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purpose of government

 
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I made a comment about government paying for healthcare in support of my point in the unfair taxation post. Rather than hijack that post I decided to open a new post to discuss that aspect further. My opinion, and it seems to me the opinion of the founding father of the United States, is that the purpose of government is to protect the rights of its citizens. I pulled the definition of a right from the dictionary and found the following:


2 : something to which one has a just claim: as a : the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled b (1) : the interest that one has in a piece of property -- often used in plural <mineral rights> (2) plural : the property interest possessed under law or custom and agreement in an intangible thing especially of a literary and artistic nature <film rights of the novel>


It would seem to me that based on this there are a lot of privileges that are being claimed as rights. One of those is healthcare. To make a "just claim" to healthcare you need to remove someone else's "just claim" to either time, property, or both to provide the healthcare.
 
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This is the central core issue of politics yet it is debated nowhere in the major media nor even mentioned in academia. The original post draws such a logical conclusion its hard to see how all the activists can keep campaigning for alleged "rights" that essentially amount to stealing.
[ November 08, 2002: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
 
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I agree with the comment here and the other thread.
 
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I think you are pretty much correct Matthew. I always had the impression that the founding fathers' intentions were for relatively small government, whose job it was, like you stated, to protect the rights of the citizens.
Having looked over the Constitution, I can't seem to find the amendments which grant us the right to things such as healthcare and welfare benefits without work. The right to the pursuit of happiness does not equal a government guarantee to happiness.
Guaranteed social services are a hallmark of other forms of government, particularly socialism. I personally don't want to live in a society where we rely on the government to provide all our needs for us. You end up with a society of slackers content to sit on their back ends and exert little effort in trying to better themselves.
 
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
You end up with a society of slackers content to sit on their back ends and exert little effort in trying to better themselves.


What do you mean you end up with? We ended up with that a long time ago.
I pretty much agree with everyone here. However, I do think that the government should help control healthcare costs. I work full time, my wife works part time, I have a 2 year old son. I was happy to get a nice raise this past year, but then my healthcare went up and ate my raise. Darn Smokers
 
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I always had the impression that the founding fathers' intentions were for relatively small government, whose job it was, like you stated, to protect the rights of the citizens.


Even before the founding fathers, society recognized its obligation to care for the sick.
Now you just want to turn your back on the
sick because its in your immediate self interest.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by <Rufus BugleWeed>:
Even before the founding fathers, society recognized its obligation to care for the sick.


Really? How did society recognize this before the founding fathers? There were religious charities that would care for the sick in some cases. Mostly these were just to comfort the dying though. The government would also attempt to quarantine the contagious during various outbreaks in order to protect society as a whole. However, by and large it was families who had to deal with their own issues. You didn't put Grandpa in some government paid for hospital, you had to take care of him yourself. Where was the government, that is society and what forms of government that we did have, providing free healthcare on a widespread basis prior to the time of our founding fathers?

Now you just want to turn your back on the sick because its in your immediate self interest.


Not really. While it certainly has flaws which need to be addressed, our health insurance system is probably the best solution, along with government controls to healthcare and insurance costs.
Matthews statement still stands correct thoough. Where are we guaranteed the right to be pampered and suckled by the government?
[ November 08, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
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We, the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice and insure domestic tranquility; provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and to insure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.
I doubt they were advocating equal access to health care at the time, but I sure don't think they were opposed to it either.
 
Matthew Phillips
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
We, the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice and insure domestic tranquility; provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and to insure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.
I doubt they were advocating equal access to health care at the time, but I sure don't think they were opposed to it either.



That is nice, but then keep reading. The Constitution clearly defines government's role in our society. It does not define a role for providing healthcare. It does clearly define a method for changing the role of government by amending said Constitution. Our government has completely bypassed this procedure in adding "social benefactor" as a role it plays in society.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
We, the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice and insure domestic tranquility; provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and to insure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.


