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 Message Boards » » A Superpower in Decline-Is the American Dream Over Page [1] 2, Next  
EuroTitToss
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Long article on Der Spiegel. I found this interesting, since it's kind of an outsider's perspective. Here's a quote:

Quote :
"Dinesh D'Souza, a former advisor in the White House of President Ronald Reagan who is now the president of The King's College in New York, has written a 258-page bestseller about Obama, "The Roots of Obama's Rage." The title itself ought to be a joke.

It has been a long time since the United States has had such a levelheaded president as Obama, a man who governs so dialectically and didactically, who spends so much time listening, weighing options and calmly arriving at his decisions. The president has a lot of problems, including many inherited from his predecessor. He also has a hard time coming across as warm and empathetic. He is good at generating enthusiasm in crowds but, unlike Clinton, he is not adept at connecting to people on a more personal level. Obama feels uncomfortable when he faces someone like Velma Hart. But angry? Obama?

Full of Hatred

The Tea Party, that group of white, older voters who claim that they want their country back, is angry. Fox News host Glenn Beck, a recovering alcoholic who likens Obama to Adolf Hitler, is angry. Beck doesn't quite know what he wants to be -- maybe a politician, maybe president, maybe a preacher -- and he doesn't know what he wants to do, either, or least he hasn't come up with any specific ideas or plans. But he is full of hatred. And so is Dinesh D'Souza.

Indeed, the United States of 2010 is a hate-filled country.

D'Souza says that Obama's father was an anti-colonialist and that he dreamed of his native Kenya liberating itself from its British colonial rulers. His son Barack has the same dream, says D'Souza. He wants to put America, the neo-colonial power of the 21st century, in its place. "The most powerful country in the world is being governed according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s," D'Souza writes. "America today is governed by a ghost."

D'Souza's book has been a huge success, reaching fourth place on the New York Times bestseller list. The Washington Post published an opinion piece by the author, Forbes had him write a cover story, and D'Souza himself thinks he knows why so many people believe that Obama was not born in the United States and is a Muslim. People can't identify with him, says D'Souza, because he doesn't believe in the American dream.

This is the climate in the country leading up to the Congressional elections on Nov. 2. It isn't shaped by logic or an interest in rational debate. The United States of 2010 is a country that has become paralyzed and inhibited by allowing itself to be distracted by things that are, in reality, not a threat: homosexuality, Mexicans, Democratic Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, health care reform and Obama. Large segments of the country are not even talking about the issues that are serious and complex, like debt, unemployment and serious educational deficits. Is it because this is all too threatening?"


http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,726447,00.html

12/29/2010 7:42:53 AM

Supplanter
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Quote :
"D'Souza himself thinks he knows why so many people believe that Obama was not born in the United States and is a Muslim. People can't identify with him, says D'Souza, because he doesn't believe in the American dream"


Really? The opportunity to achieve success, prosperity, and happiness regardless of background or circumstances of birth. That is something that President Obama, with his life and family history/background, doesn't believe in?

And because of that, people think he's a Muslim not born in America? No mention of Fox News, Glenn Beck, and the Tea Party having something to do with it? Its all the President not believing in the American dream.

Quote :
"It isn't shaped by logic or an interest in rational debate. The United States of 2010 is a country that has become paralyzed and inhibited by allowing itself to be distracted by things that are, in reality, not a threat: homosexuality, Mexicans, Democratic Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, health care reform and Obama."


Mexicans, gays, and Democratic party leadership aren't scary? What kind of commie crap is this?

12/29/2010 9:03:10 AM

marko
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Anybody remember when Dinesh D'Souza rolled up on campus?

Good times!

[Edited on December 29, 2010 at 9:22 AM. Reason : -]

12/29/2010 9:19:54 AM

lazarus
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I know of several instances when Dinesh D'Souza got rolled by Christopher Hitchens.

12/29/2010 9:44:29 AM

d357r0y3r
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I agree that we're witnessing the fall of an empire first hand, but that's about it. HCR was characterized by a lack of rational debate on both sides. We launched many serious objections to the final bill here, and the Democratic party response was, "anyone that disagrees is crazy or doesn't care about the people." A political victory was always seen as more valuable than winning a battle of ideas.

12/29/2010 11:38:10 AM

Kris
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Quote :
"A political victory was always seen as more valuable than winning a battle of ideas."


The battle of ideas was fought in 2008 (as pathetic as it might have been). Democratic healthcare won out when the democrats took the sentate and house. You can't get mad at them for not continuing to debate it ad-infinity when they believed they were given a mandate to pass it. In the same way I won't get mad at the republicans if they repeal it considering they believe they were given the mandate to do so.

12/29/2010 12:26:02 PM

Shaggy
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nancy pelosi and the healthcare reforminsurance subsidy bill are big threats to america. And the continued rights violations started by bush have been continued by the obama administration.

The biggest threat to the country is like ^^ mentions. Both sides label anyone not 100% behind the party line as 100% opposed to rational discussion. The idiot who wrote the article in the op is just the same, but hes either too dumb to realize it or is doing it on purpose.

