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InvisibleSilversoul
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Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism
    #3831527 - 02/25/05 04:07 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

*Note: I think I was making a point here, but I'm not sure. Maybe many points. I'm probably not making any sense, but anyway, enjoy my rambling, stream-of-consciousness rant.



I notice that most Canadians on the board are perfectly happy with their national health care system and large social safety net. I don't think I'd want to live with that, but I have to recognize that it does work well enough that people are happy with it. Of course, the problem is that there are surely some Canadians out there who don't like it, and would prefer a more free market system, and their tax dollars are being unfairly extorted for the will of the majority. It seems that most Americans, on this forum are unhappy with our country one way or the other. Libertarians like myself believe the country should become more capitalist, while liberals and socialists want it to be less capitalist, and follow something similar to the Canadian model.

I personally think it would be nice if the US would become more libertarian, and had an open border policy with Canada. This way, each side has a country they can call their own. Socialist Americans could immigrate to Canada, and capitalist Canadians could immigrate to America.

No, wait--I take it back. What would be ideal would be if you could choose one system or another within the same area. But it seems that would be rather complicated. You'd practically need two governments for the same country. Or would you?

Perhaps in a Libertarian society, there could be some sort of pseudo-government which you could make payments to, similar how you pay taxes, and it would provide you with health care and a social safety net. But wait...isn't this basically what insurance is? I guess the distinction would be that the insurance agency doesn't hire the doctors or use your payments to help people who don't make payments. And when you get into voluntarily supporting a social safety net, then you just have private charity.

So it appears that pretty much all main the tax-funded features of a welfare state have their voluntary equivalent in a libertarian society. So is it enough? Would health insurance in a libertarian society(remember that many costly regulations would be repealed) provide the quality of health care that Canada's system does? Would voluntary donations support a sufficient social safety net?

If not, then doesn't it stand to reason that these things rely on funding from people who do not support them? Or would people who support their tax dollars going to these things be unwilling to pay that money voluntarily? Perhaps it's the manner in which payment is made. When you pay sales tax, you're paying a little bit at a time, and is factored into what you pay for the goods you buy, whereas income tax is a big chunk of your paycheck taken right out.

Perhaps, then, there might be ways of making charity donations work more like sales tax. A charity organization could sell products(or a business could set up a charity) and have half the proceeds go towards funding the charity. Several companies have done something like this. They could also solicit people for donations as well. Between voluntary donations and simple purchases of their products, such a charity might do quite well at reaching a large segment of the poor. Would it give the kind of safety net found in Canada? Doubtful. In the US? Maybe. Guess it depends on how popular their products are.

I guess one question here is: Can a charity market products well? Or can a business run a good charity? Maybe we need some sort of merger of the two. The charity would be good for the business's PR, and the business would give a decent share of its profits to that charity. Then again, large companies often already donate substantial amounts to charity. All this would seem to indicate to me that private charity could take over the role of of welfare. Then again, one must consider the fact that private charities are not exclusive to poverty at home. Some of them fight poverty overseas, and some are related to environmental and other non-humanitarian causes, so this would be a case of private welfare trying to cover the role of welfare, foreign aid, and various other forms of federal spending, and that's something I'm not quite so certain it could do.

So here we are, back at square one, pondering the question: If social democracies like Canada can manage to have universal health care and a major social safety net, and these things are so popular among the population, why do they seem so unattainable through voluntary transactions? Do people actually prefer having their money taken by force? Is it just plain easier to let the government take it than to give it up voluntarily? Perhaps charities should find a way to make donations similar to taxes, albeit voluntary. Maybe get people to sign up for a voluntary deduction from each paycheck that would go towards helping the poor. Organized charity like this could very well replace welfare.

Now, what about health care? As shown earlier, insurance companies in a capitalist health care system play a similar role to that of the government in a socialist health care system, except for the fact that they only cover those who can afford it. So is there a way to make a national health care plan for everyone voluntary? Well, the first step would be to make insurance cheaper. This could be accomplished by getting rid of several regulations telling insurance companies what coverage they have to give you, whether you like it or not, and instead let clients customize their own health insurance plan based on what they need and what they can afford. There, that was easy! Now, what to do with those fucking HMO's...