Yes, the preamble lays out the general purpose for the Constitution. The preamble does not establish any rights however, you've got to get to the rest of the Constitution for that.
I don't disagree at all that some level of government assistance in social programs is required. The argument comes when we talk about how much and how funded.
Look, one of the principles our nation was founded on is the idea that everybody may achieve some level of success through hard work. Hard work is something we value as a society. Socialism punishes hard work and personal prosperity. Socialism encourages laziness.
We are successful in large part due to our national values and our government and economic systems. We should not strive to become a more socialist society, unless we are happy limiting ourselves as individuals and living in mediocrity. We have many problems to be addressed, but we will best be served addressing these within our traditional frameworks, and not relying purely on government handouts.
 
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Look, one of the principles our nation was founded on is the idea that everybody may achieve some level of success through hard work. Hard work is something we value as a society.

Yes, but sometimes hard work isn't enough. What do you for the guy who gets laid off his job after 25 years of hard work because his company found cheaper labor in Mexico? Do you tell him, too bad?
 
Matthew Phillips
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The problems with Healthcare today exist because of government regulation. Because of government regulation I, a healthy male, must have pregnancy coverage as part of my health insurance. It has been a while since I had a biology course, but I am pretty sure that I will not get pregnant any time soon. Because of government I am not allowed to pick and choose the coverages I want to control the cost myself.
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Yes, but sometimes hard work isn't enough. What do you for the guy who gets laid off his job after 25 years of hard work because his company found cheaper labor in Mexico? Do you tell him, too bad?


No, you don't tell him too bad. You say, here is a check for the time being, now go find another job. But you don't say, oh well, he worked hard for 25 years, he deserves to be a lazy bum now.
As far as healthcare, there are really 2 scenerios. 1 being that of the 30 year old paying for healthcare, and the other being the 70 year old who is retired and collecting SS. The 70 year old is going to have a harder time paying for Healthcare and chances are he will need it more.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Yes, but sometimes hard work isn't enough. What do you for the guy who gets laid off his job after 25 years of hard work because his company found cheaper labor in Mexico? Do you tell him, too bad?


You pay him unemployment benefits for a limited time sufficient for that person to find some other form of employment. It may not be their dream job, but you have to do what you need to in order to support yourself and your family. What you don't do is tell him it's okay to sit around doing nothing until his dream job lands in his lap.
 
Matthew Phillips
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
What about medicare? Who will pay for the healthcare for the elderly if the government doesn't? And what about people who simply can't get a private company to insure them because they have a serious illness? What bout people who work for the government? Shouldn't they get health benefits? Who, exactly, do you think shouldn't be getting their healthcare paid by the government who currently is getting their healthcare paid by the government? And for those who can't afford healthcare, who should pay? Or should those people just die and decrease the surplus population?


That is the purpose of private charity. Private charity is far more effective in providing the the needs of people in trouble than government is. If government gets out of health insurance regulation, it will also allow people to pick and choose their coverage and achieve lower rates. Getting rid of the medicare system will also lower the cost of doctor visits. When I was without health insurance I did some checking around. I found that doctors that did not accept medicare were less expensive. I talked to a doctor and found out the reason why. Medicare has fixed pricing for procedures. Doctors are not allowed to charge more or less to someone not on medicare for that procedure.
Another solution to the healthcare problem would be tort reform. That would decrease the cost of malpractice insurance making medical care more affordable.
Another, although far more radical solution, would be to remove government licensing for medical practitioners. Let people choose who they wish to receive medical care from based on experience and references instead of who passed a government regulation.
If all of these occur, the healthcare problem would go away in the U.S.
 
Matthew Phillips
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Yes, but sometimes hard work isn't enough. What do you for the guy who gets laid off his job after 25 years of hard work because his company found cheaper labor in Mexico? Do you tell him, too bad?


