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Audrey



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 192
Location: Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to add that the only time we've experienced wait times are for non-life-threatening or elective procedures. During bouts with injuries, aneurysm, heart attack, etc., we've gotten immediate treatment, while getting in to see a specialist for skin conditions, back problems, etc. have resulted in having to wait for a bit. Like Margaret said, there's problems with the system but I think much is made of the wait time problem and it's not as critical as one might think listening to the news.

But back to the main point of the thread, I suppose there's people on both sides of the political fence who exhibit less than stellar behaviour. I'd guess the candidates themselves shake their heads at some of it.
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LizE



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 253

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LisaW wrote:
And, "rich" is relative. I'm hardly rich. But, I work. I earn a living. I pay my bills. What I don't want to do is pay the bills of every lazy a$$ that doesn't want to get an education or training and get a job. Tell you what -- look in your finances. Figure out how much you've got total. Then write a check, big enough to make it hurt, and send it to the US Treasury. You want to "Spread the Wealth" -- spread yours. Let me know how that works for you.


Lisa, you crack me up! We already did write a big, big, BIG check to the US Treasury, every single one of us. It's called The Bailout. Heck, we're "spreading the wealth" like crazy these days. We've got this cool blend of capitalism and socialism going on--when Wall Street makes money, we're capitalists and they get to keep it all, but when they lose money, suddenly we're socialists and get to share the pain. Or rather, to bear the pain, 'cause even now I don't see a lot of sharing going on. But I guess it could be worse--I mean, at least we're not handing $700 B to some lazy-ass poor people or their kids--or those old people who should get off their butts and earn enough for heat and food and medication. Well, if they can find a job. With so many people having lost their retirement savings thanks to the brilliant combination of Wall Street and Washington brainpower, I have a feeling there will be a lot of job hunting going on soon.

But it's all okay, because our bailout money is going to rich folks. Yes, each and every one of us gets to foot the bill for their incompetence and greed. And some of them (AIG execs, are you listening?) are taking the money, then turning around and giving us the finger! $440,000 for a "retreat"? $86,000 to go hunting in England? And let's face it, those are only the abuses we found out about. It would take a lot of poor people a good long time to rip us off for that much, but the rich are so superior that they can do it in no time flat.

The cries of "socialism!" and "evil wealth re-distributor!" around Obama would be hilarious if they weren't so pathetic. Look around you, for God's sake. We're all about wealth distribution. The entire economic system of this country has just undergone a major change, and yet Obama is the one who's accused of socialist leanings?

As Scrooge would say, "I'll retire to Bedlam."
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KayWebbHarrison



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1234
Location: SE VA. USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For Obama, I believe that he meant "redistribution of wealth" to be a general shuffling of the economy, especially the tax laws, so that all Americans have an opportunity to "share" in the benefits of a recovering economy.

McCain's new tactic is to use that phrase to mean that Obama's economic plan will heavily tax the middle class/small business sector and give those tax revenues to those who do no work to pay taxes. His campaign is trying to label Obama a "socialist."

Well, I think that many Americans who have lost incomes/jobs, savings, homes, etc. would quite like to "share the wealth". A little socialism in the European mode, where some socialist practices have been successful, might be just what the American economy needs. Do the Republicans really believe that those old Cold War scare tactics with really work with people who are worried about daily living expenses?

Kay
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LisaW



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 173

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LizE wrote:
LisaW wrote:
And, "rich" is relative. I'm hardly rich. But, I work. I earn a living. I pay my bills. What I don't want to do is pay the bills of every lazy a$$ that doesn't want to get an education or training and get a job. Tell you what -- look in your finances. Figure out how much you've got total. Then write a check, big enough to make it hurt, and send it to the US Treasury. You want to "Spread the Wealth" -- spread yours. Let me know how that works for you.


