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Thread: Democracy Works!

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    Default Democracy Works!

    Americans by and large have realized they've made One Big Ass Mistake, America. The Dems have had two years to make a bad situations which was the fault of both parties EVEN WORSE, Americans have realized their mistake of giving way too much power to one party, and now they're going to correct for it. With the far-left in charge of both the Oval Office and Congress with strong majorities in both houses we've seen TRILLIONS in additional national debt, unprecedented levels of spending, unprecedented federal overreach into private markets and people's personal lives, and unemployment still at 10% which means the unprecedented spending has done _nothing_, and now with the new threat of a Greek style second financial meltdown from unsustainable debt levels on the horizon.

    No surprise that in polls Americans are now personally identifyng themselves as conservatives at a 40% rate and liberal at only 20%. That was actually fairly close but still leaned conservative during the last election cycle, but now it's back to more historical levels. This is an overall conservative country, not liberal, and are going to put a government in place that's hopefully a bit more to their liking.

    People were displeased with the GOP in 2008 and threw them out.
    Now people are even more displeased with the Donkeys in 2010 and are going to throw them out even harder.

    These things go in cycles. I once saw a picture in someone's house that illustrated which party had control of the oval office and congress going all the way back to the 1800s, and what it showed was that no single party has ever held onto power for more than about 12 years at a time, with a lot of shorter term trends as well. Democracy is and has been working just fine. Just because the party YOU want to be in power is losing doesn't mean "democracy" as a whole isn't working. When the Dems took control of everything in 2008 you woudn't have found me whining about 'democracy not working' or some dumb crap like that. What I was actually saying is that people weren't paying attenion putting such hard left people (Obama, Pelosi, Reid) in power. Despite being a conservative, I might have even been able to vote for Hillary because I was never really a big McCain fan. But what I feared more than who took the White House was that Pelosi and Reid would have so much power. Look at the Congressional approval ratings and the personal approval ratings for both of them - they're MUCH lower on average than Obama himself, and they're most of what people are upset about - not Obama.

    So yes, Democracy is working just fine here thank you very much.
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    Well I disagree with you. You state your opinions as though they are facts.

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    far left? you've got to be kidding me. There is basically no discussion of real left wing politics in America. State and business dominate in every sphere of influence and labor is truncated at every end.
    asd

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    wow lol americans must be still in the cold war if Obama is a far left wing guy ahahahaa

    look this is far left wing:









    not a boring people-pleasing meek guy @ the White House.
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    Wow. You really are an idiot if you think this country is far-left. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. We need to be as liberal as possible IMO.

    This is an overall conservative country, not liberal, and are going to put a government in place that's hopefully a bit more to their liking.
    You don't get to say what this country is or isn't. That's up to many different people. And apparently, the majority of people want more left-wing stuff since they voted for Obama and not the other guy....so deal with it. Not that Obama could ever be considered a true leftie. At best he's a centrist.

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    This country isn't a bloody democracy, it's a place where we elect people to do the democracy for us, making it less democracy and more republic. I never voted for a damn thing and never will if our 'democratically elected leaders' have anything to do with it.

    The voting we can do is a joke. It's like voting for one candidate; ultimately, they will all not support your interests equally.

    So no, democracy isn't working at all over here, more like a republic that is working very well for anyone who has a membership, which is not sanctioned to you or I.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    Well I disagree with you. You state your opinions as though they are facts.
    It's opinion backed up with facts.

    BTW what's up with all of the Glenn Beck references? Do you think he's an ILI? Don't watch him and don't listen to him, but somebody did get me a book of his once that I've never had time to read. I thought the left was all about openness, tolerance, diversity, and freedom of speech. Why would you want to sensor or muzzle (or ban) him?

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    Quote Originally Posted by heath View Post
    far left? you've got to be kidding me. There is basically no discussion of real left wing politics in America. State and business dominate in every sphere of influence and labor is truncated at every end.
    uhhh... not quite. Government bailouts and takeovers of entire private industries like health care, banking, and even a car company? The massive propping up of corrupt labor unions and their contracts? Which direction do you think this is? Oh I didn't even mention, a prime piece of 'Obamacare', the requirement that all people 'must' buy health insurance is probably not even constitutional. There's lots of lawsuits gearing up to challenge that now.

