re: blog from Everwas #86

What should I be voting for?

Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby MadCat on Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:27 am

I'm not really trying to continue the tangent; I just can't resist the urge to vent my frustration at the current state of our government again. I'm pretty sure we're all in agreement that it needs some kind of work, even if we differ on the details. :P

David Yun wrote: ...there are many programs to try to cover the costs for low income/uninsured individuals. Not to mention the rigorous ethics that medical professionals (not the industry at large, of course) adhere to.


Yeah, and those programs are sooo helpful. If you go in there with no job, no income, and about $100 in the bank, they look at your $18k+ bill and say "oh, okay, we'll take off ten percent." then hound you several times a day with collection calls. Joy. Apparently hospitals think you can pull money out of thin air to give them. (sorry, frustrated sarcasm here.)

David Yun wrote:Man, it's easy to blame government and corporations, but the responsibility lies with all of us. This thread kicked off on the topic of our current financial crisis - you can blame corporate greed, but that's a facile, or at least incomplete, position. Sure I feel bad for families who lost their homes, but they should have BOUGHT HOMES THAT THEY COULD AFFORD in the first place.


Yeah, but that's a small number compared to all the people who bought houses they COULD afford -- and subsequently lost their jobs when the economy tanked, so now they can't afford it anymore, and they're out on the street while the corporations give themselves bonuses. I agree that it's not a complete examination of the situation, but it's hard to listen to CEOs complain that they can't live on five hundred-thousand dollars a year when I'd be happy just to make five thousand.

David Yun wrote: If you're flat out penniless, that's a rough situation - I've been there myself growing up. But for the vast bulk of us, all we'd have to do is buy less DVDs, eat out less, whatever in order to scrape up the premium for basic medical coverage.


I'm not completely penniless. I have quite a few pennies and assorted change. Heck, I bet if I scraped it all together I'd have almost five whole dollars! Yay! :D

Seriously though, there's no way I can afford any kind of medical coverage right now. :( Or dental, which sucks because I have one broken tooth, one filling that came out leaving a hole, and a cavity or two that are becoming painful, and can't afford to go to the dentist. :(
(Man, I hate dentists... it feels seriously weird actually wanting to go. lol)

David Yun wrote: But seeing as how we're terrible with this sort of responsibility, I suppose we have reached the point where we need to give up some of our freedoms and allow the government to step in and care for us. Bleh.


I don't see how we're losing freedoms here. I think it's the responsibility of a society to care for the health and well-being of its members, and if the easiest way to do that is through a national medical system, then I'm for it. I'd really rather see a national system that everyone can actually afford (and basic care is free) than the hideously expensive health care system we have now.

(Though in my more idealistic moments, I think I'd like to see a private, nation-wide health care organization created, so that instead of the government, it's the people caring for each other. I know, I'm such a naive utopian sometimes.:P )

Like Mike said earlier, "It's important to have capitalist ideals along with some socialist ones, imo. There ARE balances that can be made." If we balance the good parts of capitalism and socialism, take from each system what it does best, I think we could create a system where everyone is cared for - and everyone still has the opportunity to earn more for themselves as well.

I'd love to see the people of the country come together and create it for themselves, instead of relying on the government to do it. I think if greed could be removed from the equation, people could really help each other, and everyone in the country would have the basic necessities of life.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby David Yun on Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:21 pm

MadCat wrote:Yeah, and those programs are sooo helpful. If you go in there with no job, no income, and about $100 in the bank, they look at your $18k+ bill and say "oh, okay, we'll take off ten percent." then hound you several times a day with collection calls. Joy. Apparently hospitals think you can pull money out of thin air to give them. (sorry, frustrated sarcasm here.)


That's the hospital - what else are they supposed to do? They have to at least attempt to collect as much as they can in order to stay afloat. Just ignore the collections and do what you have to do. Like you say, if you have no income and no assets, it's impossible for them to collect blood from a rock. I was referring to stuff like this. None of those does much on their own, but there's always hope for those willing to vigorously pursue every available option.

