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Thread: Hey Americans! and for the rest too I guess

  1. #121

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    Something to keep in mind when using Massachusetts as an example about healthcare, the law mandating insurance for all was just passed less than a year ago and it could take a while to see it\'s effects. I also worked for a research institute and would often attend public briefings on workers compensation subjects... and I can tell you, both from research done at the institute and listening to them complain, there are quite a few doctors that stop seeing patients when the government has said \"You will be paid XXX dollars over medicare and that\'s it\" for a procedure. Hawaii has a hard time with doctors who will treat workers compensation patients because the reimbursement rate is so low. So while I get nauseous at the fact that I pay a significant part of my monthly income on health insurance, a socialized system has some quirks too. That being said however, preventitive medicine and treatments have been found to greatly reduce medical costs, as short periods between injury and first doctors visit. So if we could just find a way to make it so you and I could pop down to the local clinic to have a looksee at that sore throat for cheap or free, and basic maintainance drugs like albuterol were kept cheap, I wouldn\'t mind having to purchase insurance for catastrophic health problems. I don\'t know if this even helps the discussion. But I saw that someone said boobies. I like boobies and would support an amendment to the constitution requiring more boobies to be in the public eye. Or at least in my eyes. well, not in my eyes but in front of them. And I\'m so glad the dems took both houses. We need a political correction for now. I\'m not naive enough though to think we won\'t eventually have to throw them out too, but I\'m a progressive so hey...

  2. #122

    Default Wrong! (edit: in response to NSA)

    There are NO exceptions to this rule. Years ago, two kids, ages 18 and 20, tried to MURDER their father, and only managed to severly maim him. When they went to court for the attempted MURDER, their FATHER, the victim, had to pay for their lawyers.

    They spared no expense. :mad:

    God bless America. ;)lol

    I have been on both sides of this fence, several times during my life. A little over a year ago I was spending a $100 a week on minis and game related products, besides paying all my bills and going on vacations and etc. about 10 months ago my health SEVERELY deteriotrated. I had to apply for public assisstance, and received it for several months, but only foodstamps and medicaide, no cash although I was entitled. I\'m currently living in my sister\'s house with ZERO income. I no longer receive public assisstance because SSI screwed up my paperwork, and I have to start all over with the disability claim. In the mean time, I\'m entitled to free college/job training. They do this becaue the idea is to get someone like me back off the system as quickly as possible.

    I will be attending college in the spring, thanks to the benevolence of my Gov\'t and the charity of you, my fellow taxpayers. I\'m sorry that they took your money at gunpoint, but I thank God every day that I live in country that still helps those of us who have some misfortune in their lives.

    To EvilDave - I understand your sentiment EXACTLY. Having had to sit in waiting rooms for days on end and having to \'rub shoulders\' with the dregs of society, and I can honestly say that 99% of them aren\'t worth the air they are breathing.

    But for myself, and the rest of the 1% minority, would you throw out the baby with the bathwater? You\'ll never be able to seperate the frauds from the people that just need a helping hand, and that is the unfortunate reason why we MUST put up with them.

    Sometimes, when you polish up one of those \'lowlives\', you find a diamond. :cool:

  3. #123

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    I explained my situation to the aid people, maybe I got one of those people who just don\'t care about their jobs, but they said there was nothing I could do about it.

    Luckily for me, after I enrolled my GI bill kicked in and I had a bit of money to cover things.


    I wish I could have compassion for the poor, I really do, but I can\'t.
    During the Reagan years my father was part of a union disbute, a dispute that got him locked out and blacklisted. For 6 years.
    I know a bit about poverty.
    No, screw that, I know quite a lot about poverty.

    To most of you poverty is a just a word, a concept that you think you have a grasp on. You see someone who is poor and think that you can empathise and understand it, but you truly don\'t.

    I do.