The Constitution does grant government the right to regulate international trade. The government can adjust the tariffs so that it becomes more expensive for a company to use labor in Mexico. The problem becomes solved before it happens.
 
Jason Menard
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[moved from other thread]

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Affordable to the disabled? Those on welfare? The elderly?


Yes, but all are separate cases to be dealt with in different manners. We all pay into social security, and as such elder healthcare should be addressed as a social security issue, imho.
Disabled is a separate issue from elderly. How do you define disabled? How disabled is that person? Are we talking about someone who is missing an arm, or are we talking possibly a condition from birth that makes it extremely difficult for that person to participate is society on the same level as most of us? The government should subsidize the insurance for these people on a graduated scale relating to the ability of the individual to provide for themselves. Somebody missing an arm might receive very little if any subsidy, whereas the other case might result in a 100% subsidy.
Welfare is even more different than the other two issues. If you are on welfare, you should be working in most cases, if you are physically able. If that means sweeping the streets, fine. If the people on welfare don't have suitable childcare, well then we can probably train some people on welfare to be daycare providers, and the state would provide the facility and pick up the tab. In effect I would envision a welfare system where the person on welfare effectively works for the state in order to collect their benefits. Employers often provide things like daycare, on the job training, and insurance for their workers. Same thing for these "welfare" state workers. There is something sickening about having people who are physically able to work in some capacity being allowed to sit around and leech off of society because they simply don't want to work (I know this is not the case with all people on welfare). Such a welfare system may actually be more expensive in the short term, but I believe in the long term society would greater benefit from such a system.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Matthew Phillips:
That is the purpose of private charity. Private charity is far more effective in providing the the needs of people in trouble than government is. If government gets out of health insurance regulation, it will also allow people to pick and choose their coverage and achieve lower rates. Getting rid of the medicare system will also lower the cost of doctor visits. When I was without health insurance I did some checking around. I found that doctors that did not accept medicare were less expensive. I talked to a doctor and found out the reason why. Medicare has fixed pricing for procedures. Doctors are not allowed to charge more or less to someone not on medicare for that procedure.
Another solution to the healthcare problem would be tort reform. That would decrease the cost of malpractice insurance making medical care more affordable.
Another, although far more radical solution, would be to remove government licensing for medical practitioners. Let people choose who they wish to receive medical care from based on experience and references instead of who passed a government regulation.
If all of these occur, the healthcare problem would go away in the U.S.


As would many people who would be dead. Tort reform is interesting. Your solution is apparently to add additional government regulations to prevent people from suing incomptent physicians. I am always amused when people complain about regulations but then choose to fix them with other regulations. Charity and let the old folks die. Yes, that would certainly reduce the cost of medical care since charities wouldn't be able to provide any medical care. The solution is let the sick die. Very bold.
 
Thomas Paul
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Jason, elder healthcare is a Social Security issue. It is paid thorugh a program, Medicare, that we all pay into just like Social Security.
By disabled, I meant people who are either too disabled to work or have long term medical problems that prevent them from being insurable. I would hate for you to contract a serious illness that prevents you from working and then have you get fired and lose your insurance coverage. But that happens to people all the time.
And I agree with you about welfare. You should note, however, that the vast majority of people on welfare are there for a short period of time. One of the most common reasons for being on welfare is because a woman with small children has been abandoned by her husband. The welfare reform laws have eliminated the long-term welfare recipient.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Matthew Phillips:
The Constitution does grant government the right to regulate international trade. The government can adjust the tariffs so that it becomes more expensive for a company to use labor in Mexico. The problem becomes solved before it happens.

The problem is that foreign countries retaliate. The depression of the 30's wasn't caused by the stock market crash. It was caused by the tariffs set up to end the depression. It wasn't until 1940 when the US government started deficit spending in preparation for war that the US got out of the depression.
 
