Libertarians would stand by and watch someone die rather than help someone caught in a bad spot. I suppose if someone gets a flat tire and they need a jack you'd laugh and drive off?

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Comment by Gaytor on September 13, 2011 at 11:58pm

Andrew, "welfare and unemployment" are abused. This is the position that you'd like to take? So let's look at that. Welfare (TANF) funds are limited to 60 months in duration. For a family of four, benefits are $542.00 per month at a maximum. (one TANF calculator) What are you proposing that they are doing with the grand haul? I know that my food budget for my wife and I exceeds that and that would cover one week per month of housing in my house. I live in the standard home in the burbs of Seattle. 

Recently in Florida they began to drug test people receiving TANF funds recipients. Out of 40 tests, they found 2 were positive for drugs. This doesn't even say what kind of drugs or their usage. But 5% is the current known rate of failure. The cost of the testing takes 5 months to recoup at that rate. For these savings we are subjecting our citizens to an invasion of their privacy. Can you imagine walking up to a friend and asking for a 20 spot and them asking for a drug test. "Sorry man, it's just my policy." I'd rather say, "Look, it's for food because I don't want you to go hungry. Please help yourself or let me know how I can help you get back on your feet soon." Some will take advantage. But taking advantage of those down and out by denying them dignity and privacy isn't the solution. It's a way to hold down the next person and blame them for our problems as a society. Our problems run much deeper than someone taking a pull off a joint that they probably didn't even buy if $542 is their monthly haul to feed and house 4 people. I recommend this video for your consideration. It's big picture is about finding scapegoats. I just find the speech interesting as to how we behave as a society towards one another and the concept goes well beyond race. 

Comment by Brady on September 14, 2011 at 12:43am

Gaytor, c'mon. We both know our corporate hospitals are interested primarily by profits. Give everyone health care and then what? Force doctors to take a huge pay cut like they do to teachers, fire fighters, police, etc. Also, how about equipment? Make them use the same outdated equipment too? That's what they do to teachers, fire fighters, police, etc.

It's a cultural difference here in the United States than anywhere else. Majority of people here are selfish and greedy. Good luck teaching them morals and some type of humanity.

As for as a Libertarian country that succeeded, I would argue that most of America's first settlers were damn Libertarian. However, I know it's not sustainable because the good will of people will always drift to social programs, fairness, and government intervention.

All civilizations have cycles. They rise and fall. We haven't collapsed yet but we will. Maybe soon maybe in 100 years but it will happen. Each new generation creates a new set of ideals that are drastically different than the previous. We might be arguing over universal health care today but it's really pointless cause I know it will happen. The next generation will add more social programs. Then, after that the new generation will add even more. We are drifting toward the utopia you envision. However, there is a flaw.

Only time civilizations have been rich and prosperous was when they were shitting on the less fortunate. Like we are doing to the poor, China, Vietnam, Philippines, Mexico, et. al. Before globalization, we were shitting on the slaves. Greed is a cancer, but we are teaching developing countries that were not previously greedy to embrace it. So, as we drift toward that utopia there are developing countries that are just starting their greedy cycle. When they reach it. They will have no problem shitting on us to make a new profit.

Comment by Unseen on September 14, 2011 at 1:14am

The health care system we have needs to be redesigned from the ground up. In the end, it functions much more to generate wealth rather than health. Health is just incidental. I believe it's an instance of a part of the economy that is not served well by the capitalistic approach.

Going to medical school is extremely expensive, typically involving taking on huge debts,  and so new doctors need to recoup that huge expense. And this is assuming they haven't gone into medicine primarily with making a lot of money in mind. If they want to make the most money, they can cherry-pick their specialty and their clients.

Insurance companies play a contradictory role. On the one hand, they make it hard to get insurance for many people, using price as a deterrent. On the other, when they pay the bill of someone who is insured, they are also paying the bill of someone who isn't.

A person with a preexisting condition can find insurance priced right out of availability, leaving them with the most expensive care possible: the emergency room. And because such people don't have the access to preventive care and prescription drugs to the degree of people with coverage, their health on average will be worse, costing the public more. This is because the typical emergency room is in a publicly funded hospital. Even if it isn't it probably can't legally turn patients away, and so any costs incurred by treating those who can't pay ends up being paid by those who can, meaning in part the public and in part the patients who can pay. This is why hospital goods and services can seem so outrageously high in cosxt. You go in to have a tumor excised and your bill includes treating the person with emphysema.