MadCat wrote:Yeah, but that's a small number compared to all the people who bought houses they COULD afford -- and subsequently lost their jobs when the economy tanked, so now they can't afford it anymore, and they're out on the street while the corporations give themselves bonuses. I agree that it's not a complete examination of the situation, but it's hard to listen to CEOs complain that they can't live on five hundred-thousand dollars a year when I'd be happy just to make five thousand.


No really, it's not a small number. A ridiculous number of Americans did this. It's what specifically precipitated this crisis, and caused banks to fold. You've got the cause and effect reversed here. As for CEOs, if they do their job, I'm cool with whatever they make. If they do a good job, creating wealth for their stockholders and employees, generating jobs and revenue, good on them. They should be paid commensurate to their job performance. I simply think the ones who failed to live up to their responsibilities ought to be out of a job instead of, yeah, whining about a potential salary cap.

MadCat wrote:I'm not completely penniless. I have quite a few pennies and assorted change. Heck, I bet if I scraped it all together I'd have almost five whole dollars! Yay! :D

Seriously though, there's no way I can afford any kind of medical coverage right now. :( Or dental, which sucks because I have one broken tooth, one filling that came out leaving a hole, and a cavity or two that are becoming painful, and can't afford to go to the dentist. :(
(Man, I hate dentists... it feels seriously weird actually wanting to go. lol)


Sorry :( I know you're having a rough time atm. But most people have options to at least pursue: COBRA, Medicaid, Workers Comp, High Risk Pools, etc. Going back to my point about fiscally irresponsible Americans, these problems have been a long time coming. Failing to live within our means and racking up reams of unnecessary high-interest debt prevents us from taking care of ourselves. It's like we're treating the government like mom or dad to bail us out now.

MadCat wrote:I don't see how we're losing freedoms here. I think it's the responsibility of a society to care for the health and well-being of its members, and if the easiest way to do that is through a national medical system, then I'm for it. I'd really rather see a national system that everyone can actually afford (and basic care is free) than the hideously expensive health care system we have now.


Well sure, it's losing freedoms. Economic freedom is absolutely a vital facet of political freedom. If I'm able to afford coverage on my own, and more to the point, CHOOSE which coverage is right for me, that's the ideal situation. For the government to forcibly take my funds and apply them to a compulsory system, which in all likelihood would provide less comprehensive coverage for my family, is an erosion of specific freedoms.

Don't get me wrong - I already conceded the need for government intervention. Like I said, if we can't take care of ourselves, our elected officials have to do it for us (geez, how much confidence do you have in that>?). I just don't have to like it. Just like how I don't like paying exorbitant taxes into the Social Security system, which in all likeliness won't be around for me when it's time to collect.

MadCat wrote:Like Mike said earlier, "It's important to have capitalist ideals along with some socialist ones, imo. There ARE balances that can be made." If we balance the good parts of capitalism and socialism, take from each system what it does best, I think we could create a system where everyone is cared for - and everyone still has the opportunity to earn more for themselves as well.


I disagree in principle, if not in practice. If we had exceptional legislators, only a bare minimum of socialist programs would actually be necessary. Proper regulatory bodies are required to keep unsavory individuals and groups from abusing our financial system, really, much like a cancer. I view socialist agendas as extreme measures akin to chemotherapy or surgery. Necessary, but not preferable. Each such measure chips away at our economic freedom, as I previously asserted.

MadCat wrote:I'd love to see the people of the country come together and create it for themselves, instead of relying on the government to do it. I think if greed could be removed from the equation, people could really help each other, and everyone in the country would have the basic necessities of life.


Well, a government IS "the people of the country com[ing] together and creat[ing] it for themselves. Something on that scale, like all public works, is only possible through massive organization and is clearly the domain of the government, not private enterprise. (Geez, can you imagine how quickly unscrupulous bandits would milk that organization?)

Unfortunately, greed is absolutely a fundamental part of the equation. It's an inherent quality of the human condition. I'd be all for the sort of system you're espousing, if it were even remotely possible.