Matthew Phillips
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

As would many people who would be dead. Tort reform is interesting. Your solution is apparently to add additional government regulations to prevent people from suing incomptent physicians. I am always amused when people complain about regulations but then choose to fix them with other regulations. Charity and let the old folks die. Yes, that would certainly reduce the cost of medical care since charities wouldn't be able to provide any medical care. The solution is let the sick die. Very bold.


I don't see how getting the government out of healthcare kills people. Private charity has less administrative costs than government. Getting government out of healthcare would reduce the cost of government and also reduce taxes. I know that not all of that money would end up in the hands of private charity, but some of it would. People who genuinely need care would get the care they need. Right now people who have no business being on the government dole are. Since government can't pick and choose who goes on the government dole (equal protection under the law), then the only option is to get everyone on it or everyone off of it.
Tort reform would not prevent people from suing incompetent doctors. A loser pays system would get rid of a lot of frivolous law suits. I have conflicted feelings on regulating punative damages, but it is a proper function of government, as per the Constitution, to control the courts.
 
Thomas Paul
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I don't see how getting the government out of healthcare kills people. Private charity has less administrative costs than government.
Charities would never have sufficient funds to pay for healthcare benefits for the poor. You are dreaming if you think that will ever happen. The reason that the government got involved i nthe first place was because charities couldn't do it.

People who genuinely need care would get the care they need. Right now people who have no business being on the government dole are. Since government can't pick and choose who goes on the government dole (equal protection under the law), then the only option is to get everyone on it or everyone off of it.
And who, exactly, are these undeserving people that are on the dole? I'm interested in hearing who you think receives welfare.
Tort reform would not prevent people from suing incompetent doctors. A loser pays system would get rid of a lot of frivolous law suits.
A loser pays system will elimate most lawsuits by the middle class. The poor will still sue because they have nothing to lose. The rich will still sue because they can afford to pay legal fees if they lose. The middle class will end up not suing even when they have a case because the risk of losing would be too great.
 
Matthew Phillips
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Charities would never have sufficient funds to pay for healthcare benefits for the poor. You are dreaming if you think that will ever happen. The reason that the government got involved i nthe first place was because charities couldn't do it.
Sure they would, except in states of emergency when the government can temporarily suspend the Constitution and do pretty much whatever it wants. If the government gets out of healthcare, then people keep more of the money they earn. Some of that money is guarenteed to end up in the hands of charity.
And who, exactly, are these undeserving people that are on the dole? I'm interested in hearing who you think receives welfare.
The important issue is who should decide this. Should the government decide what to do with your money or should you. If I decide that I don't want someone who lost his job because he was incompetent and refuses to look for a job he is competent at to get my money then I should be able to donate to the charity that will make sure that happens. If that is the only type of person you want your money to go to then that is your decision. There are plenty of women who are paid to have children by the welfare system. Because I pay into that system I cannot currently afford to have children. I think the biggest issue that turned me against the welfare system is when I saw a woman being interviewed on the news who was living better than I was.
A loser pays system will elimate most lawsuits by the middle class. The poor will still sue because they have nothing to lose. The rich will still sue because they can afford to pay legal fees if they lose. The middle class will end up not suing even when they have a case because the risk of losing would be too great.
I agree that it will eliminate some lawsuits by the middle class. But it will also eliminate corporate extortion. Right now it is cheaper to settle a lawsuit out of court than it is to pursue justice. That needs to change.
[ November 08, 2002: Message edited by: Matthew Phillips ]
 
Matthew Phillips
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The framers of the Consitution knew that it could never cover every role government might fill. They did the best they could and I personally think they did a pretty good job. They made sure that they could be second-guessed. The Constitution defines a specific framework for being amended. One of the biggest problems with government is that it has figured out that it can bypass the Constitution without reprocussions. If the government should play "social provider" then it should amend the Constitution to provide for that role.
 
