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Bob K
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125 posted 04-01-2009 10:52 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

quote:

Interesting, isn't it, Denise, that the same people supporting global warming as a great benefit to our "children and future generations" have nothing to say about Obama's spending spree burying those same children under a mountain of debt they will have to live with. That's selective logic, I must assume.



     Man, I guess so.

     The only folks with policy supporting Global Warming seem to be Republican.  They're in denial, pretty much, that there's any such thing.  They remain loyal to use of fossil fuels and believe that there actually is such a thing as "The New Clean Coal" while they rolled back legislation on pollution controls for power plants.  Woops!  You must have your data from someplace that doubles as Disneyland here, Mike.  I don't see any benefit to global warming to our children.  They may even survive it. Heaven knows, I'm rooting for them.  

     The Democrats haven't been tough enough on the environmental degradation issues.  If that's what you mean, I'd have to agree enthusiastically; but they haven't been supporting global warming.  Remember your anger with VP Gore?  That's one of the things you were angry about.  Perhaps you've forgotten?

     As for China, I haven't heard a single word out of you for quite a while.  I"m glad that you're now willing to condemn the Bush funding policies.  Where were you while they were going on, and where a protest might have curbed the excesses?  

     I did warn you, you might remember, that somebody was going to have to pay back the drunken spending spree that characterized the last eight years.  Your reply, as I recall, was that nobody was having any problem so that the finances must be fine.  Even as recently as last fall, that's what you were saying, despite all evidence to the contrary.  You had a chance to help curb the idiocy or at least acknowledge it at the time and maybe lessen the impact of the over-spent credit card bill that we now all have to face.  As I recall, O even mentioned the mountainous size of the debt, and how much more difficult it would be to get out from under the longer we waited to cope with it.  Debt does that, you know:  Interest and all; less favorable terms.  You ridiculed me.

     Your reaction of complaining about what we need to do to pay off the debt your folks ran up feels a bit like the Menendez Brothers throwing themselves on the mercy of the court because they were orphans.  You're blaming Obama?  That's your solution?  

     The guys cleaning up eight years of Republican government at its finest and after less than 90 days, it's his solution that's the problem?  Your solution is what?  To go back to the policies that got us in the mess in the first place?  Tax cuts for the rich?

     Gag me with a Dragon!

     You know you may be right about the stuff you're talking about in terms of AIG.  It's too soon to tell, and we don't have enough information about the decisions they made and why they made them.  Certainly I think laws about taxation aimed at those executives alone is basically wrong.

     It is a temptation when you're talking about money that large; I must admit that, simply because it feels obscene.  That doesn't make it wrong.

     "Selective logic" is what happens when you take a piece of reasoning that describes AIG's situation, and then forget to notice that it fits Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well.  

     That doesn't mean it has to fit both.  I could well be wrong in both situations.  I don't have enough information to make a good call in either case, though I wish I did.

Sincerely yours, Bob kaven
Bob K
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126 posted 04-01-2009 11:12 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Stephanos,

          I wish I were smarter and more educated in this sort of stuff, but I confess the process of educating myself in it is pretty daunting.  Like Sanskrit:  Wish I could read it, what a pain to study and learn it!

     I think, though the the analogy of Family/ Country breaks down in some places, as does the analogy of Business/Country.  Structures have similarities on different levels of complexity, but it doesn't appear that they work quite the same way on, say, the quotidian and the quantum levels.  Same, I think, with country and family.

     What this means or how this fits in with General Systems Theory, I don't know.

     I suspect that you probably have trouble jump-starting the finances of a family, though, while it seems possible to jump-start the finances of countries under certain kinds of conditions.  That seems to be the logic with what Obama's doing here.  The money being spent seems to be targets in places where it's more likely to feed back directly into the economy most quickly; in this case on the lower levels where folks need food and shelter.  This money seems to go pretty directly into the economy because there's no place else for it to go.  These folks are in trouble and frequently in debt; it's not going under anybody's mattress or into a savings account.  That money gets businesses going and workers back to work.

     If it went back into the economy on the high end, it wouldn't work that way.

     There's a curve called the Laffer curve the describes how the money spent priming the economy actually returns to the treasury in terms of taxes.  At this point on the Laffer curve, tax cuts to the rich actually cost the government money, though when the tax rate was higher, back in Kennedy's time, the treasury actually made money, about $1.35 for every $1.00 cut in taxes for those on the upper end.  Now they lose money.  But they do make money by giving money to the poor.

