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View Full Version : Would you emigrate if Hillary became president - and turned the USA into the USSA?



Laisrean
February 1st, 2008, 11:31 AM
Well, would you? :hrmm: Imagine she becomes president and starts seizing all private property and liquidating "enemies of the people", what will you do? Stay; or leave?

banondraig
February 1st, 2008, 11:34 AM
What does USSA stand for?

Laisrean
February 1st, 2008, 11:38 AM
What does USSA stand for?

United Socialist States of America

LostSheep
February 1st, 2008, 12:06 PM
She could be worse than GW????

banondraig
February 1st, 2008, 12:07 PM
She could be worse than GW????

It all depends on how you look at things, and whether or not you become hysterical and exaggerate.

Aveline
February 1st, 2008, 12:55 PM
1) Other than the exaggerations listed "liquidating enemies" etc... is socialism such a bad thing? In a limited implementation I think it could fix alot of what is wrong with this country.

2) No matter WHAT Hilary (or anybody else) wanted to do, there is still a system of checks and balances and she couldn't change things so drastically, anyway. That's the best thing about our political system: no matter HOW BAD a president is, they can only do a limited amount of damage.

Brigid Rowan
February 1st, 2008, 12:56 PM
Well, would you? :hrmm: Imagine she becomes president and starts seizing all private property and liquidating "enemies of the people", what will you do? Stay; or leave?



She gets a "liquifier death ray"????? Or is it a ray that converts a human into pile of cash? Why didnt any other president get one? no fair!!:bigblue:

banondraig
February 1st, 2008, 01:02 PM
She gets a "liquifier death ray"????? Or is it a ray that converts a human into pile of cash? Why didnt any other president get one? no fair!!:bigblue:

:rotfl:

Totally! We need a liquefier death ray in Iraq! Then there wouldn't be any more problems with contractors providing scuzzy shower water with twice as many mystery bacteria as the Euphrates! :sick:

Zibblsnrt
February 1st, 2008, 01:10 PM
Well, would you? :hrmm: Imagine she becomes president and starts seizing all private property and liquidating "enemies of the people", what will you do? Stay; or leave?

I'd put down the bad work of fiction, myself.

Laisrean
February 1st, 2008, 01:30 PM
She gets a "liquifier death ray"????? Or is it a ray that converts a human into pile of cash? Why didnt any other president get one? no fair!!:bigblue:




Main Entry:
liq·ui·date Listen to the pronunciation of liquidate
Pronunciation:
\ˈli-kwə-ˌdāt\
Function:
verb
Inflected Form(s):
liq·ui·dat·ed; liq·ui·dat·ing
Etymology:
Late Latin liquidatus, past participle of liquidare to melt, from Latin liquidus
Date:
circa 1575

transitive verb1 a (1): to determine by agreement or by litigation the precise amount of (indebtedness, damages, or accounts) (2): to determine the liabilities and apportion assets toward discharging the indebtedness of b: to settle (a debt) by payment or other settlement2archaic : to make clear3: to do away with4: to convert (assets) into cashintransitive verb1: to liquidate debts, damages, or accounts2: to determine liabilities and apportion assets toward discharging indebtedness
— liq·ui·da·tion Listen to the pronunciation of liquidation \ˌli-kwə-ˈdā-shən\ noun


When you do that to a person, that means you do away with them and take their property. That's what communists do to people they think have too much wealth.

Laisrean
February 1st, 2008, 01:33 PM
I'd put down the bad work of fiction, myself.

It's no more absurd than Xentor's thread about the USA becoming a Christian dictatorship. :weirdsmil

Evinmeer
February 1st, 2008, 01:34 PM
I'm emigrating regardless of who wins.

Brigid Rowan
February 1st, 2008, 01:36 PM
I believe it would read better to say you could "liquidate a person's assets"..."liquidating enemies" er, sounds like a bad work of fiction, lol..

Wicce
February 1st, 2008, 01:40 PM
I believe it would read better to say you could "liquidate a person's assets"..."liquidating enemies" er, sounds like a bad work of fiction, lol..

I would prefer "liquidate a person's asses"...well I personally wouldn't mind it :D

Brigid Rowan
February 1st, 2008, 01:43 PM
I would prefer "liquidate a person's asses"...well I personally wouldn't mind it :D


LOL...

banondraig
February 1st, 2008, 01:48 PM
I believe it would read better to say you could "liquidate a person's assets"..."liquidating enemies" er, sounds like a bad work of fiction, lol..

Indeed it does.


I would prefer "liquidate a person's asses"...well I personally wouldn't mind it :D

While we're liquidating things, could that perhaps work on belly fat as well? :lol:

LostSheep
February 1st, 2008, 01:48 PM
When you do that to a person, that means you do away with them and take their property. That's what communists do to people they think have too much wealth.

Hillary Clinton is a Communist?? I suggest you look out some books about Vladimir Lenin to see what a Communist actually is like.

banondraig
February 1st, 2008, 01:52 PM
Hillary Clinton is a Communist?? I suggest you look out some books about Vladimir Lenin to see what a Communist actually is like.

No, you don't understand. Anyone who believes that income tax is acceptable is a Communist, or might as well be.

</sarcasm>

BlueSage
February 1st, 2008, 02:34 PM
we are already leading to Socialism

Phoenix Blue
February 1st, 2008, 02:36 PM
This question is a troll.

Valnorran
February 1st, 2008, 04:25 PM
Much as I detest Hillary and her ideas, I'd stay. I remember when all the liberals were whining about leaving the country when Bush won. If you love your country you don't live in it only when it's going your way. You stick out the tough times, too.

They won't get rid of me that easily...

Philosophia
February 1st, 2008, 06:52 PM
Much as I detest Hillary and her ideas, I'd stay. I remember when all the liberals were whining about leaving the country when Bush won. If you love your country you don't live in it only when it's going your way. You stick out the tough times, too.

They won't get rid of me that easily...

Yes, because all the liberals were really doing that.

Vampiel
February 1st, 2008, 07:15 PM
Any of you ever see prison break? Everytime I see the caniving female senator pulling strings to become president no matter what I see a mirror image of Hillary Clinton.

pawnman
February 1st, 2008, 07:31 PM
1) Other than the exaggerations listed "liquidating enemies" etc... is socialism such a bad thing? In a limited implementation I think it could fix alot of what is wrong with this country.

2) No matter WHAT Hilary (or anybody else) wanted to do, there is still a system of checks and balances and she couldn't change things so drastically, anyway. That's the best thing about our political system: no matter HOW BAD a president is, they can only do a limited amount of damage.

Stalin really showed us how well it worked. Mao too. I'm surprised more people don't flock to socialism.

Back to the topic at hand, no, I wouldn't leave. I don't think Hillary could make it bad enough in four years to be the USSA. And I think if she tried, there would be a huge backlash (remember the Republican revolution?), first in congressional seats, then in the White House.

Hell, a Hillary presidency might be just the thing to remind people what is good about conservatism.

pawnman
February 1st, 2008, 07:32 PM
Yes, because all the liberals were really doing that.

No one actually did. But plenty of people said it.

Philosophia
February 1st, 2008, 07:36 PM
No one actually did. But plenty of people said it.

And they were all the liberals in the US, right?

Nox_Mortus
February 1st, 2008, 07:38 PM
Stalin really showed us how well it worked. Mao too. I'm surprised more people don't flock to socialism.



Neither of those cases where studies in pure socialism, for one they where communists countries (communism and socialism are a bit different) two they didn't really resemble the type of government that people like Marx and Engels evisioned when dreaming up the idea of communism (democracy is one of the main ideal os communism, which obviously wasn't followed in Russia or China)


as for the main topic, from what I can tell hillary isn't even a socialist so I dount this would actually happen, if it did, I'd be on the frot lines of the people trying to overthrow it.

pawnman
February 1st, 2008, 07:39 PM
And they were all the liberals in the US, right?

It's a turn of pharse. How about "many liberals, especially famous ones, said that they would leave if Bush were elected, and again if he were re-elected"?

Philosophia
February 1st, 2008, 07:42 PM
It's a turn of pharse. How about "many liberals, especially famous ones, said that they would leave if Bush were elected, and again if he were re-elected"?

A turn of phrase that was in poor taste. I don't know about "many" though. Just remember that not all liberals are the same.

pawnman
February 1st, 2008, 07:46 PM
A turn of phrase that was in poor taste. I don't know about "many" though. Just remember that not all liberals are the same.

Alec Baldwin, Barbara Striesand, Susan Sarandon,Tim Robbins...Many, on camera, in interviews.

You can quibble over the semantics of "many" if you want...but there were plenty of famous liberals who said they'd leave (and never did), and many more on internet forums just like this one.

Nox_Mortus
February 1st, 2008, 07:54 PM
Alec Baldwin, Barbara Striesand, Susan Sarandon,Tim Robbins...Many, on camera, in interviews.

You can quibble over the semantics of "many" if you want...but there were plenty of famous liberals who said they'd leave (and never did), and many more on internet forums just like this one.

I actually know quite a few people who did leave, and now live in Canada or Europe for the most part.

But yeah people say stupid crap like that all of the time, especially celebrities and random people on the internet, conservatives, liberals and everybody else.

Philosophia
February 1st, 2008, 07:54 PM
Alec Baldwin, Barbara Striesand, Susan Sarandon,Tim Robbins...Many, on camera, in interviews.

So?


You can quibble over the semantics of "many" if you want...but there were plenty of famous liberals who said they'd leave (and never did), and many more on internet forums just like this one.

Its not semantics. Its politics. Do I assume that all conservatives are bible thumping, gay bashing, women hating, white men? You can't call all liberals the same, regardless of whether you think its semantics or not.

BlueSage
February 1st, 2008, 08:19 PM
So?Do I assume that all conservatives are bible thumping, gay bashing, women hating, white men? You can't call all liberals the same, regardless of whether you think its semantics or not.

if they were women hating then over time there would be less liberals right? :T

:woot:

Philosophia
February 1st, 2008, 08:21 PM
if they were women hating then over time there would be less liberals right?

Um, no.

Brigid Rowan
February 1st, 2008, 08:45 PM
if they were women hating then over time there would be less liberals right? :T

:woot:


Uhmmm...huh?

David19
February 1st, 2008, 10:16 PM
She gets a "liquifier death ray"????? Or is it a ray that converts a human into pile of cash? Why didnt any other president get one? no fair!!:bigblue:

Better yet, why can I get one, I need some fast cash and I can think of some people I could use it on ;) :devil:.

David19
February 1st, 2008, 10:25 PM
Stalin really showed us how well it worked. Mao too. I'm surprised more people don't flock to socialism.

You can't Socialism or even Communism just by a few of its extremists, anymore than you can judge Islam by its fundamentalists, Americans by Bush, Christians by the KKK, etc.

Also, if you want to go down that road then you could argue that 'cause National Socialism was right-wing, guess that showed us how "good" right-wing ideologies work.

Laisrean
February 1st, 2008, 11:36 PM
You can't Socialism or even Communism just by a few of its extremists, anymore than you can judge Islam by its fundamentalists, Americans by Bush, Christians by the KKK, etc.

It wasn't really a few of its extremists when it comes to communism, though. You'd be hard pressed to find a communist leader who wasn't a brutal dictator to some extent. Socialism? Maybe there are some good Socialists, but as for Communist leaders, I've yet to hear of even one who hasn't killed thousands or even millions of people.


Also, if you want to go down that road then you could argue that 'cause National Socialism was right-wing, guess that showed us how "good" right-wing ideologies work.

But if we did go down that road, National Socialism would be a bad example because it is actually a form of socialism, so that would actually back up what he was saying. Yes, it is a right-wing form of socialism, but it is socialism none the less.