    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    wow lol americans must be still in the cold war if Obama is a far left wing guy ahahahaa

    look this is far left wing:
    When I say "left-wing" I'm referring to specifically American politics. Yeah, I know our left-wingers here are really quite moderate or perhaps even conservative compared to what's considered 'left-wing' in other countries. Those guys are funny.
    Last edited by stevENTj; 10-29-2010 at 01:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    Wow. You really are an idiot if you think this country is far-left. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. We need to be as liberal as possible IMO.
    Exactly. It's not 'left-wing', yet that's the type of government that Americans elected back in 2008 which was really quite fascinating. Why do 'we' need to be as liberal as possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    You don't get to say what this country is or isn't. That's up to many different people. And apparently, the majority of people want more left-wing stuff since they voted for Obama and not the other guy
    Wrong.

    If you look at historical polling data, self-identified conservatives have always out-numbered self-identified liberals in this country. Right now the polling data is showing people identifying themselves as conservatives over liberals by a 2:1 margin, 40% to 20%. Google that and you can find the polling data. The big ones out there like Pew Research among others tracks this. The thoughts among liberals after the 2008 election was that the American political landscape had dramatically and permanently changed, hence a 'left-wing' governance with respect to American politics. That mindset turned out to be dead flat wrong, and even some prominent liberal commentators and analysts have admitted this. This really is a conservative country at heart. People were justifably mad at the GOP in 2008 and threw them out. They're now even more mad at the Democrats going into 2010 and are going to throw them out too. The GOP had better watch out though. Strong dissatisfaction with both parties has created a lot of anger and an anti-incumbent attitude out there. If the GOP hoses up in the next two years, especially if they take both the House and Senate, things could easily swing back in the other direction and Obama could very well win re-election in 2012. The conditions are also ripe for the emergence of a strong centrist third-party, especially if things don't go well in the next two years.

    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    Not that Obama could ever be considered a true leftie. At best he's a centrist.
    What little political record he had as a legislator before being elected president was about as far to the left as it gets in American politics. Yes, with respect to global politics he could be considered more of a centrist but that's irrelevant here. His governance style is more moderate which people still respect. It's Pelosi and Reid that people are the most upset about, and wanting to throw out or at least strip power from. Pelosi is safe in her district but is almost assuredly going to lose the house. Taking the Senate is still a bit of a long shot for the GOP, but there's a fair chance that Reid might actually lose his reelection bid. That'd be a huge blow to the Obama admin as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
    The voting we can do is a joke. It's like voting for one candidate; ultimately, they will all not support your interests equally.
    Yes. Well I don't entirely agree, but I do know where you're coming from. And that's where the strong anti-incumbent attitudes are coming from. Keep throwing them out until they do what we want them to do. Like I said, the same anti-incumbent attitude currently hitting the Dems hard could easily turn around and hit the GOP in 2012 depending on how things go.

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    In 2008 I was puzzled as to why an overall conservative country would elect a left-wing government but whatever. I predicted things would go very very badly between 2009-2010 because the Dems are clueless on economic and business matters, like taking a fighter jet in a nose dive and hitting the afterburners rather than pulling up 'bad'. And that's exactly what happened. They have no clue how to fix things and have only made things worse, while piling on an additional and unprecedented $5 TRILLION in national debt. I predicted a huge revolt in 2010 and that's pretty much a given at this point. I also predicted that Obama would be a one-term president like most Democratic presidents in this country have been. Clinton was one of the few exceptions. Gotta wait another two years to see how that turns out.

