Charity & Healthcare

Beyond Saving
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Charity & Healthcare

 This is a reply to Avicenna's comment about healthcare http://www.rationalresponders.com/comment/reply/30598/363306?quote=1#comment-form 

I thought I would start a new thread rather than derail that one since this issue can quickly take up a significant number of posts.

 

 

Avicenna wrote:

I completely and utterly disagree. The problem with charity is that it never is enough. You cannot run the best healthcare possible on a charitable basis and healthcare is best applied universally.

Then why don't you give more? I agree, charities today do not get enough. This is a function of taxes, I personally would donate substantially more if my tax rate were cut in half because when I have excess money I do one of two things; either I invest in a business or I give it to charity. It is also a function of our culture. Many Americans don't give to charity because they expect the government to take care of it. I understand we are a long way from being able to do away with the current welfare system. I understand it would be cruel to eliminate medicare/medicaid overnight. But those programs are going bankrupt, they don't work and something needs to be done. I would rather see us move in a direction towards freedom and charity rather than forced centralization.

 

Avicenna wrote:

It actually becomes cheaper (government still needs to run emergency services and ambulances unless you want a situation where rival ambulances simply refuse to cater to regions or provide inferior services) for the government to run a socialised medical system rather than a purely capitalist one. And the biggest charitable organisations on earth that provide healthcare include religion. Guess how easy it is to get an abortion in a catholic hospital? All you are doing is trying to save money by trading in quality for the assumption that if you ignore it, it will go away. Put it this way... 

My main concern is not saving money. You are wrong, but that is irrelevant. Even if you could prove that government supplying healthcare is cheaper I would still be against it. I am against using force to take from one person for the purposes of redistributing it to another. Period. I don't think it is healthy for society to allow its citizens to use government to take from one another. As Vastet pointed out, there is a lot of the rich redistributing government to themselves. It really is inevitable that when you allow redistribution, those who can bribe politicians will get more of it than those who really need it. Slavery is cheaper than hiring workers, that doesn't make it desirable.

 

Avicenna wrote:

You couldn't afford the skills of a doctor. The 99% cannot. Doctors are insanely skilled workers who demand high salaries for a reason. High skill, high stress and high risk. All this would do is force hospitals to take on inferior staff. It's the equivalent of saving money by hiring a midwife rather than an obstetrician (the mortality rates for obstetricians is mindblowingly low. Most midwife themed hospitals operate under an obstetrician who responds to emergencies. Without one the midwife mortality rate skyrockets courtesy of difficult births)

What do you think is happening now? Look at any hospitals budget, most are available online, and you will find that millions of dollars are lost every year by treating medicare patients because the government doesn't pay the bill. When you look at hospitals that specialize in charity care like Shriners, St. Judes etc. you will find that they raise substantial sums, pay their doctors well and are known to provide excellent care regardless of an individuals income. Some hospitals are starting to outright refuse to treat medicare patients because they simply can't afford it.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703436504574640711655886136.html 

 

 

Avicenna wrote:

I want you to name a charity that can separate 3700 dollars a year per person in the entire USA (it's the rough cost of universal healthcare if the USA adopts a French Model). It sound expensive... Until you realise that the USA currently spends 7500 dollars a year because people are poor and use ER services to treat conditions for free rather than forking out money for treatment early on. I mean can you name a single charity that people would be willing to donate 7500 dollars a year per person to?

I am willing to donate more than that. I am attempting to persuade my fellow citizens that they should as well. I think it is disgusting that the average American only donates 3% of their income. I don't care if you make $10,000 or $100,000,000 if you are only donating 3% you really ought to reevaluate. 

 

Avicenna wrote:

With a charity, you run things at the bare minimum. I leave cancer patients to die in India... It's simply not worth saving them... Not when the money can go to saving thousands of kids from starvation. In charity, the money goes to those who can be saved the easiest. Your choice is one cancer patient or a thousand children get ORS... The math is simple. The choice is horrid. Healthcare should not be about such mathematics. Not when we have money. 

Show me one person in the US who has been refused cancer treatment because they couldn't pay. Many people go bankrupt, but they do get treatment. The healthcare debate in America is almost solely a financial one, people are not left to die in the street because they can't afford medical care.

 

Now you do have a little bit of a point in that preventative care can save a lot of money. But what are you going to do? Force people to go to the doctor? Force people to live healthy lifestyles? From a solely financial point of view, that would make sense. To me, the liberty to live your life as you want to is far more important that saving a dollar. When someone else is paying for your medical care, suddenly they have strong grounds to make demands on you and force you to do A,B & C. Most Americans can easily afford a few hundred dollars to get regular screenings and an annual physical. Most Americans pay more than that for cell phones and cable television. They choose not to, it is a bad choice, but I don't think it is my right to use government to force them to make good choices. 

 

Avicenna wrote:

The entire joke is that socialised medicine works so cheaply because of collective bargaining and prevention. A mammogram is around $40 a year but an early breast cancer detection can be treated for a couple of thousand dollars. Someone dying of breast cancer would utilise hundreds of thousands of dollars. Likewise a simple infection costs around a 150 dollars to treat (including physician time). Self treating and having it go wrong then showing up may require thousands of dollars. All this adds up to a fair amount of money that charity simply cannot match. You would SAVE Money. The best medical system in the world is French. Great life expectancy, great infant mortality. Indicates quality of technology and availability. And it's half the cost of yours. 

