-=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- (c) WidthPadding Industries 1987 0|531|0 -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=- -=+=-
SoCoder -> Link Home -> Misc


 
Afr0
Created : 21 March 2010
 

Healthcare bill passed

Go-bama!

https://www.thestreet.com/story/10707476/1/health-care-bill-passes-house-in-219-212-vote.html
Millions of prayers and hopes and dreams answered.
A historic moment for the US.

 

Comments


Monday, 22 March 2010, 00:40
spinal
I notice they complain about increasing medical costs in the US, well... they only have private healthcare and drug companies to blame for that. If they actually made healthcare a priority of their healthcare system and not profit, there would be no problem. Plenty of other countries manage to keep medical costs down.
Monday, 22 March 2010, 02:26
Stealth
I believe there are certain things Americans need. Food, water, shelter, and healthcare to name a few. They are essential to life. Ideally, the free market should provide these services and the cost should be kept low by competition. The government shouldn't interfere with the economy.

Sometimes, the free market fails to provide things that Americans need at a reasonable cost. Healthcare is one of those. In these cases, I believe the government should step in and provide where there is a need.

I just hate when the government has to take something over, because they are horribly inefficient at everything they do. Our postal system is government ran and they are running themselves into serious debt. Social security is going to become bankrupt in the next ten years. It's the same story every time.

Obviously the government has to provide here, but I wish we had a better government. One that doesn't cram in all this "fluff" into our healthcare bill for completely unrelated things like the government takeover of student loans. Congress is selfish and completely irresponsible with money. There are one too many idiots in congress who don't understand their actions have severe consequences. Our $12.5 trillion dollar debt (9.2 trillion euros) is enough evidence that they've lost their fucking minds.

Government healthcare in America is going to be poor and expensive, not because it has to be, but because our government is so wasteful. They really need to get their act together.
Monday, 22 March 2010, 04:33
Jayenkai
It's the same story everywhere, Government do tend to fuck things up.. but I think, of all the government run initiatives, Healthcare is probably the top of the list. It amazes me that the US hasn't had this!
For a Doctor to turn a patient away due to their monetary circumstances? That just seems really really wrong..

Hopefully the US will be looking at all angles, and might even come up with a much better solution to the whole thing.
Monday, 22 March 2010, 05:10
Afr0

I just hate when the government has to take something over, because they are horribly inefficient at everything they do. Our postal system is government ran and they are running themselves into serious debt. Social security is going to become bankrupt in the next ten years. It's the same story every time.


The postal system is running into serious debt because everyone's switching to using the internet and because it has to compete with FedEx. Government works best when it doesn't have to compete with a private sector, which is why there shouldn't be any private sectors.
As for social security, that's an expense post on the government's list of things to pay for. It isn't a business.
That said, I don't neccessarily understand why the new bill will force those who don't have health insurance into getting it (even if they will get social help if they can't afford it). But it did incorporate pretty much everything that the Republicans wanted it to have (like making sure abortion wasn't covered by the new bill)... and they still voted it down.
Monday, 22 March 2010, 06:28
JL235
Postal services are still highly popular. The problem is with the business models. They are still typically built around the idea of mainly delivering letters, when more and more of the delivered post around the world is becomming parcels.
Monday, 22 March 2010, 12:22
JL235
This also doesn't seem to go far enough as I can see. I can walk into any hospital in the UK and get treated for free. No fees, no insurance.

Health care is an emergency service, as important as police and fire services. So why should two of those be free but not health care?
Monday, 22 March 2010, 13:02
Stealth
Afr0 The postal system is running into serious debt because everyone's switching to using the internet and because it has to compete with FedEx.


The government has run the postal system in to debt because they fail to innovate and they fail to be more efficient. Theres an crazy overhead cost to run the post office. They are also really slow when compared to UPS. And to make matters worst, taxpayer money goes toward the post office to make it "seem" cheaper. It's completely unfair to competing companies.

Afr0 Government works best when it doesn't have to compete with a private sector, which is why there shouldn't be any private sectors.