    Things work themselves out over time, and sometimes it takes a few election cycles. Part of the reason why our government was constructed the way it was was to ensure that things would indeed move slowly and that one party or group couldn't gain too much power too quickly, to sort of mediate people's tempers and emotions in difficult times. The GOP will take the House, and all house members are up for election every 2 years. They probably won't take the Senate, and only a third of them are up for election every two years, with six year terms. The House is more responsive to people's immediate needs, and being more isolated from the yearly churn the Senate can focus more on longer term goals and projects. 2010 will swing things back towards the GOP, but even then their power will still be limited. Even with strong majorities in both houses, the Dems were still more limited in what they were able to do because the moderate and conservative members of their caucuses wouldn't just go along with everything they wanted to do. Same with the GOP. There's more than a few liberal members of the GOP that won't just go along with an ultra-conservative agenda. Typically American's moods or sentiments change before any one party gains enough power to really enact ALL of what they want to do. Like I mentioned, the longest any one party ever manages to hold onto power is about 12 years here.

    Democracy does work, just very slowly.
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    Democracy is the worship of jackals by jackasses. It is letting an ill-informed rabble, a mob of easily-manipulated uneducated louts decide on measures related to public policy, matters generally well beyond the intellectual level of the general public. In the case of direct democracy, this involves them crashing an iron fist down on the other 49% of society - societies being pyramidial (not a word, I know) as they are, typically the more productive members of society. In the case of representative democracy, electing pandering borderline-sociopathic hacks beholden to corrupt special interest groups to make decisions because the idiotic sheeple are incapable of efficiently doing it themselves.

    Frankly, an autistic monkey could come up with a better system.
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    Charles Krauthammer - The great campaign of 2010

    Krauthammer - I like that guy. So basically 2010, no matter what happens, the brakes will be slammed on this liberal progressive agenda. But nothing will get done in the meantime. Yes, even if the GOP takes the Senate, Obama will have presidential veto which requires a two-thirds majority in the Senate to override. Won't happen. So 2010 is slamming on the brakes, and 2012 will be the real election for the people to decide which direction this country should go in. Sounds about right to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by aixelsyd View Post
    Call me whatever, but as long as legislature is dragging its ass to make real change on a local as well as national level, I could give two shits less as to how liberal or conservative this country is supposedly. So long as petty fights of us vs. them occur between the self-proclaimed liberals and conservatives, despite us all being U.S. Americans who want this country not to suck because having a shitty economy and having shitty policies sucks for everyone, it really won't matter who is who or what is what because while Americans are sure caught up in the drama of party and party affiliation and other such label identifiers and words, shit don't get done.

    To be cliche, this country is way behind the eight ball and I am personally sick of it. And yes, if I could leave, I would and I plan to, but this is not to say that my critical outlook does not insinuate that I am angry enough to care about the country I live in.

    Fuck Glenn Beck. Fuck Obama (though he's managed to make some changes that are noticeable in my life despite the party politic drama going on in the House and Senate). I don't give a shit about either of them. I care about my State and my country and want to see this sickness get better.
    Dyslexia, even after you read the political type thread you make these arguments that are contrary to political type theory itself.

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    OMG, I only just noticed this.

    BANGS HEAD AGAINST WALL

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    Now you're making me read everyone's name backwards, just to be sure.

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    ahahha! I never noticed that either!

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevENTj View Post
    uhhh... not quite. Government bailouts and takeovers of entire private industries like health care, banking, and even a car company? The massive propping up of corrupt labor unions and their contracts? Which direction do you think this is? Oh I didn't even mention, a prime piece of 'Obamacare', the requirement that all people 'must' buy health insurance is probably not even constitutional. There's lots of lawsuits gearing up to challenge that now.

    When I say "left-wing" I'm referring to specifically American politics. Yeah, I know our left-wingers here are really quite moderate or perhaps even conservative compared to what's considered 'left-wing' in other countries. Those guys are funny.
    Those were bad actions(the exception being nationalized healthcare). I think a real left wing movement would end the collusion between state and business and try to form a collusion of state and labor.
    asd