You never hear people talking about the fact that by excluding people from health insurance, we pay for them anyway. Getting everyone into the system would likely be cheaper, save lives, and result in an overall healthier populace.

Pharmaceuticals would be much less expensive if the profit motive were taken away. Yes, the research is expensive enough without having to include handsome profits to speculators (investors). And although the companies can only patent a drug for so long, they use chemical magic tricks to slightly modify a formula, leaving the essential and effective part of the compound intact, but giving the drug new life with a new patent.

A very large part of the cost of medical care has to do with lawyers. Doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies, and their insurers, face lawsuits which, if lost, result in gigantic payouts. Thus, even if a doctor, hospital, or pharmaceutical company wins a suit, you can bet an attorney had a big payday. 

It's just a bad design from start to finish.

Comment by Unseen on September 14, 2011 at 1:18am

One part of the populations rates are kept down by denying coverage to another part of the population. In effect, it is the "job" of the uninsured to help pay for the coverage of the insured. To me, that raises huge issues of societal ethics.

Comment by Unseen on September 14, 2011 at 1:42am

@Flower   Like I said, it needs to be redesigned from the ground up. A part of the discussion needs to be what the purpose of the health care system should be. To help people live long and healthy lives or to usher them to early graves in the interest of cost savings. I just find it revolting that so many people are okay with a system that keeps their own premiums down by making sure other people get no significant health care at all. It's like a societal cannibalism.


Comment by Laura Borelious on September 14, 2011 at 1:49am

I think what's missing from this conversation is the realization that most people at these rallies are batshit crazy.


There is a lack of taking responsibility for our actions in this country, and when we fail to prepare for our future. I'm not for letting this hypothetical gentleman to die. Doctors have to treat patients, it's part of the oath they take.


However, this man will have a substantial bill when he leaves the hospital because of his terrible decision to not have health care. It's like having car insurance. You continue paying for it so you have it available when you might have to use it.

Comment by Unseen on September 14, 2011 at 1:55am

@Laura   But that describes just one kind of person, the person who can afford insurance but doesn't buy it. There are PLENTY of people who find the cost of health insurance unaffordable. Considering that basic coverage could be lower (for example by helping medical students with the cost of their education in exchange for, oh, five years working in public clinics), it's a shame that we just write these people off. Capitalism is designed to make money for investors, not deliver affordable health care. We have made the mistake of making health care delivery a business, when it should be a public service.

Comment by Unseen on September 14, 2011 at 2:44am

@Flower   Perhaps what's out of kilter is the cost of some extreme treatments. Should a large percentage of the population be without insurance in order to pay for some extreme obscure treatment for relatively few people. How is someone getting some very expensive treatment to feel understanding that "I am getting this treatment on the backs of x other people who are paying for it by not getting any coverage at all"?

Comment by Brady on September 14, 2011 at 10:41am

I find it extremely interesting that everyone here believes in the sciences but at the same time many believe that humanity, good will, love, fair justice, and all that kumbaya nonsense will prevail. Sounds like a new religion forming among atheists.

Our evolutionary development has taken us this far without trying to love thy neighbors. As I believe, our ancestors stayed in relatively small groups and took care of each other. I am sure the reason was because they knew each other personally. If you were a problem to the tribe, they most likely deported your ass. Our natural instincts is to care first for ourselves, family, friends, and then the tribe (ie. republicans, democrats, state, country, etc).

Society works best when everyone has compassion for each other. A genuine care for the well being of others. This will never happen on a large scale. You can try to force it and it may work temporarily. But c'mon people underneath it all we are apes struggling for survival. Just because we have intelligence and compassion doesn't mean we given up our instincts to survive. Most of our non-intelligent counterparts will beat McDonald's employees for slow service or massacre an entire McDonald's because "society had its chance".

Man, I really don't want to say this without being heartless, but I feel that most here disregard science for the idea that we can all love each other. If Darwin was right and you truly believe that, it is in our best interest to let those with hereditary diseases die early or prevent offspring. Now, if it were my loved one. I would fight with all my might for them to live and have children as a legacy.

So unless all the studies on human behavior, evolutionary psychology, and behavior economics that I have read are wrong, then people are just fooling themselves with a new religious idea that we can all live in harmony with heaven on earth.

Comment by UnTarded on September 14, 2011 at 11:04am
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

—United States Constitution, Preamble


What don't you understand about "Promote the general welfare"?







































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