This is socialism. We are not socialist. Plus our government would totally screw that up. Competition is the reason we produce such great products like computers, cars, etc. Giving that to the government is a horrible idea.

Afr0 As for social security, that's an expense post on the government's list of things to pay for. It isn't a business.


This isn't a business, but it goes to show how poorly managed the system is. The way this should work is that for your entire life you put money in to social security, and the government acts like a savings account. But the government doesn't have a huge pool of money like they are suppose to. They are using what Americans are paying today and redistributing it immediately back to the seniors. It's going to fall apart now because theres a huge wave of senior citizens (baby boomers) getting ready to retire.

Afr0 But it did incorporate pretty much everything that the Republicans wanted it to have (like making sure abortion wasn't covered by the new bill)... and they still voted it down


Actually, abortion is paid for in the new bill for any woman who wants it. They shut out the Republicans from this bill and they also have been very rude about it. I was watching the house debate the healthcare bill last night and the Democrats were constant interrupting and being completely out of line when the Republicans spoke.

JL235 Health care is an emergency service, as important as police and fire services. So why should two of those be free but not health care?


It makes sense that healthcare should be free. We would just go bankrupt providing it right now and it's not feasible. We pay for so many things that other countries don't like huge militaries, space programs, etc and it doesn't leave much room for other important things. Our government is flawed from the ground up and it's really hard to fix it now.
Monday, 22 March 2010, 14:13
JL235
Afr0 Government works best when it doesn't have to compete with a private sector, which is why there shouldn't be any private sectors.
There are tonnes of examples around the world that prove this wrong. China and Vietnam are too prime examples where a few decades ago they started to make pro-capitalist changes to their economies and as a result have a booming economy right now. Communism held them back.
Monday, 22 March 2010, 14:52
HoboBen
Well, if you want to go off on this tangent DD, communist Russia had an incredibly efficient economy at the start (something like production x100, IIRC) and Nazi Germany, another (essentially) "state owned" economy, was powerful during WWII because every factory could produce the weaponry they needed, wheras in capitalist britain it may have been more profitable for factories to produce bookshelves.

But that's waaay off topic... I'm glad something good is finally happening to the sorry state of American health care and hopefully this is only the beginning.
Monday, 22 March 2010, 15:12
Phoenix
Who knows how long it would've taken for the health care reform to be implemented had it been postponed? It is costly. It's alien to American tradition. But it's an absolutely vital part of a modern society.

Continuing the OT: Full-scale socialism has been successful in the past, but at the cost of miserable living standards and losses of workers' rights.
Monday, 22 March 2010, 16:14
HoboBen
Going off topic on the off topic... I would argue that we've never seen genuine socialism in practice anyway.
Monday, 22 March 2010, 17:08
Stealth
North Korea is pretty much socialism economy wise.
Monday, 22 March 2010, 17:20
Afr0
Actually, abortion is paid for in the new bill for any woman who wants it. They shut out the Republicans from this bill and they also have been very rude about it.


When did this happen? Is NY times incorrect?

'After a year of combat and weeks of legislative brinksmanship, House Democrats and the White House clinched their victory only hours before the voting started on Sunday. They agreed to a deal with opponents of abortion rights within their party to reiterate in an executive order that federal money provided by the bill could not be used for abortions, securing for Democrats the final handful of votes they needed to assure passage.'

Linky

I've read about that executive order previously today, but I actually took some time locating that article. Anyways, I actually find it strange if that executive order wasn't followed.

This is socialism. We are not socialist. Plus our government would totally screw that up. Competition is the reason we produce such great products like computers, cars, etc. Giving that to the government is a horrible idea.


I was suggesting/proposing an ideal society, as an answer to your claims about the government not being able to run things properly. Unfortunately, the US is far from an ideal society and probably never will be.
How can you argue the government would screw up if they've always had to compete with private businesses?

The government has run the postal system in to debt because they fail to innovate and they fail to be more efficient. Theres an crazy overhead cost to run the post office. They are also really slow when compared to UPS. And to make matters worst, taxpayer money goes toward the post office to make it "seem" cheaper. It's completely unfair to competing companies.