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevENTj View Post
    When I say "left-wing" I'm referring to specifically American politics.
    I'm sorry but american politics are just a small small part of whole-world politics. I know you (americans, and western society in general) love to take the center-stage, but that's a feeling which might not correspond with reality. Obama, normalizing american politics with a whole-world political distribution, is by no means a far-left guy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by heath View Post
    Those were bad actions(the exception being nationalized healthcare). I think a real left wing movement would end the collusion between state and business and try to form a collusion of state and labor.
    That's precisely what this government would do if they had the time and the votes. Both have run out though. Healthcare was in bad shape before, and will be even more of a disaster now, but that's a debate for another day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Obama, normalizing american politics with a whole-world political distribution, is by no means a far-left guy.
    Yeah that's what I said further down. :wink:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    Nationalizing healthcare was/is a horrible idea. The core problem with the U.S. healthcare 'system' is that it's already nationalized enough, see here:

    "Government programs directly cover 27.8% of the population (83 million),[1] including the elderly, disabled, children, veterans, and some of the poor, and federal law mandates public access to emergency services regardless of ability to pay. Public spending accounts for between 45% and 56.1% of U.S. health care spending.[68] Per-capita spending on health care by the U.S. government placed it among the top ten highest spenders among United Nations member countries in 2004.[69]"



    Collusions which invariably default into totalitarianism—see USSR, Nazi Germany, etc.

    How is that the core problem, it seems to me to be a symptom of the problem? Wouldn't the extreme costs of healthcare be the problem? The extreme costs have to come from the business collusion. Pharmaceutical companies and the AMA are the biggest lobbyists in the country, and they have gotten rich from the collusion of their business to government.
    asd

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    7% of healthcare goes to MAL-PRACTICRE suits. The fact that the Dems didn't include malpractice reform in their healthcare legislation is shameful. Lawyers are also big lobbyists, and want to make millions on malpractice suits. Another big source of excessive cost is the fact that people are barred from buying insurance from an out-of-state provider, by Federal regulations. You end up with all of these in-state monopolies which are isolated from having to compete with an out-of-state provider which might be leaner and meaner and more cost effective. Both malpractice reform and opening up in-state insurance companies to out-of-state competition to increase competitiveness were two key Republican ideas that were shot down strictly along party line votes.

    Another big source of healthcare costs is that people have no idea what the prices of the services they're getting are, and thus have no incentive to try to keep their own personal healthcare costs down. Like a crazy person demanding 15 MRIs because they think there's something in their head when there's really nothing. Any idea how much that costs? A whole crap-ton of money.

    No I don't think people should be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, but without any cost-saving or pro-competitive aspects of the bill, who the heck is going to pay for these people? I think around $200 BILLION per year not being spent on settling ridiculous malpractice suits could probably be spent on covering more people instead, don't you? I think opening up the markets and allowing people to buy out of state insurance thus forcing the insurance companies to become a lot leaner and meaner and less wasteful would also end up with a lot more money spent on actually providing healthcare to people and not on "overhead", don't you? Because a fat and greedy in-state monopoly insurance company would soon go out of business if they had to compete with leaner and meaner out-of-state operations. Very simple.

    Too bad none of this stuff is in 'Obamacare'.

    People know this and are upset about it which is why they're revolting against the Dems now. There's no reason at all the Dems couldn't have included Rep ideas on this and actually passed a bi-partisan healthcare bill that people as a whole could have been happy with. They gambled that they didn't have to, put a purely left-wing bill together, and by a historical skin of their teeth vote including parliamentary tricks after Scott Brown (R) was elected in the Senate to replace the late Ted Kennedy upset the power balance a little, they passed the current healthcare law. I think people are just as upset about the law itself as they are with all of the shenanigans the Democrats played to literally RAM and shove this thing through and down people's throats, even though every poll out there at the time showed people were heavily against it.