     That's my understanding of the deal at this point, but you should check for yourself.

Sincerely yours, Bob
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127 posted 04-01-2009 11:15 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yes, you are right, Bob. i inadvertently said "in support of global warming" as opposed to "in support of reversing global warning". my mistake. i would think anyone who has followed my views in that topic in the past would know what I meant but then that wouldn't have been as much fun, would it?

As far as the rest of your reply.....I see no reason to even bother responding. it's the same rehashed rhetoric being warmed over once again.


As far as the Laffer curve is concerned, I think it is well-named
Bob K
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128 posted 04-02-2009 03:08 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

          I like the comment about the Laffer curve, though being a Liberal, I did want to be respectful of this staple of supply side economic theory, and I find myself somewhat surprised to see you crack a joke about it.  I guess it's better coming from a Republican.  From a Democrat it would only sound mean-spirited.

quote:

i would think anyone who has followed my views in that topic in the past would know what I meant but then that wouldn't have been as much fun, would it?



     Actually, since my comments were about how there had been a flip-flip on Republican positions about spending and debt and the restraint needed in both over the past several years, and since you have reflected this in your postings, this is not the case, is it?  Had the Republican position been consistent on the matter, or had you chosen to differ from the Republican position on these matters in general, you would indeed have had a well taken point, and I would have had to admit it here.

     The Republican position until the Recession was too far along for anybody to possibly ignore was that there was no recession and the economy was wonderful, as I recall.  You voiced those sentiments on at least two occasions that I recall, and on one occasion you challenged me to go out and find people who were complaining about the economy, and I spent several weeks doing research on the matter.  Perhaps you've forgotten.

     So the thing of it is, Mike, that I actually have followed your views on the matter for quite a while, and they are reflective of the general Republican views on the matter.

     I don't know that the Democratic views on the matter are the best views that I've run across, what with the recent business with AIG about which I do have disagreements with the party leadership.  I have mentioned those here, and I think you are reasonably up to date on those.  If I've been less than clear, please let me know.  I am sometimes confused or undeveloped in my thinking, and that does reflect in what I say and the way I say it.  

     I cannot say that I found the exchange "fun," however.

     I'm still interested in knowing exactly who "Barney's friend" might be, and in exactly what context you were using the phrase.  I don't believe you've gotten around to that as yet.

     And if you misused phrasing about global warming and I had some trouble navigating around your usage of the concept in this context, I am sorry.  Some of the fault there is mine.  Some , however, you might consider taking responsibility for, since I can't recall seeing you actually offering any acknowledgement that global warming was real; and to see you using it in a context that implied its reality — which I take for granted on the basis of the preponderance of the accepted scientific evidence appearing to support that position — was something of a disorienting surprise.

     Here, knowing your position, I was having difficulty accepting the evidence that seemed to present itself.  My mistake.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven  
Denise
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129 posted 04-02-2009 08:47 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Very interesting indeed, Michael. As is the fact that the folks who were so concerned that the Bush tax cuts and spending on the war efforts were going to destroy our children's children's economic future aren't saying a word about Obama's deficit spending plans, which are so much worse than Bush's were. The guy can do no wrong in their eyes, I guess.
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130 posted 04-02-2009 09:14 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Well Denise I'm happy to say that although I admire Obama greatly I do not agree with his (or Brown's) huge spending packages. In fact I think they are sheer lunacy.  

I actually thought Bush's tax cuts were a whole lot more sensible both on timing and on quantum.  And I didn't admire Bush.

Bob K
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131 posted 04-02-2009 07:29 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     At the end of the G-20 conference today a joint communique was issued by, I believe, most if not all members, doing two things.  On the one hand, it said that more regulation was needed was needed to rectify the excesses of the last several years to bring the banking system into line.  On the other hand, it said that there were no plans in the works to change the direction of the current banking talks.  These, under the control, more or less, of the bankers themselves, appear to be leading in the direction of further deregulation.

     Unless the President comes down on the side of regulation in this matter, as his rhetoric has been over the past months, we may be in considerable trouble.  I wonder what's going on about this?

     Just thought Mike and Denise especially  would like the extra information, especially because I find it frustrating, and thought they might find it interesting, even if only for that reason.
serenity blaze
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132 posted 04-02-2009 08:56 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

quote:
Gag me with a Dragon!


I'm just popping in to express my admiration and glee at the line, and confess I wanna steal it.