    Not \"I\'m poor, but I got the latest fashions and my bling\" poor.
    Not \"The bills are paid but I can\'t afford to hit the casinos\"poor.
    Not \"I got every cable channel, and the internet\" poor.
    I\'m talking \"Hunter/Gatherer\" poor.
    I\'m talking \"get up in the morning, put on my cammies and go hunting for food on the table , before I go to school\" poor.
    I\'m talking \"Great Depression era\" poor.
    If not for the good graces of my grandfather, our house and family land would have been lost, he only made us pay him interest until my father got a job. (I\'m not joking here.)
    My father didn\'t throw up his hands in despair and ask for government assistance, that was for people unable to work. (Although my mother did go behind his back to apply and was denied because we owned land.)
    My father did whatever, he wasn\'t too good for any job.
    He roofed, he chopped firewood, (not a very lucrative business when your average winters are in the 30\'s), he picked pecans, he grew a garden. Anything and everything to keep some money coming in.
    I remember eating squirrels and tomatoes (about the only thing my father could grow) day, after day, after day. I can\'t eat a raw tomato to this day.
    I remember going to bed hungry, because I didn\'t shoot enough squirrels. I remember feeling guilty because Mom and Dad gave up their portions for us kids.
    I remember breaking fingers and resetting them myself, with popsicle sticks and gauze.
    I remember my father cutting himself badly and stitching it himself.
    At 12, when most kids are worried about pimples and girls, I was worried about killing enough squirrels/rabbits or catching enough fish to feed the family. By 14, I knew more about responsibility than most 25 year olds do today.
    We had two channels on a beat up TV, our entertainment was the public library.
    After 6 years of this my father got his job back.
    I was a hellish exsitance, but I wouldn\'t change it for the world.

    It has made me who I am, it has made me a stronger person.

    It taught me some very important things about life.
    1.) Never take anything for granted, always take care of your stuff, you never know when you may be able to replace it.
    2.)Life owes you nothing, You must work to get what you want/need.
    3.) It can absolutely get worse, but you can survive.

    I\'ve got a close group of friends from the area who all went through the same thing.
    If you look at us now you\'d never know.
    All of us are in our Mid 30\'s and will have our homes paid off before we are 40, we each have vehicles that are paid off, and with the exception of house note are all debt free.
    All of us put ourselves through college, most of us working full time while doing it.

    Coincedence? Maybe. We all understand true poverty on a very personal level, and each of us will do anything to avoid it again.
    All our siblings who were too young to remember it, are horrible with their money, no exceptions. My brother, who makes around double what I make in a year just got his car reposessed, has five maxed out credit cards, and can\'t get a loan to save his life.

    I look around today at a lot of those claiming poverty, and I have to shake my head in disgust.
    I see a lot of people with their hands out.
    I see a lot of people looking for a free ride, who believe they are entitled to something.
    I see a lot of people who have no type of work ethic or will to change their lives.
    I see a lot of people who put their wants before their needs.
    I see a lot of people who don\'t know what true poverty is.

    And every now and then I see a genuine person who needs help, and that\'s who I extend my help to.

  4. #124
    Subgenius philologus's Avatar
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    Ditto Dave: I have hunted for squirrel to fill meals, I still can\'t eat squirrel. We raised and bred rabbits to eat and sell. I was born in a trailer and my parents never owned a home until I was in High School. I had a broken ankle that I let heal on its own because my folks didn\'t have insurance. I remember mom crying in the grocery store because she had to decide between buying milk and something else (I can\'t remember what). I know what you mean.

    BTW that broken ankle re-broke after the first time I jumped out of a plane. :D

  5. #125
    Subgenius philologus's Avatar
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    Originally posted by NSA:

    In short your link is a repellent screed written from a position of wealth and privilege, wishing to deny ordinary citizens of my country one of the great social triumphs that we have demanded and then paid for, which benefits us all in many ways. If it \"articulates the way you feel\" then I am sorry to hear that.







    I\'m sorry that you\'re sorry. I thought the article was interesting. I don\'t particularly care what kind of healthcare Canada has, I just don\'t want it in the US.

    I think the Constitution is correct in leaving \"social policing\" (like healthcare) to the individual states. That gives tax payers more visibility and better access to the elected reps. who legislate the programs. Then the citizens have essentially 50 competing systems. People can locate in states that have a better system.

  6. #126

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    I will refrain from my own poverty story. It wasn\'t as bad as those already stated. I was never homeless, but my father was. He was also old enough to remember the Great Depression and in Oklahoma so the Dust Bowl as well. I learned a lot from my father, and he was unemployed most of my life, first due to a similar blacklisting, then due to a heart condition. He knew how to get by on little and still give to those who have even less.

    I guess I say this because I want us all to realize that we have different perspectives and all have value. There\'s no way to know what we all have gone through. I\'m a lawyer, which means people automatically hate me and think of me as privileged. I was privileged in many ways, but I also know that there\'s good eatin in the safewya dumpster. We can\'t make assumptions about each other. We also all seem to want pretty much the same thing. More discussion like this can break down into division and attack, but it can also lead to solutions.

    p.s. I\'m so glad the Republicans are out of power in the US congress. The only down side to it all is that now the Democrats are in power in the US Congress.