According to Webster.com, the definition of socialism is:
1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

If you ask me that's a recipe for a dictatorship, because it is putting everything under complete government ownership and control. Maybe some good could be accomplished with that, but a lot of evil could be accomplished as well if you have bad people behind the wheel.

sarabethv
February 2nd, 2008, 12:38 AM
When you do that to a person, that means you do away with them and take their property. That's what communists do to people they think have too much wealth.

This is different from any other political party how?

Kaylara
February 2nd, 2008, 12:49 AM
Hee hee... I already emigrated...

Garm
February 2nd, 2008, 01:59 AM
You'd be hard pressed to find a communist leader who wasn't a brutal dictator to some extent.


It's hard to be a surviving communist leader who isn't a brutal dictator, nice guys end up like Allende

At any rate, the ongoing animosity many in the conservative media have to Mc Cain has proven to have some very surprising ramifications

http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Coulter_Ill_campaign_for_Hillary_if_0201.html



Now Ann Coulter has upped the ante, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity that if John McCain is the Republican nominee, she's supporting Hillary Clinton.

"If he's our candidate, then Hillary's going to be our girl," Coulter asserted. "Because she's more conservative than he is. I think she would be stronger on the war on terrorism. ... I absolutely believe that. ... I will campaign for her if it's McCain."

pawnman
February 2nd, 2008, 03:44 AM
So?



Its not semantics. Its politics. Do I assume that all conservatives are bible thumping, gay bashing, women hating, white men? You can't call all liberals the same, regardless of whether you think its semantics or not.

I didn't. You implied Val did. I said many.

Back to the topic at hand, I think I'd be in real trouble under a Hillary presidency. Her husband did a really good job of dismantling the military, and I foresee another sharp drawdown if we have a second Clinton in office. Since I'm a young, inexperienced officer, I'd be among the first booted out...and I have no useful civilian experience and my military experience thus far doesn't have much application on the outside. "Student" doesn't look all that impressive on the ol' resume.

pawnman
February 2nd, 2008, 03:45 AM
This is different from any other political party how?

Our political parties don't, as a rule, kill people and take their property for being too rich.

Philosophia
February 2nd, 2008, 04:35 AM
I didn't. You implied Val did. I said many.

It wasn't implied.

On to the topic at hand:

I don't really have an issue with Hillary being president. What I do have an issue with is people assuming that because one person is a socialist/communist, that they want bloodshed and a dictatorship. Its the same issue with liberalism. There's a vast array of sub-categories that people fall under, while defining themselves as under a particular label. For example, I'm a classical or social liberal. I don't fall under the label conservative liberal, social democrat, etc..

Like liberalism, there are a lot of different types of socialist labels that many people fall underneath. What one person may be, may not be so to another. From wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism) we get, African socialism, Arab socialism, Communism, Democratic socialism, Eco-Socialism, Guild socialism, Libertarian socialism, Market socialism, Revolutionary socialism, Social anarchism, Social democracy, Socialist market economy, Utopian socialism, Buddhist socialism, Christian socialism, Islamic socialism, etc.. You can't judge a group of people based upon the minority.

LostSheep
February 2nd, 2008, 06:01 AM
a lot of evil could be accomplished as well if you have bad people behind the wheel.

Much as could be said of democracy, too, such as, for instance, has been seen under the current president, or the previous prime minister of the UK ....

Xentor
February 2nd, 2008, 08:29 AM
Much as could be said of democracy, too, such as, for instance, has been seen under the current president, or the previous prime minister of the UK ....
qft

My own country, which definitely has its political and economic flaws, seems to have established a nice combination of socialism and liberalism. Someone in this thread mentioned Checks and Balances: that's pretty much what happens here, too. I agree that too much communism is a bad thing... and I feel the same about too much liberalism, too much socialism, too much right-wing, too much left-wing... too much of anything, really.

I advise your politicians to take a good look at how other countries run themselves, and study those of which the inhabitants seem happiest. (My country's in the top of the happy list. For some reason we still find stuff to complain about. It seems complaining is our national passtime. ;) )

Laisrean
February 2nd, 2008, 09:09 AM
qft

My own country, which definitely has its political and economic flaws, seems to have established a nice combination of socialism and liberalism. Someone in this thread mentioned Checks and Balances: that's pretty much what happens here, too. I agree that too much communism is a bad thing... and I feel the same about too much liberalism, too much socialism, too much right-wing, too much left-wing... too much of anything, really.

I advise your politicians to take a good look at how other countries run themselves, and study those of which the inhabitants seem happiest. (My country's in the top of the happy list. For some reason we still find stuff to complain about. It seems complaining is our national passtime. ;) )

I'm glad you have a better government than we do, in case something like Hurricane Katrina hits... for your country, that would be a disaster. :hairraise

Xentor
February 2nd, 2008, 09:17 AM
Yeah, we'd all run for the hills in Belgium or Germany. We do have an amazing set of dams since our last flood (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Sea_flood_of_1953) (just over 50 years ago) showed we had our heads up our asses for too long, and I'm fortunate enough to live in one of the highest parts of the country, but if those dams break, a third of my country will flood.

I wonder whether my gouvernment has an emergency plan in place for that occasion...

banondraig
February 2nd, 2008, 09:49 AM
if they were women hating then over time there would be less liberals right? :T

:woot:

Political convictions are not genetic traits.

Thunder
February 2nd, 2008, 12:14 PM
Political convictions are not genetic traits.
They will be as soon as I get more funding (and volunteers) for my experiments.

banondraig
February 2nd, 2008, 12:31 PM
They will be as soon as I get more funding (and volunteers) for my experiments.

:lol:

pawnman
February 2nd, 2008, 12:41 PM
Large-scale socialism requires some form of coercion. Always. There are no exceptions.

banondraig
February 2nd, 2008, 12:56 PM
Large-scale socialism requires some form of coercion. Always. There are no exceptions.

Nevertheless, it is a mistake to confuse it with communism.

Laisrean
February 2nd, 2008, 01:05 PM
Nevertheless, it is a mistake to confuse it with communism.

The key difference is that if you resist they just put you in a prison rather than a gulag.

banondraig
February 2nd, 2008, 01:09 PM
The key difference is that if you resist they just put you in a prison rather than a gulag.

Some people like sharing the cost of health care and college tuition.

Also, civil liberties are generally present in a socialist state, and absent under communism.

Laisrean
February 2nd, 2008, 01:24 PM
Some people like sharing the cost of health care and college tuition.

Also, civil liberties are generally present in a socialist state, and absent under communism.

Some people are happy living under Communism too, and I'm perfectly fine with them doing so, but the problem is they want to force everyone else to share and live under that system as well. Some people willingly accept these things, but others don't willingly accept, and that's why communist systems invariably lead to things like gulags and mass graves. Those were the people who didn't want to share.

Xentor
February 2nd, 2008, 01:33 PM
Large-scale socialism requires some form of coercion. Always. There are no exceptions.

That may be... I wonder how many other forms of economy require coercion. Full capitalism comes to mind. It requires a government and a judicial system that leave the employees and consumers to the utter whim of the employers and the rich. What's the name for such a political system? Oligarchy? Aristocracy? Full capitalism doesn't like democracy.

Laisrean
February 2nd, 2008, 01:44 PM
That may be... I wonder how many other forms of economy require coercion. Full capitalism comes to mind. It requires a government and a judicial system that leave the employers and consumers to the utter whim of the employers and the rich. What's the name for such a political system? Oligarchy? Aristocracy? Full capitalism doesn't like democracy.

No one puts a gun to your heads and forces you to buy, produce, or sell anything in a purely capitalist system. Your incentive for doing these things is profit, and profit is a an incentive which involves no coercion whatsoever. The only coercion that exists in a capitalist system such as in the U.S. comes from the government. Businesses don't have the power to imprison or to raid your home or office, but the goverment has this power.

By its very nature, government is nothing but coercion. Everything it does involves force against someone somewhere. Even something as seemingly benign as a welfare check was the result of coercion against those who paid the taxes. You don't have an option not to pay taxes, so you are forced, and if you resist that will eventually lead to imprisonment. The way to have less force is to have less government.

Xentor
February 2nd, 2008, 01:52 PM
Not forced to buy anything? It's a capitalist society. If I don't buy anything, I die. That coercion enough for you?

I could go out stealing or begging, or diving dumpsters... which will result in prison time. In a purely capitalist society, no-one pays taxes for prisons. Who's going to pay for my jailtime? Me? With what money? No-one's going to hire my ass because I'd be in jail. That means no-one will care, prisons will stop to be used, and corporeal punishment will be used instead. Coercion enough yet?

I can go on if you want, but it'll disrupt this thread too much.

Baseline: every system in which people aren't equal has coercion: the social and economic type. Guess what: a pure capitalism doesn't treat its people equally. There's no profit in doing that. Problem: most systems in which people are equal by law or constitution, have coercion too: the gouvernmental type.

You prefer one type of coercion over the other?

LostSheep
February 2nd, 2008, 01:56 PM
No one puts a gun to your heads and forces you to buy, produce, or sell anything in a purely capitalist system. Your incentive for doing these things is profit, and profit is a an incentive which involves no coercion whatsoever. .
Theoretically you may not, but unless you live in some utopian self-sufficient commune or a shack in the woods and do your own hunting, grow your own food, generate your own power, have a horse instead of a car, etc, you don't really have much choice but to participate in the great capitalist system, do you?

Epona44
February 2nd, 2008, 01:59 PM
Excellent example of a poll designed to provoke a specific response. It's not asking your opinion, it's making a presupposition, and prodding for responses.

A: George Bush is a (fill in the blank).

B: The (fill in the blank) party is against you.

C. You're not a good American unless you (fill in the blank.)


So, what's you opinion ablout all this?

Laisrean
February 2nd, 2008, 02:22 PM
Not forced to buy anything? It's a capitalist society. If I don't buy anything, I die. That coercion enough for you?

I don't think many people die in the U.S. from starvation. You can choose not to work, but if you don't and you starve that was a choice. But even without the government, our society does take care of the homeless people very well. We have soup kitchens provided by charities like the salvation army and red cross so I don't anyone is actually dying here.

So if you don't buy anything you probably won't die, but your quality of living will suffer, but that is a choice and not from coercion. Not everyone is equal in wealth, but everyone should be equal in liberty. Everyone should have the chance to be successful, but acheiving that success is up to them and no one else.


I could go out stealing or begging, or diving dumpsters... which will result in prison time. In a purely capitalist society, no-one pays taxes for prisons. Who's going to pay for my jailtime? Me? With what money? No-one's going to hire my ass because I'd be in jail. That means no-one will care, prisons will stop to be used, and corporeal punishment will be used instead. Coercion enough yet?

Yes, prisons are a form of coercion but they are a necessary coercion. A small amount of coercion is inevitable and necessary, and that's why government is a necessary evil. But that doesn't mean the government needs to have its hands in everything.

Marcel
February 2nd, 2008, 02:27 PM
I'm going for Obama. Just don't trust Hillary. And, the republicans will tie everyting up with scandels and investigations. Funny how they never allowed any investigations of King Georgie or King Dick.

We need fresh. We need hope. We need a new direction. We need to work together.

Just hope Obama is protected enough against assassination.

Maybe Obama can make the Clintons ambassadors to Iran.

Xentor
February 2nd, 2008, 02:35 PM
I don't think many people die in the U.S. from starvation. You can choose not to work, but if you don't and you starve that was a choice.
That isn't coercion? What kind of a choice is this: buy or die?


But even without the government, our society does take care of the homeless people very well. We have soup kitchens provided by charities like the salvation army and red cross so I don't anyone is actually dying here.
Yay, socialism! (You don't really want to consider this capitalism, in some weird convoluted way, do you?)