Then why is France going broke? If you are going to do it, it isn't cheap. Probably one of the better models to follow would be Australia, which on my understanding provides cheap/free health services to everyone. But they also have a substantially higher tax rate on everyone. I would rather give more to charity than filter even more of my money through a government that is corrupt. 

 

 

 


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Beyond Saving wrote:Then why

Beyond Saving wrote:

Then why don't you give more? I agree, charities today do not get enough. This is a function of taxes, I personally would donate substantially more if my tax rate were cut in half because when I have excess money I do one of two things; either I invest in a business or I give it to charity. It is also a function of our culture. Many Americans don't give to charity because they expect the government to take care of it. I understand we are a long way from being able to do away with the current welfare system. I understand it would be cruel to eliminate medicare/medicaid overnight. But those programs are going bankrupt, they don't work and something needs to be done. I would rather see us move in a direction towards freedom and charity rather than forced centralization.



I am british, not American. People will donate whatever they feel like which for most people is El Zilcho. Trust me on that, I work for some seriously impressive charities doing work that is frankly batshit balls out insane. And no one gives any money for them. It's very hard to get people to give money for things outside their field of interest. A great example is Planned Parenthood. The equivalent in the UK is under the umbrella of the NHS and the difference in ability is astounding. The NHS caters sex education to schools, women's health from cradle to grave, vaccination schemes and free scanning all for less than 3500 dollars a year.

Most people don't give to charity because they don't have any money. It's not that somehow you will give ten quid rather than five just because someone takes less taxes. You may do something doesn't mean everyone else does. I work six days a week because I worry about my patients. Everyone else goes home by 4 on friday. Those programs are going bankrupt because your government has treated them like a personal piggy bank and because in the USA socialism is a dirty word. I bet if people in the USA found out that a two day weekends and child labour laws were communist ideas they would go back to working 6 day weeks out of sheer stubborness against anything associated with communism and sending kids into mines again.


http://a-million-gods.blogspot.com/2011/03/rights-of-silent-majority-forgotten.html
http://a-million-gods.blogspot.com/2011/04/taste-of-things-to-come-rise-of-back.html

 

Note, no one gives to these charities because they aren't popular. The opposition of Likhaan recieves millions of dollars of money from Pro-lifers in the USA and the Vatican who feel good about themselves rather than having the money be spent by sane people. Not all charities are alike.

 

Beyond Saving wrote:

My main concern is not saving money. You are wrong, but that is irrelevant. Even if you could prove that government supplying healthcare is cheaper I would still be against it. I am against using force to take from one person for the purposes of redistributing it to another. Period. I don't think it is healthy for society to allow its citizens to use government to take from one another. As Vastet pointed out, there is a lot of the rich redistributing government to themselves. It really is inevitable that when you allow redistribution, those who can bribe politicians will get more of it than those who really need it. Slavery is cheaper than hiring workers, that doesn't make it desirable.

 

An avid principle in theory but in function it just means that dicks get away with being dicks if they have sufficient money. In the USA it is a lot easier to manage that in other nations because you have a class of people who happily set fire to legislation rather than think about what it means.

All your world would mean is a toothless governement and corporations would have monopolies over our lives since they are "so big they can control everything". A great example is Windows... Windows actually has a lot of features removed from it because it would be anti-competitive. Apple get away with their anti-competition nature simply because Windows exists.

And you missed the part where healthcare is also better. I don't even see the argument in this because it costs the individual person less, it provides a better standard of healthcare and you don't see idiocy in actions like Wallet Biopsies.

 

Beyond Saving wrote:

What do you think is happening now? Look at any hospitals budget, most are available online, and you will find that millions of dollars are lost every year by treating medicare patients because the government doesn't pay the bill. When you look at hospitals that specialize in charity care like Shriners, St. Judes etc. you will find that they raise substantial sums, pay their doctors well and are known to provide excellent care regardless of an individuals income. Some hospitals are starting to outright refuse to treat medicare patients because they simply can't afford it.  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703436504574640711655886136.html 

 

Do you even know how a socialised medical system works?

You pay a single insurance company a tax, in this case the insurer is for example the NHS and the fee is taken from your existing taxes. This provides a social contract where anyone who needs medical care is treated. Much like an insurance company only the government cannot really screw over it's voters lest it suffer defeat in an election. While insurance companies regularly charge whatever they feel like to insure you.

The biggest cause of debt in the USA (and indeed the biggest contributor to the mortgage crisis of people defaulting) is healthcare. In the UK we weren't as badly hit because people don't have to fork out hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep from dying.

The problem in the USA is as stated... Socialism is a dirty word so rather than having a proper public health system the government has these cobbled together little things that simply do not work. Because there is no public option, people wait ages until their health problem is a medical emergency forcing the government to haemorrhage out money to stop it. As I said, an ambulance call out is thousands of dollars. A visit to the doctor only a couple of hundred. If you don't have a couple of hundred dollars then that thousands of government dollars is awfully tempting. If we simply paid the hundreds of dollars from taxes you would cut down a lot of expenditure. It's like fixing a leak when it's small rather than after it's flooded your entire house.