And to return to the bigger picture, it's not that I even decry socialism; it's just that it wouldn't work here. We need an aggressive system to generate the funds to do all that we do. We don't have the luxury that simpler countries (not an insult! I'm genuinely envious of nations that find that equilibrium) can engage in. You'll notice that the economies of socialist nations tank in response to ours. They benefit from the generation of wealth that the U.S. leads. This is pure conjecture on my part, but I'm trying to envision forcibly applying 100% socialist ideals on America. Worst case scenario; it fails, the nation goes bankrupt, and the international community slips into a dark ages the likes of which are unthinkable today.

Blargh - maybe this is all moot anyway. With a national debt of almost ($11 TRILLION) and growing, we might hit global bankruptcy anyway.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby Zokrah on Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:11 pm

Mike wrote:Yeah, I just like going extreme! I'm not big on full blown socialism, but I damn well do think we need health care for everybody. Now, that doesn't mean people can't go out and get private insurance/etc, if they want things done faster, but it means we all have basic coverage.

I like England's method. No taxes on normal run of the mill crap. Oh, you want an XBox? 20%, bitch. Luxury taxes are something I always thought were a good idea. Yeah, I'd have less stuff, so be it. That kinda crap generates a lot of revenue that can be used. Nobody loses anything from their paychecks... and really... if people want to go nuts over "omg I can't buy an uber T.V. without paying tax"... Whatever.


I'm sorry, I have to stop you right there. Do you know what the VAT is? Holy fuck do the English tax the living bejesus out of you. I want to go to a pub and buy a beer, never mind the shitty exchange rate... that's another rant. Anyways, they charge you VAT. That's usually around 15% on top of whatever you consume, not 'an uber T.V.' Frankly, I'm glad the military has established a VAT office for us on base... IE, we bring them the pounds equivalent in cash, they write us a check, and provide the amount in VAT, so we don't have to pay it. Thank god for capitalism. And while it's fun to speculate on the many wonders of socialism, living in a country that does work on that system, I see it's many downsides.

Also, the national health care system. It's awesome, but it has it's downsides. You pay for all the meds. Not the doctors, or the consults, etc etc. But you pay for everything you CONSUME. And trust me, you don't get served any faster with the national health care system... it takes just as long in the emergency room at a National Health Service (NHS) as at an American one. And frankly, I'd happily take an American hospital where my money WILL go father... people actually are motivated by your money. The NHS is a fucking joke. I'm sorry, but there it is. Period Dot. NHS is a fucking farce. Case in point, my supervisors dad, wanted to get his father in law heart bypass. Average waiting time for an appointment in the NHS, is weeks, if not months. For their situation, it was 6 to 12 months. 6 to 12 months for a heart bypass surgery. They said fuck it to the NHS, went private practice and were seen and patched up by the SAME DOCTOR the NHS would have recommended in less than 3 weeks. Now that's a life threatening surgery. The NHS only really works for ER Room situations or A&E as they call it here. You're going to have a bit of a wait, but that goes for ANY ER room really. But back to the money thing... If they want it, they will improve their quality of work, and quality of product to get that money.

Perfect example: The British Empire has a nationalized phone system. Called BT. Oh BT, the bane of my existence. Ok, here's the scoop with this great idea -_- . The nation controls the phones. They don't HAVE to give you a line, nor internet. But you CAN'T get a phone or internet UNLESS you get a line with BT. THUS, if I want a phone to call back to the states to talk to family and friends, you HAVE to get a line with BT. And honestly, they aren't very good. The average install time takes around 1-2 months. Please re-read that in case you glanced over that part. One to two months. Now, all the while you've already paid them 250 GBP for the install.