So if you don't buy anything you probably won't die, but your quality of living will suffer, but that is a choice and not from coercion.
Repetition of a failing argument doesn't make it more true.


Not everyone is equal in wealth, but everyone should be equal in liberty. Everyone should have the chance to be successful, but acheiving that success is up to them and no one else.
Guess what you need in order to ensure everyone has equal liberty? A gouvernment perhaps? Bingo!


Yes, prisons are a form of coercion but they are a necessary coercion. A small amount of coercion is inevitable and necessary, and that's why government is a necessary evil. But that doesn't mean the government needs to have its hands in everything.
Exactly my point. Welcome to the world of balance.

LostSheep
February 2nd, 2008, 02:47 PM
I don't think many people die in the U.S. from starvation. You can choose not to work, but if you don't and you starve that was a choice. But even without the government, our society does take care of the homeless people very well. We have soup kitchens provided by charities like the salvation army and red cross so I don't anyone is actually dying here.
Now you're trying to suggest that charities are a form of capitalism? Surely charities are the antithesis of capitalism, in that they provide a service but don't insist on something in return. Or, if they're not a form of capitalism, then is that an admission that there are some times when capitalism can't provide all the answers for everything? :eyebrow:

Kaylara
February 2nd, 2008, 02:57 PM
I don't think many people die in the U.S. from starvation. You can choose not to work, but if you don't and you starve that was a choice. But even without the government, our society does take care of the homeless people very well. We have soup kitchens provided by charities like the salvation army and red cross so I don't anyone is actually dying here.

So if you don't buy anything you probably won't die, but your quality of living will suffer, but that is a choice and not from coercion. Not everyone is equal in wealth, but everyone should be equal in liberty. Everyone should have the chance to be successful, but acheiving that success is up to them and no one else.



Oh, I have to disagree with you there 100%. You don't treat your poor or your homeless well at all in the US. And it is *society* that takes care of the homeless. Not the government, which makes it social action, thus socialist.

The Salvation Army and Red Cross don't just work in the US. And a lot of their funding goes towards the functioning of the actual organization. Also, (with the Salvation Army at least) they can refuse to give you any help unless you convert to Christianity. (Which is why I wouldn't give to one of those charities. I can do more real help on my own than I can when going through an intermediary, most of the time.)

Plenty of people suffer and starve in the US because of the lack of help available. And I mean real help. Not just saying "Why don't you go live in a homeless shelter where there is already no space and someone will rape you and slit your throat for your pocket watch???" We treat homeless and poor people like they're less than human. And in a capitalist society that makes sense... They're unable to generate profits, so they themselves have no worth. And personally, I think that's an absolutely disgusting way to look at your fellow human being.

And in a capitalist society not everyone has the same ability to be successful. Some people are more "equal" than others. And I have to say, I've seen that there are better ways to do things.

There is a reason why something like 85% of people here in NL are happy and content with their lives, and with their jobs. (Regardless of what those jobs are, too.) When you don't have to worry about what happens if you have a problem with your job, if you know there is a safety net and if you need it there will be help, it's much less stressful.

Marcel
February 2nd, 2008, 03:15 PM
we do need a kinder gentler nation, otherwise the rich are just barbarians ready to perform human sacrifice

Kaylara
February 2nd, 2008, 03:27 PM
What?

Brigid Rowan
February 2nd, 2008, 03:31 PM
we do need a kinder gentler nation, otherwise the rich are just barbarians ready to perform human sacrifice


I beg your pardon?

Ben Gruagach
February 2nd, 2008, 03:40 PM
What I really want to know is where do the right-wingers think they would move to that would be less socialistic that whatever Hillary might do in the USA?

Canada (where I'm from) has way more socialist things in place, with much higher taxes to pay for them, than Americans have.

Europe? Most of it (the UK and Ireland included) are more socialist than Canada.

You'd probably have to go to a third world nation to find ones that are low taxes -- but be prepared to have to face grinding poverty literally in your face every day unless you want to hide out in some sort of armed compound. They tend to not be as good at hiding their poor in third world countries, as they are in wealthier nations.

Australia might be a reasonable alternative to the US for right-wingers but even then you might find the taxes and socialism are more entrenched there than you have in the USA.

Israel or various middle east places might work, but be prepared to convert to the dominant religions there (Judaism in Israel, Islam everywhere else) if you want you and your descendants to be anything other than a minority.

Laisrean
February 2nd, 2008, 04:02 PM
Guess what you need in order to ensure everyone has equal liberty? A gouvernment perhaps? Bingo!

I never said you didn't. But how about we draw the line there and not go into wealth redistribution?

Laisrean
February 2nd, 2008, 04:10 PM
What I really want to know is where do the right-wingers think they would move to that would be less socialistic that whatever Hillary might do in the USA?

Actually, third world countries are often just as socialist or even more socialist than the developed world. Look at Cuba, Columbia, and Zimbabwe as perfect examples of this.

Xentor
February 2nd, 2008, 04:10 PM
I never said you didn't. But how about we draw the line there and not go into wealth redistribution?

Taxes are a very social way of said redistribution... I'd say we should draw the line at the unalienable rights of mankind... though the USA doesn't recognise the human rights bill.

Laisrean
February 2nd, 2008, 04:17 PM
Taxes are a very social way of said redistribution... I'd say we should draw the line at the unalienable rights of mankind... though the USA doesn't recognise the human rights bill.

Taxes involve coercion. Shouldn't the rights of mankind include the right to not be coerced? Benjamin Franklin said your rights end where my rights begin, so I think that's how human rights should be summed up. If you aren't harming anyone, then the government should leave you alone.

But I agree that the USA doesn't respect human rights as well as it should, with the torture and so forth. You won't hear me argue with you on that; but that's not the way the country used to be.

Ben Gruagach
February 2nd, 2008, 04:18 PM
Actually, third world countries are often just as socialist or even more socialist than the developed world. Look at Cuba, Columbia, and Zimbabwe as perfect examples of this.

Yeah, I know many third-world nations are very socialist too. To find one that is has as little socialism (or less) than the USA the only places I thought might have that sort of setup would be perhaps in a few third-world countries.

But then you'd have to live in a third-world country with all the other problems that go along with it.

Emigration as a solution for right-wingers who are dissatisfied with the US not being right-wing enough is a pretty pointless alternative.

Laisrean
February 2nd, 2008, 04:25 PM
Yeah, I know many third-world nations are very socialist too. To find one that is has as little socialism (or less) than the USA the only places I thought might have that sort of setup would be perhaps in a few third-world countries.

But then you'd have to live in a third-world country with all the other problems that go along with it.

Emigration as a solution for right-wingers who are dissatisfied with the US not being right-wing enough is a pretty pointless alternative.

I don't know... I'm not very familiar with politics in Europe, but I remember West Germany was very capitalistic and was consequently very prosperous during the cold war. Since the reunification, things seem to have gone down hill because former communists started pushing things in that direction. But there are more countries in Europe than Germany, Britain, France, and Spain. It would be interesting to see what things are like in Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Czech Republic, and all those other countries.

Actually, I hear Poland has been moving in the direction of free-markets. They were one of the few countries to join us in the Iraq coalition in a significant way, and they seem to resent communism because it was literally forced on them by the USSR. So the ironic thing is that now maybe those Warsaw pact countries have become capitalist and the NATO countries are now socialist. But I could be wrong on that... I know Russia hasn't really improved, but these other countries may have.

LostSheep
February 2nd, 2008, 04:36 PM
Well, Russia is one of the most capitalistic countries there is now, arguably (looks at Roman Abramovich, for instance); though there seems to be more and more nostalgia for the old ways. Most countries in Euope, I think, seem to manage to combine democracy and predominantly capitalistic economies with state control of the things that they feel the state should be in charge of; and they seem to be reasonably happy to pay considerably higher taxes than the US, certainly, and probably Britain.

Laisrean
February 2nd, 2008, 04:41 PM
Well, Russia is one of the most capitalistic countries there is now, arguably (looks at Roman Abramovich, for instance); though there seems to be more and more nostalgia for the old ways. Most countries in Euope, I think, seem to manage to combine democracy and predominantly capitalistic economies with state control of the things that they feel the state should be in charge of; and they seem to be reasonably happy to pay considerably higher taxes than the US, certainly, and probably Britain.

As I understand, Russia had great potential to be a free and prosperous country, but unfortunately Boris Yeltsin was a drunk and he dropped the ball and so now instead of being an entirely free and capitalist country, it was taken over by organized crime and corrupt KGB people like Putin. So I wouldn't consider Russia capitalist at all, but actually something like what would happen if the Mafia had its own country.

Xentor
February 2nd, 2008, 05:12 PM
West Germany was very capitalistic and was consequently very prosperous during the cold war. Since the reunification, things seem to have gone down hill because former communists started pushing things in that direction.

:noway:

Suggesting the communists are the cause of Germany's economy drop smells like bias to me. The reason things went down-hill for Germany is because the reunification united a rather well-doing country with a dirt poor one. Germany grew by 1/3, in people, in economics, in politics, in land. That's a tough cookie to crack, and they've done a hell of a job getting where they are now. I'd challenge any other country do the same and get to the same result. They still have problems with unemployment, though.

Ben Gruagach
February 2nd, 2008, 06:25 PM
They have comparisons of what people pay in taxes around the world at http://www.worldwide-tax.com/ And I believe even before Germany's reunification west German society was pretty socialist (universal healthcare, etc.) What else do you call a country where 100% of the people have healthcare, with roughly 90% covered by taxfunded insurance and the other 10% (wealthy people) with other private insurance coverage? (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0795/is_n3_v12/ai_11007999)

Germany's taxes are higher than Canada's (individual plus VAT). Singapore might be a happier place for the tax phobic, but then they have those lovely harsh laws with punishments like canings. And as suspected many of the low-tax countries on the list are third world nations or as others have commented are former USSR nations, many not considered to be particularly stable or wealthy.

Philosophia
February 2nd, 2008, 07:03 PM
Let me say this:

Socialism =/= communism
Socialism =/= mass executions or jailings
Socialism =/= no private enterprise and companies

Socialism isn't the great evil that people are making it out to be.

sunny.spoone
February 2nd, 2008, 07:08 PM
Let me say this:

Socialism =/= communism
Socialism =/= mass executions or jailings
Socialism =/= no private enterprise and companies

Socialism isn't the great evil that people are making it out to be.

You'd have thought the Red Scare and McCarthyism would have died out by now. Le sigh.

Laisrean
February 2nd, 2008, 07:15 PM
:noway:

Suggesting the communists are the cause of Germany's economy drop smells like bias to me. The reason things went down-hill for Germany is because the reunification united a rather well-doing country with a dirt poor one. Germany grew by 1/3, in people, in economics, in politics, in land. That's a tough cookie to crack, and they've done a hell of a job getting where they are now. I'd challenge any other country do the same and get to the same result. They still have problems with unemployment, though.

That is true, but why was the communist one so dirt poor while the capitalist one was so wealthy? Doesn't this support the idea that capitalism leads to more prosperity and that communism is nothing but stagnation and misery? The whole country was in ruins after the war, but the western part bounced back.

Laisrean
February 2nd, 2008, 07:28 PM
They have comparisons of what people pay in taxes around the world at http://www.worldwide-tax.com/ And I believe even before Germany's reunification west German society was pretty socialist (universal healthcare, etc.) What else do you call a country where 100% of the people have healthcare, with roughly 90% covered by taxfunded insurance and the other 10% (wealthy people) with other private insurance coverage? (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0795/is_n3_v12/ai_11007999)

Your list shows that the U.S. has tax rates comparably high with most other developed nations - including nations with a NHS. But in our case, the taxes are most likely being sucked into things like the military. Take a look at Bulgaria, which seems to be fixed at 10%. I think that would be a good level to strive for, but we'd have to trim down the military a great deal and quite giving money to every two-bit dictator in the middle-east.