Please be more specific. As far as I'm aware, the national budget of the US is currently trillions of dollars in debt. Isn't the postal budget included into this? Is it run on a separate budget? Can you cite any studies proving that mail and packages sent by the regular post system is any slower than UPS? And UPS is probably more expensive.
How do you know which percentage of what tax money is spent on the (national) post budget? Going by standard Republican and/or right-wing logic, it would only make sense for the government post service to be cheaper! You get what you pay for!

It makes sense that healthcare should be free. We would just go bankrupt providing it right now and it's not feasible. We pay for so many things that other countries don't like huge militaries, space programs, etc and it doesn't leave much room for other important things. Our government is flawed from the ground up and it's really hard to fix it now.


I actually agree with you on this. At least partially. Obama should have pulled the plug on Iraq and Afghanistan the moment he entered the oval office.

They are using what Americans are paying today and redistributing it immediately back to the seniors.


Which is how it should be. Retirement should be paid for by the government, not by private insurance companies.
However, I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at. I was under the impression that (most?) people in the US had their pensions paid for by private insurance companies and not the government? When did the government start taking over?
Monday, 22 March 2010, 17:32
9572AD
"I'm glad something good is finally happening to the sorry state of American health care and hopefully this is only the beginning."

Well, something is happening. Whether it's good and whether I'll be glad of it are yet to be seen. I don't hold out much hope for either, honestly.
Monday, 22 March 2010, 21:45
Stealth
Afr0 When did this happen? Is NY times incorrect?


This has since changed since I made the post. The health care bill has a section which allows this but Obama has made an executive order to block this.

Afr0 How can you argue the government would screw up if they've always had to compete with private businesses?


Our government runs many programs and they are all bloated and inefficient. It doesn't take much time to realize that the government is horrible at doing things in an efficient manner.

Afr0 Please be more specific. As far as I'm aware, the national budget of the US is currently trillions of dollars in debt. Isn't the postal budget included into this? Is it run on a separate budget? Can you cite any studies proving that mail and packages sent by the regular post system is any slower than UPS? And UPS is probably more expensive.

How do you know which percentage of what tax money is spent on the (national) post budget? Going by standard Republican and/or right-wing logic, it would only make sense for the government post service to be cheaper! You get what you pay for!


We do run separate budgets. The national treasury handles all the money in the United States (they are the ones who have the authority to create money). They give it out to all the different sectors of the government.

The postal service is certainly going in to debt. UPS is far faster and more superior to USPS. I've used both services and I can receive a packing in 3 days with UPS vs a package in 7 - 14 days with USPS. Packages are also cheaper to ship. The only thing the USPS excels at is sending basic letters. I live in the United States Afr0, I'm very aware of shipping times. If you don't believe me, Google it.

Afr0 I actually agree with you on this. At least partially. Obama should have pulled the plug on Iraq and Afghanistan the moment he entered the oval office.


We've already gotten ourselves in to this war and immediately pulling out would cause a complete mess. Terrorist organizations would flood Iraq and take everything over. We saw this happen when we pulled out of Afghanistan. Obama did the right thing and asked the commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan how long it would take to responsibly remove ourselves from these countries and they gave a timeframe. We're busy keeping terrorists at bay and rebuilding Iraq. We'll pull out once we've finished our duties which the commanders said would take about a year.

Afr0 Which is how it should be. Retirement should be paid for by the government, not by private insurance companies. However, I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at. I was under the impression that (most?) people in the US had their pensions paid for by private insurance companies and not the government? When did the government start taking over?


Private insurance companies don't fund retirement. Our retirement in the United States is handled by Social Security and any money Americans have saved for themselves. They started this program in 1935 (more information).
Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 00:56
spinal
Which is how it should be. Retirement should be paid for by the government, not by private insurance companies. However, I'm not entirely sure what you're getting at. I was under the impression that (most?) people in the US had their pensions paid for by private insurance companies and not the government? When did the government start taking over?


