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Taxation is Communism in disguise!

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Sadurian Mike
886584.  Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:31 am Reply with quote

This thread was started as an overflow from the discussion about US taxation and government-sponsored healthcare that has grown over on, 'What caught your attention on the telly?'

http://qi.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=23756&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=45

What strikes me about the discussion so far is that it appears to be fine in the USA for wealthy individuals to sponsor hospitals and donate to charity healthcare. Should the government try it, however, a (presumably small) body of 'we should be financially independent' Americans start screaming that they are trying to introduce Communism into the USA.

'murcan wrote:
To put it simply, Americans don't like the government doing anything to interfere with what is important to them. The government does not have the best record for managing things. Governments are bureaucratic and bureaucracies only serve themselves. This may never be intended but it is inevitable. People are afraid to trust a bureaucracy to deliver what is needed when it is needed. The terms "socialism" and "communism", to Americans, are not symbols of evil so much as symbols of self serving bureaucracies. Only a minority right wing christian element equate them with evil intent. It isn't evil that most Americans consider when they hear those systems referenced.


This is another point that makes me wonder. The Americans concerned distrust the government because they consider it self-seeking, but are happy with a privately-run company that exists as a profit-making organisation. Eh?

 
Spike
886591.  Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:40 am Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:

This is another point that makes me wonder. The Americans concerned distrust the government because they consider it self-seeking, but are happy with a privately-run company that exists as a profit-making organisation. Eh?


Perhaps because the companies motives are clear and unchanging (make a profit), whereas the politicians who direct government policy change with the wind through the lobby.

 
Sadurian Mike
886628.  Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:02 am Reply with quote

Would there really that much difference in government-sponsored healthcare?

Even if they chose different priorities, I doubt that any of them could be worse than profit-making from illness. What realistic government priority would ensure that poor people died rather than be treated?

 
Jenny
886670.  Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:50 am Reply with quote

Personally, from experience of living there, I don't think an NHS style of health care system would work in the US - it's too big and too disparate. I do think a system such as they have in Canada might work (though the population there is so much smaller of course) and possibly even a private-insurance but non-profit based system such as they have in Germany would speak to the Americans better, as it doesn't focus on the problems that 'murcan on the other thread identified that many Americans have with government systems.

Over here in the UK on a trip, I was very grateful for the speed and efficiency of the NHS when I was quite ill yesterday though, and I really think that most Americans do not appreciate quite how good it can be.

 
djgordy
886681.  Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:06 am Reply with quote

I think some Americans need to read the Gettysburg Address.

Quote:
that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

 
Sadurian Mike
886748.  Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:43 pm Reply with quote

Not to mention the poem 'The New Colossus' dedicated to the Statue of Liberty.

"...With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


Perhaps a few new lines should be added.

"But make sure that they have cash,
Or they'll die for want of medical care."

 
tchrist
887749.  Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:54 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Over here in the UK on a trip, I was very grateful for the speed and efficiency of the NHS when I was quite ill yesterday though, and I really think that most Americans do not appreciate quite how good it can be.

Most may not, but some do. I remember how swiftly I got the care needed to stave off a rampant strep infection when I was living in the UK, and once had occasion to make use of public health while doing a short job in Austria. There were no questions asked, nor exhoribant payment demanded, nor excruciating delays while the doctors convinced your insurance that you deserved to be seen, something that seems to come up with every visit these days. ‘Tell us exactly why this EKG is necessary’ is not a delay you want to get between you and the urgent care the physician clearly thinks you need. And yes, this happens; ask no more.

The profit-motive of the insurance companies is wicked, because it assures that patients get screwed at every opportunity. On the other hand, neither patients nor health care workers have any motivation to rein in burgeoning costs. It’s a terribly vicious cycle, one bound to get worse before (and if ever) it gets better.