Germany's taxes are higher than Canada's (individual plus VAT). Singapore might be a happier place for the tax phobic, but then they have those lovely harsh laws with punishments like canings. And as suspected many of the low-tax countries on the list are third world nations or as others have commented are former USSR nations, many not considered to be particularly stable or wealthy.

Not particularly wealthy now, but with those lower rates it would be interesting to see what their GDP and GNP growth rates are versus the countries with the highest level of taxation.

The low tax and free-market idea seems to have worked extremely well for Ireland which has converted it from one of the poorest countries in Europe into one of the wealthiest in a very short period of time.

Ireland's economic success (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_tiger)


Celtic Tiger (Irish: Tíogar Ceilteach) is a name for the period of rapid economic growth in the Republic of Ireland that began in the 1990s and slowed in 2001, only to pick up pace again in 2003 and then have slowed down once again by 2006. During this time, Ireland experienced a boom in which it was transformed from one of Europe's poorer countries into one of its wealthiest. The causes of Ireland's growth are the subject of some debate, but credit has been primarily given to free market capitalism: low corporate taxation; decades of investment in domestic higher education; a low-cost labour market; a policy of restraint in government spending; and EU membership - which provided transfer payments and export access to the Single Market.

So if credit is being given to free-market capitalism and low corporate taxation, then why doesn't every country follow their example? If an essentially 3rd world country can become a 1st world country in a couple decades, then think of what this would do to a nation which is already in the 1st world.

banondraig
February 2nd, 2008, 10:31 PM
That is true, but why was the communist one so dirt poor while the capitalist one was so wealthy? Doesn't this support the idea that capitalism leads to more prosperity and that communism is nothing but stagnation and misery? The whole country was in ruins after the war, but the western part bounced back.

Straw man.

Again, socialism and communism are not the same, and no one here is arguing in favor of communism.

pawnman
February 3rd, 2008, 03:07 AM
That isn't coercion? What kind of a choice is this: buy or die?


Yay, socialism! (You don't really want to consider this capitalism, in some weird convoluted way, do you?)


Repetition of a failing argument doesn't make it more true.


Guess what you need in order to ensure everyone has equal liberty? A gouvernment perhaps? Bingo!


Exactly my point. Welcome to the world of balance.

Soup kitchens and such aren't socialism, they're charity. I'm not forced by the government to give money to a soup kitchen. Under a socialist system, I wouldn't even have money to give...the government would just take all of it, and I'd cross my fingers and hope that what I want and what the government wants to give me are the same thing.

And you're missing the point. In a capitalist system, no one forces you to spend money on anything you don't want to. You want to buy food, go ahead. You want to live off the land, go ahead. Want to raise your own, go ahead. But aside from the barest necessities, you aren't FORCED to buy anything. Under a socialist or a communist form of government, you're forced to give the money to the government, and hope they give you what you want. On the other hand, you don't have to work nearly as hard...you get the same amount of bread and water for 1 hour of work as you do for 8. Not like your paycheck will be getting any larger.

Xentor
February 3rd, 2008, 08:38 AM
Soup kitchens and such aren't socialism, they're charity. I'm not forced by the government to give money to a soup kitchen. Under a socialist system, I wouldn't even have money to give...the government would just take all of it, and I'd cross my fingers and hope that what I want and what the government wants to give me are the same thing.
1) The taxes you pay aren't used for that same charity? In my country they are. And we think that's a good thing.
2) You don't know how your gouvernment spends your taxes? Isn't it time you found out? They do have to tell.


And you're missing the point. In a capitalist system, no one forces you to spend money on anything you don't want to. You want to buy food, go ahead. You want to live off the land, go ahead. Want to raise your own, go ahead. But aside from the barest necessities, you aren't FORCED to buy anything.
Yes, forced I'd be. For in a capitalist society, everything is about money. Are you assuming that I could live off of the land for free? No sir! If that were true, most of my fellow countrymen would be farmers. Yes, we're that cheap. It doesn't work that way. Again, the choice you present is buy or die. That isn't force in your book?

Or maybe you think only gouvernments and armies can force and coerce? Wrong, sir! It's society that forces and coerces in a democracy, with gouvernment and army to back them up. Democracy, that means you too.


Under a socialist or a communist form of government, you're forced to give the money to the government, and hope they give you what you want. On the other hand, you don't have to work nearly as hard...you get the same amount of bread and water for 1 hour of work as you do for 8. Not like your paycheck will be getting any larger.
That would be communism for you. It seems you are trying to apply a communist income pattern to a capitalist spending pattern: that doesn't work. Take a look at Cuba: free medicare, free education... but hardly any wage for the masses. Why? Because there's nothing to spend on! Who needs a large paycheck if there isn't anything to buy?

That has nothing to do with communism whatsoever, but with bad management. Every type of econo-political society will go downhill under bad management. (Did I mention I don't like dictators?)

In a partial socialist society like mine, those who cannot work due to sickness or whatever other reason, get a grant from the state, paid for by my taxes. They don't get their one bread a week no matter how hard or little they work; they get a grant because they are citizens. If you want more you'll have to work. People who are unable to work will not be able to get more... but they will get enough for the basic means of existence.

A capitalist society won't do that. Instead, it will refuse to take care of the sick and disabled. If you didn't save up enough, you're going to die. Why? Because health care and daily food cost money, and no capitalist is going to pay that for you without expecting something in return. Everything is about profit.

Charity does not fit in a capitalist society. Face it: your country isn't nearly as capitalist as you want to believe.

Laisrean
February 3rd, 2008, 09:52 AM
A capitalist society won't do that. Instead, it will refuse to take care of the sick and disabled. If you didn't save up enough, you're going to die. Why? Because health care and daily food cost money, and no capitalist is going to pay that for you without expecting something in return. Everything is about profit.

The example of the soup kitchens which are provided voluntarily by charity proves you are wrong. If someone is ever starving to death in the U.S. it is a very rare occurance. If anything, our nation has far too much food (consider the obesity epidemic we have). I don't know how common it is now, but we also used to have lots of charity hospitals which were run by churches and religious organizations. I wasn't alive back then, but I don't think it was a hard thing to get treated. In fact, doctors used to come to your house. Try getting that kind of treatment out of a socialist system.

Everything may all be about self-interest (or profit), but how is that necessarily a bad thing? Many people open their wallets to help those in need voluntarily because they themselves feel good about helping, or because they think it will earn them favor with their God. But regardless of their motive for giving, isn't it enough that they give and that people are helped? Human nature revolves around self-interest, and capitalism does a better job of harnessing this fact than socialism does. Socialism goes against human nature, because it treats people as a collective instead of as individuals. Socialism works great for ants, but on a large scale it doesn't work well with humans.


Charity does not fit in a capitalist society. Face it: your country isn't nearly as capitalist as you want to believe.

Charity and capitalism go hand in hand, because both are completely voluntary. Both of these are what happens when government coercion is taken away. Those social programs you mention your country has are not charity, because they are paid for with taxes the government took from its citizens at gunpoint. Charity involves no force or guns whatsoever, and those who give do so willingly.

You did a good job of explaining how things are different in Europe than in the USA, so I am not at all surprised that Americans are the most charitable people on earth. We don't necessarily count on the government to take care of all our needs, so we still have some room for voluntary groups like the Red Cross and Salvation Army. These groups provide for the needs of the sick and needy, and they do it without the use of government coercion.

LostSheep
February 3rd, 2008, 10:03 AM
Those social programs you mention your country has are not charity, because they are paid for with taxes the government took from its citizens at gunpoint.

Gunpoint? I don't know whether the IRS arms its oepratives yet, but I dont' think tax collectors in Europe, yet, tote AK47s when going about their daily business.

Laisrean
February 3rd, 2008, 10:20 AM
Gunpoint? I don't know whether the IRS arms its oepratives yet, but I dont' think tax collectors in Europe, yet, tote AK47s when going about their daily business.

If you evade taxes long enough men with guns will come after you. Although, now the guns they use is probably more likely to be of the stun variety.... Nevertheless, let's not kid ourselves over the fact that tax paying is not optional.

LostSheep
February 3rd, 2008, 10:24 AM
Well, that's how they got Al Capone, so maybe there is something to be said for it.

:hrmm:

pawnman
February 3rd, 2008, 10:50 AM
Gunpoint? I don't know whether the IRS arms its oepratives yet, but I dont' think tax collectors in Europe, yet, tote AK47s when going about their daily business.

Dodge your taxes long enough, see if they don't send an armed police officer or FBI agent to your house.

Xentor
February 3rd, 2008, 10:53 AM
If you evade taxes long enough men with guns will come after you. Although, now the guns they use is probably more likely to be of the stun variety.... Nevertheless, let's not kid ourselves over the fact that tax paying is not optional.


Dodge your taxes long enough, see if they don't send an armed police officer or FBI agent to your house.

No guns here either. We are protected by law. Aren't you?

Paying tax is fully optional: you can choose to live elsewhere. Unfortunately, you will also miss out on the benefits provided to you from those taxes, just because you are a citizen. And if you choose to live here, and not pay taxes, you will wind up in a nice little jail, with all the comforts you need according to the bill of human rights and then some. Also something paid for by my taxes... because we actually care about our fellow citizens, even if they don't play by our rules.

I pay those taxes happily, because I know that someone will benefit from it, just as I will benefit from the same system when I need to. Our citizens don't have to depend on charity. We have a gouvernment that looks after us. And when more is needed (for instance by the homeless beggers in the street that need change to stay in the shelter because they spent the rest on crack), there still are charitable people that do spend. Why? Because we care... even when our gouvernment does the providing.

Charity has nothing to do with capitalism. It has everything to do with people taking care of each other. There is no profit... there's only self-esteem, and being able to look each other in the eyes without shame. A capitalist society depends on it. A socialist society provides it. Somewhere in the middle, we'll find a well-working solution.

pawnman
February 3rd, 2008, 11:38 AM
No guns here either. We are protected by law. Aren't you?

Paying tax is fully optional: you can choose to live elsewhere. Unfortunately, you will also miss out on the benefits provided to you from those taxes, just because you are a citizen. And if you choose to live here, and not pay taxes, you will wind up in a nice little jail, with all the comforts you need according to the bill of human rights and then some. Also something paid for by my taxes... because we actually care about our fellow citizens, even if they don't play by our rules.

I pay those taxes happily, because I know that someone will benefit from it, just as I will benefit from the same system when I need to. Our citizens don't have to depend on charity. We have a gouvernment that looks after us. And when more is needed (for instance by the homeless beggers in the street that need change to stay in the shelter because they spent the rest on crack), there still are charitable people that do spend. Why? Because we care... even when our gouvernment does the providing.

Charity has nothing to do with capitalism. It has everything to do with people taking care of each other. There is no profit... there's only self-esteem, and being able to look each other in the eyes without shame. A capitalist society depends on it. A socialist society provides it. Somewhere in the middle, we'll find a well-working solution.

No guns, huh...So if I didn't pay my taxes, and refused to cooperate with the cops, how would they effect my movement to jail?

I'm glad you love having the government take so much from you, and in turn provide so much for you. Personally, I'd rather my government take very little from me, and let me take care of myself.

Unrelated to this post, but just a general question for people who keep saying communism and socialism are different: What is the PRACTICAL difference? I know the textbook answer, and from the textbook answer communism seems the more people friendly choice (no government goons to put you in a gulag). But since we've never had a communist or socialist country without a government...what is the difference once they have been implemented?

Nox_Mortus
February 3rd, 2008, 11:42 AM
Dodge your taxes long enough, see if they don't send an armed police officer or FBI agent to your house.

usually they just seize assets from your bank, unless you are laundering your money or something, you have to be trying pretty hard to actually get arrested over taxes.