Thanks, that's 500 dollars out the door, and no word as to when I'll get my phone? Great. Fucking great. THEN, you have to open a phone line with them, agree to a maximum bandwidth allowance, (if you want internet). THEN you either pick a plan with BT or you can go to another company for the internet that they LEASE through BT. I've got internet with Virgin Media, but remember, they're on LEASING the speed/space, etc from BT, so really, I'm paying Bob, so he can pay Peter. When I have a problem, Virgin goes "well we'll try and contact BT and have a rep come out. Are you free in a month or so?" Great fucking service there. Oh and the TV tax. Holy fuck. The TV tax is done so you can have commercial free viewing. BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! You don't actually ever really want to watch the BBC stations that have the commercial free viewing. You want to watch everything else that has commercials, because they run the shows you WANT to see, and the events you WANT to see. There's money in that. But nope, to view your TV, get cable or whatever, you have to pay a TV tax. Fuck that.

Now let’s talk about their obsession with watching their citizens. The average British citizen, in the course of driving from their home, to their work and back home, is seen on CCTV no less than 300 times. No. Less. Than. 300. Times. Did you read that right? Oh my god. 300 times a DAY?! And you whine bitch and complain when someone wants to listen to phones to try and catch terrorists? Holy fuck. Here's a tip kids. Check out executive order 12333. Read it, learn it, love it. And then stop with your fucking paranoia.

Sorry I know you're having a rough time atm. But most people have options to at least pursue: COBRA, Medicaid, Workers Comp, High Risk Pools, etc. Going back to my point about fiscally irresponsible Americans, these problems have been a long time coming. Failing to live within our means and racking up reams of unnecessary high-interest debt prevents us from taking care of ourselves. It's like we're treating the government like mom or dad to bail us out now.


I really agree with that. My parents own their home, and have really no debt to speak of, yet they're being asked to fork out lots of money because they played their paychecks smart, invested, as did my grandparents, to solve other people's problems. It's funny how this works usually. Most of the people who want help are those who have usually done something wrong, or maybe not, a victim of circumstance, but when it's time for those who received help to return the favor, omg. It's like the second coming of Christ. It'll be a cold day in hell before most of them want to hit the streets protesting to encourage others to help bail them out. Hypocritical. But that's society I suppose.

No, I don't have a better solution than what's being presented, because I do not see all the angles that are out there. It'd be naive of me to assume such a thing anyways. No, my biggest suggestion if I could give one, would be let’s take our time and revise this bill, and focus on what the governors are saying and the state reps are saying try and come to a compromise. The Republican's aren't trying to end his campaign, they just want a revision. To rush such an important decision to our nation's future is stupid to say the least.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby David Yun on Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:16 am

I suppose this thread is reasonably dead now, but thank you to everyone who participated. These are the sort of discussions I'm hoping to see more of in our forums.

I'd like to wrap up my own perspective by explaining that I'm a strong advocate of personal freedoms and responsibilities, and that I hope I've clearly explained my point that enacting major policy shifts results in significant consequences - and to assume that they will all be positive is naive. We take what we have for granted, and I feel that the "gotta have it now" attitude of our generation is a betrayal of the steadfastness of our forefathers. Anything worthwhile costs something, and we have to be ready to pay for it. Zokrah's post reflects some of the realities of relinquishing personal responsibility in exchange for governmental supervision.

Between this post and the last, our President's proposed budget came to light. It would add OVER TWO TRILLION DOLLARS to our debt, and that's just for the one year. My grandchildren will still be shouldering that burden. I find this thoroughly irresponsible. A significant chunk of that is earmarked for the "down payment" for universal health care, so we may actually get to see what we've been hypothetically talking about. I do approve of the fact that he's pushing to ease the tax burden on the middle class, and set the slider higher for the wealthy.

What I find interesting is that he knows just how dire this sort of spending can be. He clearly believes that once our economy is jump started, we can recoup the deficit with nominal taxation on a healthy economy. This feels like "doubling down" to me, and I pray we win. I just find it interesting that he believes so strongly in capitalism, that he expects it to be able to pay for increased socialism.

(Edit: American capitalism did this!)
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby Mike on Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:08 pm

[quote="David Yun"

(Edit: American capitalism did this!)[/quote]

American capitalism also allows companies like Eli Lily to fuck us in the ass continually.
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Re: re: blog from Everwas #86

Postby David Yun on Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:33 am

Getting fucked in the ass is a matter of participating in the human race, not capitalism in particular ;)
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