[Edited on December 29, 2010 at 12:37 PM. Reason : ^]

12/29/2010 12:26:48 PM

Lumex
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D'Souza is a noted crackpot who blames Hollywood for 9/11

Quote :
"The Washington Post published an opinion piece by the author, Forbes had him write a cover story, and D'Souza himself thinks he knows why so many people believe that Obama was not born in the United States and is a Muslim. People can't identify with him, says D'Souza, because he doesn't believe in the American dream."


Obama is the friggin embodiment of the American Dream.

12/29/2010 12:34:20 PM

EuroTitToss
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I found the article posted after reading this one (another short quote):

Quote :
"The European Union has a larger economy and more people than America does. Though it spends less -- right around 9 percent of GNP on medical, whereas we in the U.S. spend close to between 15 to 16 percent of GNP on medical -- the EU pretty much insures 100 percent of its population.

The U.S. has 59 million people medically uninsured; 132 million without dental insurance; 60 million without paid sick leave; 40 million on food stamps. Everybody in the European Union has cradle-to-grave access to universal medical and a dental plan by law. The law also requires paid sick leave; paid annual leave; paid maternity leave. When you realize all of that, it becomes easy to understand why many Europeans think America has gone insane."

http://www.alternet.org/story/149324/america_in_decline_why_germans_think_were_insane

^^The first article was written by the staff of a German newspaper. They have universal healthcare and pay less than we do for it. They watch our politicians fight tooth and nail against the same. They describe how odd that looks and that makes them idiots?

[Edited on December 29, 2010 at 1:45 PM. Reason : /b]

12/29/2010 1:45:17 PM

GrumpyGOP
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I'll admit that this is irrational of me, but...

It'll be a cold day in hell before I listen to political criticism from a god damned German.

12/29/2010 1:48:40 PM

Lumex
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If you're serious, that is beyond irrational.

12/29/2010 1:56:00 PM

Shaggy
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^^^whats retarded is that they (and apparently you) think that the democrats were on about healthcare reform. They never once mentioned healthcare reform and the debate has only ever been about insurance costs and insurance reforms.

Just like the idiots that wrote that and the idiots in congress you have assumed im anti-reform because i oppose the retarded non-reform shit that was debated.

I am definitely pro reform but im for abolishing insurance entirely (both public and private forms).

[Edited on December 29, 2010 at 1:57 PM. Reason : s]

[Edited on December 29, 2010 at 1:58 PM. Reason : ^^^]

12/29/2010 1:57:32 PM

JCASHFAN
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First off, I believe that the American Dream is Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness . . . however you find them is up to you.

Quote :
"That is something that President Obama, with his life and family history/background, doesn't believe in?"
I'm not singling out BHO here, but our entire political system right now functions on the notion that we can't be trusted to stand or fall on our own.

And yes we're in decline, but that is another story . . .

Don't get me wrong, I'm not validating D'Souza here.

12/29/2010 2:47:12 PM

marko
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when did we start this decline?

if i'm forced to pick, i am going to go with September 5, 1945

12/29/2010 4:57:33 PM

skokiaan
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Not necessarily a decline more than can't match the pace of others.

I am concerned about declining immigration, especially among people who come here for college. That means that what we are offering is no longer enough to entice talented people away from other countries. That's been a sign of decline for all formerly great societies. New ideas and new culture don't spur innovation that causes countries to stand the test of time. Now, we seem very hostile to rapid change.

You can easily imagine a time where people don't even need to come to American universities to get a good education. Then, it will be a numbers game -- how many innovators can we produce versus how many can they produce.

12/29/2010 7:25:36 PM

Chance
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NPR had a little segment this morning about this

http://blog.seattlepi.com/jimtune/archives/233656.asp

and they talk about Chinese schools don't encourage creative thinking. I can verify anecdotally that the guys we hired to establish a design center in Xian for DRAM design and test could never think for themselves.

Allow me to tl;dr to belabor the point. One product we sold (and I imagine current mem makers still do it) was a chip package that had 2 drams stacked into the package with all lines, except chip select, shared. To test these we had been running one chip with all the patterns then changing the chip select and running the other. The idea would be to run both devices in parallel and hope that if one device drove out opposite data it would drag the bus either higher or lower than the threshold and the failure could be detected. We were able to get this concept to work in Cary and whacked about 45% off the test time in one fell swoop.

Not long after we had this working I was in Munich (our headquarters) on some other business and one of the "more experienced" test engineers from Xian was there. They were in the design phase of their next part which would have a stacked package like ours. They hadn't heard about our solution yet and their initial ideas were to do the pass/fail comparison completely internal to the chip, save the result in an onboard latch, and after running the pattern read out the pass fail result for each chip sequentially. I had a very long discussion (hours) with the test engineer and a design analysis guy also from Xian about what we had done, including showing them the code and showing them all the data (we had to run the before and after testing on thousands of both known good and known bad devices to prove we could catch the fails and not erroneously fail good parts). The solution was ready made and proven to work and they could just eliminate the extra area in the chip they were going to design in as well as the risk that it just generally wouldn't work.

A year later I got an email from those guys, their idea for the internal comparison didn't work and could I explain to them again how our method was implemented.

The structure in China is too regimented, too top down. If your superior tells you to destroy a perfectly good building and erect a new one in its place, you fucking do it. You don't question shit, because that would cause loss of face.