  7. #127

    Default here here

    Sound like a good natural responses. I hope some good comes out of politics.

    TJ

    P.S.
    “Do you feel the same way I do this time around” starflyer 59. I don’t distrust the left. Just worry about what their heads do.??? When the right does the same thing then you are left to float.
    :|~ Sad same can be told to you by a democrat in California. You just will have to wait a few years.

    P.P.S
    For those that want something light.

    I am not communist. Yet I feel like Boris. “Natasha, I do not understand why glorious leader not so glorious. Wither his is blue or red. Wither leader is naked and cold or beet red in public, the emperor needs cloths. Why do we have a long stream of naked leaders. Most of us believe in institution of not streaking.”
    Dang western front. Dang Stalingrad. :cussing:

  8. #128

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    Originally posted by vincegamer
    p.s. I\'m so glad the Republicans are out of power in the US congress. The only down side to it all is that now the Democrats are in power in the US Congress.
    lol

    And that, my friends, is \'it\' in a nutshell.

    The more things change, the more things stay the same...

    @Evildave,Phil, others - I wish I could work, I make DAMN good money when I work, but unfortunately I now have to rest after 1/2 flight of stairs. I could just sit around and collect a check the rest of my life, but I\'m going to get re-trained for a desk job so that my breathing is no longer an issue. When I left, my ex got EVERYTHING. This means my children are well provided for, but leaves me in a very bad situation. In the past I have lived in a barn, drank out of a horse trough, and had to scavenge for food. I remember as a child having to eat re-fried speghetti because it was the only thing in the house, and had to sleep in the kitchen with quilts covering the doorways and the oven running to get heat in the middle of winter.

    Oh yes, I\'m no stranger to poverty. I just won\'t eat squirrel. :P


  9. #129

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    Originally posted by MarkusTay

    @Evildave,Phil, others - I wish I could work, I make DAMN good money when I work, but unfortunately I now have to rest after 1/2 flight of stairs. I could just sit around and collect a check the rest of my life, but I\'m going to get re-trained for a desk job so that my breathing is no longer an issue. When I left, my ex got EVERYTHING. This means my children are well provided for, but leaves me in a very bad situation. In the past I have lived in a barn, drank out of a horse trough, and had to scavenge for food. I remember as a child having to eat re-fried speghetti because it was the only thing in the house, and had to sleep in the kitchen with quilts covering the doorways and the oven running to get heat in the middle of winter.

    Oh yes, I\'m no stranger to poverty. I just won\'t eat squirrel. :P
    Dude, I have no problem helping out those who genuinely need it.
    I can see from your posts that you deplore the situation that you are in and will try to get out of said situation as fast as possible.

    It\'s cool, that\'s what it was intended for.

    I have no problem with you. Hell, you probably have far more of a problem with it than I do.
    I understand, it\'s a pride thing.

    I simply have a problem with the people who never put into the system, that believe they have a right to live off of other people\'s hard earned money, and that teach their children the same thing.

    And Squirrels are very good eatin\', especially as a sauce picante\'. lol

  10. #130
    Subgenius philologus's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Evil Dave
    ....And Squirrels are very good eatin\', especially as a sauce picante\'. lol

    Unless you make the same mistake I did and shoot them with a shotgun. Spittin\' out pellets. :D

  11. #131

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    Like eating with the queen!

    According to the etiquet manuals, the only thing you are permitted to pick from your teeth while eating with the queen is shot.

  12. #132

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    Originally posted by vincegamer

    But the Red Cross is not individual direct charity.
    Individual direct charity is you walking down town, finding a homeless person, giving that person a meal, place to stay, job training....
    Yeah, I know. But my intention was to point out that there is a viable alternative between government largess and individual direct charity.

    Originally posted by vincegamer
    p.s. I\'m so glad the Republicans are out of power in the US congress. The only down side to it all is that now the Democrats are in power in the US Congress.
    Well, we certainly agree on at least one thing. lollollol (actually, probably many more)

  13. #133

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    philologus - I don\'t think YOU are \"repellent\", I get that you just don\'t want a Canadian type health care system in the US. I\'m not sure why, if you had such poverty as a younger person, you don\'t support something which benefits the poor so greatly... but that is your right to believe. I have some unusual beliefs myself.