Denise
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133 posted 04-02-2009 11:09 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Ahhhhh Bob, I take no pleasure in anyone else's frustration, and I am positive that Mike doesn't either.
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134 posted 04-03-2009 12:11 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

   By JENNIFER LOVEN, AP White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven, Ap White House Correspondent – 1 hr 28 mins ago

LONDON – At his summit debut, President Barack Obama failed to persuade foreign counterparts to commit to fresh and lavish spending to boost economic revival. And the success he did achieve in finding common ground was as much the result of modified goals as swaying other countries to bend to U.S. priorities.

Still, the leaders, many wary of piling up debt, did not sign off on large new stimulus packages for their own countries. Obama's administration had initially pushed for such a commitment, but backed off in recent days as European opposition solidified.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090403/ap_on_go_pr_wh/eu_obama_121


No one, outside of democrats, see anything good about Obama's incredible spending spree....and when you have European countries warning the US not to turn socialistic, when countries like Russia and China also join in, when England warns you not to go to socialized health care.....when Europe will not follow your lead to initiate srimulus packages......you are doing something wrong. Obama is doing something wrong and the world knows it. Too bad many people here can't see that...
Bob K
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135 posted 04-03-2009 02:58 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



quote:

No one, outside of democrats, see anything good about Obama's incredible spending spree....and when you have European countries warning the US not to turn socialistic, when countries like Russia and China also join in, when England warns you not to go to socialized health care.....when Europe will not follow your lead to initiate stimulus packages......you are doing something wrong.
Obama is doing something wrong and the world knows it. Too bad many people here can't see that...



     Which European countries have warned the United States not to turn socialistic, Mike?  And where do you get that reference.  My Grandfather was a proud and happy socialist and a personal friend of Eugene Debs; my father taught the first course on Unions in the state of Virginia when he taught at UVA.  Obama is about as Socialist as you are.  You've been paying too much attention to what you've be been told and not enough attention to any sort of accurate understanding of what socialism actually is.  Have you read any socialists?  Which ones?  Or are you depending on what your Republican buddies are telling you that socialists think?  Socialists have championed such spawn of the devil ideas as the 40 hour work week,  universal suffrage and the ban on child labor.  Stuff that we take for granted as part of what we think of as the American system today.  Any of those things you'd seriously like to repeal?  Say, working 8 year olds to death in mines?

     Do you think those gains were easily come by?

     As for socialized health care, who in particular is warning us against it other than the folks who make a large amount of money from health care the way it's practiced now?  I haven't noticed that English doctors were inferior to American doctors from the experiences my wife and I have both had with them.  They weren't so quick to order unnecessary tests as here, and they talked to us and explained why.  If we'd wanted them, they would have ordered them.  We decided not to together.  When my wife needed cough syrup, she got cough syrup with substantial doses of opiates in it.  It was the most effective.  Nobody was shy about it, or prissy.

     Our health care system is the most expensive and the least efficient in the industrialized world.  Republicans are quick to tell stories about the problems of the Canadian health care system.  They don't mention the complaints the Canadians have about the American abuses of the Canadian system.  Why do you think that Americans go to Canada to buy so many of their drugs?

     Socialized medicine my zoot suit.

     If own medical system is the best in the world, how come so many of our emergency rooms are closing?  How come so many patients are being shipped off to other hospitals in the hopes that they might be treated there?  How come so many of our folks don't have health coverage, and have to use high cost emergency-room care for what should be low cost health maintenance issues?

     Use of the magic scare word "Socialism" should no longer be enough to make people stop thinking.  People should actually want detailed explanations instead of listening and watching other yell BOO! and wave red flags.  It may actually be time for folks actually to demand the logic behind the scare tactics, and ask for explanations so they can make up their own darn minds.

     This may not be to much to ask for those of us who aren't Republican.  Maybe some of us who are Republican have some curiosity and interest in the matter.  There are some bright curious and free-thinking Republicans about.    

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136 posted 04-03-2009 08:38 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

You caught me, Bob. One of my greatest desires is to see 8 year olds being worked to death in the mines. I've tried so hard to keep that quiet!

As for socialized health care, who in particular is warning us against it other than the folks who make a large amount of money from health care the way it's practiced now?

Who? You mean like the fellow (and, unfortunately I didn't get his name), a candidate for the prime ministership of England, who, last night, warned on tv against the US going to socialized medicine. He quoted the recent ruling by the committee in England which governs the health program which dictates that breast cancer procedures in England will be discontinued because they are too expensive. It's was late at night and I only caught part of the speech but I'll research it further. Is that the road you prefer our health care system go down?