This isn't to say that over time this won't change, but lets just say for now they have a LONG LONG way to go before they catch us on the innovation front simply because they can't think outside the box they are put in.

12/29/2010 9:12:09 PM

0EPII1
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Based on this, I would say yes:

Quote :
"Last year, Best Buy Inc. was inundated with calls, e-mails and letters complaining that the company was anti-American after acknowledging a Muslim holiday — “Eid Al-Adha,” or the Feast of the Sacrifice — for the first time in a national advertisement. That year, Eid Al-Adha fell around Thanksgiving, so the ad, a small bubble at the bottom of the page, appeared in the company’s Thanksgiving flier. Critics seized on the timing in their complaints.

“They used very abusive language,” said Nausheena Hussain, a marketing manager for Best Buy in Minnesota. “It was pretty sad.”

Best Buy executives stood by their decision. The company saw the holiday greeting as part of a larger goal of reaching consumers from different cultures. Soon, Muslims started calling to thank Best Buy and set up a Facebook page honoring the company, which continues to acknowledge Muslim holidays."

12/30/2010 12:29:44 AM

1337 b4k4
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Quote :
"The European Union has a larger economy and more people than America does. Though it spends less -- right around 9 percent of GNP on medical, whereas we in the U.S. spend close to between 15 to 16 percent of GNP on medical -- the EU pretty much insures 100 percent of its population.
"


It's worth noting that a lot of the EU health systems are administered by the individual countries and not the EU as a whole. And when a lot of those countries are about the same size as a few of our states, it becomes easy to see why we have such a hard time with any sort of "national" plan. Ask the Germans if they would want their health care administered by the British or the French and I bet you get a whole lot more people with opposition, hell just look at the general discontent with the EU as it is.

http://goeurope.about.com/od/europeanmaps/l/bl-country-size-comparison-map.htm

This is something a lot of Europeans and Americans don't really get until they see it for themselves, but America is really freaking big. It's why American students have such a hard time imagining how troops could have marched from one country to another, and why Europeans can't imagine that most americans haven't been outside the country.

Many of those that opposed a national health plan (such as myself) said to let the states do it if they wanted, that way there's more of a chance of success.

[Edited on December 30, 2010 at 7:53 AM. Reason : dfad]

12/30/2010 7:53:03 AM

Nighthawk
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^That was also one reason that many in Massachusetts (a very liberal state, but also very proud of its individuality as a state) who were strongly in favor of their own states health care plan were against the national health care reform plan, as it superseded their own with little to no regard for what they had already implemented that was working for them.

12/30/2010 8:14:20 AM

sarijoul
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this is why i think the wyden amendment should be passed. it would make states put up or shut up

12/30/2010 8:21:43 AM

TKE-Teg
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Quote :
""The European Union has a larger economy and more people than America does. Though it spends less -- right around 9 percent of GNP on medical, whereas we in the U.S. spend close to between 15 to 16 percent of GNP on medical -- the EU pretty much insures 100 percent of its population.

The U.S. has 59 million people medically uninsured; 132 million without dental insurance; 60 million without paid sick leave; 40 million on food stamps. Everybody in the European Union has cradle-to-grave access to universal medical and a dental plan by law. The law also requires paid sick leave; paid annual leave; paid maternity leave. When you realize all of that, it becomes easy to understand why many Europeans think America has gone insane.""


You can't post something like this without mentioning that citizens of most European countries get taxed out of the ass. If you want a high quality of life comparable to the US you need to make a lot more money.

12/30/2010 9:29:14 AM

EuroTitToss
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They cover everyone, then spend less, and get taxed more. Huh?

For all I know, they're spending all their tax revenue on Jaffa Cakes. What difference does it make? If they spend less on healthcare than we do, doesn't that demonstrate that the act of covering everyone's healthcare is at least feasible/potentially cost effective?

12/30/2010 10:38:20 AM

DaBird
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is their healthcare as good as ours? if they spend less but its inferior, then I say the answer to your question is no.

12/30/2010 12:02:13 PM

EuroTitToss
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Yea, I agree except the 40% difference in costs clouds the issue. I still don't understand what that has to do with them getting taxed more.

12/30/2010 12:22:37 PM

1337 b4k4
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Quote :
"If they spend less on healthcare than we do, doesn't that demonstrate that the act of covering everyone's healthcare is at least feasible/potentially cost effective?"


Not necessarily, you would have to demonstrate that they're spending the money on the same diseases, same treatments, same type and lifestyle of people, and with equal or better outcomes. There's that old saying, "Fast, cheap and quality, pick two" that could apply here as well.

12/30/2010 12:26:36 PM

SkiSalomon
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Quote :
"is their healthcare as good as ours?"


In some EU countries, the answer would be yes or at least comparable. In more than a few countries, the answer would not only be a no, but a HELL NO (im looking at you Eastern Bloc).

12/30/2010 3:17:11 PM

TKE-Teg
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Quote :
"Yea, I agree except the 40% difference in costs clouds the issue. I still don't understand what that has to do with them getting taxed more."


It means you still have a better quality of life here.

Obviously we in the US can fix the problem. The main issue is dealing with all the people and companies that don't want anything to change.

12/31/2010 8:28:17 AM

merbig
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Quote :
"Ask the Germans if they would want their health care administered by the British or the French and I bet you get a whole lot more people with opposition, hell just look at the general discontent with the EU as it is."