    However, it might be because I am Canadian and the article writer is directly attacking something which I believe to be one of my country\'s crowning acheivements, but the writer strikes me as terribly mean-spirited and greedy. His only real argument against universal tax-funded health care is that it \"steals from the rich\", yet the rich do not suffer because of the taxes they pay. They are still rich. But the rest of us would suffer much, much more were the system to be abandoned. So he wants to slightly benefit the wealthy... by screwing the non-wealthy. See why I don\'t like him?

  14. #134

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    i agree with evil d!
    the scenario you discussed on page 5 is on the money - even though i was on my own, as soon as my mom got a promotion and her income went up (and a small inheritance), i got the shaft! i hadnt lived at home since i was 17, but it didnt matter, i wasnt considered finacially independent until i was in graduate school (or 24), so i lost all of my financial aid - long story short: im up to my ears in debt.
    i dont think its any easier when you are poor. i think that you WERE poor at the time, and categorized as middle class because of a dated family-centic view of american life, and thats what made it tough.

    but do we abandon a system to help poor kids go to school because the policy makers dont understand how complicated life can be? no, we work at it until the money goes where it needs to.

    im not advocating putting the crunch on the middle class for the sake of the poor - i want to shave some cash of the top 1% so a some of the poor students in the classes i teach can actually buy the book.

  15. #135

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    funnymouth:

    My apologies if my comments seemed to be aimed at your current situation as nothing could be further from the truth.

    I have great respect for those who are giving it their all even when the odds seem stacked against them. What I have no tolerance for is the attitude of \"why should I knock myself out when there are so many other working stiffs that will take care of me?\"

    Now maybe this attitude isn\'t as prevelant as we are led to believe, but I can think of 4 prime examples just off the top of my head and those 4 are distant relatives.

    What I\'m saying is, as long as this sort of thing goes on, we owe it to taxpayers and the other people who really need help, to try and come up with some answers and not just write it off as the price of doing business.

    Whether is individual charity or even trying to steer some of those tax dollars to the local level where more oversight might be exercised, I don\'t think that 25, 50 or 75% efficiency should be tolerated, and if it is, then its not because we as a country are not smart enough to do better, its because we are too lazy.

  16. #136

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    Originally posted by funnymouth
    im not advocating putting the crunch on the middle class for the sake of the poor - i want to shave some cash of the top 1% so a some of the poor students in the classes i teach can actually buy the book.
    I find this idea to be repugnant, even if it\'s not taking it from the middle classes, it\'s still property redistribution.
    It\'s punishing people for being successful.
    I was reading the other day how the very rich in France are actually cutting their ties and living abroad to avoid the odius taxes that are being levied on them.
    Even U2, the band, just did something similar (Oh, the irony.)
    What\'s to stop our rich from doing the same?

    I say we look more closely at the pork barrel projects our representatives seem to love and take the money from those. ( and where there\'s Democrats, you better believe there\'s pork barrels. You ought to see all the little pet projects going on in Louisiana with the Katrina money.)

    Or even stop funding the soft sciences that are going absolutely nowhere.
    ie. SETI. Now I truly believe that there is life out there, but SETI has provided us with no proof, not even a glimmer of hope. Should we expect the taxpayers to fund something that is not benefiting them in anyway, shape or form?

    Or even cut foreign aid to countries that no matter what will always hate us, and take care of some of our own.

  17. #137

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    Originally posted by Evil Dave
    SETI. Now I truly believe that there is life out there, but SETI has provided us with no proof, not even a glimmer of hope. Should we expect the taxpayers to fund something that is not benefiting them in anyway, shape or form?
    There was that cool SETI screensaver a few year ago.

  18. #138

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    addendum:
    SETI was just an example that popped into my head, the reality is very little taxpayer money is actually spent there.

  19. #139

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    Originally posted by Evil Dave
    I find this idea to be repugnant, even if it\'s not taking it from the middle classes, it\'s still property redistribution.
    It\'s punishing people for being successful.
    Successful people didn\'t get that way on their own. They benefited from living in a country where the government encourages business, protects property via law enforcement, and provides an education to the workforce including subsidizing a lot of technical training (universities and colleges).

    If wealthy people don\'t want to pay taxes in return for these boosts they have received, perhaps they migh wish to live in the anarchist paradise that is Somalia instead. Though I understand that even there, many people have recently decided that Islamic sharia law is preferable to no laws at all...

  20. #140

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    I had a very nice, well thought out reply that should have made everyone happy, but the internet ATE IT! :flame::mad:

    Suffice it to say we all agree that some people need help, some people deserve help, and most are just looking for a handout. Unfortunetly, until we can come up with a better system we are stuck helping everyone, because it is more humane then helping no one.

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