LostSheep
February 3rd, 2008, 11:44 AM
Unrelated to this post, but just a general question for people who keep saying communism and socialism are different: What is the PRACTICAL difference? I know the textbook answer, and from the textbook answer communism seems the more people friendly choice (no government goons to put you in a gulag). But since we've never had a communist or socialist country without a government...what is the difference once they have been implemented?

Well, The Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden#Political_system ) has it that
Sweden can be considered to be a present day example of a Social Democracy a moderate form of socialism that seeks to reform capitalism through greater government regulation and to implement a mixed economy; but I don't think by anyone's defnition they'd call it Communist.

Xentor
February 3rd, 2008, 11:52 AM
No guns, huh...So if I didn't pay my taxes, and refused to cooperate with the cops, how would they effect my movement to jail?

Night sticks. :p

pawnman
February 3rd, 2008, 11:53 AM
usually they just seize assets from your bank, unless you are laundering your money or something, you have to be trying pretty hard to actually get arrested over taxes.

That's my point. If you don't pay them, you'll eventually be subject to force.

Nox_Mortus
February 3rd, 2008, 11:57 AM
That's my point. If you don't pay them, you'll eventually be subject to force.

same thing happens if you don't pay your bills, whats the difference?

pawnman
February 3rd, 2008, 12:00 PM
same thing happens if you don't pay your bills, whats the difference?

Corporations won't put me in jail or send people with nightsticks and guns. At worst, they'll just repo the car and ruin my credit.

Nox_Mortus
February 3rd, 2008, 12:02 PM
Corporations won't put me in jail or send people with nightsticks and guns. At worst, they'll just repo the car and ruin my credit.

That what the government does too, like I said, you usually have to do something really illegal like money laundering to actually get arrested.

pawnman
February 3rd, 2008, 12:03 PM
That what the government does too, like I said, you usually have to do something really illegal like money laundering to actually get arrested.

Don't pay your taxes for several years...the IRS and/or the FBI will show up to your house. Happened to my aunt's last husband (total scumbag, totally deserved it). Arrested, at gunpoint, for tax evasion.

Nox_Mortus
February 3rd, 2008, 12:06 PM
Don't pay your taxes for several years...the IRS and/or the FBI will show up to your house. Happened to my aunt's last husband (total scumbag, totally deserved it). Arrested, at gunpoint, for tax evasion.

yeah that does happen sometimes, but I have a freind who never paid taxes and he didn't get arrested, but one day he went to the bank and found out the government seized all of his money, thats generally what they prefer to do since they don't get any money out of arresting you.

LostSheep
February 3rd, 2008, 12:49 PM
Corporations won't put me in jail or send people with nightsticks and guns. At worst, they'll just repo the car and ruin my credit.
And if you have no credit, 'tis very hard to live in a capitalist society.

pawnman
February 3rd, 2008, 02:07 PM
And if you have no credit, 'tis very hard to live in a capitalist society.

I made do as a college student. It just means you have to be that much more careful about budgeting, because you can't use loans/credit cards to cover shortfalls. But I've known plenty of people that live on a cash-only basis...no car loan, no credit cards, no student loans, not even a mortgage. It's a little more difficult, but far from impossible.

Laufey
February 3rd, 2008, 03:12 PM
well we're already a federal dictatorship...there certainly isn't much freedom left here...for a supposedly free country we have more laws than any other country...I don't even have the right to refuse having my children poisoned...

Laisrean
February 3rd, 2008, 04:36 PM
Unrelated to this post, but just a general question for people who keep saying communism and socialism are different: What is the PRACTICAL difference? I know the textbook answer, and from the textbook answer communism seems the more people friendly choice (no government goons to put you in a gulag). But since we've never had a communist or socialist country without a government...what is the difference once they have been implemented?

Bingo. Communism has never actually existed (except maybe in small groups, like the Amish). The USSR was Socialist, but certainly not Democraticly Socialist, so probably the thing to do would be classify so called "Communist" nations as "Authoritarian Socialist" instead?

Laisrean
February 3rd, 2008, 05:06 PM
well we're already a federal dictatorship...there certainly isn't much freedom left here...for a supposedly free country we have more laws than any other country...I don't even have the right to refuse having my children poisoned...

The government owns your children (or thinks it does). They do everything they can to discourage or hinder parents from pursuing a private or homeschooling form of education for their kids. They think the task of educating kids should be up to them, and them alone. That way they can indoctrinate them with their political beliefs and so forth.

They also think they own your home and anything else you think you might own... they take people's property all the time through things like eminent domain and asset forfeiture laws. So yes, the government is a dictatorship in a way and they can do pretty much anything they want with impunity (even lock you up without charge or access to legal counsel these days).

David19
February 3rd, 2008, 07:02 PM
The example of the soup kitchens which are provided voluntarily by charity proves you are wrong. If someone is ever starving to death in the U.S. it is a very rare occurance. If anything, our nation has far too much food (consider the obesity epidemic we have). I don't know how common it is now, but we also used to have lots of charity hospitals which were run by churches and religious organizations. I wasn't alive back then, but I don't think it was a hard thing to get treated. In fact, doctors used to come to your house. Try getting that kind of treatment out of a socialist system.

Try getting that treatment now. Doctors don't come to your house now, you go to them, I also haven't heard of "charity hospitals".

Maybe they did have them in old times, but they don't have them anymore in capitalist societies.



Charity and capitalism go hand in hand, because both are completely voluntary. Both of these are what happens when government coercion is taken away. Those social programs you mention your country has are not charity, because they are paid for with taxes the government took from its citizens at gunpoint. Charity involves no force or guns whatsoever, and those who give do so willingly.

Are you saying that having social programs are a bad idea? or that the government shouldn't provide education, health care, etc. There are some things that should be universal, and health care, education are the 2 of the most important ones. They should be free for everyone, not just for the rich. That's why I don't think I like the fact that in the U.S., you won't be treated unless you pay them.

David19
February 3rd, 2008, 07:15 PM
If you evade taxes long enough men with guns will come after you. Although, now the guns they use is probably more likely to be of the stun variety.... Nevertheless, let's not kid ourselves over the fact that tax paying is not optional.

Tax payment might not be optional, but isn't that the same with any time you commit a crime, they'll send the cops after you, who probably will have guns (in the U.S., here in the UK, it's only special forces who carry guns, not the ordinary police).

David19
February 3rd, 2008, 07:19 PM
No guns here either. We are protected by law. Aren't you?

Paying tax is fully optional: you can choose to live elsewhere. Unfortunately, you will also miss out on the benefits provided to you from those taxes, just because you are a citizen. And if you choose to live here, and not pay taxes, you will wind up in a nice little jail, with all the comforts you need according to the bill of human rights and then some. Also something paid for by my taxes... because we actually care about our fellow citizens, even if they don't play by our rules.

I pay those taxes happily, because I know that someone will benefit from it, just as I will benefit from the same system when I need to. Our citizens don't have to depend on charity. We have a gouvernment that looks after us. And when more is needed (for instance by the homeless beggers in the street that need change to stay in the shelter because they spent the rest on crack), there still are charitable people that do spend. Why? Because we care... even when our gouvernment does the providing.

Charity has nothing to do with capitalism. It has everything to do with people taking care of each other. There is no profit... there's only self-esteem, and being able to look each other in the eyes without shame. A capitalist society depends on it. A socialist society provides it. Somewhere in the middle, we'll find a well-working solution.

Great post, and I agree with it 100%, it's kind of similar to the UK.

David19
February 3rd, 2008, 07:27 PM
No guns, huh...So if I didn't pay my taxes, and refused to cooperate with the cops, how would they effect my movement to jail?

I'm glad you love having the government take so much from you, and in turn provide so much for you. Personally, I'd rather my government take very little from me, and let me take care of myself.

Taking care of yourself is all well and good, but do you have the training needed to look after yourself if you get sick (and I don't mean a cold, I mean a serious illness, like cancer, DVT, etc). I don't know what type of school your daughter goes too, but don't you send her to a state/public school, which the government runs?, etc.

There are some things that you, yourself, just can't do, or can't do efficiently, and there are some things that the government should be doing, otherwise what's the point of having a government?.

I know some people here say the government shouldn't be involved in peoples lives, but if that's true, what's the point of having a government, elections would basically be for just electing a bunch of guys to sit on their asses all day 'cause they're not doing anything.


Unrelated to this post, but just a general question for people who keep saying communism and socialism are different: What is the PRACTICAL difference? I know the textbook answer, and from the textbook answer communism seems the more people friendly choice (no government goons to put you in a gulag). But since we've never had a communist or socialist country without a government...what is the difference once they have been implemented?

A Socialist government doesn't put you in jail either or send you to the gulags, it just makes things more equal, it helps provide new opportunities for people who may not have had any (for example, getting all kids into education, not just the few, etc).

Now, personally, I don't really consider myself a socialist, conservative, or anything, but I do think the government should provide health care and education for all, it's a right of people to be healthy, to have a good education, etc.

Thunder
February 3rd, 2008, 07:37 PM
Taking care of yourself is all well and good, but do you have the training needed to look after yourself if you get sick (and I don't mean a cold, I mean a serious illness, like cancer, DVT, etc). I don't know what type of school your daughter goes too, but don't you send her to a state/public school, which the government runs?, etc.

There are some things that you, yourself, just can't do, or can't do efficiently, and there are some things that the government should be doing, otherwise what's the point of having a government?.

I know some people here say the government shouldn't be involved in peoples lives, but if that's true, what's the point of having a government, elections would basically be for just electing a bunch of guys to sit on their asses all day 'cause they're not doing anything.



A Socialist government doesn't put you in jail either or send you to the gulags, it just makes things more equal, it helps provide new opportunities for people who may not have had any (for example, getting all kids into education, not just the few, etc).

Now, personally, I don't really consider myself a socialist, conservative, or anything, but I do think the government should provide health care and education for all, it's a right of people to be healthy, to have a good education, etc.Just because something is a right doesn't mean that the government should run it. Health care in this country, even very good health care, used to be affordable. It rose beyond the reach of working people WHEN the government got involved in it. I am with Pawnman on this one. They govern best who govern least.

Laisrean
February 3rd, 2008, 07:50 PM
Just because something is a right doesn't mean that the government should run it. Health care in this country, even very good health care, used to be affordable. It rose beyond the reach of working people WHEN the government got involved in it. I am with Pawnman on this one. They govern best who govern least.

I don't understand why so many people think it should be run by the government. Having the government provide a safety net is one thing, but why must the government be in control of the industry? Why can't it just give subsidies under the private system to ensure that safety net exists? That way, at least you get the efficiency of private enterprise and lower costs.

Philosophia
February 3rd, 2008, 07:54 PM
I don't understand why so many people think it should be run by the government. Having the government provide a safety net is one thing, but why must the government be in control of the industry? Why can't it just give subsidies under the private system to ensure that safety net exists? That way, at least you get the efficiency of private enterprise and lower costs.

Why not allow the government to provide a safety net for the basics (i.e. emergency, life threatening, etc.) and medication but allow private enterprise for the rest? We do it here in Australia.

Laisrean
February 3rd, 2008, 08:02 PM
Why not allow the government to provide a safety net for the basics (i.e. emergency, life threatening, etc.) and medication but allow private enterprise for the rest? We do it here in Australia.

That's a better solution than in Canada where private health care is actually illegal. I don't see why it needs to be government managed, though. Why can't the government just provide funding for low-income patients who seek treatment in private facilities? Why does everyone insist those facilities be government run? We see how efficiently government manages things with the Katrina disaster a couple years ago. Why can't they just be writing checks instead?