Lisa, you crack me up! We already did write a big, big, BIG check to the US Treasury, every single one of us. It's called The Bailout. Heck, we're "spreading the wealth" like crazy these days. We've got this cool blend of capitalism and socialism going on--when Wall Street makes money, we're capitalists and they get to keep it all, but when they lose money, suddenly we're socialists and get to share the pain. Or rather, to bear the pain, 'cause even now I don't see a lot of sharing going on. But I guess it could be worse--I mean, at least we're not handing $700 B to some lazy-ass poor people or their kids--or those old people who should get off their butts and earn enough for heat and food and medication. Well, if they can find a job. With so many people having lost their retirement savings thanks to the brilliant combination of Wall Street and Washington brainpower, I have a feeling there will be a lot of job hunting going on soon.

But it's all okay, because our bailout money is going to rich folks. Yes, each and every one of us gets to foot the bill for their incompetence and greed. And some of them (AIG execs, are you listening?) are taking the money, then turning around and giving us the finger! $440,000 for a "retreat"? $86,000 to go hunting in England? And let's face it, those are only the abuses we found out about. It would take a lot of poor people a good long time to rip us off for that much, but the rich are so superior that they can do it in no time flat.

The cries of "socialism!" and "evil wealth re-distributor!" around Obama would be hilarious if they weren't so pathetic. Look around you, for God's sake. We're all about wealth distribution. The entire economic system of this country has just undergone a major change, and yet Obama is the one who's accused of socialist leanings?

As Scrooge would say, "I'll retire to Bedlam."



And you don't see me supporting it! I'm backing Mike Pence on this one.

And, we shouldn't be about wealth distribution -- that's the point. Eventually, it leads to nobody really giving a damn. No offense to Canada, but it's working fine there until you go looking for people who would be considered "rich" and in 1999, that was the $75k Canadian!!! level -- they've either moved out or looking to move out

http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/taxes.htm

And, because there's too much wealth being distributed around, people doing research are leaving because there's none left for research dollars. Sure, the Canadian Federal Income tax might be comparable to the US -- but then add on the 13% sales tax (as the US states call it) for everything and all the other taxes and fees. I almost busted a gut laughing when I was in Montreal and shipped a special shirt to my friend who couldn't make our movie outing. I paid the Canadian Postal Service fee and then 2 taxes on top of that -- basically, a tax on a tax!

For an example, you go to grade school. You're told you need to study and get good scores on your papers and tests, so you do. And then, you find out you get Pass as an overall grade -- and Freddie sitting next to you, who didn't study, didn't do his homework, didn't even bother to take his tests, also passes. So, your next class, you don't bother either. IF you like learning for the sake of learning, you might entertain yourself, but there isn't any reason to actually study what's in class -- you're going to pass, anyway. And, that's what happens with wealth redistribution -- why should I work hard, apply myself and try to do better every year, when, if I just sit and coast, I'll get everything, anyway?

New Harmony, IN, was a Utopian settlement (actually, 2). The first was a communal group, where everyone shared. But, it was based on a strong work ethic religion. When the town was sold and the people packed up and went to Pennsylvania, the original group succeeded in Pennsylvania -- but the new group collapsed. It's The Grasshoper and The Ant come to life.

So, if you wish to "redistribute your wealth" -- knock yourself out. I'm just as soon keep mine, thank you very much.
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tyakoffs



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And, we shouldn't be about wealth distribution -- that's the point. Eventually, it leads to nobody really giving a damn. No offense to Canada, but it's working fine there until you go looking for people who would be considered "rich" and in 1999, that was the $75k Canadian!!! level -- they've either moved out or looking to move out


Although this thread has been amusing, I stayed out of it since I'm Canadian. However, I have to say that there are still people here who make over $75k Canadian (which with the current exchange rate is just about $75k U.S) I'm one of those Canadian's with an advance degree, so are my parents, my sisters, brother and others. My husband has been offered positions in the U.S. and turned them down. I left the choice to him, but said that I wouldn't be moving. I also am constantly telling students not to generalize about Americans on the basis of one story in the media or t.v. 'reality' shows. I realize that the media image of the homeless or crime shows only give us a glimpse at the diversity and complexity of life in the U.S.

Unfortunately, sometimes the medical system here does fail, but if you look at the UN Human Development Index you'll find that Canadians on average have longer lives. More detailed health stats show that childhood imunization is higher and in some ways health stats suggest Canadians on average have better outcomes.