 

 

Beyond Saving wrote:

I am willing to donate more than that. I am attempting to persuade my fellow citizens that they should as well. I think it is disgusting that the average American only donates 3% of their income. I don't care if you make $10,000 or $100,000,000 if you are only donating 3% you really ought to reevaluate. 



1. A lot of the donations in the USA go to churches which count as charities. Religious charities as you have seen aren't the best people to give money to.
2. Again people won't donate more money just because they have more of it. I am sorry, Bill and Melinda Gates donate so much because they are rather liberal and have "all the money in the world". there are plenty of people who just sit on their cash without doing anything with it. Or spend it on fancy watches.

I would rather be able to run a medical system that doesn't "run out of money" simply because this year was a lean year and the economy is kind of shitty resulting in more cases but fewer people putting money into it.

 

Beyond Saving wrote:

Show me one person in the US who has been refused cancer treatment because they couldn't pay. Many people go bankrupt, but they do get treatment. The healthcare debate in America is almost solely a financial one, people are not left to die in the street because they can't afford medical care.

 

Oh goody! And what's the current economic crisis SPECIFICALLY based on? I believe it's bankruptcy and it's effect on your mortgage. And without government aid (which you want to cancel) people will just have to live on the street...

They aren't left out to die but we certainly take away nearly everything they have. To my knowledge no one in the UK has ever lost their house because they had cancer.

 

Beyond Saving wrote:

Now you do have a little bit of a point in that preventative care can save a lot of money. But what are you going to do? Force people to go to the doctor? Force people to live healthy lifestyles? From a solely financial point of view, that would make sense. To me, the liberty to live your life as you want to is far more important that saving a dollar. When someone else is paying for your medical care, suddenly they have strong grounds to make demands on you and force you to do A,B & C. Most Americans can easily afford a few hundred dollars to get regular screenings and an annual physical. Most Americans pay more than that for cell phones and cable television. They choose not to, it is a bad choice, but I don't think it is my right to use government to force them to make good choices.

 

Actually most people will go see a doctor if they think it's free. The point of socialised medicine is that "you are already paid up". Whether you use the doctor or not is entirely upto you. Particularly if they know that there is no repercussion for doing so. They are actively rewarded for seeing one regularly by the peace of mind they get and due to the way of public healthcare works, most people will have a GP or Family Doctor assigned to them and so their healthcare will be through one individual who can provide early recognition of problems and direct people to the appropriate resource.

Yes, we do. The problem with healthcare and people can be summed up with this analogy. People wouldn't hire the Amish to install their electricity but will happily not vaccinate their children because some idiot who calls himself the Health Ranger says so. People are incredibly stupid with regards to healthcare because healthcare is so out of the range of most people's understandings that they assume anyone who offers healthcare advice has a good idea.

It took nearly 20 years for people to start regularly wearing seatbelts despite the obvious advantages of doing so. Rules exist for a reason, to make life easier for everyone involved. Your doctor requesting you to eat healthily and trying to encourage you to not kill yourself through pie is a pretty sensible thing to do. And no social medical system in the world forces people to do anything. Not one person in France to my knowledge has been forced into an abortion by the medical system. Cigarettes are discouraged by taxation (the money going directly towards healthcare) but you are still free to smoke them, if you want to quit we do offer help (patches are free from the NHS).

 
Nearly 45% of americans live at the or below the poverty line. Yes American Poverty (TM) isn't like the poverty I am used to (I study in India) but hell they cannot afford some prescriptions. A chronic disease like blood pressure or diabetes or HIV medication is out of their reach. But I would rather people not be poor at all rather than saying "AHA! Atleast you aren't out begging!"

 

Beyond Saving wrote:

Then why is France going broke? If you are going to do it, it isn't cheap. Probably one of the better models to follow would be Australia, which on my understanding provides cheap/free health services to everyone. But they also have a substantially higher tax rate on everyone. I would rather give more to charity than filter even more of my money through a government that is corrupt. 

 


They are going broke because of Greece and Ireland rather than anything France had to do. I give the example of France because it's the BEST system in the world (Consider how much the french smoke...). Not because the fellow eurozone members have lousy economies. France and Germany are going broke because their Idiot Brother (AKA Greece) was doing silly financial shennanigans that have caught up with it.

And yes, their taxes aren't so much higher than yours considering they get free education and subsidised university training. It's pretty much a good deal. I like most sane people don't mind paying taxes if I get something out of it.

You maybe able to afford the skills of a team of doctors but most people cannot, it's not for you. It's for the masses. It only works in full measures, not halves like Obama care.

Australia has a seperate medicare tax that is 1.5% of your earnings for all members of society even the lowest tax band. The UK is what you are thinking about with high tax bands (Australias are actually rather low and work as flat tax amounts plus a percentage of earnings above the threshold).

You actually pay MORE taxes in the USA. If you earn below 11,100 dollars you aren't taxed at all in the UK while in the USA you pay a 10% tax. The vast majority of people pay just 20% taxes (under 60,000 dollars). And the "rich professional category" pay 40% while yours pay 35%.... Basically we tax the rich a bit more... While you tax poor people but for the most part everyone pays the same taxes more or less. Oh there is the super rich category but quite honestly very few people ever earn above 150,000 pounds a year. For the most part everyone in a sane and normal job pays just 20%.