You think we have a bad health care system? Then you disagree with the many millions, including me, who feel that it's the BEST health care system in the world. When foreigners with the means need the best health care system in the world, they don't go to a socialized, government-run doctor or hospital. They come to the United States.

If you feel that socialism is a good thing and socialized health care is the way to go I'm curious as to why you choose to live out your days in this capitalistic, bad health care country when there are so many others that will give you the lifestyle you champion.

So many people knock the US from within....but they never leave. They say one can always tell the value of a country by counting those who come to it, as opposed to those trying to get out. Regardless of what you may feel, the USA is the greatest country in the world I know with regards to opportunity, individual freedom, and caring. If it becomes socialistic, it will follow the same road as several countries in Europe and around the world followed....those countries in which citizens emigrate to the United States.
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137 posted 04-03-2009 09:09 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Putin Warns US Democrats Against Socialism (Video)

"We must not revert to isolationism and unrestrained economic egotism... Excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state's omnipotence is another possible mistake. True, the state's increased role in times of crisis is a natural reaction to market setbacks. Instead of streamlining market mechanisms, some are tempted to expand state economic intervention to the greatest possible extent... In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state's role absolute. In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated."

    Russian Prime Minister Vladamir Putin
    Opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
    January 28, 2009


Russian Prime Minister Vladamir Putin has said the US should take a lesson from the pages of Russian history and not exercise “excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence”.

Putin also cautioned the US against using military Keynesianism to lift its economy out of recession, saying, “in the longer run, militarization won’t solve the problem but will rather quell it temporarily. What it will do is squeeze huge financial and other resources from the economy instead of finding better and wiser uses for them.” Putin’s comments come in sharp contrast to Russia’s own military buildup and expansion.

UPDATE: The Chinese communist government issued another warning to Democrats today-- "Increased borrowing by the United States to fund its massive stimulus package could cause the depreciation of U.S. dollar-denominated assets."
http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2009/02/putin-lectures-american-democrats.html


There's also a good video on that link, Bob, you may consider viewing.
rwood
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138 posted 04-03-2009 10:45 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
You've been paying too much attention to what you've be been told and not enough attention to any sort of accurate understanding of what socialism actually is.  Have you read any socialists?  Which ones?  Or are you depending on what your Republican buddies are telling you that socialists think?  Socialists have championed such spawn of the devil ideas as the 40 hour work week, universal suffrage and the ban on child labor.  Stuff that we take for granted as part of what we think of as the American system today.  Any of those things you'd seriously like to repeal?  Say, working 8 year olds to death in mines?


Wow, Bob. Mike speaks very well for himself, but I’ll debunk your understanding by raising ya a revisit to 1776, and I gotta call your bluff bunk. I don’t need to read a single socialist author. I have family that lives under a socialist regime. They are not Free, as citizens. That is all the info I need. Socialists can champion any dang thing they want over their people. That’s the concept, Bob. Citizenry Repeal isn’t normally allowed in a socialist society. It’s not provided in their control budget.

“Man is not free unless government is limited--Ronald Reagan.”

quote:
Use of the magic scare word "Socialism" should no longer be enough to make people stop thinking.  People should actually want detailed explanations instead of listening and watching other yell BOO! and wave red flags.  It may actually be time for folks actually to demand the logic behind the scare tactics, and ask for explanations so they can make up their own darn minds.


Socialism is a red flag of threat to the opportunity of free-thinking when it basically supports a “Let Go and Let Gov. take responsibility” for everything we are or are not. Why wouldn’t that scare Americans? Even if we don’t think for ourselves all the time, we still have the opportunity to without it being assigned to us by the only ones with the guns and funds.

quote:
This may not be to much to ask for those of us who aren't Republican.  Maybe some of us who are Republican have some curiosity and interest in the matter.  There are some bright curious and free-thinking Republicans about.


We are not born a political party member, but our political state does matter! There are millions of “bright and curious” children born each year that must grow to protect our forefather’s legacy of freedom and opportunity.

All historic records of socialism prove that it does not work, in any country, to any encompassing degree. Is welfare working for us? Is social security? How about the Board of Education? HUD? Ag subsidies? Medicare? Are we in control of these socialist features, or are they out of control with failure, mediocrity, and gross federal budget spending issues?

Here’s a
Index Dependency Chart
of federally funded social services from 2007, and I’m sure its numbers have greatly elevated. They’ve risen 138% since 1980. If socialism works, why are the numbers more each year than less if such is supposed to promote a securing foothold in society???

"Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition"—Thomas Jefferson.

Some socialist societies may have decent health care, but when I check their unemployment rates, assigned employment and wages, their tax rates, housing, food, and industry, their human & civil rights policies? I’m not left thinking how pretty. and I feel even more blessed to be American.

The free market is still proven most sound, even if capitalism is floundering on the basis of derailed responsibility, its recoverability has already been proven 100fold from Black Tuesday’s days. The economic regression to socialism does not spell Independence. It would continue to grossly encapsulate an already ample mediocrity and to enslave all generations it willingly wings for a precious price.


quote:
a socialist policy is abhorrent to the British ideas of freedom. Socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the object worship of the state. It will prescribe for every one where they are to work, what they are to work at, where they may go and what they may say. Socialism is an attack on the right to breathe freely. No socialist system can be established without a political police. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance. Winston Churchill

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139 posted 04-03-2009 10:50 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


That English bloke you mentioned Mike is probably David Hannan MEP.

He’s a minor player in British politics famous, or infamous, for being expelled from the  EEP party for being too right wing. Recently a three minute video of a speech he made criticising the British government  hit the “most viewed” list on YouTube, it was subsequently picked up as a worthy news story by right wing news sources in the US.

Oddly it was almost totally ignored by the UK media, perhaps because they know him.

quote:
He quoted the recent ruling by the committee in England which governs the health program which dictates that breast cancer procedures in England will be discontinued because they are too expensive.


Hmm..

I’d be very careful taking that one at face value if I were you, it’s a gross oversimplification of a complicated issue and his statement is very misleading.

I can explain the issue from both sides if you like but it’s probably better done in a separate thread - probably in philosophy because it’s one of those “you are right from your side - I am right from mine” subjects. Let’s just say there is a very logical and thought out reason why certain procedures aren’t available on the NHS.

.
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140 posted 04-03-2009 11:07 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Rwood

I live in a country where the government describes itself as a "democratic socialist party".

You’d imagine that Churchill wouldn’t like living here  - but he did.

Nobody seems to worship the state, nobody tells you where you must work or what you can say and the police are, by and large, a friendly bunch, about as far away from the Gestapo as you can get.

Maybe there are degrees of socialism and Churchill was talking about an extreme.

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141 posted 04-03-2009 12:38 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Grinch, though I think you're awesome, I'd have to decline a trade-out in permanent residences. No matter how utterly picturesque Kate Winslet's English cottage seemed in the movie "The Holiday." Well I dunno. Jude Law might make all the difference. LOL  

I imagined you spoke the Queen's English, but I wasn't sure.

Most countries boast a confusing terminology in their system of government, including ours, and the word democracy seems obscenely stretched in efforts to hide the marks of socialism.

Germany is a federal parliamentary republic. Um, sure. Ok.

I liked the police nationale in Paris, France, too. They were quite friendly and even pranksters, which I would have found them to be more comical if I could overlook their heavily ammo-ridden shoulders and automatic weapons. The citizens seemed very in control of their movement as if there was nothing strange at all about having to dodge a gun barrel while making room in an elevator.

What, if anything, would you change about your system? How are they handling the rising rate of unemployment?? Raising your taxes?? What about homelessness? Do tell.
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What would I change?

I’d change the social security system to force the self-unemployed to work for their money and to stop them draining the social security system.

I’d raise the level of redundancy payments to stop companies jumping on the bandwagon and shedding jobs because they can get away with it in a recession and it’s an easy way to massage their bottom line.

Unemployment over here is rising because of the above.

Taxes are stable with the signs being they’ll go down. (VAT has gone down).

Homelessness?

Hmm.. That depends on what you mean by homeless. If you mean people without a permanent home, there’s about 100,000 according to the last figures I saw but most of them aren’t sleeping under the stars most of those are in temporary accommodation. Over here local government councils are required by law to supply accommodation to anyone that requests it according to need. If you’re a family with kids that could mean jumping the queue to get a council house or being put up in a bed and breakfast or hotel (at the council’s expense) until one is available - but you're still counted as homeless.

Single males over the age of eighteen and under sixty are the bottom rung on the housing ladder but even they’re not forced out onto the streets most are housed in hostels.

There certainly aren’t any Hooverville encampments - at least not yet.

  
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143 posted 04-03-2009 03:17 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Does the NHS provide breast cancer treatment or not, Grinch? Yes or no? Yes but with age or other restrictions or not at all?
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144 posted 04-03-2009 05:16 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Does the NHS provide breast cancer treatment or not, Grinch? Yes or no? Yes but with age or other restrictions or not at all?