Just to play devil's advocate here, your comparison of the Federal government to the EU in terms of health coverage isn't very applicable. The EU isn't really a governing body, but rather just an agreement for the European countries to work together. The reason the Germans would oppose the French or British in running the German healthcare, is that the French and British are different countries. Out states are not autonomous from our Federal government. It wouldn't be Connecticut mandating health care to North Carolina, but rather one government mandating health care to all of the states.

Quote :
"Many of those that opposed a national health plan (such as myself) said to let the states do it if they wanted"


I have no problem with allowing the states to do it. But I really think all states should do it. I think one of the arguments you've made is that North Carolinians should decide what they want. But unlike Germany, where citizens of Germany are far less likely to leave Germany during their lifetime (and by leave, I mean relocate permanently to another country), US citizens are very likely to relocate multiple times throughout their lifetime to different states.

I think it would be a good idea for each state to manage their healthcare individually with the Federal Government setting up a foundation for what should be covered.

Quote :
"is their healthcare as good as ours? if they spend less but its inferior, then I say the answer to your question is no."


What do you view as being "good?"

Cutting edge medical procedures? I believe they're just as good as us.
Long wait times? Yeah, that has been a complaint in not only Canada/EU, but also in Hospitals in the US located in poor areas.
Being guaranteed a treatment? There is no guarantee of a treatment in the US. There is an "obligation" for hospitals to stabilize a patient if they don't have coverage, but that doesn't mean they will actually fix what is wrong with you.

12/31/2010 12:39:42 PM

skokiaan
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Whoa, tangent. America is in decline because of national healthcare?


(I don't understand why people like state government. They are the most likely to have incompetents in place, they are the first to raise taxes to cover their fuckups, and they are the most susceptible to corruption because no one is looking at them. The federal government is better because they can only fuck you over slowly. State government is much more susceptible to the whims of crazy people and dumbasses. This year my federal taxes went down (thanks obama!) and state taxes went up. Go figure.

Having less government is preferable to federal government, but having state government is not preferable to having federal government.)

12/31/2010 1:09:04 PM

1337 b4k4
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Quote :
"your comparison of the Federal government to the EU in terms of health coverage isn't very applicable. The EU isn't really a governing body, but rather just an agreement for the European countries to work together."


Then a comparison of the whole of the EU to a specific country (such as was done above comparing "EU healthcare" to US healthcare as a whole) is also not very applicable. Ultimately though, the point is the same, when people have a more direct say in the conditions of their government, they are more likely to agree to the actions that government takes. If the EU were a governing body, you would still see more opposition to EU healthcare mandate than you see at a country wide level.

Quote :
"But unlike Germany, where citizens of Germany are far less likely to leave Germany during their lifetime (and by leave, I mean relocate permanently to another country), US citizens are very likely to relocate multiple times throughout their lifetime to different states."


This is exactly why all the states shouldn't (be forced to) do it. One of the beauties of a decentralized form of government (and a union of states) is that with considerably less effort, a person can leave a government they find oppressive or unresponsive for a different one. That is, by allowing every state to choose, all the people who want free healthcare for all can consolidate together in one state (like say, Massachusetts) while all those that don't can consolidate somewhere else (like say Texas), each state can act on its own, the citizens choosing what works best for them.

Quote :
"Having less government is preferable to federal government, but having state government is not preferable to having federal government."


State government, by definition and necessity, is less government. But further, you are more likely to be able to effect change in your state and local governments than you are in the federal government. In addition, government, like management, is best handled as close to the actual decision point as possible. A local or state government is much more likely and able to address the actual needs and changes necessary than the federal government, simply for the reason that when you're thousands of miles away, things are much different then when you're actually where the rubber meets the road.

12/31/2010 1:26:46 PM

merbig
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Quote :
"This is exactly why all the states shouldn't (be forced to) do it. One of the beauties of a decentralized form of government (and a union of states) is that with considerably less effort, a person can leave a government they find oppressive or unresponsive for a different one. That is, by allowing every state to choose, all the people who want free healthcare for all can consolidate together in one state (like say, Massachusetts) while all those that don't can consolidate somewhere else (like say Texas), each state can act on its own, the citizens choosing what works best for them. "


I'm sorry, but citizens often don't get to necessarily choose where to live. I feel that as US citizens, we should all be eligible for the same basic benefits of being a US citizen, regardless of the state we live in. For instance, I don't want to really live in NC, to be quite honest. But it was either I live in NC, or I not have a job and I live with my parents. Location may have a lot to do with whether a person takes a job, but often times, people don't have the luxury to move anytime they want.

In a perfect world, your system would work. But when you add in the complexities of employment and other financial variables, people who may want universal health coverage may not be able to move to a state that offers such benefit.

And to be quite honest, I see no rational explanation for not having universal health coverage, as long as it is applied equally to everyone with the option to carry a second insurance company.

12/31/2010 4:22:04 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"people who may want universal health coverage may not be able to move to a state that offers such benefit."

That we don't have national universal health coverage means you, that wants such a thing, must live without it, regardless of how much you want it. You may want it enough to change jobs, sacrifice income and comfort to move to another state just to live in a jurisdiction that is run as you would have it run, but no. With a federal system, that is rendered impossible.