Philosophia
February 3rd, 2008, 08:16 PM
That's a better solution than in Canada where private health care is actually illegal. I don't see why it needs to be government managed, though. Why can't the government just provide funding for low-income patients who seek treatment in private facilities? Why does everyone insist those facilities be government run? We see how efficiently government manages things with the Katrina disaster a couple years ago. Why can't they just be writing checks instead?

In Australia, the hospitals I have worked at, were governmental owned but not governmental run. They are done by a large group of people who hire administrators and chair people to control where the money they receive go to. Many of the medical facilities are privately owned but allow funds from governmental health care programs to be used. The community center also receives funds from the government but its similar to the hospital.

Australia hasn't got a perfect health care system (there is a definite need for improvement). But I like the visits to my doctor (who works in a privately owned office) is free and that my medication is only $5.00 (the government pays the rest). I know a lot of people don't like that system but I do know that many people (especially the elderly) will die because they honestly don't have the funds for medication that can cost $50 - $100 or a doctors visit that can cost $75.

Ben Gruagach
February 3rd, 2008, 09:38 PM
The Canadian healthcare system is pretty much like the Australian one that Philosophia describes. There is actually a huge amount of choice in Canadian healthcare -- you can go to any clinic, hospital, or private practitioner that you want (if they are open to new patients or walk-in traffic.) The government doesn't run healthcare as much as fund it and provide laws to oversee.

Rich people in Canada who are not willing to be treated alongside the regular folks are also free to seek private care outside the country and often do. In some circumstances the Canadian healthcare system even pays for it (i.e. if it's considered necessary.) Otherwise the patient has to pay for it out of their own pocket or else arrange outside health insurance to cover it.

Canadian socialized healthcare is hardly similar to some sort of state-run former USSR bureaucratic heartless system the way some American critics would have us believe. And after hearing about how healthcare is run in the US (people with money have what they can afford, with many people severely underserviced, things like worries about finding "in network" healthcare based on whatever insurance company you deal with etc.) I find Canadian healthcare so much simpler and effective -- everyone is covered, and we can go anywhere we want without worrying about if our health insurance will cover us there or not.

Plus our healthcare dollars go to actual service rather than feeding the hungry health insurance companies as is the case in the USA. (Check out this report from 2003 comparing Canada versus the US (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0815/is_10_28/ai_108994048) -- I doubt that the figures are very different now.)

pawnman
February 3rd, 2008, 11:32 PM
Try getting that treatment now. Doctors don't come to your house now, you go to them, I also haven't heard of "charity hospitals".

Maybe they did have them in old times, but they don't have them anymore in capitalist societies.




Are you saying that having social programs are a bad idea? or that the government shouldn't provide education, health care, etc. There are some things that should be universal, and health care, education are the 2 of the most important ones. They should be free for everyone, not just for the rich. That's why I don't think I like the fact that in the U.S., you won't be treated unless you pay them.

You haven't heard of charity hospitals? Reallyl?

Google "St. Jude's children's hospital". Then Google "Shriners". I'll wait.

Tanya
February 4th, 2008, 12:22 AM
first, I think Hilary knows the constitution
second.. as a Russian American... **** it... I might even move back home.. after leaving when that ****wad stole the election 2 rounds back.
3rd there's a reason why most people with my last name (all 100) live in the US.... the Holocust really makes a people feel a little les than welcome if they are gypsies, Jews or Catholic... of which my family unfortunately represent all those groups.

pour all the shit you want on the US... its a place where people can be different and it be... ignored.

LostSheep
February 4th, 2008, 04:31 AM
I don't understand why so many people think it should be run by the government. Having the government provide a safety net is one thing, but why must the government be in control of the industry? Why can't it just give subsidies under the private system to ensure that safety net exists? That way, at least you get the efficiency of private enterprise and lower costs.

Paying subsidies to private corporations is a spectacularly inefficient way of doing things; it combines the worst aspects of both worlds - Government inefficiency and lack of competition, and it's only when there's competition that the private sector is really the most effective way of doing it, in my book. You don't get private sector efficiency if they have to be supported by the government. And lower costs? You ought to see what happened when councils contracted out services left, right and centre in the UK.

David19
February 4th, 2008, 11:05 AM
You haven't heard of charity hospitals? Reallyl?

Google "St. Jude's children's hospital". Then Google "Shriners". I'll wait.

I googled them and fine, I now have found out about charity hospitals, and they seem to do great work for children, but what that doesn't mean health care shouldn't be universal and free for everyone.

Charities do a lot of great work, but they need and rely on the good will of others to work, not everyone is so kind as to give loads, what happens, if hypothetically, the economy suddenly collapses, and people have another great depression, do you think they'll continue to give then donations?.

Charity hospitals and government-sponsored health care should work together, they can help more people together.

Also, those hospitals only treat kids, and while that's a good trait, what about people over 18, what if there isn't a charity hospital near them?, etc. Is it preferable just to let them die just to save a few $?.

Silverfire Darkmoon
February 4th, 2008, 11:43 AM
That's a better solution than in Canada where private health care is actually illegal. I don't see why it needs to be government managed, though. Why can't the government just provide funding for low-income patients who seek treatment in private facilities? Why does everyone insist those facilities be government run? We see how efficiently government manages things with the Katrina disaster a couple years ago. Why can't they just be writing checks instead?

Are you stupid? Are you seriously telling me that you have no problem with having to pay for some ridiculously expensive treatment out of your own pocket? Let's see here. My grandmother is currently having cancer treatments. Her medication would cost her, an eighty year-old widow, over six hundred dollars a month, and God only knows how much her chemotherapy, MRIs, and other medical bric-a-brac would cost, but because of the miracle of OHIP, she's only paying a fraction of the cost of her medication.
In November when I had a pretty bad case of tonsilitis, and was able to see my doctor on about two hours' notice, and all I had to pay for was a bottle of penecillin pills.

David19
February 4th, 2008, 12:49 PM
Are you stupid? Are you seriously telling me that you have no problem with having to pay for some ridiculously expensive treatment out of your own pocket? Let's see here. My grandmother is currently having cancer treatments. Her medication would cost her, an eighty year-old widow, over six hundred dollars a month, and God only knows how much her chemotherapy, MRIs, and other medical bric-a-brac would cost, but because of the miracle of OHIP, she's only paying a fraction of the cost of her medication.
In November when I had a pretty bad case of tonsilitis, and was able to see my doctor on about two hours' notice, and all I had to pay for was a bottle of penecillin pills.

I agree with you, my dad also has to go to the hospital once every week now and be on pills 'cause he has DVT (a clot in the leg). I don't think he's had to pay for any of the treatment, the hospital gave him the pills (I think, I wasn't there when he collected them), they try to see him quickly, to minimise the waiting times (sometimes that doesn't work, as they've got a lot to see), etc.

I'd rather have a free system of health care than have to pay high prices that would probably bankrupt me (and even if you get treated and get better, once you get the medical bill, you'll probably feel like dying anyway).

The NHS isn't perfect, but it is definantly needed, and also, the doctors and nurses who work in it, do it 'cause they want to help people, and the amount they have to put up with (with drunks, violence and abuse) is astounding.

BTW, I hope your grandma pulls through and beats the cancer :).

Ben Gruagach
February 4th, 2008, 01:16 PM
Charity hospitals such as Shriner's exist even in universal healthcare systems like the one in Canada.

(Ain't Google helpful?)

Thunder
February 4th, 2008, 02:46 PM
Paying subsidies to private corporations is a spectacularly inefficient way of doing things; it combines the worst aspects of both worlds - Government inefficiency and lack of competition, and it's only when there's competition that the private sector is really the most effective way of doing it, in my book. You don't get private sector efficiency if they have to be supported by the government. And lower costs? You ought to see what happened when councils contracted out services left, right and centre in the UK.
You will NEVER get private sector efficiency and quality if the government operates the facilities. Our VA hospitals are a monument to that. Everyone I know who has ever worked in or been treated in a VA hospital has agreed that Veterans would be infinitely better off if they got treatment at private sector hospitals and the VA just picked up the bill. The reason that government involvement is counter productive is (at least) two-fold. One, it is another layer of bureaucracy that must be paid for which erodes the funds available to actually provide care. Second, the government believes that they have a right to participate in treatment decisions simply because they are a conduit for compensation... this is flawed reasoning.

All the government should be involved in is assisting people in getting and maintaining insurance. Bureaucrats should not be allowed within cerebral hemorrhage range of a hospital. Unless they are having a cerebral hemorrhage.

Ben Gruagach
February 4th, 2008, 03:28 PM
I wish that Americans who are tired of the inefficiencies in the US healthcare system would realize that there are healthcare systems in other countries that might (gasp!) have something worth copying.

No system is perfect but the American system is hardly the only one we can learn from. Saying that because the American VA system is not working does nothing to prove that universal healthcare won't work. Even with the flaws in the various systems, it seems to do the job (and more affordably! (http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news03/health_costs.html)) in plenty of other countries.

Edited to add: http://www.angelfire.com/rnb//y/universal.htm has more recent healthcare cost comparisons, covering more than just the US and Canada.

Laisrean
February 4th, 2008, 07:47 PM
Are you stupid? That is certainly a possibility.


Are you seriously telling me that you have no problem with having to pay for some ridiculously expensive treatment out of your own pocket?

Treatments wouldn't be so ridiculously expensive in a free-market with competition which brings prices down. If Wal-Mart can provide generic medicines down to $5 for a month supply, then wouldn't it be great if something similar could be done with the cancer treatments? That's what I would like to see.

Laisrean
February 4th, 2008, 07:50 PM
I'd rather have a free system of health care than have to pay high prices that would probably bankrupt me (and even if you get treated and get better, once you get the medical bill, you'll probably feel like dying anyway).

But NHS is neither free (as in beer), nor free (as in speech).

Ben Gruagach
February 4th, 2008, 10:43 PM
Treatments wouldn't be so ridiculously expensive in a free-market with competition which brings prices down. If Wal-Mart can provide generic medicines down to $5 for a month supply, then wouldn't it be great if something similar could be done with the cancer treatments? That's what I would like to see.

That's why drug prices are so much higher in Canada than they are in the US.

(Oh yeah -- isn't there a "problem" with Americans buying their drugs in Canada because the exact same things are cheaper there? And the problem is for the US drug companies who don't like making less profit, right?)

Laisrean
February 4th, 2008, 11:13 PM
That's why drug prices are so much higher in Canada than they are in the US.

(Oh yeah -- isn't there a "problem" with Americans buying their drugs in Canada because the exact same things are cheaper there? And the problem is for the US drug companies who don't like making less profit, right?)

Are you implying the U.S. drug industry is a free-market? It really isn't. There are only a handful of gargantuan companies which have a monopoly on the entire industry. We need to fix that. But let's not forget that while we bear the brunt of the costs, these new medicines which your country and other countries take advantage of were largely discovered here. We still lead the world in drug research.

CryssieWillow
February 5th, 2008, 07:33 AM
If you don't mind me saying, I'd rather have my drugs produced as well as possible and not as cheap as possible. The idea of drug companies perhaps using sub-standard ingredients to save money positively scares me to death.

Philosophia
February 5th, 2008, 07:43 AM
But let's not forget that while we bear the brunt of the costs, these new medicines which your country and other countries take advantage of were largely discovered here. We still lead the world in drug research.

And? A lot of countries (including Australia) lead the way in other areas of medical research and they are taken advantage of as well.

Ben Gruagach
February 5th, 2008, 10:02 AM
Are you implying the U.S. drug industry is a free-market? It really isn't. There are only a handful of gargantuan companies which have a monopoly on the entire industry. We need to fix that. But let's not forget that while we bear the brunt of the costs, these new medicines which your country and other countries take advantage of were largely discovered here. We still lead the world in drug research.

Monopolies are one of the consequences of a free and unregulated market.