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: Silversoul]
    #3831697 - 02/25/05 05:36 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

DEAR LORD!

I just spent an hour typing a reply to you and my browser crashed.

:mad2:

Here's what I basically said:

1.  Social safety nets (involuntary government income redistribution schemes) are great for non-productive people and shitty for productive people.  Insurance plans (voluntary income redistribution schemes) can't be afforded by everybody.

2.  If all social safety nets were replaced by private charities or contributions....there would not be as much money to fund things.  People do give voluntarily, but not as much as they do if they are forced to pay.

3.  There are a lot of short-sighted and stupid people in this world.  They seem to be incapable of living responsibly, curbing their reproductive activies, or taking care of themselves.  These people need a state to take care of them because they are incapable of being self-sufficient.  Socialism in some form is necessary just to keep these idiots barely alive and out of our hair.  I consider it to pretty much be a bribe for them to not bother productive people.

4.  Don't even bother trying to change the world or even your nation because you won't get anywhere.  I suggest that you decide what you want in your life and then move to whereever falls most in line with that.

5.  With freedom comes danger and risk.  With comfortable safety comes boredom and restrictions.  Free men don't need to subjugate their wills and economic lives to a state.  They shape their own destinies.  Do you want to look back on your life when you are about to die and realize you never once got an adrenaline rush?  That you never once faced danger?  How would you feel knowing that half of your life's effort was taken away from you and that you were beholden and tied to some bloated state?  Men were meant to travel, explore, fuck women, fight, and conquer.  We were not meant to sit behind desks and have a nanny-state look after us.  I would rather die young than live a long life like that.

We have been forced to trade freedom for security.  You and I may not deserve to have this emasculating sentence imposed upon us, but most of the human population does deserve it.


Edited by RandalFlagg (02/25/05 05:54 AM)


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OfflineAlan Stone
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3831896 - 02/25/05 09:06 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

You seem to be forgetting that shit can happen and does happen indiscriminantly to all people. If you had a car accident - even one in which you weren't at fault - and you lost your livelihood (be it fingers, legs, a part of your brain, etc), you'd have nowhere to go in a free market system. You would if there was public and cheap health care.

Furthermore, you'd be working just as much in a free market system as in a system with social security. Just because social security and medicine are privatised, doesn't mean they become cheaper. If a hospital is run like any other business, it'll want to make a profit.

Edit-in: The only real way a free market system would work if it was based on the true cost of an item. But then it wouldn't be free, would it?


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It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

- Aristotle


Edited by Alan Stone (02/25/05 09:09 AM)


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: Alan Stone]
    #3831926 - 02/25/05 09:22 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Alan Stone said:
You seem to be forgetting that shit can happen and does happen indiscriminantly to all people. If you had a car accident - even one in which you weren't at fault - and you lost your livelihood (be it fingers, legs, a part of your brain, etc), you'd have nowhere to go in a free market system. You would if there was public and cheap health care.



Actually, we do have a thing called insurance. The catch is, you have to be smart and get some before something bad like that happens to you.

Quote:

Furthermore, you'd be working just as much in a free market system as in a system with social security. Just because social security and medicine are privatised, doesn't mean they become cheaper. If a hospital is run like any other business, it'll want to make a profit.



And if it's making a profit, then it must be doing its job right, since people keep using that hospital instead of others. It the shitty hospitals that'll go broke.

Quote:

Edit-in: The only real way a free market system would work if it was based on the true cost of an item. But then it wouldn't be free, would it?



What exactly is this "true" cost you speak of? Some price tag that came down from above to denounce all the false costs? While it's true that there are some things that we're not paying the full price for, such as oil, but that's because of government intervention, through subsidies and a petroleum-based foreign policy.


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Offlinedeafpanda
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: Silversoul]
    #3831933 - 02/25/05 09:23 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Good points.

I don't think people would pay anywhere near as much voluntarily as they do now in taxes.

I think that society has a duty to protect those incapable of protecting themselves.

I also think that people should not be forced to do so.

However, these two beliefs are incompatible given people's greed.