The problem is (I assume the same thing is happening here in the UK also) that current pensions are paid for by current taxes, rather than the taxes paid by those pensioners many years ago. The money doesn't get saved anywhere, so, for example, there are now many more people coming to retirement age than there are people paying their national insurance tax. Because the birth rate has gone down as these old guys were born, well say that my tax money doesn't go to a single pensioner, but to two or three. If it had been some sort of savings scheme, then my tax money would have went to me eventually and there would have been enough to go around, but currently there is more coming out than is going in. I apologise if I went on a bit there without saying much.

Also I dislike the way pensions work (private ones) as you have to pay tax on any money you put into them and then as a nice kick in the teeth, you have to pay tax on receiving the money back when you retire. Thats 2x the tax
Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 04:22
Afr0

Private insurance companies don't fund retirement. Our retirement in the United States is handled by Social Security and any money Americans have saved for themselves. They started this program in 1935.


Well then, nothing wrong. Just because there are many pensioners now, doesn't mean you're not gonna get your share when you grow old.
Maybe taxes'll get raised, but so what? That is called solidarity. You pay taxes so that society can function and everyone can get their share.
When you get old some other people will be paying for your pension.


The postal service is certainly going in to debt. UPS is far faster and more superior to USPS. I've used both services and I can receive a packing in 3 days with UPS vs a package in 7 - 14 days with USPS. Packages are also cheaper to ship. The only thing the USPS excels at is sending basic letters. I live in the United States Afr0, I'm very aware of shipping times. If you don't believe me, Google it.


This doesn't really change my original point though. If UPS is faster and more efficient, more people are going to be using it. They earn more money, and they can afford to give their employees better salaries.
This would be the situation for the United States Postal Service if it didn't have any private companies to compete with. I find it impressive that they manage to excel at delivering letters despite the competition.
Our postal service is excellent (getting packages from the US takes a long time, but I usually blame it on the USPS), and it has noone to compete with.
I predict that if you removed the private competition in the US, the Postal Service would run with profit after a year or less!

spinal:

You pay taxes to fuel the society. It means that more pensioners can get more money, more roads can get fixed and you can get money when you retire.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 07:09
spinal
You pay taxes to fuel the society. It means that more pensioners can get more money, more roads can get fixed and you can get money when you retire.


It isn't really that simple though. Here in the UK the government, through a whole series of weird decisions, have made it possible to get more free money in the form of 'benefits' from the government that you can get from working a full time job at minimum wage. As a result there is no motivation at all for people to find work and as a result there is less tax money being collected. Coupled with the fact that there are more pensions to be paid out, the country as a whole is loosing money. Plus, pensions really don't pay that much anyway, so after paying taxes for 50+ years, you get ripped off by the government when you retire. They then have to give you extra help to pay your heating bills because your pension is not enough. And about the roads getting fixed.... they don't. What does happen is at the end of the tax year, the local council will re-patch a lump of road that has nothing wrong with it and leave the stretch of road about 50 meters away that is full of pot holes.

So to sum it all up, pensions can not survive on their state pensions currently and it is less likely that future pensioners will manage quite as well.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 12:59
Stealth
Afr0 This doesn't really change my original point though. If UPS is faster and more efficient, more people are going to be using it. They earn more money, and they can afford to give their employees better salaries.
This would be the situation for the United States Postal Service if it didn't have any private companies to compete with. I find it impressive that they manage to excel at delivering letters despite the competition.


If private companies can do it better than the government, then why on earth would we want to eliminate them? I would say that we should eliminate the governments role in postal services.

You take a very socialistic approach to everything Afr0.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 13:19
JL235
Afr0 This doesn't really change my original point though. If UPS is faster and more efficient, more people are going to be using it. They earn more money, and they can afford to give their employees better salaries.
This would be the situation for the United States Postal Service if it didn't have any private companies to compete with. I find it impressive that they manage to excel at delivering letters despite the competition.
You are suggesting the US removes the good and successful organisations (the private companies) because the bad and unsuccessful organisations (the publicly owned companies) offer too poor of a service to be able to compete.

Wouldn't improving the US post office be better option? Making the competitors worse doesn't improve anything. It would just lower the quality of life.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 13:49
Afr0
You are suggesting the US removes the good and successful organisations (the private companies) because the bad and unsuccessful organisations (the publicly owned companies) offer too poor of a service to be able to compete.