 
Spud McLaren
892840.  Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:24 pm Reply with quote

I was catching up on my Dickens this evening, and it struck me that this exchange:

"At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge," said the gentleman, taking up a pen, "it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir."
"Are there no prisons?" asked Scrooge.
"Plenty of prisons," said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
"And the Union workhouses?" demanded Scrooge. "Are they still in operation?"
"They are. Still," returned the gentleman, "I wish I could say they were not."
"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?" said Scrooge.
"Both very busy, sir."
"Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course," said Scrooge. "I'm very glad to hear it."
"Under the impression that they scarcely furnish Christian cheer of mind or body to the multitude," returned the gentleman, "a few of us are endeavouring to raise a fund to buy the Poor some meat and drink. and means of warmth. We choose this time, because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices. What shall I put you down for?"
"Nothing!" Scrooge replied.
"You wish to be anonymous?"
"I wish to be left alone," said Scrooge. "Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned -- they cost enough; and those who are badly off must go there."
"Many can't go there; and many would rather die."
"If they would rather die," said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. ..."


is directly equivalent to the one reported in post 885792. It's all very well relying on the generosity of a few well-heeled individuals, but it's far too hit-and-miss to make a workable system.

Maybe there's a market for a modern-day Dickens in the US? Or does Michael Moore fit the bill?

 
clack
892851.  Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:55 pm Reply with quote

Brits have been sold a bill of goods about the relative merits of UK healthcare vs. US.

The top 13 hospitals in the world are in the US. The best the UK can do is #34. http://hospitals.webometrics.info/top2000.asp

 
Neotenic
892856.  Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:38 pm Reply with quote

The merit is not in having the best individual hospitals, but in not having to sell your house in order to pay for treatment.

 
exnihilo
892891.  Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:15 am Reply with quote

Well said, that man. That and it being available to all regardless of their circumstances.

It's almost as though the well-being of the citizen was something a Government ought to try to ensure.

 
soup
892892.  Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:22 am Reply with quote

Anecdote:- When youngest son was born he was in hospital for FOURTEEN MONTHS. At one stage he was receiving, among his medications, one medication that was £1000 a time he received this daily for a fortnight. We would have found this £14,000 from somewhere but there is no way we could have financed all his other drugs, the equipment to keep him alive, the wages of his nurses and the cost of his hospital stay .

We let him be in exams and for teaching purposes to pay back (in some SMALL way) for all the effort and time put into keeping him alive.

Yes the NHS could be better and taxes could be lower but I MUCH prefer the free at point of use health care than the insurance model.

 
CB27
892934.  Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:05 am Reply with quote

That link to best hospitals piqued my interest in that Guys is shown as the best hospital in the UK, and when looking at how the ranking is made up, I can understand why, and I can see why this ranking is completely useless. The ranking is based on a number of factors, but seems to be reliant on searches on Google, Yahoo, Live Search and Exalead, one of the elements making up the ranking was ons Google searches for Adobe, Excel, Word and Powerpoint files only, and another using Google Scholar.

It's hard to compare individual hospitals, some will have specialist facilities in one field, while others will specialise in another, they also rely on various factors in the care they give and the clients they get. This is where UK hospitals tend to lose out in real comparison from those in the US and many other countries in that the UK hospitals will be affected by local health factors because they do not discriminate against people of low income from the areas they are situated in.

Having said all that, there are private hospitals in the UK, and there are private wings with private care in public hospitals, and if you wish to spend money on insurance (or other fees) you can get the kind of treatment we hear some Americans boast of, for about the same price, the only difference is that there is also excellent health treatment available for people who can't afford private health.

 
clack
892955.  Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:24 am Reply with quote

Neotenic wrote:
The merit is not in having the best individual hospitals, but in not having to sell your house in order to pay for treatment.
You've been lied to by the British media.

I'm not saying that the American system is superior to the NHS -- I'm just saying that it is debatable. But Brits seem to take it for granted that the US system is terrible -- as you say, that in order for an American to get medical treatment she has to sell her home. Only a moment's thought will inform you how ridiculous that notion is.

Another stat : Nobel prize winners in Medicine as of 2010. US : 93, UK: 29. http://chartsbin.com/view/e1h

 
exnihilo
892958.  Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:56 am Reply with quote

That last point actually counters your own argument. The US's population us five times the UK's so you should have something like 150 Nobel laureates. Putting aside the fact that medical research has little to do with the healthcare system bring largely performed in universities.

 

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