Thomas Paul
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Sure they would, except in states of emergency when the government can temporarily suspend the Constitution and do pretty much whatever it wants. If the government gets out of healthcare, then people keep more of the money they earn. Some of that money is guarenteed to end up in the hands of charity.
Once you have elimiante the deduction for charitable donations I wouldn't count on it. And since the government has done away with deducations for charities then the government has no way to guarantee that a charity is really using its money for charitable purposes.

The important issue is who should decide this. Should the government decide what to do with your money or should you.

I should and I do by voting for representantives. Does the phrase "government by the people" ring a bell? If you don't like representaive governments then you can always move to Switzerland.

I think the biggest issue that turned me against the welfare system is when I saw a woman being interviewed on the news who was living better than I was.
So this whole thing is about jeaolusy? Let me guess... was she driving a Cadillac?
I agree that it will eliminate some lawsuits by the middle class. But it will also eliminate corporate extortion. Right now it is cheaper to settle a lawsuit out of court than it is to pursue justice. That needs to change.
Would you rather that the courts be loaded over with cases that have to be tried instead of settled? It will always be cheaper to settle because there is always a possibility of losing.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Matthew Phillips:
The framers of the Consitution knew that it could never cover every role government might fill. They did the best they could and I personally think they did a pretty good job. They made sure that they could be second-guessed. The Constitution defines a specific framework for being amended. One of the biggest problems with government is that it has figured out that it can bypass the Constitution without reprocussions. If the government should play "social provider" then it should amend the Constitution to provide for that role.



You should read the Madison debates. There was a great deal of discussion about insuring that the federal government would be able to protect the poor. You must remember that poverty and the distinction between the rich and poor was much greater in the 1700's than it is today. When the founders talked about protecting the general welfare they were thinking about protecting people from the poverty that they saw in Europe.
 
Matthew Phillips
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Once you have elimiante the deduction for charitable donations I wouldn't count on it.
Sure it would. Charitable organizations existed long before the current tax code and were successful.
And since the government has done away with deducations for charities then the government has no way to guarantee that a charity is really using its money for charitable purposes.
Tax deductions have nothing to do with fraud. I don't see your point.
I should and I do by voting for representantives. Does the phrase "government by the people" ring a bell? If you don't like representaive governments then you can always move to Switzerland.
See the post right above yours. I am not against a representative government. I am for a government that "lives" within the confines prescribed for it by the U.S. Constitution.
So this whole thing is about jeaolusy? Let me guess... was she driving a Cadillac?
No, it is about individual freedom and responsibility. That was your money and my money that paid for the wide screen TV and the cable TV she needed to "keep her kids in check". I don't remember the exact wording, but that was why she needed welfare. What is wrong with people being responsible for their actions?
Would you rather that the courts be loaded over with cases that have to be tried instead of settled? It will always be cheaper to settle because there is always a possibility of losing.
I have nothing against settling out of court. I have something against people using the court system as an extortion tool. I agree that it will always be cheaper to settle, but it should not be so drastically cheaper that justice disappears.
[ November 08, 2002: Message edited by: Matthew Phillips ]
 
Thomas Paul
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Sure it would. Charitable organizations existed long before the current tax code and were successful.
OK, name five.
Tax deductions have nothing to do with fraud. I don't see your point.
Charitable organizations would be just like any other business. If they are privately held they wouldn't even have to release how they spend their money. Today, charities register with the government in order to get the 501(c)(3)designation. Since there would be no tax deduction there would be no need to register.
See the post right above yours. I am not against a representative government. I am for a government that "lives" within the confines prescribed for it by the U.S. Constitution.
You mean within your interpretation of what the constitution says.
What is wrong with people being responsible for their actions?
Who says they aren't? Most people on welfare are on it for a short period of time. The number one reason for going on welfare is because of illness. The second most common reason is because a woman with children has been abandoned by her husband. Very few married couples go on welfare. A woman with children is 10 times more likely to go on welfare if she is single. Want to help the welfare situation? Get married!
 