Wouldn't improving the US post office be better option? Making the competitors worse doesn't improve anything. It would just lower the quality of life.


I am suggesting the US postal service is doing bad because of the successful organizations, and that taking away those would improve the service as a whole.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 13:59
JL235
If the competitors were worse, then they wouldn't have been able to steal away customers (or at least not in the long term). Saying the competitors are too good is just a cop out.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 15:43
Afr0
Of course it's not a cop out..!
What is more effective?
Many people working for the government, or some for the government, some for Privately Run Business A and Privately Run Business B?
Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 15:47
JL235
If I'm sending a package I want it delivered in the least amount of time, at the lowest cost and with the least likelyhood of it receiving any damage. I don't care who's in charge of the service.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 15:47
Afr0
Going off topic on the off topic... I would argue that we've never seen genuine socialism in practice anyway.


Agreed!
Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 16:54
Stealth
A free economy thrives on competition. It pressures companies to innovate and be cheaper.

The consumer doesn't win when the government controls an entire industry because there is no pressure for the government to provide a better service or be cheaper. It's a horrible way to run an economy.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 17:37
HoboBen
While in a free market (still regulated by anti-monopoly laws - see how awful things are without them!), companies do usually try to offer a better service for customers when it's profitable (I say usually - have you ever been to a petrol station or seen an electricity bill!?), that's not the whole story.

A capitalist system optimises for profit for the company, not human benefit, so while the competition may lead to cheaper goods or better goods, it leads to lower wages, longer hours and poorer conditions for workers (see: "race to the bottom" and "reserve army of the unemployed"). Also worse environmental impact. (Even if you're not convinced by global warming, unregulated industry has devastating local environmental impact).

Yes, as a consumer (in a money-based economy) you might win, but as a worker or as a human you don't.

Politics and market economics aside, I agree with some of your point at the beginning of the thread though... Left-or-right leaning (or at least, relatively-left leaning!), politicians are doing a piss poor job either way.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 18:04
JL235
HoboBen While in a free market (still regulated by anti-monopoly laws - see how awful things are without them!), companies do usually try to offer a better service for customers when it's profitable (I say usually - have you ever been to a petrol station or seen an electricity bill!?), that's not the whole story.

A capitalist system optimises for profit for the company, not human benefit, so while the competition may lead to cheaper goods or better goods, it leads to lower wages, longer hours and poorer conditions for workers (see: "race to the bottom" and "reserve army of the unemployed"). Also worse environmental impact. (Even if you're not convinced by global warming, unregulated industry has devastating local environmental impact).

Yes, as a consumer (in a money-based economy) you might win, but as a worker or as a human you don't.

Actually lots of modern business theorists place taking advantage of human qualities (including taking care of employees and improving the quality of life of their employees both in and outside of the workplace) as corner stones of successful companies. That companies who do the inverse and simply see and use their employees as only a means to create profit (like machines rather then people) are not taking full advantage of their workforce, and so are at a disadvantage.

In many capitalist asian countries (such as Japan and Taiwan) it's also more common to join a company for life and have them take care of you (although I believe this was more prelevant over the last few decades then it is now).
Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 18:12
HoboBen
That's interesting. Makes sense as far as workplaces that require brain-work, e.g. tech companies, teaching or creative industries. But less so in more manual fields, e.g. places like McDonnalds or Chinese sweat-shops.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010, 19:57
JL235
HoboBen That's interesting. Makes sense as far as workplaces that require brain-work, e.g. tech companies, teaching or creative industries. But less so in more manual fields, e.g. places like McDonnalds or Chinese sweat-shops.
There are a lot of people who fall through the cracks in society, and for them McDonalds can be a great saviour. A place where they are taught to communicate with customers, required to work hard and improve themselves and then rewarded if they do.

I've heard of some US politicians who have made comments looking down on McDonalds jobs which have then backlashed against them. In Hong Kong I once walked into a McDonalds finding all of the staff lined up greeting me. If you try to throw your rubbish away they run over and take it off you, insisting that they do it for you (i.e. going that extra mile to help the customer).