One purpose of federalism is to better match policy with people's wants. 90% of New Yorkers may want abortion to be legal, but just because 51% of Americans call it murder, under a single democratic only system New Yorkers would be out of luck.

It is not just morality. In one region water reserves are communal while in another region water comes through rainfall and suffers an opposite problem. Applying a single water policy for both regions would be catastrophic. It is absurd to believe the laws which make Florida a well run state would be equally valid when applied to Alaska. In some cases, states are too big, so many counties rightly have radically different rules from their neighbors.

Quote :
"And to be quite honest, I see no rational explanation for not having universal health coverage"

Then you have made no effort to understand the positions and motivations of those around you.

Quote :
"This year my federal taxes went down (thanks obama!) and state taxes went up. Go figure."

This has more to do with the structure of the Federal Reserve than structure of government. State governments must avoid debt or their interest rates go up. Not so with the Federal Government, as their excessive borrowing turns up just as inflation.

[Edited on December 31, 2010 at 5:18 PM. Reason : .,.,]

12/31/2010 5:12:38 PM

Prawn Star
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Quote :
"Cutting edge medical procedures? I believe they're just as good as us.
Long wait times? Yeah, that has been a complaint in not only Canada/EU, but also in Hospitals in the US located in poor areas.
Being guaranteed a treatment? There is no guarantee of a treatment in the US. There is an "obligation" for hospitals to stabilize a patient if they don't have coverage, but that doesn't mean they will actually fix what is wrong with you."


Those in America with health insurance receive superior care to those in Europe. This is a fact. Insured Americans receive care from better and higher-trained doctors, have more access to cutting edge and/or experimental medical procedures, better drugs, newer and more advanced medical equipment, etc. You can argue this, but you'll be wrong. It's not really debatable.

In addition to this higher-quality care, the higher standards placed on our doctors, access to cutting-edge equipment and procedures, and more expensive drugs, there are other factors at play. The fact that we have a very unhealthy population greatly adds to the cost of health care in this country. Frivolous medical malpractice claims certainly play a role. Our for-profit, employer-based insurance system plays a role in why we pay so much for "so little" compared to western European health care systems, but it is not the dominant factor.

The sheer number of uninsured is what drags the US healthcare ratings down. But make no mistake; Americans with decent healthcare plans receive higher quality care than just about anywhere else in the world.


[Edited on December 31, 2010 at 8:04 PM. Reason : 2]

12/31/2010 7:54:33 PM

merbig
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Quote :
"That we don't have national universal health coverage means you, that wants such a thing, must live without it, regardless of how much you want it. You may want it enough to change jobs, sacrifice income and comfort to move to another state just to live in a jurisdiction that is run as you would have it run, but no. With a federal system, that is rendered impossible. "


So, you're basically advocating that each state is basically a separate country. I'm sorry, but that's stupid. There's a reason we ditched the articles of confederation. Having country wide programs raises the standard of living to the same basic levels for everyone. Imagine if there was no interstate program, but rather states had to foot the bill themselves to construct highways between each other. I can guarantee you the highway system would be as good as it is now (yes, we all bitch an moan about little shit, but overall, it's really not bad).

In my view, the entire point of having a central government is to ensure that each citizen's basic needs are fulfilled and to try to ensure that if I go from one state to another, I'm not going to have to make any large sacrifices to my quality of life.

Quote :
"One purpose of federalism is to better match policy with people's wants. 90% of New Yorkers may want abortion to be legal, but just because 51% of Americans call it murder, under a single democratic only system New Yorkers would be out of luck."


You're actually arguing against federalism here. The last time I checked, murder is illegal at a federal level. The only reason for keeping abortion legal is due to the definition of when life begins. Your argument has nothing to do with people's wants, but rather with the nuances of life. At the Federal level, murder is illegal, and as such, it is illegal in all states. The only reason why there is an argument is because there is no constitutional definition to when life begins, mainly because the scientific community is unable to really define the beginning of life, and because of various religions.

Quote :
"In one region water reserves are communal while in another region water comes through rainfall and suffers an opposite problem. Applying a single water policy for both regions would be catastrophic. It is absurd to believe the laws which make Florida a well run state would be equally valid when applied to Alaska."


This example isn't really relevant to my argument. You're saying that the needs of one area differs from area to area, therefore, necessitating a difference in policies. However, in the world, regardless of where you are, medical treatment is a necessity. Maybe obesity in Arkansas is higher than it is in NC, and therefore Arkansas may offer free nutritional counseling, whereas in NC, that is seen as waste. I think the government should set a basic standard so that the needs of everyone in the US are covered (like ER coverage, cancer, broken bones, ect. You know your typical treatments). Then the states themselves can add whatever they want to it to fit the needs of their citizens.

Imagine if the US government didn't dictate our water quality standards. Things like benzene would go unchecked, unless the states or local governments implemented standards of there own. I don't know about you, but I'm happy that the feds set maximum tolerances on carcinogens in water. Of course, states have the option of setting stricter limits, but they must adhere to the federal limits first.

Quote :
"Then you have made no effort to understand the positions and motivations of those around you."