I have friends and family who have used the health system and yes sometimes we complain about wait times, but I wouldn't want the American system where because of preexisting conditions some of those family members would be unable to get any health coverage.

I think that even though we have problems, the 'socialism' of our health system supported by taxes has not resulted in people who "don't give a damn". I feel that my individual life is better, when the people in my community including those who may be unemployed or making far less than me can access health care.

As John Donne said "no man is an island". We live in communities and I feel that as a wealthy member of my community my life is enhanced when everyone else in my community has the access they need to housing, and healthcare. Some of my success in life is attributable to my hard work, but I was also incredibly lucky. Unlike some members of my community I'm not developmentally delayed, and I didn't develop schizophrenia or any other of a number of diseases. I choose to "give a damn" about those people who weren't so lucky even if it means paying more taxes.

Shaun
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Donna Lea Simpson



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 249
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Shaun! That is one of the best explanations of life in Canada that I've seen, so far.

Quote:
As John Donne said "no man is an island". We live in communities and I feel that as a wealthy member of my community my life is enhanced when everyone else in my community has the access they need to housing, and healthcare. Some of my success in life is attributable to my hard work, but I was also incredibly lucky. Unlike some members of my community I'm not developmentally delayed, and I didn't develop schizophrenia or any other of a number of diseases. I choose to "give a damn" about those people who weren't so lucky even if it means paying more taxes.

Shaun


And for the record, though I'm not one of them (being a romance novelist - LOL) I know a goodly number of people who make well above $75,000 dollars a year, and not one of them is moving south. In fact, I know OF (I don't know her personally) a nurse who went to the States during one of the hiring booms. She made good money, I suppose, but she's come back to Canada to live and work at age 40, and what's more, she met an American fellow and they got married and are set to live here.

It's not about one place being better than the other, it's about what works for individuals, I suppose, your priorities and your background. I really like Americans, but I'm a happy Canadian.
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LisaW



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 173

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tyakoffs wrote:


I think that even though we have problems, the 'socialism' of our health system supported by taxes has not resulted in people who "don't give a damn". I feel that my individual life is better, when the people in my community including those who may be unemployed or making far less than me can access health care.

Shaun



You have confused or mixed two points. When I referred to people ending up "not giving a damn" I was referring to doing more than absolutely necessary -- because, if the products of your endeavors are going to be taken from you and given to others, why bother?

Yes, the US health system needs a major overhaul. However, a lot of the problem comes from the idea that Employer (or Somebody) provided Health Care is meant to handle every little problem and not just the major ones. Way back "when" health insurance was meant to be catastrophic -- not run to the doctor with the sniffles and if you get a splinter. What ends up happening, is the consumer does not work toward keeping their costs down, either by "shopping" for a competent doctor who provides the best care at the best price, or by just plain not going to the doctor for a minor problem. And, actually, provided health care got its real start during WWII when vital war effort businesses had salary caps (to keep one from "stealing" vital personnel from another). Since additional salary couldn't be given to lour, benefits, especially Health Insurance, was born.


My major problem remains taking money from one person to give to another to "make things fair." Fair is getting to keep what you've worked for.

William Graham Sumner:

Quote:

The type and formula of most schemes of philan-thropy or humanitarianism is this: A and B put their heads together to decide what C shall be made to do for D. The radical vice of all these schemes, from a sociological point of view, is that C is not allowed a voice in the matter, and his position, character, and interests, as well as the ultimate effects on society through C's interests, are entirely overlooked. I call C the Forgotten Man. For once let us look him up and consider his case, for the characteristic of all social doctors is that they fix their minds on some man or group of men whose case appeals to the sympathies and the imagination, and they plan remedies addressed to the particular trouble; they do not understand that all the parts of society hold together and that forces which are set in action act and react throughout the whole organism until an equilibrium is produced by a readjustment of all interests and rights. They therefore ignore entirely the source from which they must draw all the energy which they employ in their remedies, and they ignore all the effects on other members of society than the ones they have in view. They are always under the dominion of the superstition of government, and forgetting that a government produces nothing at all, they leave out of sight the first fact to be remembered in all social discussion — that the state cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it. This latter is the Forgotten Man.