The more I think about politics, the less I believe that there is any system that is both workable and morally justifiable.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: deafpanda]
    #3831960 - 02/25/05 09:32 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

deafpanda said:
Good points.

I don't think people would pay anywhere near as much voluntarily as they do now in taxes.

I think that society has a duty to protect those incapable of protecting themselves.

I also think that people should not be forced to do so.

However, these two beliefs are incompatible given people's greed.

The more I think about politics, the less I believe that there is any system that is both workable and morally justifiable.



I don't actually think the problem is greed. It's inefficiency. We just throw money at problems like it's going to make them go away. I personally think land reform is the way to go, but I'll stop myself now so I don't go on another rant.


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InvisibleLe_Canard
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3833437 - 02/25/05 04:45 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

RandalFlagg said:
1. Social safety nets (involuntary government income redistribution schemes) are great for non-productive people and shitty for productive people. Insurance plans (voluntary income redistribution schemes) can't be afforded by everybody.





Yes, there are always some who, for whatever reason, are truly disabled and cannot be as productive as most. I'm glad there are safety nets for these people. Of course, I think a great savings would be realised if we could eliminate fraud and abuse...

Quote:


2. If all social safety nets were replaced by private charities or contributions....there would not be as much money to fund things. People do give voluntarily, but not as much as they do if they are forced to pay.




Very true. I just don't see a system which depends entirely on voluntary contributions working. People just aren't that altruistic on their own....


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InvisibleSoopaX
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: Alan Stone]
    #3833498 - 02/25/05 05:02 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Alan Stone said:
You seem to be forgetting that shit can happen and does happen indiscriminantly to all people. If you had a car accident - even one in which you weren't at fault - and you lost your livelihood (be it fingers, legs, a part of your brain, etc), you'd have nowhere to go in a free market system. You would if there was public and cheap health care.




Funny, if this happened to me, as it did in January of 02 when I wrapped my car around a phone poll, flipped it two times in the air, landed it on it's hood and rolled four times down a hill, my job paid me not only my salary, but the average of my comission for 2 months while I recovered.
Quote:


Furthermore, you'd be working just as much in a free market system as in a system with social security. Just because social security and medicine are privatised, doesn't mean they become cheaper. If a hospital is run like any other business, it'll want to make a profit.




Why wouldn't it be cheaper? I'd be planning only for MY retirement.  How would that not be cheaper than planning for the retirement of four other workers?
Quote:


Edit-in: The only real way a free market system would work if it was based on the true cost of an item. But then it wouldn't be free, would it?



:rolleyes:


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Jackie Treehorn treats objects like women, man


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InvisibleCalifornia
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: SoopaX]
    #3833609 - 02/25/05 05:35 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

The leader of Venezuela just recently announced that his political ideology was Socialism. Venezuela= No5 exporter of oil.


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OfflineRonoS
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: Silversoul]
    #3833650 - 02/25/05 05:47 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Let me start by saying this is the best thread I've seen in this forum in a long time...intelligent debate, with valid points being made.  Nice work.:thumbup:

It is somewhat of a catch 22 for us in Canada, because, yes...we do have universal health care provided by the government.  Unfortunately, the tax system is structured so that the doctors here make a fraction of what their American counterparts do...causing many of them to seek practice in the U.S.  This has come to be known as the "Brain Drain" here, with a large number of our brightest minds choosing to follow the money to the U.S.

Of course this results in a loss of quality of healthcare for Canadians, but what would better?  Excellent healthcare but only to those that can afford it, or mediocre health-care to everyone regardless of wealth.  Like it or not, not everyone can afford health insurance...but those that are better off financially are free to travel to the U.S. for treatment if they decide to do so.  In the same way that thousands of Americans were recently coming to Canada to get flu shots that their own goverment could not provide for them.  It's a give and take system and I think it's fine the way it is right now...it's far from perfect, but at least both countries can still benefit from eachother.


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"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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OfflineProsgeopax
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: Rono]
    #3833705 - 02/25/05 06:10 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I heard today from a Canadian citizen that Canada has the lowest doctor to patient ratio in the west.  :thumbup: Good work, Canada.  I called my doctor right before Christmas last year with a physical complaint and he saw me the same day.  Boy, that $257 per month for a family of four is just incredibly expensive too.