 


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Beyond Saving, you should

Beyond Saving, you should form all your views on this issue into a single essay type post.  It can be posted on this forum.  It will be linked to if the vision statement piece ends up being in the vision.  We know that the vision isn't going to make everyone happy and to show the all encompassing scope of varying atheist opinions we do in fact want to display and link to dissenting opinions.  When the site opens the "Vision Statement" will have hyperlink reference articles[like this][or this][dissent][1][2]

The idea of this project is to try and show how broad the opinions of atheists are and what those opinions are.  A large resource to unite thoughts on how we see the world and view the world.  The vision itself is simply supposed to seek out the things that we commonly believe (about 80% of us).  

Would you be willing to form a dissenting opinion into an essay type post addressing the reader instead of a specific poster?  It will get voted on again, but the first vote was decisive.

Avicenna, would you work on a pro position?

 

Community: Avicenna is our first female International blogger on atheismunited.com.  She's also served as a reminder that we must focus on international atheist sites on our new project.  Since then I have started interacting with several international sources.  We still need a lot of help finding international websites.

 

 

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I noticed this is in

I noticed this is in Politics and that you adopted "Avicenna" as your nick. And you are a doctor. Fantastic. Time for me to drop $0.02. Two schillings worth. Whatever the applicable term is.

Avicenna wrote:
Trust me on that, I work for some seriously impressive charities doing work that is frankly batshit balls out insane. And no one gives any money for them.

(black and white thinking. very easy to work with)

Quote:
It's very hard to get people to give money for things outside their field of interest.

True, which is why there are so many special interest groups over here amongst the yanks. One of them is RRS.

Are we well-funded? Ask sapient. As I am a junior (and not particularly well-read) member here, I wouldn't know.

Quote:
A great example is Planned Parenthood. The equivalent in the UK is under the umbrella of the NHS and the difference in ability is astounding. The NHS caters sex education to schools, women's health from cradle to grave, vaccination schemes and free scanning all for less than 3500 dollars a year.

NHS has a greater difference in ability? Or the "equivalent" program? Well the equivalent program is probably cheaper ($8 per person for UHS in the UK) but that is what UHC was intended to address over here in the states: the costs of medicine, not necessarily quality. What does $3500 pay for? Overhead? The entire costs of the program? The cost for each person it treats? The cost for each person it employs? Is it an entirely volunteer workforce?


Quote:
Most people don't give to charity because they don't have any money.

Truth. It's hard to have money when times are down. It's even harder to finance programs like these when their are budget shortfalls, and yes, even harder when politicians fidget over budgets as an election issue like what is currently being done in the states.

 

Quote:
It's not that somehow you will give ten quid rather than five just because someone takes less taxes. You may do something doesn't mean everyone else does.

True. This is one of the reasons I don't champion the actions of individuals as much as I would have in my younger days.

Quote:
I work six days a week because I worry about my patients. Everyone else goes home by 4 on friday. Those programs are going bankrupt because your government has treated them like a personal piggy bank and because in the USA socialism is a dirty word. I bet if people in the USA found out that a two day weekends and child labour laws were communist ideas they would go back to working 6 day weeks out of sheer stubborness.

True.

Communist or modern liberalist? I've read that one school of thought was used in place of another.

 

Quote:

http://a-million-gods.blogspot.com/2011/03/rights-of-silent-majority-forgotten.html
http://a-million-gods.blogspot.com/2011/04/taste-of-things-to-come-rise-of-back.html

 

Note, no one gives to these charities because they aren't popular. The opposition of Likhaan recieves millions of dollars of money from Pro-lifers in the USA and the Vatican who feel good about themselves rather than having the money be spent by sane people. Not all charities are alike.

Not all countries, provinces, or "states" are alike, either. There are cultural and societal norms that play into the political behaviors you currently see in USA. On of them is a highly developed sense of entitlement to any number of what are termed "inalienable rights". "Rights of the Unborn" are also becoming just such a heavily polarized idea that looks to propel itself into being an inalienable right.

There is a law in my state that is currently on the table. It celebrates and wants to defend the rights of the unborn. It may very well succeed because of the often ignorant (but usually well-meaning) culture of my state. I would like to see it stopped. I would like to see planned parenthood succeed without becoming a government service. Because government over here fucks up everything it touches.

It has the anti-Midas touch.

 

Quote:
An avid principle in theory but in function it just means that dicks get away with being dicks if they have sufficient money. In the USA it is a lot easier to manage that in other nations because you have a class of people who happily set fire to legislation rather than think about what it means.

True. Very... true, and accurate.

Quote:
All your world would mean is a toothless governement and corporations would have monopolies over our lives since they are "so big they can control everything". A great example is Windows... Windows actually has a lot of features removed from it because it would be anti-competitive. Apple get away with their anti-competition nature simply because Windows exists.

List them. Yes, list. Name the features that were removed, not the features you or someone else read about while briefly scanning a /. article.

Quote:
And you missed the part where healthcare is also better. I don't even see the argument in this because it costs the individual person less, it provides a better standard of healthcare and you don't see idiocy in actions like Wallet Biopsies.