Are you suggesting that the government needs to control business to keep it from becoming monopolized by big conglomerates? (And isn't that the opposite of the supposed free market idea?)

Canadian and other countries also do drug research -- the US is hardly the sole research center in the world.

Perhaps there are other reasons (advertising, bribe money to politicians, etc.) why costs are so high in the US.

Edited to add: here's a brand-new study of the costs of US drugs that says they spend way more on marketing than they do on research, despite the companies' claims otherwise. (http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0050001&ct=1)

Laisrean
February 5th, 2008, 11:02 AM
And? A lot of countries (including Australia) lead the way in other areas of medical research and they are taken advantage of as well.

I'm just saying that our system can't be too bad, because there are a large number of medicines they world wouldn't have if it wasn't for the research done in our country. But sadly, we bear the bulk of the cost of this research (as well as the FDA's approval costs).

Laisrean
February 5th, 2008, 11:16 AM
Monopolies are one of the consequences of a free and unregulated market.

No; they are the consequences of an overly regulated and unfree market. There are only a handful of mega drug companies today, but before the FDA there were many small ones. It isn't big business alone which drives small businesses into the ground, but big businesses combined with heavy government regulations which big businesses are able to comply with, but smaller companies are not.


Are you suggesting that the government needs to control business to keep it from becoming monopolized by big conglomerates? (And isn't that the opposite of the supposed free market idea?)

Not at all. There needs to be less government control and burdensome regulations so smaller businesses have a chance. The more businesses there are, the lower the prices are for consumers thanks to the regulations. Having a handful of mega corps dominating the industry isn't much better than an NHS system where the government has total control. I admit the U.S. system isn't very great because of this control by a handful of big businesses, and that's what I want to see change. But a government monopoly is not an improvement at all.


Edited to add: here's a brand-new study of the costs of US drugs that says they spend way more on marketing than they do on research, despite the companies' claims otherwise. (http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0050001&ct=1)

I wouldn't doubt it. The TV and other media is saturated with ads for Viagra and all sorts of other things. Nevertheless, if the companies were exposed to proper competition they would be forced to lower their prices in order to remain profitable. As it is, the lack of competition is a great thing for them, but a bad thing for consumers and everyone else.

Ben Gruagach
February 5th, 2008, 02:35 PM
Monopolies are hardly the result of government involvement and interference in a free market. The robber barons of US history had free reign (and plenty of monopolies) until antitrust laws were put on the books specifically to deal with their deathgrip on various industries.

It's a pretty basic truism that the rich get richer. Monopolies are an obvious consequence of that. Governmental "interference" to break up monopolies is supposed to be one of the checks and balances in society. However that balance gets thrown way out of whack when the government becomes by the money and for the money rather than the voice of the people.

pawnman
February 5th, 2008, 02:47 PM
Monopolies are one of the consequences of a free and unregulated market.

Are you suggesting that the government needs to control business to keep it from becoming monopolized by big conglomerates? (And isn't that the opposite of the supposed free market idea?)

Canadian and other countries also do drug research -- the US is hardly the sole research center in the world.

Perhaps there are other reasons (advertising, bribe money to politicians, etc.) why costs are so high in the US.

Edited to add: here's a brand-new study of the costs of US drugs that says they spend way more on marketing than they do on research, despite the companies' claims otherwise. (http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0050001&ct=1)


Wrong. Regulation creates barriers to entry, which allows monopolies to exist.

Laisrean
February 5th, 2008, 03:24 PM
It's a pretty basic truism that the rich get richer.

So? The poor are getting richer too. I don't see why everyone getting wealthier is such a bad thing. The people we consider "poor" in the U.S.A. today would have been considered wealthy 100 years ago. Back then, even the wealthiest people didn't have air conditioning, cable tv, and maybe not even automobiles. Nowadays the people we consider "poor" have all of those things, plus suffer from an obesity epidemic and not from starvation. So, yes, everyone has gotten wealthier.

All of these things which improve the standards of living were provided by private entrepreneurs and not by bureaucrats. Henry Ford didn't invent the automobile, but he managed to make it affordable to everyone through the system of capitalism which you seem to loathe. I'm not sure who invented the automobile, but chances are he wasn't a politician either.

Thunder
February 5th, 2008, 04:13 PM
Are you implying the U.S. drug industry is a free-market? It really isn't. There are only a handful of gargantuan companies which have a monopoly on the entire industry. We need to fix that. But let's not forget that while we bear the brunt of the costs, these new medicines which your country and other countries take advantage of were largely discovered here. We still lead the world in drug research.


Monopolies are one of the consequences of a free and unregulated market.

Are you suggesting that the government needs to control business to keep it from becoming monopolized by big conglomerates? (And isn't that the opposite of the supposed free market idea?)

Canadian and other countries also do drug research -- the US is hardly the sole research center in the world.

Perhaps there are other reasons (advertising, bribe money to politicians, etc.) why costs are so high in the US.

Edited to add: here's a brand-new study of the costs of US drugs that says they spend way more on marketing than they do on research, despite the companies' claims otherwise. (http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0050001&ct=1)
As a Pharmaceutical Industry insider I have a different perspective and access to a different set of facts than you guys. To begin with, There are 157 pharmacetical companies in New Jersey alone and more than 7,500 world wide. Using the word monopoly in this discussion is ludicrous, please stop. Plus which... there ARE laws preventing monopolies and they have been in place for nearly a century. The Pharmaceutical industry is fiercely competitive. Also, it is Canada that does not have a free market... they strictly regulate the prices of all imported drugs. US consumers pay the "normal" price for drugs that are developed by American companies... Canadians and others often pay less because American companies have to agree to huge discounts or sell nothing at all in these countries. Perhaps if Canadians and others paid something closer to what the products are actually worth every one could pay a little less.

Laisrean
February 5th, 2008, 04:19 PM
As a Pharmaceutical Industry insider I have a different perspective and access to a different set of facts than you guys. To begin with, There are 157 pharmacetical companies in New Jersey alone and more than 7,500 world wide. Using the word monopoly in this discussion is ludicrous, please stop. Plus which... there ARE laws preventing monopolies and they have been in place for nearly a century. The Pharmaceutical industry in fiercely competitive. Also, it is Canada that does not have a free market... they strictly regulate the prices of all imported drugs. US consumers pay the "normal" price for drugs that are developed by American companies... Canadians and others often pay less because American companies have to agree to huge discounts or sell nothing at all in these countries. Perhaps if Canadians and others paid something closer to what the products are actually worth every one could pay a little less.

So the reason drugs are so expensive here is because of Canada and other countries? Guess we can't place all the blame on our own system, then. There's no question there could be greater competition than there is, though. You say there are 157 companies in New Jersey, but how many of those are able to research and develop new medicines? Generic medicine is one thing, but we need new cutting edge drugs as well.

Ben Gruagach
February 5th, 2008, 05:20 PM
As a Pharmaceutical Industry insider I have a different perspective and access to a different set of facts than you guys. To begin with, There are 157 pharmacetical companies in New Jersey alone and more than 7,500 world wide. Using the word monopoly in this discussion is ludicrous, please stop. Plus which... there ARE laws preventing monopolies and they have been in place for nearly a century. The Pharmaceutical industry in fiercely competitive. Also, it is Canada that does not have a free market... they strictly regulate the prices of all imported drugs. US consumers pay the "normal" price for drugs that are developed by American companies... Canadians and others often pay less because American companies have to agree to huge discounts or sell nothing at all in these countries. Perhaps if Canadians and others paid something closer to what the products are actually worth every one could pay a little less.

Hey, isn't lower prices for goods the benefit of a free market?

I'm having a really hard time feeling sorry for the pharma companies if they don't like having to sell their products for lower prices in markets that demand those lower prices. And if the pharma companies are fleecing the American public in order to keep their profits high even with those lower paying markets like Canada in their balance sheet, then perhaps the American people need to wake up and demand the prices that are fair.

When pharma companies are operating at a loss rather than a profit then the whines about some markets demanding lower prices might have some merit.

Laisrean
February 5th, 2008, 06:03 PM
Hey, isn't lower prices for goods the benefit of a free market?

I'm having a really hard time feeling sorry for the pharma companies if they don't like having to sell their products for lower prices in markets that demand those lower prices. And if the pharma companies are fleecing the American public in order to keep their profits high even with those lower paying markets like Canada in their balance sheet, then perhaps the American people need to wake up and demand the prices that are fair.

When pharma companies are operating at a loss rather than a profit then the whines about some markets demanding lower prices might have some merit.

But I think that if Americans paid the low prices that Canada and elsewhere pays, then they really would be operating at a loss. As it is, I don't think their profit margin is all that great considering all the money that is required for research and development. That research is not cheap, and nor is the FDA's approval costs, which are $800 million per drug, according to this site (http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1433)


Others believe that FDA policies make approval too difficult, not too easy. Every scientist who has studied the FDA carefully has found that delays in approval, mostly since the FDA policy change in 1962, which required approval for effectiveness as well as safety, have led to increased numbers of deaths. That is, more people have died waiting for drug approval than have been saved by having “safer” drugs available. One estimate is that the benefits of FDA safety regulation are between 500 and 1000 injuries (not deaths) avoided per year, while the cost of FDA delay is between 2,100 and 12,000 lives lost per year because of the unavailability of useful drugs during the approval process.

Patients have also lost out because the expense of drug approval means that some other wise promising drugs will not be worth developing at all. And the high cost of the FDA approval process, about $800 million per approved drug, means that once approved, drugs are more expensive than would be the case if the FDA process were quicker and cheaper.

I think a big reason why medicines are so expensive is because of these approval costs. $800 million for every drug is not a small amount by any means. The patent system gives the company 20 years to recoup their costs in making these drugs, so for 20 years the prices are going to be extremely high until they finally go generic. Patent reform might mitigate this problem, because if you stretch the length of patents to, say, 30 or 40 years then the companies don't need to recover their costs so quickly so the prices could be kept lower.

But really, the absolute best solution would be to bring those approval costs down. The FDA needs to be much less burdensome on the drug industry than it is, because being hard on businesses results in higher prices for consumers and less competition, because only giant mega corporations can comply with these ridiculously high costs. There aren't many companies that look at $800 million as chump change, so this is seriously restricting the amount of drugs that become available to consumers, and people are dying by the thousands as a result of these FDA restrictions.

pawnman
February 5th, 2008, 08:07 PM
Hey, isn't lower prices for goods the benefit of a free market?

I'm having a really hard time feeling sorry for the pharma companies if they don't like having to sell their products for lower prices in markets that demand those lower prices. And if the pharma companies are fleecing the American public in order to keep their profits high even with those lower paying markets like Canada in their balance sheet, then perhaps the American people need to wake up and demand the prices that are fair.

When pharma companies are operating at a loss rather than a profit then the whines about some markets demanding lower prices might have some merit.

Lower prices through competition is. Artificially lowering prices through ceilings isn't.

It'll be a long time before they operate at a loss. They'll just continue to use US dollars to subsidize Canada. You're welcome.

Ben Gruagach
February 5th, 2008, 08:39 PM
But I think that if Americans paid the low prices that Canada and elsewhere pays, then they really would be operating at a loss. As it is, I don't think their profit margin is all that great considering all the money that is required for research and development. That research is not cheap, and nor is the FDA's approval costs, which are $800 million per drug, according to this site (http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1433)


According to this report from Jan. 2008 (http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0050001&ct=1) (that I linked in a previous post in this thread) the profit made between 1996 and 2005 comes to a hefty US$558 billion. That's profit, after taking into account R&D and marketing and all those other expenses including the cost of getting approval for new drugs.

Sorry, but I'm still really struggling to feel sorry for the pharma companies.

BlueSage
February 5th, 2008, 08:41 PM
Hey, isn't lower prices for goods the benefit of a free market?