I'm not dismissing your point, just the inclusion of McDonalds. Not everywhere looks down on their jobs as much as we do in the UK.
Wednesday, 24 March 2010, 00:42
spinal
A free economy thrives on competition. It pressures companies to innovate and be cheaper.

The consumer doesn't win when the government controls an entire industry because there is no pressure for the government to provide a better service or be cheaper. It's a horrible way to run an economy.


However, price fixing (rival companies banding together to agree on a minimum price for their product) is a real problem. It keeps prices high and quality low, which is something I suspect is happening with the drug companies currently. I may be wrong, but surely if there are as many companies producing drugs as in America, surely the prices should be rock bottom to compete with each other?
Wednesday, 24 March 2010, 01:16
Jayenkai
Speaking of cartels, bottles of PriceMarked 2ltr Coca-Cola have just skyrocketted up to £1.85.. And that's the cheap pricemarked ones...
Wednesday, 24 March 2010, 02:17
Stealth
spinal However, price fixing (rival companies banding together to agree on a minimum price for their product) is a real problem. It keeps prices high and quality low, which is something I suspect is happening with the drug companies currently.


This is where this comes in:

Stealth Sometimes, the free market fails to provide things that Americans need at a reasonable cost. Healthcare is one of those. In these cases, I believe the government should step in and provide where there is a need.


Also, in America it is illegal for companies to discuss profit or other business deals designed to imped free trade with each other.
Wednesday, 24 March 2010, 14:09
Phoenix
The consumer doesn't win when the government controls an entire industry because there is no pressure for the government to provide a better service or be cheaper. It's a horrible way to run an economy.

Why is it then that the US has one of the most (if not the most) expensive health care systems in the west? A state owned health care monopoly is probably cheaper than a privately run one. Private firms will almost always be profit maximizing, while a state owned one will optimize for revenue (i.e more output and lower price). R&D is not going to halt due to a lack of incentive, because there will still be one.

Socialism is bad in many areas. But I don't think this is one of them.

It keeps prices high and quality low, which is something I suspect is happening with the drug companies currently.

The medicine business is rotten to the core. It feeds on people's misery -- I mean, it's bound to be a dishonest industry. Curing people will cause it to make less money. What kind of an incentive is that for a profit-driven company? Also, whenever a new drug is invented it is patented i.e. monopolized.

Going off topic on the off topic... I would argue that we've never seen genuine socialism in practice anyway.
War communism in Soviet Russia 1918 is pretty much there.
Wednesday, 24 March 2010, 14:44
Stealth
Phoenix Why is it then that the US has one of the most (if not the most) expensive health care systems in the west?


These companies have all banded together are ignoring the rules of competition. Normally, this drives prices down but in this case the system is broke.
Wednesday, 24 March 2010, 15:00
JL235
But medical research and development is very expensive and very time consuming. On average it takes 10 years for a new medical treatment to go from idea to product, and most products get scrapped during development.

As much as they make huge profits, they also have huge overheads.
Friday, 26 March 2010, 06:30
Afr0
You take a very socialistic approach to everything Afr0.


You say that like it's an insult.
Today I received a package that I'd been waiting for for over a month. It was sent with standard USPS. It reminded me of something.
Are you absolutely sure that sending something with UPS is cheaper?
I'm thinking that must be letters, which would make sense, because, as you said yourself, USPS 'excels at mail delivery (basic letters)'.
If you go to eBay, you'll ALWAYS find that shipping a package with UPS Ground is more expensive than USPS delivery. It could have something to do with international regulations or whatever, but I doubt it.

Edit: Again - in a capitalist society, you get what you pay for.
Friday, 26 March 2010, 09:04
mindstorm8191
I want to touch on an earlier part of the discussion, about American government not doing anything. Yesterday I read an article, I think it was in Time Magazine, talking about what is wrong with the government system today. (This article was written, I believe, before the first healthcare bill failed.) Beginning around 1990, republicans began using a new strategy of filibustering to slow down government progress. Since the government isn't able to accomplish anything, public dissapointment with the government increases, and with that republicans can win elections.