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tyakoffs



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lisa W,

Quote:
You have confused or mixed two points. When I referred to people ending up "not giving a damn" I was referring to doing more than absolutely necessary -- because, if the products of your endeavors are going to be taken from you and given to others, why bother?


I understood your point about 'not giving a damn' but I think that where we disagree is on what motivates people to achieve. Fundamentally we probably have very different views on human nature and what constitutes fairness. I really like the money I make at my job, but the real drive to be successful comes from somewhere else. Sometimes its frustrating to realize that others making the same salary aren't working as hard but I believe that we in the end acheive more than a paycheque through our choices. I work hard because that's how I'm put together. I value the relationships I've developed at work and the respect I get for having done a good job.


I once took a significant pay cut, but continued to work as hard because of those relationships. Perhaps because I live in Canada and I don't have to worry about going bankrupt to pay for medical care for my son (who has been in the hospital for 5 weeks now), I have the luxury of not having to find the highest paying job as opposed to the one I find most personally satisfying.

Quote:
Way back "when" health insurance was meant to be catastrophic -- not run to the doctor with the sniffles and if you get a splinter. What ends up happening, is the consumer does not work toward keeping their costs down, either by "shopping" for a competent doctor who provides the best care at the best price, or by just plain not going to the doctor for a minor problem.


No one I know goes to the doctor for splinters or the sniffles, but I do think that not having to worry about the bill means that people go in earlier when they have problems and early treatment generally means better outcomes. I know that in my community there is a real focus on prevention and early treatment. It would be interesting to hear from a health care professional on this issue.

Quote:
And, actually, provided health care got its real start during WWII when vital war effort businesses had salary caps (to keep one from "stealing" vital personnel from another). Since additional salary couldn't be given to lour, benefits, especially Health Insurance, was born.


Canada's national health care system had it beginnings in Saskatchwan in the 1970s, and despite continuing debates about how to make the system work better very few people argue for going back to the pre healthcare system.

I am very committed morally to the power of democracy to create positive political change. I think that the civil rights movement in the U.S. demonstrates the power of democratic change. I feel there is much to admire in the American political system, but I wonder how happy most American's are with the negative comments and innuendo in this election.

Shaun

Shaun
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Margaret



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 879

PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Quote:
LisaW wrote...
You have confused or mixed two points. When I referred to people ending up "not giving a damn" I was referring to doing more than absolutely necessary -- because, if the products of your endeavors are going to be taken from you and given to others, why bother?


For me the short answer is...brace yourself...it makes me feel good. Wink tyakoffs was much more eloquent than that and captures MY Canadian spirit with the following...
Quote:
tyakoffs wrote...I feel that my individual life is better, when the people in my community including those who may be unemployed or making far less than me can access health care.

As John Donne said "no man is an island". We live in communities and I feel that as a wealthy member of my community my life is enhanced when everyone else in my community has the access they need to housing, and healthcare. Some of my success in life is attributable to my hard work, but I was also incredibly lucky. Unlike some members of my community I'm not developmentally delayed, and I didn't develop schizophrenia or any other of a number of diseases. I choose to "give a damn" about those people who weren't so lucky even if it means paying more taxes.
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LisaW



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose I should have been more universal in my posting -- instead of a generic "you" -- which Margaret and Shaun have taken as meaning THEM -- I should have possibly said "one" -- although there's no reason to think people here might have thought I meant only them.

There are people who work, whether at a job, a hobby, a vocation, a vacation, school, whatever, for the joy of the activity. Unfortunately, those are the (ahem) Ones who end up paying the freight on all the (ahem) Ones who do just enough to get by, because those slugs know someone else will be taking care of them. The first New Harmony settlement succeeded because of a strong work ethic of the members. The second failed because of a lack of a work ethic. At some point, those who do all the heavy lifting finally get tired.
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Margaret



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
LisaW...There are people who work, whether at a job, a hobby, a vocation, a vacation, school, whatever, for the joy of the activity. Unfortunately, those are the (ahem) Ones who end up paying the freight on all the (ahem) Ones who do just enough to get by, because those slugs know someone else will be taking care of them.