I'm having a really hard time feeling sorry for the pharma companies if they don't like having to sell their products for lower prices in markets that demand those lower prices. And if the pharma companies are fleecing the American public in order to keep their profits high even with those lower paying markets like Canada in their balance sheet, then perhaps the American people need to wake up and demand the prices that are fair.

When pharma companies are operating at a loss rather than a profit then the whines about some markets demanding lower prices might have some merit.

lower priced goods and the same amount of money in your pocket right now just can't happen.

Ben Gruagach
February 5th, 2008, 08:42 PM
Lower prices through competition is. Artificially lowering prices through ceilings isn't.

It'll be a long time before they operate at a loss. They'll just continue to use US dollars to subsidize Canada. You're welcome.

So getting back on topic of the thread, what country would you emigrate to if the US went socialist? I'm curious what country would be a haven for disaffected Amercian conservatives, providing the standard of living they are used to yet having low taxes and minimal government.

Thunder
February 5th, 2008, 09:08 PM
So getting back on topic of the thread, what country would you emigrate to if the US went socialist? I'm curious what country would be a haven for disaffected Amercian conservatives, providing the standard of living they are used to yet having low taxes and minimal government.
Canada....:smile:

Silverfire Darkmoon
February 5th, 2008, 11:26 PM
I think a big reason why medicines are so expensive is because of these approval costs. $800 million for every drug is not a small amount by any means. The patent system gives the company 20 years to recoup their costs in making these drugs, so for 20 years the prices are going to be extremely high until they finally go generic. Patent reform might mitigate this problem, because if you stretch the length of patents to, say, 30 or 40 years then the companies don't need to recover their costs so quickly so the prices could be kept lower.

But really, the absolute best solution would be to bring those approval costs down. The FDA needs to be much less burdensome on the drug industry than it is, because being hard on businesses results in higher prices for consumers and less competition, because only giant mega corporations can comply with these ridiculously high costs. There aren't many companies that look at $800 million as chump change, so this is seriously restricting the amount of drugs that become available to consumers, and people are dying by the thousands as a result of these FDA restrictions.

A big reason for such high approval costs is doubtless because it takes a lot of time, research, and testing to prove that something is safe for use by the general public. The high price tag for approval is likely going to determine your average snake-oil salesman.
Sadly, this would also limit the approval of drugs that aren't snake-oil.

pawnman
February 5th, 2008, 11:43 PM
So getting back on topic of the thread, what country would you emigrate to if the US went socialist? I'm curious what country would be a haven for disaffected Amercian conservatives, providing the standard of living they are used to yet having low taxes and minimal government.

I wouldn't emigrate. I'd stay and work to change the place.

And I certainly am not going to tell everyone how I'll emigrate and stay anyway. I'm up front about staying here.

Laisrean
February 6th, 2008, 12:55 AM
A big reason for such high approval costs is doubtless because it takes a lot of time, research, and testing to prove that something is safe for use by the general public. The high price tag for approval is likely going to determine your average snake-oil salesman.
Sadly, this would also limit the approval of drugs that aren't snake-oil.

Did you read the article I linked to? Scientists who've researched the FDA and its practices agree more lives are lost than are saved. The heavy hand and over cautiousness of the FDA is estimated at preventing 500-1000 injuries a year, but it also causes up to 12,000 deaths a year. This defies logic.

Laisrean
February 6th, 2008, 12:58 AM
Canada....:smile:

Which is run by a conservative now.

A mass-migration of conservatives into Canada would be enough to turn the nation into Texas. :smile:

pawnman
February 6th, 2008, 08:44 AM
Did you read the article I linked to? Scientists who've researched the FDA and its practices agree more lives are lost than are saved. The heavy hand and over cautiousness of the FDA is estimated at preventing 500-1000 injuries a year, but it also causes up to 12,000 deaths a year. This defies logic.

Legally, 12,000 deaths you can't be sued for is better than 500-1000 injuries you can.

Bereaucratic logic...those deaths are someone else's problem, I've covered my butt.

Silverfire Darkmoon
February 6th, 2008, 11:01 AM
A mass-migration of conservatives into Canada would be enough to turn the nation into Texas. :smile:

Wow. You - you really have no idea of what you're talking about, here.

Ben Gruagach
February 6th, 2008, 11:10 AM
Which is run by a conservative now.

A mass-migration of conservatives into Canada would be enough to turn the nation into Texas. :smile:

The current conservative federal government in Canada is what we call a minority government. That means that the conservative party had the most representatives voted into office, but didn't get enough to actually have a majority.

If the conservatives want any of their laws to pass that means they have to convince members of the other parties to vote with them. Otherwise their attempts get voted down even though they are the leading party and are considered to be the governing party.

Think of it this way: the majority of elected officials in the federal government are actually left-leaning (members of the Liberal party, or the PQ which is a liberal Quebec party, or the NDP which is the Canadian more-liberal-than-the-Liberals party.) The only reason the conservative party got to play government is because the left vote was split between three parties.

Even if there was a huge influx of American immigrants, by the time they got their citizenship and were able to vote we Canadians would have been able to convert them over to our liberal ways. Having to live with our liberal society, with our social safety net and universal healthcare and high quality schools etc. might make it hard for American right-wing immigrants to be so eager to vote the benefits all away.

Thunder
February 6th, 2008, 11:17 AM
I picked Canada because of the weather.

Laisrean
February 6th, 2008, 12:04 PM
The current conservative federal government in Canada is what we call a minority government. That means that the conservative party had the most representatives voted into office, but didn't get enough to actually have a majority.

If the conservatives want any of their laws to pass that means they have to convince members of the other parties to vote with them. Otherwise their attempts get voted down even though they are the leading party and are considered to be the governing party.

Think of it this way: the majority of elected officials in the federal government are actually left-leaning (members of the Liberal party, or the PQ which is a liberal Quebec party, or the NDP which is the Canadian more-liberal-than-the-Liberals party.) The only reason the conservative party got to play government is because the left vote was split between three parties.

Even if there was a huge influx of American immigrants, by the time they got their citizenship and were able to vote we Canadians would have been able to convert them over to our liberal ways. Having to live with our liberal society, with our social safety net and universal healthcare and high quality schools etc. might make it hard for American right-wing immigrants to be so eager to vote the benefits all away.

Not necessarily. There are still native Canadians which are critical of the NHS system and have not been converted into liking it. A minority they may be, but they couldn't be too small of a minority if they managed to form a minority government. That means they aren't fringe, at least. If all the conservatives in the U.S. migrated North it would easily make them the overwhelming majority.

Thunder
February 6th, 2008, 01:20 PM
I wish that Americans who are tired of the inefficiencies in the US healthcare system would realize that there are healthcare systems in other countries that might (gasp!) have something worth copying.

No system is perfect but the American system is hardly the only one we can learn from. Saying that because the American VA system is not working does nothing to prove that universal healthcare won't work. Even with the flaws in the various systems, it seems to do the job (and more affordably! (http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news03/health_costs.html)) in plenty of other countries.

Edited to add: http://www.angelfire.com/rnb//y/universal.htm has more recent healthcare cost comparisons, covering more than just the US and Canada.What I meant when I said "you" was a sub-set of the universal you... I was referring to American Hospitals. In the US most hospitals give excellent care but access to them is often restricted if you are not insured. Access to VA hospitals is excellent but the quality of the care sucks. I would rather run the gauntlet to get into a hospital that can help me than stroll in the door of one that will kill me. In the US government involvement in healthcare has not improved it... in most cases it has run it into the ground. I never suggested that our system be held up as an example to emulate.

On the other hand, as is the case with other complex issues (gun control comes to mind) what works for one society/culture will not necessarily work for another. Therefore , I am in no big hurry to emulate any of the rest of your systems quite yet.

Laisrean
February 6th, 2008, 01:29 PM
What I meant when I said "you" was a sub-set of the universal you... I was referring to American Hospitals. In the US most hospitals give excellent care but access to them is often restricted if you are not insured. Access to VA hospitals is excellent but the quality of the care sucks. I would rather run the gauntlet to get into a hospital that can help me than stroll in the door of one that will kill me. In the US government involvement in healthcare has not improved it... in most cases it has run it into the ground. I never suggested that our system be held up as an example to emulate.

Agreed. The U.S. system is probably no one's idea of what a perfect system should be. I am one who believes firmly in capitalism, and yet I find much to criticize about our system; just like those who support socialism also find much to criticize about it. The problem with the U.S. system is it isn't entirely one or the other, but somewhere in between. Now, maybe an in between system could be made to work well, but the U.S. health care system seems to have been put together haphazardly by bureaucrats who have no clue about how the industry works or should work.

But, that said, there still are apparently some areas where the U.S. system holds advantages over Canada's system. Otherwise, why would so many Canadians seek treatment here? Our advantage is definitely in the less waiting time and maybe in quality too, but our weakness is that it is costly. If we could find a way to bring the costs down while maintaining that efficiency we'd have something good going on. I believe freeing the industry from the grip of both the FDA and the mega corps is the answer. It is a well known fact that competition brings prices down. This is what we need, and this is what Canada needs as well. Monopolies are bad ideas whether they are by private companies or by the government. Lack of competition brings stagnation and inefficiency.

Ben Gruagach
February 6th, 2008, 04:46 PM
Not necessarily. There are still native Canadians which are critical of the NHS system and have not been converted into liking it. A minority they may be, but they couldn't be too small of a minority if they managed to form a minority government. That means they aren't fringe, at least. If all the conservatives in the U.S. migrated North it would easily make them the overwhelming majority.

Isn't it traditionally American conservatives who are critical of foreigners coming into a country and expecting the country to change to suit their way of life?

Why should countries like Canada welcome those very critics into our country to do precisely the thing they claim to despise?

Ben Gruagach
February 6th, 2008, 05:08 PM
But, that said, there still are apparently some areas where the U.S. system holds advantages over Canada's system. Otherwise, why would so many Canadians seek treatment here? Our advantage is definitely in the less waiting time and maybe in quality too, but our weakness is that it is costly. If we could find a way to bring the costs down while maintaining that efficiency we'd have something good going on. I believe freeing the industry from the grip of both the FDA and the mega corps is the answer. It is a well known fact that competition brings prices down. This is what we need, and this is what Canada needs as well. Monopolies are bad ideas whether they are by private companies or by the government. Lack of competition brings stagnation and inefficiency.

There are many reasons why people seek medical care outside their own country -- if you look up "medical tourism" (also called "global healthcare") there are lots of articles about it.

And while it is true that some rich people choose to go to the US for medical care, it is also true that there are Americans who go outside the US (even to Canada!) as well. Some travel because it's cheaper, some travel because they can avoid waiting for their particular procedure, some travel to go to a particular clinic or doctor because of that clinic or doctor's reputation. Some travel because a particular procedure is experimental or controversial and is only available in some places.

None of those reasons have anything to do with the quality of healthcare in the patients' home country. I'm sure some do travel for that reason (i.e. people who travel from a third-world country to a first-world country for care) but we shouldn't assume it's the only reason. If Canadian healthcare was so terrible why would Americans and others come here for care?

Thunder
February 6th, 2008, 07:21 PM
Isn't it traditionally American conservatives who are critical of foreigners coming into a country and expecting the country to change to suit their way of life?

Why should countries like Canada welcome those very critics into our country to do precisely the thing they claim to despise?I would want the same thing in Canada that I want here... to be left alone.

pawnman
February 7th, 2008, 09:05 AM
Isn't it traditionally American conservatives who are critical of foreigners coming into a country and expecting the country to change to suit their way of life?

Why should countries like Canada welcome those very critics into our country to do precisely the thing they claim to despise?

Immediately, yes. We have no problem at all with foreigners who come over, become citizens, and try to use their votes to influence the system.