I don't know about you, but cripling the government for the sole purpose of holding a seat in office is just wrong.
Friday, 26 March 2010, 10:41
Stealth
Afr0 You say that like it's an insult.


America hates socialism. Period.

The best part of a free market is that every morning when I wake up I know that if I give it everything, I can make it far. The beauty of a free market means that if I want to be rich then the opportunity is out there for me. Likewise, if I hate work and just want to slide by I can do that too. If I have a great new idea I can open a business and make money from it, and if I hate how crappy all the hamburger places are in my city I can do something about it. The free market empowers people to do things instead of limiting them.

Without a free market, modern technology would be non-existent. The computer would have never come to be, nor most things we love. Governments have little desire to innovate because they aren't fueled by the thought of being rich and successful. While greed is evil, money is what drives so many people to do great things. But we can see time and time again (China, North Korea, etc) that when you have a suppressive socialist government, your country struggles to move forward. Governments will never operate as fast and efficient as a company will.

Socialism is control. Controlling people is bullshit and I wont stand for it.


Afr0 Are you absolutely sure that sending something with UPS is cheaper?


Didn't you listen before when I said our government uses tax money to artificially make USPS seem cheaper? USPS does excel at smaller things but they are going in to serious debt and you can't do a lot of cool things like package tracking with USPS.

As for packages more than 10 pounds:

10 pounds: USPS = $25.05, UPS = $15.91
20 pounds: USPS = $34.40, UPS = $26.42
Friday, 26 March 2010, 11:00
JL235
I think this argument will win Afr0 over.

No capitalism no MMOs!

End of.
Friday, 26 March 2010, 11:01
Phoenix
Figures are of course bound to be slightly inaccurate, but I've seen numbers like 45 million people being without health care insurance and 45 thousand people dying every year as a consequence of it. No error margin can justify that. The society needs and is responsible for its citizens' well-being.
Friday, 26 March 2010, 20:53
9572AD
0.1% of those without health insurance die. Wow, sounds like a serious societal problem.

:rollseyessohardtheytwistoutofhead:
Saturday, 27 March 2010, 03:16
spinal
The point is that people are currently refused ANY medical treatment if they can not afford it.
People should not be left to die just because the have no money in one of the richest countries in the world.

Medical treatment should be a right, not a privilege.
Saturday, 27 March 2010, 04:30
mindstorm8191
Actually, doctors are required to help people and save their lives even if they have no insurance or money. But if you have no money or insurance, you're then left with thousands of dollars in medical bills, which you may never be able to pay off. Families with chronically ill childern may end up with millions in medical bills. Today's insurance only makes matters worse: they will refuse to pay for surgeries or treatment if they don't believe its necessary. Plus, it is the industry standard that they refuse clients for pre-existing conditions. So if you take your child to a doctor and he finds they have a life-threatening illness, you can forget about getting insurance to cover it. I think these practices has to stop, and I hope this new bill does that, though I don't know what all it involves.

I don't think the US is becoming a socialist nation, I think we're moving to a hybrid position between total socialist and total capitalist. See, before the government started stepping in to control businesses, working conditions were hellish. People had to work 20 hours a day, 7 days a week for pennies on the hour. Wording conditions were crazy as well, offering no heat, cooling or even lighting. If you died on the job, that was always your fault, and the company did nothing about it. I heard a story once that someone died on the job, doing serious damage to the machine he was working on. The company then billed his family for the machine's repairs. I think people hate socialism because thats what Russia had during the cold war. But because they were a fully socialist country, they failed. Since nobody had to work, they didn't work, and nothing ever got done. I think America is pushing to be between fully socialist and capitalist. Businesses are flexible enough to function and innovate, but must follow certain rules which forces companies to be fair for everyone. If there were no rules to basketball, there'd always be someone going home with broken bones... or, they'd be left dead on the court!

That's my two cents.
Saturday, 27 March 2010, 05:27
Phoenix
0.1% of those without health insurance die. Wow, sounds like a serious societal problem.