Ummm.. no thanks, I will not trade my university-oriented healthcare for Britain's. Granted, the medicine I have access to is better than most of the people's in my nation, but I'm still clinging hold to it. I've seen what yours can do for the health of Britons, and I don't even to try it once. That's what we call a fool's errand.

 In Britain, I believe you get what you pay for, even though it is more medicine for less money. This is a question of quality, here. In the hands of Scandinavian or German doctors... maybe. Not British doctors. "Get away from me with that scalpel!"

Quote:
Do you even know how a socialised medical system works?

 


You pay a single insurance company a tax, in this case the insurer is for example the NHS and the fee is taken from your existing taxes. This provides a social contract where anyone who needs medical care is treated. Much like an insurance company only the government cannot really screw over it's voters lest it suffer defeat in an election. While insurance companies regularly charge whatever they feel like to insure you.

The biggest cause of debt in the USA (and indeed the biggest contributor to the mortgage crisis of people defaulting) is healthcare. In the UK we weren't as badly hit because people don't have to fork out hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep from dying.

Truth, and I already knew this, thanks. I'm still not trying Britain's medicine OR it's medicine system, thanks. There has to be a better alternative.

 

Quote:

1. A lot of the donations in the USA go to churches which count as charities. Religious charities as you have seen aren't the best people to give money to.

CORRECTION: Churches are often bad places to donate to, because they behave like businesses or even like organized crime. (RCC)

There are some nonsecular charities that have a high throughput in donations with a bare minimum of overhead. One of them is United Methodist Church; 97% throughput on donations and (thusly!) %3 overhead.


Quote:
2. Again people won't donate more money just because they have more of it. I am sorry, Bill and Melinda Gates donate so much because they are rather liberal and have "all the money in the world". there are plenty of people who just sit on their cash without doing anything with it. Or spend it on fancy watches.

I have no knowledge and can't challenge or support it. I know that some of my giftmas money will go to Sapient and some will go to Haiti and some for a new GFX card I've been holding off on. For Haiti I'll be donating through (you guessed it!) United Methodist Church. You show me a secular, nontheist charity that can make a claim to do what UMC does, I'll give all my spare money to charity from now on. (NO Joke)

Quote:
I would rather be able to run a medical system that doesn't "run out of money" simply because this year was a lean year and the economy is kind of shitty resulting in more cases but fewer people putting money into it.

I would not like to adopt British healthcare or force that on anyone who has better than that (Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany), which I currently do. I am unemployed (AGAIN! I hated my last job anyhow and didn't need it.) and I am heavily dependent on others to live. I have about THE best support system one could ask for.

I would not adopt many things British at the moment because I am aware, to some extent, of the struggles the UK faces and have faced for a while.


 

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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I think it is fucked up and

I think it is fucked up and sad that Europe and Canada and even our enemies like Cuba have better morality than we do when it comes to health care.

We do have death panels. The doctor's malpractice insurance encourages them not to take risks. The private insurance monopolies encourage cubical dwellers to not pay out. And even in my personal life, my co-worker who has family and kids, working minimum wage not even getting full time, had to pay 90 bucks for medicine for a gall bladder problem. The right wing attitude is social Darwinism. Fuck you if you cant pay, poverty is your crime and if you cant pay you deserve to die.

I am NOT for charity. I am for cutting out the middle man. People like Beyond spend tons of time bitching about blaming the middle and poor classes. He doesn't want them using the emergency room, AND NEITHER DO I. But the private sector does nothing to give directly to the workers which WOULD be cheaper long term. Imagine how much less regulation would be needed if workers didn't need to use the emergency room. Imagine how much less of the government dime the middle class and poor would need if they got paid enough to not have to chose between food and medicine.

You cannot sustain a society where cost of living, pay gap and cost of health care for the working class and poor keep exploding. The higher the cost for the bottom two classes the less money they have to spend on the products the corporate class makes.

Long term, if the rich class gave more directly to the worker, they would find that the worker would not need OR WANT to be on the government dime. I would suggest that the top, instead of insisting on corporate welfare themselves, take more of your profits an put them back into the workers. You will see long term, that things WILL get better for all, if you do that.

What cannot continue to happen is stagnant and falling wages while the profits at the top explode. This attitude is what caused the great depression. It was because of regulation, anti-monopoly, and higher taxes, and insistence on a building economy, and not an extraction economy, that we got out of the great depression.

The only thing I can agree on with the right, is trying to make things more efficient and effective. But the default position of making the bottom two classes taking the brunt wont work.

 

 

 

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Let me clarify something

Let me clarify something here. When I say I am not for charity, again, it depends on context. It makes no sense to me in our current economic climate, for the top to set up what amounts to PR crap as "charity" while at the same time not paying livable wages and health care. It maintains their status quo and desperate work force.

A social safety net is one where workers do not need charity. It is one where the employee is providing enough so that the charity is not needed.

There will always be those in need and we should help when we can. But what can reduce the government nipple is direct "charity" IN cutting out the middle man in giving better wages and health care. If the worker has a stable 40 hour a week job, if they don't have to chose between rent, food and medicine, and they have time to be with their family, you have less poverty, less crime and more opportunity for the parents to keep their kids on the right track.

What is going on now as far as "charity" is worse, because it is a crumb mentality where it is merely an excuse the business owner uses to avoid doing the right thing.