Matthew Phillips
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OK, name five.
I'll get back to you on that one.
Charitable organizations would be just like any other business. If they are privately held they wouldn't even have to release how they spend their money. Today, charities register with the government in order to get the 501(c)(3)designation. Since there would be no tax deduction there would be no need to register.
You are correct that they wouldn't be required to release how they spend their money by law. A genuine charitable organization would want to release the information to gain more donations to truly help people. Don't underestimate the power of capitalism even in charity.
You mean within your interpretation of what the constitution says.
The Constitution is written in English. It is not difficult to interpret.

Who says they aren't? Most people on welfare are on it for a short period of time. The number one reason for going on welfare is because of illness. The second most common reason is because a woman with children has been abandoned by her husband. Very few married couples go on welfare. A woman with children is 10 times more likely to go on welfare if she is single. Want to help the welfare situation? Get married!
I am married. What does that have to do with welfare? Everyone has to make a decision on what to do with their money. I have money set aside for a loss of income event so that I will not need welfare. Is it too much to ask others to do the same? You know it could happen so why not prepare for it instead of holding a gun to someone's head and forcing them to take care of you (the only power government has that you don't is the power to use force to accomplish its goals). There are private charities that will help women who are abandoned by their husbands. There is also family to turn to.
 
Matthew Phillips
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OK, name five.
I don't have a whole lot of time to research, so will you settle for 2 or 3 (depending on your perspective):
Religious Institutions
The Salvation Army (could be considered a religion institution)
The Red Cross
The Tax Act of 1917 allowed for charitable deductions from income tax. All of the above were around before then. I must state that I could when The Red Cross or The Salvation Army became active in the U.S.
 
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

Look, one of the principles our nation was founded on is the idea that everybody may achieve some level of success through hard work. Hard work is something we value as a society. Socialism punishes hard work and personal prosperity. Socialism encourages laziness.


Your showing your class roots on that one, I'm afraid. "Hard work" is a lower-middle-class ethic; the hard-working lower-middle-class may find it flattering to be glamorized a little, but it's largely what the middle class does to get by and get ahead.
Achieving success, I would argue, has more to do with capitalism, i.e., owning the thing or the idea or the process that makes money, and then letting other people make your dollars for you with their hard work. {b]That's[/b] industrial capitalism, as I hear it. I may personally like to work (and guess where my socioeconomic roots lie), but I know far more people that dream of retiring early or hitting the lottery than dream of working hard.
I did not address earlier Matthew's contention that healthcare is seen by some as a 'right,' so I'll do it here: I think people view healthcare as an entitlement, like social security. I just don't see a valuable caoitalist goal in protecting access to top-notch medical care to those people whose success allows them to afford it.
'Socializing' healthcare is a tidy way of invoking the insidious perils of socialism, an all-encompassing mindset for the structure of government, when all we're talking about is insuring access to healthcare for everyone.
To you from me, who spent four years as a medic: preventive medical practice is far [b]cheaper[/i]. than what we do today, which is essentially refuse medical treatment to anyone who can't pay and can leave under their own power. It's also been shown ever since HMO's reared their ugly head that government-managed healthcare spent far less on the dollar in 'administrative' costs than any privatized program every did.
We can get all constitutional about whether healthcare is a right, but a truly enlightened capitalist understands that spreading out the costs for services everyone needs just makes sense. Doesn't it strike anyone here as stupid that most of us would sooner pay to have greenbelts and freshly blacktopped roads than a medical center any one of us could visit?
 
Paul Stevens
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no
 
Matthew Phillips
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Doesn't it strike anyone here as stupid that most of us would sooner pay to have greenbelts and freshly blacktopped roads than a medical center any one of us could visit?
Yes, but you are missing two points.
1. The U.S. Constitution provides for the Legislative branch to establish post offices and post roads.
2. Socialized medicine doesn't work in other countries. Why would it work here?
If socialized medicine worked in other countries I would quickly jump on the bandwagon and support a Constitutional amendment to make that a role of government. The reality is that there are very few things that governments do well and they are all things that private citizens can't do; i.e. establish a military, establish roads, regulate foreign trade, etc. Government does not always do these particularly well, but they still perform these duties better than private citizens.
Healthcare used to be affordable before the government got involved. It will be affordable again if the government gets out of it.
 
