannot afford COBRA. Her child is born several weeks early via C-Section, she and her family end up losing their house and their car to cover the medical bills.
    2) Second pregnant woman (a coworker of mine) has insurance, as well as being covered under her husbands policy (double coverage), her son is born six weeks early requiring extensive treatment and several surgeries. Even with two insurance companies covering her son they have nearly $100,000 in medical debt.
    3) Single male in his twenties has a bicycle accident, he has no insurance from his job and doesn’t qualify for Medicaid. His arm is broken in several places, but he cannot afford surgery to fix it. Due to nerve and tissue damage he ends up losing most of the functionality of the arm and hand, thus limiting his ability to work. At 30, he is declared legally disabled and begins recieving SSI.
    4) An Iraq veteren who was in a Humvee accident and now cannot even qualify for private insurance. The VA will not cover his injuries because they occured in training, not in combat and private insurance won’t cover him because of his pre-existing condition.
    5) A woman, whose cancer had been in remission, is found to have a cancerous lump in her chest. Her insurance company drops her, rather than pay for her treatment. Rather than subject her family to the crushing financial burden of paying for chemo, radiation and surgery with no insurance, she commits suicide

    I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. “The system” doesn’t work, there are far too many holes in it. Granted, some of these holes are now closing, but not enough. I cannot tell you how many uninsured children I have seen, or how many people with chronic illnesses that “the system” is supposed to cover but doesn’t. Speaking as someone who’s seen it from the inside, it’s broke.

    Reply

  22. Jeremey Says:

    Screw it, turn health care over to WalMart, they make everything anyways

    Reply

  23. Doogie Says:

    Somewhere upthread someone noted how “the people who have access to government/public healthcare seem to argue the strongest against “universal healthcare.” There are probably two basic reasons for this, which are related to each other:

    1) WalMart cannot continue its operational success on $1 US any better than US public healthcare can continue/improve its operational success on its existing equity.

    2) Those with guaranteed access to public health services do not wish to see any decrease in the questionable quality of those services.

    Has anyone heard about how many days the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (not including state and municipals) can run if they tax 100% on 100% of all millionaires in the USA? Less than a year. Not to mention… that’s a one-time tax, since they will no longer be millionaires. So, who’s next? The six-figure people? OK. So, we tax 100% of them (the “small businesses” and company “management.”) The average household income in the US is currently below $50,000; even before we get rid of all the millionaires. That tells me that we have many more people living near or under the average than over it, so we’ll soon run out of six-figure incomes, since their bosses will have already lost their wealth. Meanwhile, let’s say that taxes from all those six-figure incomes will run the country at least as long as the money from the millionaires and billionaires, so the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT can continue to operate for another year. Meanwhile, where is the money to run state and municipal services (e.g., healthcare, etc.)? Where does the taxation/re-distribution end?

    Healthcare is a community concern. That’s where it needs to be handled. Just like some states are richer than others, so they need less federal subsidies for roads, so should we consider healthcare. It’s a local issue. If a person dies for lack of adequate healthcare in some state not remotely near me, it doesn’t affect my community. But, it’s a tragedy there, and the community will decide how best to deal with it. State rights outweigh federal government rights, always have and always will. The problem with the current healthcare system lies in some court decision that restricted health insurance companies from providing the same level of health care insurance in two adjacent states, which allowed them to charge different premiums in the two states. If we removed this restriction, then comparable health care coverage could be provided in both states at “locally competitive” premium rates, similar to the way WalMart operates very effectively. The way the court could have (and should have) enforced states’ rights was to FORBID federal involvement in health care, except to the extent that the federal government can subsidize state health care with specific stipulations on how federal funds are to be used (e.g., to treat the indigent only, etc.)

    By the way, our LAGGING public education system suffers the same problem. Get the federal government (and ALL public employee unions) out of the way, and let the states and municipals deal with this issue, again allowing only for federal involvement where federal funds are involved.

    Am I suggesting that local and state taxes would necessarily increase, due to the loss of federal income tax subsidies? Probably. But, I’d feel a hell of a lot better paying higher taxes for things that I can see the results of more than the sorry state of affairs the federal bureaucracy has run our country into. That’s the problem. Do federal agencies get the job done? For the most part, yes. Do they efficiently use the money from the taxes paid by hard-working Americans? Umm, no. When I was a brand-new Private in the Army, I saw these “conserve engergy. Turn off the lights.” stickers on the walls in my barracks room. I thought, “F-T-A. What do I care if the Army has a high energy bill?” Of course, I was too young and ignorant to understand that I was wasting taxpayer money by not turning off the lights. I didn’t care, and neither do A LOT of federal employees, because “there are no (VISIBLE) victims.” You’ll notice that the workers who understand consequences are much better with their customers. If the taxes paid to the federal govt that fund these inefficient organizations that handle problems that are better solved locally were paid directly to local, state and municipal governments, they could be used more efficiently to service the needs of “Ms. Dubeque, who lives two houses down on the right from me” (so I better not screw her over and tie her up in red tape, since I have to see her every day). You get the idea.

    Government was created to prevent the crooks from stealing from the hard workers, not to replace them.

    I am a Soldier. I am a Conservative Republican. I am the Tea Party. I don’t trust federal politicians with my money, and neither should you.

    Reply

  24. sonria Says:

    I think I love you. :)

    Nope, not spam. I just hadn’t yet found such a succinct way of putting this until I ran across this post (which I found via a suggestion to run a Google search on Skippy’s list).

    Reply

  25. Ilgattomorte Says:

    I know this is an old post, but it’s new to me and I just have to say after reading your post:

    Dude, you’re a Liberal!

    It’s not a statement of condemnation or congratulations, it’s just that our politics have moved so far to the right that any position that’s steeped in common sense or fairness is now branded “Liberal”.

    So, enjoy and rejoice! You are a Liberal!

    Reply

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