It is no different than the poverty Mother Teresa maintained. Sure, she helped people, but it did nothing to empower them. It merely allowed her a venue to make them dependent on her.

Self introspection is what is lacking at the top. It is the "every man for themselves" attitude that has caused this mess.

 

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Avicenna wrote:I am british,

Avicenna wrote:


I am british, not American. People will donate whatever they feel like which for most people is El Zilcho. Trust me on that, I work for some seriously impressive charities doing work that is frankly batshit balls out insane. And no one gives any money for them. It's very hard to get people to give money for things outside their field of interest. A great example is Planned Parenthood. The equivalent in the UK is under the umbrella of the NHS and the difference in ability is astounding. The NHS caters sex education to schools, women's health from cradle to grave, vaccination schemes and free scanning all for less than 3500 dollars a year.

You are aware that Planned Parenthood has a budget of over a billion dollars every year? They have enough money to provide their services while also investing in political campaign ads and direct contributions to political candidates. I could be wrong, but I have never heard of planned parenthood turning people away because of lack of funds. 

 

Avicenna wrote:


Most people don't give to charity because they don't have any money. It's not that somehow you will give ten quid rather than five just because someone takes less taxes. You may do something doesn't mean everyone else does. I work six days a week because I worry about my patients. Everyone else goes home by 4 on friday. Those programs are going bankrupt because your government has treated them like a personal piggy bank and because in the USA socialism is a dirty word. I bet if people in the USA found out that a two day weekends and child labour laws were communist ideas they would go back to working 6 day weeks out of sheer stubborness against anything associated with communism and sending kids into mines again.


http://a-million-gods.blogspot.com/2011/03/rights-of-silent-majority-forgotten.html
http://a-million-gods.blogspot.com/2011/04/taste-of-things-to-come-rise-of-back.html

 

Note, no one gives to these charities because they aren't popular. The opposition of Likhaan recieves millions of dollars of money from Pro-lifers in the USA and the Vatican who feel good about themselves rather than having the money be spent by sane people. Not all charities are alike.

 

Granted, some charities are more popular than others. I donate to a charity called "Hunt of a Lifetime" that was created when Miracle Wish started refusing to provide terminally ill children with hunts as their wish because of public pressure. You have probably never heard of it, and the number of us donating to it probably fit on a single page. Yet, we get the job done. Hunting is one of my main interests, so I support them. You might have other charities that are close to your heart for one reason or another. What gives you the right to take from me to support your particular charity while denying mine? Or vice versa? Should money only be given to charities capable of getting 50%+ of the popular vote?

 

 

Avicenna wrote:
 

An avid principle in theory but in function it just means that dicks get away with being dicks if they have sufficient money. In the USA it is a lot easier to manage that in other nations because you have a class of people who happily set fire to legislation rather than think about what it means.

All your world would mean is a toothless governement and corporations would have monopolies over our lives since they are "so big they can control everything". A great example is Windows... Windows actually has a lot of features removed from it because it would be anti-competitive. Apple get away with their anti-competition nature simply because Windows exists.

 

Exactly which corporation forces me to buy their product? Apple sold a shitload of I-phones last year and made a ton of money. They didn't sell one to me because I chose not to buy one. The government doesn't give me that option. It forces me to enroll in Social Security, Medicare and soon will force me to pay for its variation on universal healthcare. If I don't pay, I go to jail. Apple and Windows don't have that power. If I refuse to pay them, the worst thing that happens to me is I don't get their product. 

 

 

Avicenna wrote:

And you missed the part where healthcare is also better. I don't even see the argument in this because it costs the individual person less, it provides a better standard of healthcare and you don't see idiocy in actions like Wallet Biopsies.

If it is better, why do you need to use force? If you want to set up a special insurance company or even a government program that is completely voluntary, I have no problem. Allow people to opt in and pay for the services, or opt out and not get any of the benefits. I will make the decision I believe is best for me. Currently, I do not carry health insurance. It makes no sense for me to do so because I can pay for most medical expenses with cash, and in severe situations I am capable of getting a loan large enough to cover the obligation. As a rule, the more people involved in a financial transaction, the more expensive it is because everyone involved is getting paid. By keeping it between me and the doctor, I keep my costs at a minimum.

 

Avicenna wrote:

Do you even know how a socialised medical system works?

You pay a single insurance company a tax, in this case the insurer is for example the NHS and the fee is taken from your existing taxes. This provides a social contract where anyone who needs medical care is treated. Much like an insurance company only the government cannot really screw over it's voters lest it suffer defeat in an election. While insurance companies regularly charge whatever they feel like to insure you.

The biggest cause of debt in the USA (and indeed the biggest contributor to the mortgage crisis of people defaulting) is healthcare. In the UK we weren't as badly hit because people don't have to fork out hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep from dying.
 

Yes I know how it works. Again, if it is so great, why not make it voluntary? The answer is because it isn't financially viable without taking from those who have money. You are redistributing income. I am against using force to take from one person to give to another in all cases, even if the person getting the money has a sympathetic story. My grandma had breast cancer, the bill was quite expensive even after medicare. Is it ok for me to come to your house with a gun and demand money from you to pay her bill?