Yes.

My mother was treated on the NHS for breast cancer, twice. The first time it was successful but only after several different procedures and eventually a mastectomy. The second time she was diagnosed and treated but unfortunately the treatment wasn’t successful.

Are there restrictions?

Yes.

If a treatment hasn’t been clinically proven to have a high success rate and costs £20,000 a pop then the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which agrees the treatments available on the NHS, may decided not to offer that particular treatment. All standard procedures are available and free at the point of need.

That’s not to say that alternate treatment isn’t available, if you decide to blow £20,000 on a treatment with a 5% success rate you’re perfectly free to do so, you just have to pay for it yourself or through private insurance policies.

.
Balladeer
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145 posted 04-03-2009 06:11 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you, grinch. Your replies are very informative...
Bob K
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146 posted 04-03-2009 08:36 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

quote:


So many people knock the US from within....but they never leave. They say one can always tell the value of a country by counting those who come to it, as opposed to those trying to get out. Regardless of what you may feel, the USA is the greatest country in the world I know with regards to opportunity, individual freedom, and caring. If it becomes socialistic, it will follow the same road as several countries in Europe and around the world followed....those countries in which citizens emigrate to the United States.



     Perhaps you'd care to show me somebody who's trying to get out of the country, Mike.  All I see is somebody who doesn't agree with you.  In order to be allowed to live in Canada with my folks in the late 60's, I had to get Landed Immigrant status there.  It was the way Canadian law was written.  If I'd wanted to leave, I could have left at that time.  My dialogue with the government was at a much more strained level then than it is now, and I decided to remain a U.S. citizen.  I like the Canadians enormously, and the English as well, by the way, but I've always been an American and my quarrels with the government have always been the quarrels that an American has with his government.  Much like the quarrels you are having with the government right now.  I don't suggest you are un-American for having them.  Nor do I suggest or imply that you should get out of the country if you don't agree with me.  I support your right to have them.

     I hear you knocking the Government from within and I don't expect you to leave for heaven's sake.  I think this is the most American of things to do.  Nor do I confuse the political system, Democracy, with the economic system the the country has adopted, a modified sort of Capitalism with some regulation thrown in.    Democracy is not Capitalism, though you speak of them as if they were the same thing, and you confuse them in your rhetoric a lot.

     There are loads of countries who have people who want to live in the United States.  I want to live in The United States.  That doesn't mean that our health care is better.  In many cases it's not.

     My folks lived in Scotland for six to eight months, and they thought the health care there was better than here.  They had pretty complicated health care needs at the time.  It was cheaper and better run.  I liked it in England, that I saw of it.  I have a friend who worked in Boston as an RN for two or three years before she moved back to London.  She practiced in both places and thought the practice was better in England.  There are private hospitals there which can compete with any hospitals here for specialized medical care, as there are in a number of countries.  

     I don't wish to speak against our fine physicians.  We do tend to be a bit top heavy, though, in specialists, where the need for the country is for good General Practitioners and Hospitalists.  Grinch has spoken more directly to some of the other issues than I ever could.

     I'll try to address some of the other stuff later.

Yours,  Bob Kaven  
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147 posted 04-03-2009 10:03 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Perhaps you'd care to show me somebody who's trying to get out of the country, Mike. Sure, Bob. How many Mexicans can you count? How many Asians can you count? As often happens, you misunderstood my comment entirely. The US is the country so many are trying to get IN...other countries are where poeple are trying to get OUT. Where are they trying get to? HERE! Maybe our country is not so bad, after all, even with it's shortcomings.

Your earlier comment is a perfect example of why Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and the others are so popular. When conservatives speak of the country, they speak in positives. When Democrats, or liberal talk shows, speak of America, they speak in negatives. If there is a Rebublican white house, they speak in negatives against the administration. If there is a Democrat in the white house, they speak negative about life in America, be it health care, big business or anything they can point to and preach that it could be better if their government had more controls. They say things like "our health care is the least efficient in the industrialized world", as you just have. Do you REALLY think that, Bob? I've been in quite a few countries myself and I can assure you it's not.

If you want to be negative, trying being negative about the fact that your children and grandchildren are going to be burdened by a debt they will have to pay, thanks to Obama's spending spree. Now THERE is something to be negative about....