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    Ashton you are making one grave mistake: the money that goes into the health care industry grows with every increase of the population. Thus there will always be money enough to build new hospitals and hire more staff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcaudilllg View Post
    Ashton you are making one grave mistake: the money that goes into the health care industry grows with every increase of the population. Thus there will always be money enough to build new hospitals and hire more staff.
    where did he say that? i thought he was completely on the ball with everything he said.

    my daughter has cystic fibrosis, she had a bad chest infection recently and was prescribed thousands of euros worth of antibiotics. she was on them for weeks and wasn't getting any better. i discovered elderberry extract and gave it to her and it worked within two days. the elderberry extract cost about 6 euro. it turned out it was a virus that caused the chest infection, antibiotics can't do anything to fight a virus. so moral of the story..... there's too much money being wasted because of ignorance and greed.

    also one of the antibiotics has a side effect. it could make her go deaf permanently. she has to have regular blood tests to check her levels. i think it's a disgrace that a doctor would prescribe such a drug when there wasn't even a need to. she'll be getting a piece of my mind when i get my hands on her next week. she'll think twice about prescribing drugs like that in the future.

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    Great post, Ashton! Don't necessarily agree with everything, but very nicely put together.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    Decentralize the regulatory process for introducing new drugs and medical procedures into the market. I don't think the FDA is evil or practices shit science, but there's no good reason why every healthcare innovation must pass through the FDA for official approval. The waiting periods are several years long and make a severe bottleneck which delays the arrival of new treatments. Allow private research and testing firms into the market to do the same work as the FDA. They can be screened to ensure standards compliance and what not (come to think of it, who screens the FDA…?)
    Definitely true. Yes things can get held up by the FDA for years, which can then potentially cause a lot of issues elsewhere, which I'll get to later. Decentralizing this and contracting it out to the private sector by firms possibly approved and audited by the FDA that would also compete with each other would probably makes a lot of this go a lot faster and cost a lot less money. Definitely worth looking into.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    Eliminate the labor supply monopoly enjoyed by MDs. This is something the crusty AMA lobbied for back in the day and got passed, making it a legal requirement that any medical procedure absolutely must be done by a licensed MD. This was a way of protecting doctors to ensure their jobs (and overpaid salaries)—and there's no good, rational reason for why it should be this way. Much of the work done by MDs is quite routine and doesn't exactly require their level of expertise; many of the jobs that only a doctor can legally perform, could be farmed out to other kinds of healthcare professionals who could administer the same procedures just as effectively—if not better in some instances, as doctors wouldn't be saddled by the burgeoning workloads they are now, among other things.
    Definitely don't agree that doctors are overpaid. Hardly. All things considered, if anything I'd say they're not paid enough. Not fully familiar with the situation you're describing here but I'm quite sure it's not that simple. Yes a lot of things are routine, but can quickly become non-routine where the training and much broader skillset of a full-fledged doctor would make a huge difference. And I'm sure there's probably more than a few lawsuits behind this as well, ie liability reasons. But I do agree that this would be a way to save cost. Let people pay for what they want in their insurance plans. Pay more and get a real doctor. Pay less and get a trained tech. For that to work they'd also need to reform malpractice liability laws though, because it's going to be more likely that a tech makes a mistake than a doctor. Otherwise it might not be any cheaper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    Remove legal protections enjoyed by U.S. health insurance providers. As it is today, these corporations are protected from out of state competition even. Why shouldn't I be able to buy health insurance from a firm based in any of the other 49 states I don't live in? For that matter, why shouldn't I be able to buy health insurance from anywhere in the world? Lets force U.S. health insurance providers to compete in the same global marketplace that everyone else has to fare in on a daily basis, and rates will necessarily decrease.
    YES!