It's obvious we have very different views of humanity, LisaW. And most people work because they have to...and work hard, not for joy, and are still willing and happy to contribute in many ways. And you seem to think I am misunderstanding you--and continue to restate your previous statements-but I do understand what you're saying here. I just disagree with you.

On a lighter note...I was at the library last night looking thru a table full of donated used books for sale and I thought of you when I picked up a copy of Socialism: From Utopia to Science by Frederick Engels.
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tyakoffs



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Margret...On a lighter note...I was at the library last night looking thru a table full of donated used books for sale and I thought of you when I picked up a copy of Socialism: From Utopia to Science by Frederick Engels.


I don't know if LisaW is smiling but I am.

Lisa, I was originally not going to respond to your last message, but I have to second Margret's point. I'm not even sure what the relevance of New Harmony is at this point. There were a number of utopian socialist experiements which had varying degrees of success. Interestingly enough Robert Owen was a mill owner in Britain who invested in housing for mill workers and was part of the utopian socialist movement.

I think it would be more relevant to look at the success of various European states with well established social welfare systems that provide all citizens with certain basic requirements of life. In none of those states does everyone 'get' the same thing and there are different financial classes within the state. The difference is that the financial gap between the very rich and the rest of society is smaller than in the U.S.

Fortunately, democracy allows us to disagree and to express those differences in the ballot box. In Canada, the results of elections have produced different policies than in the U.S. But, most importantly the policies in both countries are a product of free and open debate. I personally feel that differences of opinion and policy are to be welcomed. So I'll respectively continue to disagree with your view of human nature.
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LisaW



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tyakoffs wrote:

I think it would be more relevant to look at the success of various European states with well established social welfare systems that provide all citizens with certain basic requirements of life. In none of those states does everyone 'get' the same thing and there are different financial classes within the state. The difference is that the financial gap between the very rich and the rest of society is smaller than in the U.S.



Okay. Now, tell me about what medical or scientific discoveries have been made in these countries in the last 30 years.
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Laura V



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 302
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LisaW wrote:
tyakoffs wrote:

I think it would be more relevant to look at the success of various European states with well established social welfare systems that provide all citizens with certain basic requirements of life. In none of those states does everyone 'get' the same thing and there are different financial classes within the state. The difference is that the financial gap between the very rich and the rest of society is smaller than in the U.S.



Okay. Now, tell me about what medical or scientific discoveries have been made in these countries in the last 30 years.


Lots. Just a few of the recent ones I can think of are Dolly the Sheep, who was cloned by a team at the Roslin Institute in the UK, the Human Genome Project, because it included teams from France, Germany and the UK as well as the US and others, there's CERN which has built the large hadron collider and there's a short history here of some of the discoveries made there:
Quote:
The current Member States are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. [...] Some 8000 visiting scientists, half of the world’s particle physicists, come to CERN for their research. They represent 580 universities and 85 nationalities.
This year's recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine are Harald zur Hausen from Germany "for his discovery of human papilloma viruses causing cervical cancer" and two French recipients for their work on HIV. Just today one of the items on the news was the following:
Quote:
A gene mapping test could tell parents-to-be if embryos are affected by almost any inherited disease, UK scientists have claimed.

The team from London's Bridge Centre say the £1,500 test could detect any of the 15,000 inherited diseases in weeks.

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Donna Lea Simpson



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 249
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laura V wrote:
Lots. Just a few of the recent ones I can think of are...


Thank you, Laura!

When I saw LisaW's astounding query
Quote:
Okay. Now, tell me about what medical or scientific discoveries have been made in these countries in the last 30 years.
I just didn't have time to respond, but I knew someone would.

That attitude, that nothing has happened outside of the US - ever - is frustrating to the rest of us!! Thank God most Americans have their eyes and ears open to what goes on outside their borders and know that science and medical research continue on a global scale.
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