 

And your assessment of the mortgage crises is absurdly wrong and misinformed. Bankruptcy law in the US allows you to declare bankruptcy without foreclosing on your house. In fact, declaring bankruptcy can delay a foreclosure. I doubt you could find any evidence that medical expenses were even a small factor in our foreclosure crises let alone the "biggest" one.

 

Avicenna wrote:

1. A lot of the donations in the USA go to churches which count as charities. Religious charities as you have seen aren't the best people to give money to.
2. Again people won't donate more money just because they have more of it. I am sorry, Bill and Melinda Gates donate so much because they are rather liberal and have "all the money in the world". there are plenty of people who just sit on their cash without doing anything with it. Or spend it on fancy watches.

So? I donate money to some religious charities because there are no secular/atheist equivalents. The local food shelf here is ran by a church. When I was broke and homeless it was a church that welcomed me and provided a warm meal. My brother is a missionary in Mexico and helps run an orphanage that does great work. Which is exactly my point, it would be wonderful if AU could become the framework to support secular/atheist organizations to provide the charity work that is only provided by churches today. I think it is far superior for us to encourage voluntary support instead of using the force of government and police power to seize money to spend on things we believe are important.

 

Some people would give more to charity, others wouldn't. So what? Some people make good decisions, others make bad ones. Why is it ok for you to take a gun and force them to make what you believe is a good decision? How would you react if someone used the law to force you to make what you believed was a bad decision?

 

Avicenna wrote:

Actually most people will go see a doctor if they think it's free. The point of socialised medicine is that "you are already paid up". Whether you use the doctor or not is entirely upto you. Particularly if they know that there is no repercussion for doing so. They are actively rewarded for seeing one regularly by the peace of mind they get and due to the way of public healthcare works, most people will have a GP or Family Doctor assigned to them and so their healthcare will be through one individual who can provide early recognition of problems and direct people to the appropriate resource.

Yes, we do. The problem with healthcare and people can be summed up with this analogy. People wouldn't hire the Amish to install their electricity but will happily not vaccinate their children because some idiot who calls himself the Health Ranger says so. People are incredibly stupid with regards to healthcare because healthcare is so out of the range of most people's understandings that they assume anyone who offers healthcare advice has a good idea.

And people who decide to purchase insurance don't? Again, you are simply using government force to make people do what you think is a good idea. And I agree, it is a good idea to have health insurance for many people, and it is a good idea to go to the doctor for screenings. But I'm not going to force people to do so.

 

Avicenna wrote:

 
It took nearly 20 years for people to start regularly wearing seatbelts despite the obvious advantages of doing so. Rules exist for a reason, to make life easier for everyone involved. Your doctor requesting you to eat healthily and trying to encourage you to not kill yourself through pie is a pretty sensible thing to do. And no social medical system in the world forces people to do anything. Not one person in France to my knowledge has been forced into an abortion by the medical system. Cigarettes are discouraged by taxation (the money going directly towards healthcare) but you are still free to smoke them, if you want to quit we do offer help (patches are free from the NHS).

You are free to smoke.....except they will do what they can to make it more expensive. Why is anyone other than me involved in my decision to smoke or not? I don't want you involved. If my smoking causes me health problems in the future, I will pay for it then. I don't want you taxing the hell out of tobacco, running advertisements telling me not to smoke or outlawing it in every bar in town. I will drink, smoke and eat all the fucking pie I want and if you don't like it, fuck off. Now, as soon as other people are paying for my medical care, suddenly they have good reason to tax my smokes, drinks and pies. Or, as is the case in the US now, ban them outright. 

 

 

Avicenna wrote:

Australia has a seperate medicare tax that is 1.5% of your earnings for all members of society even the lowest tax band. The UK is what you are thinking about with high tax bands (Australias are actually rather low and work as flat tax amounts plus a percentage of earnings above the threshold).

You actually pay MORE taxes in the USA. If you earn below 11,100 dollars you aren't taxed at all in the UK while in the USA you pay a 10% tax. The vast majority of people pay just 20% taxes (under 60,000 dollars). And the "rich professional category" pay 40% while yours pay 35%.... Basically we tax the rich a bit more... While you tax poor people but for the most part everyone pays the same taxes more or less. Oh there is the super rich category but quite honestly very few people ever earn above 150,000 pounds a year. For the most part everyone in a sane and normal job pays just 20%. 

 

Australia's medicare tax does not cover the cost of their medical benefits, they draw from the general revenue fund. As a percentage of GDP, Australia's effective tax rates are higher than the US (around 30% compared to the US 24%). Since the US has substantially higher military expenses, we would also require substantially higher tax rates to achieve a budget that is balanced like Australia's. As it is, we are borrowing around 40 cents of every dollar even before we consider universal healthcare. It isn't sustainable without significant tax increases on everyone. Tax increase which if honestly admitted to by proponents of universal healthcare would probably lead to it becoming extremely unpopular in the US. Which was my only point, if you are going to go with a government healthcare option, you have to pay for it. Our current elected officials are passing the bill to the next generation, which will eventually lead to our government being unable to provide any services at all. I used Australia as an example because they have a budget that is manageable, unlike most of the EU and the US.


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Beyond Saving wrote:I donate

Beyond Saving wrote:

I donate money to some religious charities because there are no secular/atheist equivalents.