    Mentioned this above. Yes, our own Federal government and their laws isolate the health insurance companies from having to compete with each other which increases wastefulness.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton2 View Post
    End IP laws that allow big pharmaceuticals to monopolize drug manufacture. Presently, pharmaceuticals who research a particular synthesis and/or successful application of a new drug treatment, are legally granted a 12 year period of market exclusivity (a patent), decreeing that only they are allowed to manufacture and sell said drug formulation—aka force consumers to pay through the nose, because they can… whereas generic versions of the same drug are 30-80% cheaper than the name-brand one and no less effective. The 12 year patent can also be extended further and hundreds of $millions are expended by pharmaceuticals every year on litigation to do just that. The common defense is that these patents are necessary to incentivize new drug R&D, but this argument doesn't exactly hold up to scrutiny. Especially considering the average differential between R&D costs and profits gained via monopoly status, which typically exceed the former by many fold.
    This isn't so simple. The very last sentence can be true, but only when things are going well. Often things aren't going so well. Hold ups at the FDC can take years and cost billions. If the FDC unexpectedly rejects something it can cost a company billions. If there's a lawsuit it can cost a company billions. If you're not making what some would consider an obscene amount of money when things are actually going well, you won't be able to keep your company afloat when things aren't going so well. Strip the IP laws away and you'll cripple the pharm industry's ability to innovate. They'd then have to be exceedingly careful with what they might pursue, approaches would be far lower risk, and the ability to innovate and come up with revolutionary new drugs would go with it. You can lower costs a lot and bring down risk with your excellent suggestion of privitizing the FDA's functions, which will speed things up a lot, bring down regulatory approval costs which are enormous, and lower risk a whole lot as well. All of that would serve to bring down costs. If the business models worked out, it might even be feasible to reduce the length of patents which would bring down costs sooner as well. Reform pharma lawsuits as well and limit liabilities. The pharmaceutical industry is truly tumultous and filled with risk and enormous amounts of churn. Whatever you can do to lower risks on their part will help make things cheaper and more affordable for everybody else.


    One thing not mentioned is what to do about uninsured people clogging up hospital emergency rooms, which is another enormous source of cost. I can't think of a good solution to this. On one hand, people cannot be turned away from hospitals just because they don't have insurance, and most states have laws stating this. I agree with this. It's completely unethical to turn some one away with life threatening injuries and let them die all due to a lack of insurance. So who pays for it? You and I do, through our state tax dollars. The states have to kick money in to the hospitals to keep them afloat when they can't collect on half of the patients that they see. It also encourages people to just go without health insurance knowing they can't be turned away from emergency rooms. The Democrats tried to fix this by forcing everybody to buy insurance as a condition of just living here, but I don't agree with that and don't even think it's Constitutional either. I also don't agree with a complete government take over of healthcare and a 'single-payer' system either because quality of care will go way down in many different ways. I don't think anybody really has a good solution to this, and it costs many billions of dollars per year.

    If you want fancy new drugs, you can't strip away 'Big Pharm's ability to make a big profit when things are going well, because next year things will be a disaster and without the big profits from the previous year they'll go straight out of business.

    If you want to encourage more doctors, gov't could genuinely help out by paying for their medical school debt which is typically in the $100-200k range. You could pay them more, rather than threatening to pay them less. And you could enact malpractice reform which would further encourage more doctors. Lots and lots of people don't want to become doctors because of all of the above.

    Want to talk about an overpaid profession, we can talk about lawyers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    I'm sorry but american politics are just a small small part of whole-world politics. I know you (americans, and western society in general) love to take the center-stage, but that's a feeling which might not correspond with reality. Obama, normalizing american politics with a whole-world political distribution, is by no means a far-left guy.
    Amen. On the scale of individualism vs. collectivism as researched by Geert Hofstede and others the U.S. is THE MOST individualistic country in the world (or at least of all those included in studies, including almost all big economic powers). What seems "liberal" to an individualist American probably seems "conservative" to a more collectivist Scandinavian. From the perspective of one living in Europe I have to say that American militant individualism seems like a kind of irrational paranoia.
    It is easier for the eye of a camel to pass through a rich man than for a needle to enter the kingdom of heaven.

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    Quote Originally Posted by humblepie View Post
    where did he say that? i thought he was completely on the ball with everything he said.

    my daughter has cystic fibrosis, she had a bad chest infection recently and was prescribed thousands of euros worth of antibiotics. she was on them for weeks and wasn't getting any better. i discovered elderberry extract and gave it to her and it worked within two days. the elderberry extract cost about 6 euro. it turned out it was a virus that caused the chest infection, antibiotics can't do anything to fight a virus. so moral of the story..... there's too much money being wasted because of ignorance and greed.