Bob K
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148 posted 04-04-2009 03:07 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

quote:

Perhaps you'd care to show me somebody who's trying to get out of the country, Mike. Sure, Bob. How many Mexicans can you count? How many Asians can you count? As often happens, you misunderstood my comment entirely. The US is the country so many are trying to get IN...other countries are where poeple are trying to get OUT. Where are they trying get to? HERE! Maybe our country is not so bad, after all, even with it's shortcomings.

Your earlier comment is a perfect example of why Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and the others are so popular. When conservatives speak of the country, they speak in positives. When Democrats, or liberal talk shows, speak of America, they speak in negatives. If there is a Rebublican white house, they speak in negatives against the administration. If there is a Democrat in the white house, they speak negative about life in America, be it health care, big business or anything they can point to and preach that it could be better if their government had more controls. They say things like "our health care is the least efficient in the industrialized world", as you just have. Do you REALLY think that, Bob? I've been in quite a few countries myself and I can assure you it's not.

If you want to be negative, trying being negative about the fact that your children and grandchildren are going to be burdened by a debt they will have to pay, thanks to Obama's spending spree. Now THERE is something to be negative about....



     My fault here, Mike, apparently I didn't express myself well.  I was talking about our conversation, where I felt you were asking if I was trying to get out of the country.  I was not, which is the reason for the conversation about my time in Canada with my folks.  I'm sorry you misunderstood.  If I'd been talking about folks trying to get into this country,  I'd have used a different article, such as "this."  I might even have used a pronoun such as "our." It's not your job to know that, however.  Oddly, it turns out I didn't misunderstand you at all; you misunderstood me.  Instead of getting huffy about it, I'm trying to apologize.  I'm the writer.  I'm the one responsible for communicating clearly.  My goof.

     One thing I was quite clear about.  That was that I think  America is a  good place, and that I love it.  That does not obligate me to love everything my country does.  The man who said, "My country Right or Wrong!" at least in that truncated version of the quote, was mistaken.  Otherwise we'd still be practicing slavery now, wouldn't we?  And criticism of it would get you beaten to death on the floor of. . .was it the House or the Senate?  That was a wrong the founding fathers committed intentionally to bring about the signing of the Constitution.  We still feel the effects of that decision today.

     Since when is it unpatriotic to acknowledge reality and to either correct the problems or to change the situation in some other way.  I happen to find denial of reality and the embrace of fiction in living to be a poor political survival strategy in the world today.  If indeed it ever was.
I have no problem with speaking about the country in positives; I simply want the positives in which we're speaking about the country to have some relationship with reality, and preferably not one of opposition.  The United States if a Fine country, perhaps the Greatest.  I love my country.  A lot of other country feel the same way about theirs, but I feel that my Country is special, and I'd offer my vote to her in the sweepstakes, yeah.  I understand that a lot of other folks would disagree with me, though.

     Our country is the freest country in the world.  It's up there.  There are a lot of Democracies that would like to claim the honor as well, though.  It would depend on what criteria your using.  Certainly we'd loose if we looked at the percentage of people in jail in our country.  We have a very high proportion of Americans in jail compared to England and Canada.  That doesn't sound like the freest to me.

     Am I not supposed to be aware of this, Mike?  Is my criticism of this wrong?  I happen to think that it's something we really don't understand, but that it's not wonderful.  I want to understand it and to change it.  I'd like America to be the freest nation on earth.  

     So what's better, Mike?  to assert that we are when it's not true, or to acknowledge we aren't and try to fix it?  I know what my answer is to that question.  I want to fix things.

     The right wing obsession with this sort of thing even leads to the denial of the best science we have on climate and climate change.  Not to mention population and population density and resource use.  This is stuff that any high school sophomore should have a good grasp of from a basic class in biology, and a whole political party in the United States of America has, en masse, embraced fringe science on the matter and stuck their heads in the ground.  Near as I can tell from listening to the rhetoric of some of the Right Wing Guys, they do it Proudly.

     To speak truthfully about the state of life in America gets translated by the Right as speaking negatively about Life in America.  But the last that I heard the truth is neither negative nor positive, it is objective fact.  You may make judgements about the meaning of these facts that are negative or positive.  But to get angry at the folks who insist on looking at the facts as a basis for joining conversation is fallacious as shooting the messenger.  He didn't make the facts.  He may in fact dislike the facts as much or more than you do.