I most certainly understand their positions. Again, I said that I have seen no rational objection to universal health coverage. If you actually can give me an objection that is rational, then please, be my guest. But trying to appeal to state rights certainly won't register as rational. When you object to something that would be beneficial to everyone in order to preserve state "rights," then there is nothing logical about it. If everyone in the US had the same access and treatment options, then it would be illogical to forgo it in the name of state rights. Willingly choosing a worse quality of life for everyone over a better quality of life for everyone is not logical, it's inhumane and selfish in my book.

Quote :
"Those insured in America with health insurance receive superior care to those in Europe. This is a fact. Insured Americans receive care from better and higher-trained doctors, have more access to cutting edge and/or experimental medical procedures, better drugs, newer and more advanced medical equipment, etc. You can argue this, but you'll be wrong. It's not really debatable. "


Seems to be a keyword in your argument. I added it in the first sentence for you, as you can't really say that all Americans receive superior care to those in Europe.

Second of all, you do realize that Europe has doctors that are just as good and skilled as our doctors. They have specialists who are considered experts and top rated in their field in Europe. While I can't say that you're wrong on us having access to cutting edge procedures, it is worth mentioning that the doctors who do use the best and who are only available to the rich.

The best always comes at a cost, and you're fooling yourself if you think that most Americans can afford the best. We have a system that is driven by profit, and as such, it is rationed by who can afford to pay and who can't. The people who can't pay, are left behind in the dust. I just hope you don't become one of them.

12/31/2010 9:59:47 PM

Prawn Star
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Quote :
"Those insured in America with health insurance receive superior care to those in Europe."


Wow, way to be incredibly redundant. There is a reason that I specified, "with health insurance", you don't gotta do it twice, dude.

Quote :
"Second of all, you do realize that Europe has doctors that are just as good and skilled as our doctors. They have specialists who are considered experts and top rated in their field in Europe."


I'm not surprised that you are unaware that American medical schools are by and large more difficult than their European counterparts, as are the requirements for doctors in this country. There is a reason that some of the best doctors from around the world come to the US to practice medicine. All I can say is that you need to read up before posting further on a subject which you do not fully understand.

Quote :
"The best always comes at a cost, and you're fooling yourself if you think that most Americans can afford the best. We have a system that is driven by profit, and as such, it is rationed by who can afford to pay and who can't."


I am not rich. However, my employer-provided PPO will gives me access to medical care and cutting-edge procedures / equipment / specialists / etc that exceeds that which is available to most in Europe, and at minimal out-of-pocket expenses to me. This is true for virtually everyone in this country who has a decent healthcare plan. The fact is that most Americans ARE affording the very best care in the world, at great cost due to the fact that we, as consumers, demand the very best.

[Edited on December 31, 2010 at 11:13 PM. Reason : 2]

12/31/2010 11:03:35 PM

skokiaan
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Quote :
"This has more to do with the structure of the Federal Reserve than structure of government. State governments must avoid debt or their interest rates go up. Not so with the Federal Government, as their excessive borrowing turns up just as inflation.
"


You're right, I should base my feelings about governments not on my wallet but on macroeconomic theories. That's the most rational way to act. Hell, maybe I should start basing my decisions of religion, too?

Quote :
"State government, by definition and necessity, is less government. But further, you are more likely to be able to effect change in your state and local governments than you are in the federal government. In addition, government, like management, is best handled as close to the actual decision point as possible. A local or state government is much more likely and able to address the actual needs and changes necessary than the federal government, simply for the reason that when you're thousands of miles away, things are much different then when you're actually where the rubber meets the road.
"


Yay, boilerplate drivel! We all took civics class in high school, and we all know the theoretical benefits. In the real, adult world, state governments are huge fuckups for all the reasons I mentioned earlier that you ignored. The benefits you mention are illusory and were a big deal back in the horse and buggy days, not today when people can move around and communicate easily.

It IS easier to effect change on the state level -- easier to effect negative change. As with the federal government, once taxes and fees are raised, they are unlikely to go down. That's why I prefer slow change and gridlock.

You obama liberals assume change is something good because you don't see that the people effect the change are dumbasses.

12/31/2010 11:25:32 PM

LoneSnark
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Quote :
"At the Federal level, murder is illegal, and as such, it is illegal in all states."

What is being discussed here? My position is defending the current federalist system as outlined in the constitution. In that system, at the federal level, murder is not illegal. Murder is illegal in every state because every state passed a law making it illegal. The only charge that comes close is violation of someone's civil rights.

I thought your position was that you did not like the current federalist system and wanted to scrap it for a national democracy so you would not need to worry about the rules changing when you moved?

1/1/2011 5:27:47 AM

merbig
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Quote :
"My position is defending the current federalist system as outlined in the constitution. In that system, at the federal level, murder is not illegal."


Then you are most certainly misinformed. There is a federal law making murder illegal. In fact, there's even the death penalty at the federal level too, last time I checked.

Quote :
"Murder is illegal in every state because every state passed a law making it illegal. The only charge that comes close is violation of someone's civil rights. "


LOLWUT!? You can't be fucking serious.

Quote :
"I thought your position was that you did not like the current federalist system and wanted to scrap it for a national democracy so you would not need to worry about the rules changing when you moved?"