--------------------
Money doesn't grow on trees, but deficits do grow under Bushes.

You can accept, reject, or examine and test any new idea that comes to you. The wise man chooses the third way.
- Tom Willhite

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my opinions should I become aware of additional facts, the falsification of information or different perspectives. Articles written by others which I post may not necessarily reflect my opinions in part or in whole, my opinions may be in direct opposition, the topic may be one on which I have yet to formulate an opinion or have doubts about, an article may be posted solely with the intent to stimulate discussion or contemplation.


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: Rono]
    #3833711 - 02/25/05 06:12 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Too bad Qerry wasn't elected. He promised health care for all that was equivalent to that received by members of Congress. And, of course, John Edwards would have made the paralyzed able to walk again, Hallelujah, by now. At no extra cost, of course, except to a few greedy,rich people who don't make movies.

In a capitalist society there is a continuum of success. In a communist society there is poverty for the many and privelege for the few. In a socialist society there is a flattening and overall depression of the curve. The shitstorm that is about to hit Europe is going to make our soc sec Ponzi scheme look like nirvana.


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OfflineRonoS
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: Prosgeopax]
    #3833730 - 02/25/05 06:18 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Prosgeopax said:
I heard today from a Canadian citizens that Canada has the lowest doctor to patient ratio in the west.  :thumbup: Good work, Canada.  I called my doctor right before Christmas last year with a physical complaint and he saw me the same day.  Boy, that $257 per month for a family of four is just incredibly expensive too.




Personally, I have never had to wait for a doctors appointment, and the longest I've had to wait in an emergency room was 1 hour...and that was for a minor injury.

I'm sure that there has been many that have had to wait longer, but they ALL eventually do get treated...for free.

More people in the U.S. go bankrupt due to medical bills than any other cause...explain to me why that is better again?


--------------------
"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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OfflineProsgeopax
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: Rono]
    #3833795 - 02/25/05 06:33 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Rono said:
I'm sure that there has been many that have had to wait longer, but they ALL eventually do get treated...for free.



Not if they die first or go to the U.S. to get treatment. If Canada didn't have the U.S. next door as a medical care safety valve, your people would be in a lot worse straits.

The U.S. has a great deal of government interference in health care already, socialist programs (Medicare and Medicaid) and regulatory laws drive up the costs. Treatment of illegal aliens other uninsured is passed on in higher prices to those of us who pay our bills. Government favoritism to drug companies and the outlawing of alternative treatments and therapies stifles competition. The plain fact is that government interference in medicine drives up health care costs - the price of drugs is the most glaring example.

Oh, when you go BK, your debts are forgiven - that means any medical debts owed get wiped out, translation: FREE MEDICAL CARE.


--------------------
Money doesn't grow on trees, but deficits do grow under Bushes.

You can accept, reject, or examine and test any new idea that comes to you. The wise man chooses the third way.
- Tom Willhite

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my opinions should I become aware of additional facts, the falsification of information or different perspectives. Articles written by others which I post may not necessarily reflect my opinions in part or in whole, my opinions may be in direct opposition, the topic may be one on which I have yet to formulate an opinion or have doubts about, an article may be posted solely with the intent to stimulate discussion or contemplation.


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OfflineRonoS
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: Prosgeopax]
    #3833835 - 02/25/05 06:43 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

If Canada didn't have the U.S. next door as a medical care safety valve, your people would be in a lot worse straits.


That works both way my friend...as I stated earlier... recently THOUSANDS of Americans came to Canada to get Influenza shots because the American system couldn't supply them.


--------------------
"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: Rono]
    #3833840 - 02/25/05 06:44 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

It's not free pal. You already paid for it . And for Aunt Edna with the constant gout and 45 visits a year and for Naomi and her 8 children by 4 different fathers and for Norman and his cirrhosis and for Rudy and his screaming fantods which visit whenever he can't get his fix and......