    also one of the antibiotics has a side effect. it could make her go deaf permanently. she has to have regular blood tests to check her levels. i think it's a disgrace that a doctor would prescribe such a drug when there wasn't even a need to. she'll be getting a piece of my mind when i get my hands on her next week. she'll think twice about prescribing drugs like that in the future.
    Doctors are human and make mistakes too, and human beings aren't simple like cars where when something is wrong you can plug into the diagnostic port and know exactly what's wrong and how to fix it. Even with cars, it's not always that simple. If a doctor misses something it doesn't mean they're ignorant or greedy or a 'bad' doctor. When your daughter was on meds for weeks and wasn't getting any better, did you follow up with the doctor and let them know that? If so, what happened next? Or did you just go with the elderberry extract? Herbal medicine has plenty of pitfalls as well and it can be just as easy to get messed up from that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    Amen. On the scale of individualism vs. collectivism as researched by Geert Hofstede and others the U.S. is THE MOST individualistic country in the world (or at least of all those included in studies, including almost all big economic powers). What seems "liberal" to an individualist American probably seems "conservative" to a more collectivist Scandinavian. From the perspective of one living in Europe I have to say that American militant individualism seems like a kind of irrational paranoia.
    We just like to have control over our own lives, and as a culture have little faith in government and want as little of it as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevENTj View Post
    We just like to have control over our own lives, and as a culture have little faith in government and want as little of it as possible.
    A culture of overweight fast-food eaters and Walmart shoppers who buy stuff made in China and spend hours a day watching TV, work for other people, and live in homes built for them by someone else driving cars along government-funded highways... and you're telling me Americans like to have control over their own lives?
    It is easier for the eye of a camel to pass through a rich man than for a needle to enter the kingdom of heaven.

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    OK but Americans by and large just rejected their government and what it's been telling them, and also rejected an overwhelmingly liberally biased media and what it's been telling them as well. Too many stereotypes in this thread. You can always find examples that fit stereotypes, but that doesn't mean that's how everybody is. I did agree with Rick on the militant individualism point, but just not on the stereotypes.

    Yes people are militantly individualistic which European could very well see as an irrational paranoia. Look at the whole history of this country and exactly how and why it was founded. And yes people do like their mundane lives. They don't want government telling them what to do, which healthcare plan they must buy or that they "must" buy healthcare coverage, and they don't want them taking YET MORE of their paychecks either. People came here originally to escape the oppressive governments of Europe, and now look at what's happening. More and more government in people's lives telling them what to do and how to live. Americans just rejected that.

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    Creepy-Korpsey

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    The only thing the American electorate rejected yesterday was a break with the status quo. They gave an unambiguous mandate to the Republican and Democratic parties to continue their stranglehold on the government and to keep squandering the country's wealth and prestige while weakening it internally with petty squabbling.

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    Creepy-Korpsey

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    I said that break was rejected. The same machinery, rhetoric, narratives, operators are in place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ananke View Post
    See the heroic freedom fight of the afghani pesants.
    If Ashton's example didn't convince you, take a look at Vietnam. Or even better: (but almost unknown by the general public) the 'Winter War' in which the Finnish people defended their country against the Soviets. They did have some tanks and airplanes, but the results were still unbelievable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ananke View Post
    The Finns still had an army ... and once the Soviets got their fire power moving, the Finns were dead meat and had to give up.
    Okay, the Finns had to give up and surrender some of their territories. That means that the Soviet won after all. But I think the Soviet army planned to invade and occupy the whole country, just like Poland. (Until they came across the part which was seized by Hitler.) That didn't work.

    Anyway, The US did definitely not win in Vietnam. Their enemies had no tanks and quite simple weapons, but they could still hold their ground.
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
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    Quote Originally Posted by ananke View Post
    You can't overthrow the US government with hunting rifles. My point is that the 2nd Amendment argument is ridiculous if it came to the real thing.
    I think it's not important if you can actually stop the aggressors, but it supports your right of defence. I'm not necessarily a supporter of civil possession of firearms, but what would you do if your country/your place would be invaded? I'd rather have a gun to fight instead of nothing, even if it would not change much or even nohting at all. But that's just my opinion.
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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    Well you could just use nukes and eradicate all the population. But I guess then there wouldn't be much territory to administer...
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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