Because I took up the position that I feel that the feds should mandate a minimum coverage requirement for the states, I suddenly want to get rid of the current federalist system? Enjoy your strawman.

1/1/2011 9:16:33 AM

LoneSnark
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According to 18 U.S.C. § 1111, federal law only renders murder illegal "(b) Within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States", IE, not in any state in the land, as they are no longer territories. Other statues do make it a federal crime to murder a federal employee, on a federal military base, federal witnesses, terrorism, and in non-state territories, etc.

This is why KKK members back in the day had to be charged with violating the civil rights of blacks they murdered in states that could not secure convictions of Klan members: no federal statute existed against murder that could be enforced within a state.

Quote :
"LOLWUT!? You can't be fucking serious."

It's your fucking country. You can't seriously be this ignorant about something so commonly known.

1/1/2011 3:00:53 PM

rbrthwrd
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just as a side note, on federal land murder is illegal because of the assimilative crimes act (18 U.S.C.A. § 13). but i don't think it changes anyone's point, because its illegal because its illegal in all states

1/1/2011 7:12:40 PM

TKE-Teg
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Quote :
"I am not rich. However, my employer-provided PPO will gives me access to medical care and cutting-edge procedures / equipment / specialists / etc that exceeds that which is available to most in Europe, and at minimal out-of-pocket expenses to me. This is true for virtually everyone in this country who has a decent healthcare plan. The fact is that most Americans ARE affording the very best care in the world, at great cost due to the fact that we, as consumers, demand the very best."


Bingo. Through my company offered Blue Cross Blue Shield EPO plan I had shoulder surgery that had a cost of over $21,000. And I didn't pay a dime for it, except for a handful of specialist copays to see my doctor.

1/1/2011 10:54:10 PM

SaabTurbo
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I hope some of you fools realize why D'Souza is worthless.

1/1/2011 11:25:17 PM

merbig
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It's true that most Americans can afford the best Health Care, but not every American, or even close to it. How people don't see that as a big shortfall just blows my mind. I guess it's because people don't worry about shit or demand change until it affects them.

1/2/2011 12:30:06 PM

d357r0y3r
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Quote :
"Then you are most certainly misinformed. There is a federal law making murder illegal. In fact, there's even the death penalty at the federal level too, last time I checked."


The only federal laws against murder are ones that pertain to terrorism/killing a federal agent/etc. If I go out and kill someone right now, that's not under federal jurisdiction.

It isn't really surprising that you would be so ignorant when it comes to federalism, and just the Constitution in general. If you understood either, then you would understand the advantages. All powers not explicitly delegated to the federal government reside with the states or the people. When your "side" is in power, you will want sweeping federal laws, but inevitably, the other side will win an election at some point, and then they will have the power to pass sweeping federal laws. That's why we don't want pure democracy, or even representative democracy. We want a republic, because that affords any individual more political efficacy. You're much more able to influence a local or state government than a federal government.

1/2/2011 1:25:50 PM

Crede
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1/2/2011 2:11:02 PM

merbig
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^^ I'm surprised you aren't familiar with the General Welfare Clause that's in the Constitution. I'm not advocating getting rid of the current system. If you think I am, then you need to re-read what I have said and drop whatever personal biases you may have against me. The feds mandate K-12 education to all 50 states, and that is fine. They mandate medicare to all 50 states, and people are fine with that (I am not saying you are fine with medicare). I think you would find that most people aren't against the concept of the federal government mandating medicaid (most opposition is found in the cost it is to the nation). But the feds don't necessarily mandate the school's curriculum, they mandate 180 days of school for each child, as well as making available federal money. Medicaid is largely taken care of by the state, both in cost and in benefits (although I'm sure the feds dictate the basic benefits). I'm not too sure of the entire relationship between the state and Medicare is though in terms of benefits, but I do believe the states need to front some of the cost for their residents too.

As much as you may want this country fragmented into comunes where little independent governments are setup and a federal government exists to protect the comunes from outside forces, it will never happen. I'm sorry. And I don't want to see that happen. If the feds didn't dictate any social programs to the states, including education, then we would see a vast difference in quality of life from state to state due to a conflict in people's beliefs, not to mention the rights of the minority would just be trampled over.

Imagine a world where states didn't have to mandate schooling. There would be absolutely no consistency between all of the states. It's bad enough the curriculums in states varies enough as it is, with some only requiring up to Calculus, some not teaching evolution. And in the states that don't even setup a school system, education would only be reserved for those who can pay for it, a system we saw several hundred years ago. Education wouldn't be something free for everyone and made available to everyone, but rather commercialized, with the poor left outside looking in, damned to an endless cycle of poverty. But I think you'll agree with me that education of the masses is needed, especially if we want the American dream to be alive (the ability to better yourself and do something with your life). Arguably, the education provided by the private schools would be better than the education now, as they are forced to compete with one another, but the overall population would be worse off.

So why is it that people are able to value education and see it as something that is good to have for everyone and made accessible to everyone regardless of income, yet they don't see the value in a healthcare system that is made available to everyone regardless of income?

The problem I have with your idea of letting states choose is this. If every state is forced into having universal health coverage, are the people who oppose to it harmed? Under the new health care bill you can make the argument that people are harmed financially under the Cadillac health insurance provision. Would providing coverage to everyone in the US harm those who oppose? Remember, they're not being forced to drop their current insurance provider, are they? No. They are welcome to have supplementary health coverage.