     The right wing solution here is to get rid of the messenger and assume that in nobody knows about the facts, that the facts aren't there.  We will have weapons of mass destruction where we said there would be.  The financial policies of the Bush administration and the debt the ran up would not get more and more difficult to deal with the longer they went unacknowledged and unaddressed.  The environment would not get worse while we passed bills misleadingly called "Clear Skies."

     Hello?

     Is there anybody out there?

     I think that U.S. Healthcare is very poorly run.  In fact, it is not run at all.  Costs are very high, and if you'd like we can look up the relative costs of health care per person.  Having lived in quite a few countries yourself, have you ever had the experience of talking with any hospital administrators in this country about what they think of the current health care system here?  About the costs of drugs?  About the cost of treatment?  About the cost of malpractice insurance?  About the effects of capitation?

     Capitation is a great subject to get hospital administrators going on.  Check out the amount of time it actually takes to have an antidepressant drug start to work.  (Often ten to 14 days, sometimes more, sometimes a little less)  Check out how frequently the first drug tried is effective for a particular patient. (the odds of any single drug for depression are about the same, the last I heard, and that was 66%.)  Now check on how long Insurance companies allow for hospitalization for Depression. (Most frequently, 3-4 days.)

     It's not uncommon for patients to need 3-4 drug trials to settle on a decent drug combination for treatment of depression.  Frequent causes for admission are suicide attempts.  Some drugs will actually increase the number of suicide attempts as the patient begins to improve because they now begin to have some energy and ability to plan while they are still profoundly depressed, and the combination is frequently lethal,  They have energy to do what they only dreamed about doing before.

     This is part of what you get when you have hospitalizations designed for profit and not patient care.  There are also plusses, which are important.  Hospitals are not great places to be sick, on the whole.

     Countries who have actually planned for these things rather than planned for how much money they could make off of these things have consistently done better than the United States in terms of patient outcomes.  Countries where the bonuses come from increased numbers of surviving patients rather than for the physician who uses the fewest hospital days will also tend to do better in patient and family satisfaction and efficiency, don't you think.  Our system tends to reward for fewest hospitalizations.  Again, this is not totally screwy, since hospitals are not the greatest places for patients to be on the whole.  But they should be there when it's necessary.

     Some things, by the way, work better under government controls.  We've had some examples of that in Iraq, at least one of which I discussed with you before.  Privatization of the dining facilities was terrible.  The Army had them set up for the way they thought would work best for the troops.  Halliburton was, I belief, the contractor on this one, and right away they saw places where significant savings and profit might be achieved.  Most clearly, this business of running all these small kitchens in the field was clearly less profitable than running larger, more concentrated units.  They didn't listen to Army objections.

     Of course the army objections were there for good reason.  You don't want to leave smaller places unmanned long enough to move troops to larger facilities and you don't want to concentrate troops in large facilities in hot zones because they make very enticing targets.  Iraqi insurgents attacked at least one such dining facility in, I believe, Bagdad, with predictable and unnecessary loss of life.  One might look at other Halliburton operations for other such examples of the failure of private enterprise to do the job that government does better.

     Treatment and safety of both prisoners and guards have become, I believe, issues in privately run prison facilities.  Cost cutting in some of these situations means placing people into increasingly more dangerous situations for the profit of the few.  You could no doubt think of some examples yourself.

     Lastly, I was negative about the spending spree from the beginning, while Bush was running up the debt and the situation that we are now having to deal with.  Perhaps you don't remember my negativity about that, and my warning that it might lead to something like this?  I warned that the mess wouldn't clean itself up, and that it would only get more difficult to clean up as we went along.

     I confess I'm happy to see you joining your voice to mine at this somewhat later time, when things have gotten so much worse and actions so much larger have become necessary to clean up the mess that would have been very painful to clean up even back then.  I can only imagine what dreadful things must have happened for you to have realized that we have to do something.  Think of how much worse it will get if Obama doesn't do anything now and the situation continues to get worse.  Think of how much larger a payback will be needed at that time, one that will make even this madness look like a walk in the park.  And that's if this fix, by some stroke of fortune actually manages to work and be enough to turn the problem around.  I suspect it's probably too little too late, but who knows, only time will tell.  It's already spread well outside U.S. borders where Obama could hope to have effective control over it, and it doesn't appeared the the other world leaders are very interested in doing very much.  I guess they figure, we broke it, we should fix it.  I think that's pretty short sighted on their parts.

     Sincerely, Bob Kaven  

Ron
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149 posted 04-04-2009 06:55 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

When did this thread become about Bob and Mike? Let's please stick to the issues, gentlemen, and avoid talking about each other?
 
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