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Matthew Phillips:

2. Socialized medicine doesn't work in other countries. Why would it work here?


Doesn't work? In Canada? In the UK? How ia it that it doesn't work?
Government-managed healthcare is far cheaper than privatized healthcare. Yes, everybody pays, even the healthy, but the point is to encourage people to use it. Preventive medicine is just cheaper. "Creating bigger government" is the usual conservative buzzword, and that's fine, but I think it's a disservice to talk Big Brother where routine physicals and vaccinations are concerned.
Many people think of healthcare as an expensive option in this country; that's just not a good mindset for our general health. A good deal more people think of it as something they have to get an employer to pay for (i.e., benefits), ideally through a pre-tax premium payment. At that point, the question to me isn't whether I pay through the state or my current employer, but what I get in return for my premiums.
I'm one of theose people who have watched the private system erode steadily over the years. In 1981 I got my first full-time job as a bank teller and had a good benefits plan that I could afford even on close-to-minimum wage. I quit on corporate-sponsored healthcare about 5 years ago, when after paying whatever it was for my plan, I was still getting bills in the thousands for charges allegedly covered by my plan. When my son was born the co-pay was $5. When my daughter was born three years later, I got inundated with paperwork. Somewhere in there, scores of companies were dropping that first plan (Kaiser) in favor or crap programs like Golden West that don't want to write checks if they don't have to.
Some plans don't pay, apparently, playing the corporate game of attrition to see if creditors will get tired of collecting, or seeing if frustrated, conscientious subscribers would pony up rather than have their credit reports damaged.
I checked out of HMO-land altogether. Now I pay those bills upfront, and essentially bet against catastrophe. Year by year, it's been cheaper than paying premiums to cover the unexpected. I really don't want to think what it must be like for anyone who has no real choice but to hope the system will take care of them when they can no longer help themselves.
 
Anonymous
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:

Doesn't it strike anyone here as stupid that most of us would sooner pay to have greenbelts and freshly blacktopped roads than a medical center any one of us could visit?


Many roads are funded to a large degree by tolls. Perhaps not convenient, but such pay per use is certainly more just in the sense that others not directly using the road are being less burdended with suppoerting such roads. Socializing health care would likewise be unjust to the extent that others are forced to pay for facilities that they would not benefit from.
I'm not saying there are no indirect benefits to everyone in either the road or health care situations, but that to the extent that there no benefits to everyone there is some injustice. The presumption of injustice proceeds from the fact that the govt would forcibly, or by the threatening of force, extract funds from some unwilling citizens via taxation. Unless you don't believe in private propety or that workers are entitled to their wages, a forcible taking of property sounds a lot like plain and simple theft.
Of course this Taxation = Theft argument, which was mentioned earlier in the thread and has not been logically refuted, damms all taxation in general (so sorry), but even if you believe taxation is evil though necessary you would tend towards a minimal role for govt.
There is certainly some appeal to a system, whether public or private, that would benefit all by protecting all some what equally from the vicissitudes of fate occurring from accidents, etc. However, maybe allocation of health care costs in either system need to more accurately reflect voluntarily assumed risks such as moving traffic violations, driving motorcycles without helmuts, smoking, drug abuse, dietary habits, sexual habits, etc ? It doesn't seem just for those who have healthy lifestyle to subsidize those who knowingly and willingly damage their health or increase the odds of such damage.
 