But if every state is left to choose, are the people opposed harmed by the state's decision to not adopt universal health coverage? Yes, they are, as you are left with people potentially uninsured as you see now with the accessibility to health care limited, and as such, their health is at risk.

If many see it permissible to allow for the government to fulfill the lower necessity of Maslow's hierarchy of needs (your physiological needs like food and water) for those who are unable to do so themselves, and it's permissible to allow the government to help fulfill the top of the hierarchy of needs (self-actualization, like problem-solving, creativity, providing us with facts to accept), then why are people so against the government for providing us with the safety from the needs chart (second from the bottom)? If people are unable to fulfill their lower needs, can we really expect them to succeed and potentially make something of themselves.

And Constitutionally, if it is accepted that they government can mandate public schools through the General Welfare Clause, then I logically, they should be allowed to mandate universal health coverage.

Quote :
"The only federal laws against murder are ones that pertain to terrorism/killing a federal agent/etc. If I go out and kill someone right now, that's not under federal jurisdiction."


And on federal land. But yes, you are right. I was mistaken, but I would hardly classify me as being "ignorant when it comes to federalism, and just the Constitution in general." But I suppose you've never made a mistake before either, because you're fucking perfect. But no, go right ahead and ignore what I said concerning health care coverage, the actually subject of discussion.

Quote :
"We want a republic, because that affords any individual more political efficacy. You're much more able to influence a local or state government than a federal government."


But when you're promoting a policy that would allow a state to promote a system that makes basic amenities needed for our health based on income and employment, I see a problem with that. If you're willing to sacrifice the health of others to preserve this concept of state rights/federalism, despite the fact that you can have a federal government that mandates a program with a basic specification while allow the states to tailor the benefits to their resident's needs, then not only are you promoting something illogical, but I find that it is also immoral.

1/2/2011 3:50:21 PM

LoneSnark
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But you keep making that same mistake. The feds do not mandate K-12 education to all 50 states. They don't even mandate education. The only mandate is no child left behind, which is tied to federal funding, nothing more. If a state refused federal funding, it could legally scrap its entire education system. But, education is universally required, because all 50 states passed a law requiring it.

So you should now realize why we thought you were against the current system. The system you are advocating does not exist, hence the system you are in favor of is clearly not the one we have.

1/2/2011 4:06:35 PM

merbig
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The federal government taxes us and supplies money in the form of grants to the states for their federal schools, do they not? If the feds tax us to pay for public education, then in essence, they are forcing the states to have public schools. That is what the general welfare clause is. That's why it's in the taxing and spending section of the Constitution and that is why the government is allowed to tax us and spend to promote the general welfare of the US. But you're right, a state could deny funding and scrap their schools, and then the feds can deny any grant money to the state and basically force them into bankruptcy until they complied.

Not to mention there are numerous laws that dictate the public education of the states, in terms of safety and academics.

[Edited on January 2, 2011 at 4:54 PM. Reason : .]

1/2/2011 4:50:38 PM

LoneSnark
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There is no such thing as "federal schools" beyond a few training schools for the army, FBI, etc. Similarly, Federal education spending represents a tiny fraction of education spending. Federal money transfers to the states do represent a lot of money, so having 20% of a states economy taxed away and nothing returned would be a major hardship. But keep in mind that state and local governments raise the vast majority of their money through property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, sin taxes, etc. Losing all federal grants would be hard on a state, but nothing they could not manage.

So, no, the federal government cannot in any way force a state to have public schools. The federal government could set up "federal schools" as you call them, but they have not, and even if they did they could not force the states to either manage or pay for them. All they can do is try to bribe the state governments with money, but states retain the right to refuse and even resist. Are you sure you still like the current system? It works nothing like the system you seem to prefer.

Which brings up one final thing you are wrong about: it is not possible for a state to be legally bankrupt. There is no authority that exists to take over the finances of a state that cannot pay its bills. Some state constitutions do make restrictions, but usually a state government can rid itself of any debt it has by just passing a law ordering the state apparatus to stop making payments.

Tell me again how we can have a discussion about the political system when you clearly have no idea what the current system is?

[Edited on January 2, 2011 at 6:00 PM. Reason : .,.]

1/2/2011 5:49:49 PM

merbig
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First of all, "federal schools" was a typo on my part. Sorry about that. And for the record, I believe there are federal schools (see Indian Reservations), but they are so few and far inbetween.

And I think that it is hilarious that you think that states could do without federal money.

Quote :
"Tell me again how we can have a discussion about the political system when you clearly have no idea what the current system is?"


Then you have clearly lost track of the discussion, as you are no longer even talking about health care, as I was talking about and have continued to talk about, and how a system where the feds provide funding and the basic structure of a universal healthcare coverage system and the states add on whatever they want to fit the needs of the residents. If all you're trying to do is get into some asinine discussion about federalism, then you can talk about it with myself, as it is off track from what I was talking about. I'm talking about basically expanding the current medicaid system from what is already in place, in which the CMS monitors and establishes requirements that the states have to conform to. The states are in charge of their own programs though, and medicaid was created by the federal government.

1/2/2011 9:38:47 PM

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