I take it then you'd be fine being part of that 0.1%? It's not about it being a major blow at the society; utilitarianism is an awful way of reasoning.
Saturday, 27 March 2010, 07:37
9572AD
My way of reasoning is that pretty much EVERYTHING has at least a 0.1% death rate, so this is not an issue.
Saturday, 27 March 2010, 10:23
JL235
One in a thousand people is actually quite high.

It's (slightly) higher then the number of people who die over the entire year in car accidents, in the US.
Saturday, 27 March 2010, 11:52
HoboBen
@mindstorm8191

You're a bit off on Russia... unemployment was virtually wiped out, actually. And production at one point was unparalleled (although due to a terrible bureaucracy they were often producing things for which there were no demand!). Not defending the regime though - plenty of other faults and Stalinism is closer to fascism than genuine socialism.

I think the reason most Americans instinctively hate the ideas of socialism and communinism is due to the two Red Scares / witch-hunts and obviously the Cold War. Like no other western country today, Americans are also strongly patriotic. Not to mention American news channels *suck*.

@9572AD
The bigger problem is the bills people would face afterwards. Also forgoing treatment that is too expensive.
Saturday, 27 March 2010, 11:56
JL235
Even though the poor could be treated when injured under the old system, people will try to avoid medical treatment because of the costs. This puts their health at risk.
Saturday, 27 March 2010, 16:03
Afr0
You're a bit off on Russia... unemployment was virtually wiped out, actually. And production at one point was unparalleled


Not to mention that the number of people who could read and write was increased drastically under Stalin.

America hates socialism. Period.


No it doesn't! There is the Communist Party with some 15,000 members, the Socialist Party with between 1000 and 3000 members, and even the Social Democrats USA Party (though I'm not sure how many members it has).
There was also the Socialist Party of Washington, but it was dissolved all too early in 1972.

I'm in a hotelroom right now on a tiny Asus, and don't have time to look into eBay shipping rates. I'll do it when I get home.
Saturday, 27 March 2010, 16:10
Jayenkai
I'm sure there's equivilant numbers of devotion towards the KKK, too, but I wouldn't call that "not hating" something!

As much as the US is kicking up a stink about this, the point has already been made.
They've FINALLY got a healthcare system in place.
For those who want to continue to pay, there'll be private care, too.

End of.

Also, and I think I'm going to lock this topic soon. Never been one for "Political" stuff, here, but this is kindof a really big topic, so I've let it live a wee bit. Give it another day or two, unless I have reason to close it earlier.
Saturday, 27 March 2010, 16:17
JL235
I don't get why you want to lock the topic. It hasn't decended into insults or personal attacks. I think this is one of the few times we've had a long, fast, indepth debate about a topical subject.

It just seems like 'look, lots of political discussion, best lock that!'. I mean, why???
Saturday, 27 March 2010, 18:28
Jayenkai
Yeah, that's exactly what it looks like. I'm pretty much chickenin' out here!

If I don't close this one, then in the future we'll come across one of those stupid flamey topics, where people eventually whinge and moan about "freedom of speech" and all that kind of gubbins. I'd prefer to just lock it down and say "but no politics" than to get into one of those whiney little moan-fests.
Saturday, 27 March 2010, 18:42
JL235
Politics intersects with almost every part of our day to day lives (directly or indirectly). So what's wrong with discussing it?

I think as long as the topic is still friendly, and as long as a minority of users are not spinning the topic away from the majority, then this discussion is all ok.
Saturday, 27 March 2010, 19:07
Stealth
15,000 of 307,006,550 citizens is pretty measly. That would be %0.00004 of our population.

I'm glad we are doing something about healthcare. It's a broken system here. I think everyone is in agreement about that.

I'd leave it open Jay. Although this would be more appropriate as a forum topic.
Tuesday, 30 March 2010, 19:40
mindstorm8191
I agree, you should leave it open Jay. We have some civil, very mature pople here, we can discuss politics without the flamewars.

But, maybe this is a one-time thing. Its your choice Jay.
Wednesday, 31 March 2010, 10:38
Stealth
I wonder how much consumers are to blame for the way companies operate. We demand unrealistic prices for goods and companies can either give in or die.