Matthew Phillips
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Doesn't work? In Canada? In the UK? How ia it that it doesn't work?
Is this is your idea of working:
http://www.ncpa.org/cgi-bin/wg/search-ncpa.cgi?query=socialized+medicine&ID=3&maxlines=15&cache=yes&maxchars=1000&nonascii=on
http://www.libertyhaven.com/countriesandregions/canada/medicinecana.html
http://www.burtonreport.com/InfHealthCare/BritNatHealthServ.htm
I only searched for about a half-an-hour, but I could not find one good thing about socialized medicine in Canada or the UK. I did find one positive account for socialized medicine in France and I will go ahead and post the link to that as well:
http://www.commondreams.org/views01/0309-03.htm
I'm sorry, but I don't buy the "throw more money at it and it will go away" mentality. Look what wonderful things it's done for Georgia's educational system (I know apples and oranges).
[ November 09, 2002: Message edited by: Matthew Phillips ]
 
Thomas Paul
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Actually, socialized medicine in Canada is a farce. There are waiting lists for months for anything other than emergency surgery. Need your gall bladder out because you are in agonizing pain? Sorry, but that's an elective surgery and you have to wait at least 4 months. Any Canadian who can afford it goes to doctors in the US.
 
Michael Ernest
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All right, Matthew, those links follow a rather predictable theme. The conservative ones (National Center for Policy Analysis, Burton Report) extend rather general opinions based on surveys in which, of course, the actual quetions they asked are apparently "not relevant" to their findings. And the one "good" article you find is of course a "Progressive" site.
I don't think it's surprising that a conservative American think-tank like the NCPA or a former small-state politician friendly with William Buckley would have negative views towards anything with the word 'socialized' in it. Likewise, any site calling itself Progrssive has a straightforward agenda, and they're just as likely to take whatever studies support their view and roll with it.
What about news sources?
 
Matthew Phillips
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
All right, Matthew, those links follow a rather predictable theme. The conservative ones (National Center for Policy Analysis, Burton Report) extend rather general opinions based on surveys in which, of course, the actual quetions they asked are apparently "not relevant" to their findings. And the one "good" article you find is of course a "Progressive" site.
I don't think it's surprising that a conservative American think-tank like the NCPA or a former small-state politician friendly with William Buckley would have negative views towards anything with the word 'socialized' in it. Likewise, any site calling itself Progrssive has a straightforward agenda, and they're just as likely to take whatever studies support their view and roll with it.
What about news sources?


You have a point, but the fact is that I could not find any source that said something good about the healthcare system in Canada or the UK. I chose the links I did because they seemed the most informative to me. Like I said previously I could not find anything negative about the healthcare system in France other than the fact that they practice a "throw more money at it until it goes away" mentality. Every site is going to have an agenda whether it is labeled conservative, progressive, or liberal.
 
Michael Ernest
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France, in my mind, would be the exception. I can't think of anyone in recent memory who has raved about their health plan. I can't think of anyone who raves about their drinking water, or their electric bill, or their newspaper service.
And, yeah, I admit my communist roots here, I think healthcare follows along the same lines: a necessaity we all wish could be better than it is.
When's the last time you thought a healthcare program was outstanding?
Boring story: When I was in the benefits system at the University of California, Bank of America, British Oxygen and then Lockheed-Martin, I sure thought I was paying too much for what 'service' I was getting. Being generally healthy, I figured I was paying $5k pretty much for catastrophic coverage. It took 6 weeks to schedule a physical; my employers habitually urged everyone over to Occupational Therapy, where one routinely proclaims all maladies to be non-work-related.
All except one place: the U of C. That program seemed to take care of people. No coddling mind you, but efficient and state-run. Go figure.
That said, the medical system in the U.S. is said to be the best in the world, and largely supported on the premise that doctors who rise to the top can make an enormous amount of money. I don't fault that, for sure.
But let me get off trhe soapbox for socialized medicine and get to that that point: you like the HMO system you see today? Is anyone raving about that, the NCPA and Burton Report withstanding?
 
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