People go bankrupt because of their medical bills because the bankruptcy laws allow them to shelter certain assets. You own a $500,000 house and have a fully funded IRA. You owe $100,000 in medical bills. To avoid a doctors lien on your house (for services rendered, I might add), you declare bankruptcy, thus preventing them from being paid for their work, even though YOU COULD PAY IT because you have the assets. How about this little beauty? A man nears the age of sixty five and is told he has diabetes because he has eaten his way to the top. He's fairly well off, perhaps 3 mil in assets, but doesn't want to pay so he assigns all his assets to his children so that he becomes indigent in the eyes of the law and the state picks up the tab, even though he deliberately impoverished himself. Poor people do not declare bankruptcy.

Don't get too caught up in that "leading cause of bankruptcy crap." It's mostly a dodge for the if not wealthy at least comfortable and not the sad story it's made out to be.


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Edited by zappaisgod (02/25/05 06:45 PM)


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OfflineRonoS
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: zappaisgod]
    #3833910 - 02/25/05 06:55 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Poor people do not declare bankruptcy.




While I'm not doubting that many people do abuse the bankrupcy system, do you honestly think that the majority do?


--------------------
"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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InvisibleLe_Canard
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: zappaisgod]
    #3833916 - 02/25/05 06:56 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

zappaisgod said:
It's not free pal.  You already paid for it .  And for Aunt Edna with the constant gout and 45 visits a year and for Naomi and her 8 children by 4 different fathers and for Norman and his cirrhosis and for Rudy and his screaming fantods which visit whenever he can't get his fix and......




Not everyone is a junky, alcoholic or welfare witch. There are some who are actually in need, like Aunt Edna. Of course, we COULD just let her die for the sake of saving a few dollars and putting it in our pockets....:rolleyes:

Quote:

People go bankrupt because of their medical bills because the bankruptcy laws allow them to shelter certain assets.  You own a $500,000 house and have a fully funded IRA.  You owe $100,000 in medical bills.  To avoid a doctors lien on your house (for services rendered, I might add),  you declare bankruptcy, thus preventing them from being paid for their work, even though YOU COULD PAY IT because you have the assets.  How about this little beauty?  A man nears the age of sixty five and is told he has diabetes because he has eaten his way to the top.  He's fairly well off, perhaps 3 mil in assets, but doesn't want to pay so he assigns all his assets to his children so that he becomes indigent in the eyes of the law and the state picks up the tab, even though he deliberately impoverished himself.  Poor people do not declare bankruptcy.




As I said before, we could realise great savings if fraud and abuse were eliminated, and giving services to those who truly need it. But I have heard this loophole will soon be closed, and it's high time they did close it, IMHO....


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OfflineCatalysis
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: Silversoul]
    #3834201 - 02/25/05 08:11 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

To me, the scary thing about social programs is that they can eventually force you to be dependent upon them. I mean what do you do if you live in Canada and you are unhappy with the medical treatment you recieve? Shit, im unhappy with my medical treatment all the time because some doctors are just fuckups but I pay for health insurance that allows me to just go to another doctor.

I also have to opt out of a matching 401k because i can't afford it right now. The ironic thing is that if i wasn't paying $100 a month into social security, i'd have an awesome retirement package. As it stands now, I have to hope I will recieve all my money back when I retire in 2045. I feel like a victim because I have no kids and no financial commitments due to the fact that i want to be a responsible citizen and i can't afford it.

I guess every society has its parasites and they will feed one way or another regardless of the form of government.


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OfflineProsgeopax
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Re: Rants and Ramblings on Capitalism and Socialism [Re: Rono]
    #3834246 - 02/25/05 08:25 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Rono said:
That works both way my friend...as I stated earlier... recently THOUSANDS of Americans came to Canada to get Influenza shots because the American system couldn't supply them.



That's why Canadians are suckers, they're paying for Americans' medicine. That the supply was limited has more to do with production capabilities and distribution than anything else.


--------------------
Money doesn't grow on trees, but deficits do grow under Bushes.

You can accept, reject, or examine and test any new idea that comes to you. The wise man chooses the third way.
- Tom Willhite

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my opinions should I become aware of additional facts, the falsification of information or different perspectives. Articles written by others which I post may not necessarily reflect my opinions in part or in whole, my opinions may be in direct opposition, the topic may be one on which I have yet to formulate an opinion or have doubts about, an article may be posted solely with the intent to stimulate discussion or contemplation.


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