Not sure if this will help fill the gap or not...

http://foundationbeyondbelief.org/

http://www.atheistshelpingthehomeless.org

Atheist Volunteers currently is not engaged in projects but it supports other atheist volunteers, you know this one but thought I'd link since the other two are here: www.atheistvolunteers.org

 

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We have the problems we have

We have the problems we have here in the States for more than a handful of reasons, not the least of which is that "Can't kill Grandma!" means that Grandma gets hundreds of thousands of dollars in utterly pointless medical procedures in the last days or weeks of her life, long after any rational doctor would have known she's going to die.

Death panels?  Someone mentioned =death panels=?  Please -- any time a doctor, insurance company, or policy holder, makes a decision which results in a rich old person getting care, and a poor child =not= getting care, they've just become a death panel.  Life is for the living, life is for the next generation.  No one has yet to get off this planet alive and squandering billions keeping Grandma alive another month isn't going to change that.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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Sapient wrote:Beyond Saving

Sapient wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:

I donate money to some religious charities because there are no secular/atheist equivalents.

Not sure if this will help fill the gap or not...

http://foundationbeyondbelief.org/

http://www.atheistshelpingthehomeless.org

Atheist Volunteers currently is not engaged in projects but it supports other atheist volunteers, you know this one but thought I'd link since the other two are here: www.atheistvolunteers.org

I like it so far, namely FBB. Any others? (I didn't find what I was looking for, which is Haiti)

edit;Granted, you may not even have the time to look.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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FurryCatHerder wrote:We have

FurryCatHerder wrote:

We have the problems we have here in the States for more than a handful of reasons, not the least of which is that "Can't kill Grandma!" means that Grandma gets hundreds of thousands of dollars in utterly pointless medical procedures in the last days or weeks of her life, long after any rational doctor would have known she's going to die.

Death panels?  Someone mentioned =death panels=?  Please -- any time a doctor, insurance company, or policy holder, makes a decision which results in a rich old person getting care, and a poor child =not= getting care, they've just become a death panel.  Life is for the living, life is for the next generation.  No one has yet to get off this planet alive and squandering billions keeping Grandma alive another month isn't going to change that.

Uh-huh, whatever you say.

Care to try the "honest" version this time, o Queen Ahab III of Modern Cynicism? I don't know the answer to that, but I think if you continue along down this path of stumbling dishonesty and jadedness... I might enjoy my 2010 Winter. Comes with free springtime dessert, that's fer damn sure!

[/cryptic]

Oops, 2011 winter. Freudian, slip, y'know?

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:(I didn't find

Kapkao wrote:

(I didn't find what I was looking for, which is Haiti)

I support Doctors Without Borders to help in Haiti: http://www.atheistvolunteers.org/node/46

 

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Sapient wrote:Kapkao

Sapient wrote:

Kapkao wrote:

(I didn't find what I was looking for, which is Haiti)

I support Doctors Without Borders to help in Haiti: http://www.atheistvolunteers.org/node/46

 

Thanks

Brian37 wrote:

I think it is fucked up and sad that Europe and Canada and even our enemies like Cuba have better morality than we do when it comes to health care.

Why don't you knock Cuba off of that list and we'll be closer to agreement. "Communists"? Castro? No, that isn't the main issue here.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Kapkao wrote:Brian37 wrote:I

Kapkao wrote:

Brian37 wrote:

I think it is fucked up and sad that Europe and Canada and even our enemies like Cuba have better morality than we do when it comes to health care.

Why don't you knock Cuba off of that list and we'll be closer to agreement. "Communists"? Castro? No, that isn't the main issue here.

He said "health care," and he's spot-on with that comment.

Basic human rights?  No, they are totally whacked in that arena.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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Kapkao wrote:FurryCatHerder

Kapkao wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

We have the problems we have here in the States for more than a handful of reasons, not the least of which is that "Can't kill Grandma!" means that Grandma gets hundreds of thousands of dollars in utterly pointless medical procedures in the last days or weeks of her life, long after any rational doctor would have known she's going to die.

Death panels?  Someone mentioned =death panels=?  Please -- any time a doctor, insurance company, or policy holder, makes a decision which results in a rich old person getting care, and a poor child =not= getting care, they've just become a death panel.  Life is for the living, life is for the next generation.  No one has yet to get off this planet alive and squandering billions keeping Grandma alive another month isn't going to change that.

Uh-huh, whatever you say.

Care to try the "honest" version this time, o Queen Ahab III of Modern Cynicism? I don't know the answer to that, but I think if you continue along down this path of stumbling dishonesty and jadedness... I might enjoy my 2010 Winter. Comes with free springtime dessert, that's fer damn sure!

[/cryptic]

Oops, 2011 winter. Freudian, slip, y'know?

Are you complaining about the attribution to "Can't kill Grandma!", or the fact that the elderly consume massive amounts of health care (much paid for by the public through Medicaid / Medicare here in the States) all the while accumulating massive amounts of wealth (much of that also through transfer payments or via tax-avoidance schemes)?

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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healthcare inclined religion

 Truly indeed the biggest charitable organisations on earth that provide healthcare include religion. 

 


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More they include people who

More they include people who are religious. If religion itself were so inclined to be charitable, government wouldn't have had to step in. For all the claims of charity and humility, there are certainly plenty of examples of the opposite. The vatican stands as an excellent example of just how uncharitable christians can be.

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