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  • Harrdy
    replied
    Taxes anywhere in Europe are too high.
    What is "to high" for you? I found a figure about taxation in relation to the BIP (Brutto Inlands Produkt, I think GDP is the english abbreviation). The highest value was for Sweden with 51,4%, then Denmark with 49,8%. The lowest values where for Lithuania with 28,7%, Latvia with 29,1% and Slovakia with 30,9 Prozent. These figures include all aspects of taxes, from income tax to sales to energy tax. Maybe you know the value of the United States? I found 17.4% for 2003, but that value was not so current...

    PeAcE

    Leave a comment:


  • Dr Maturin
    replied
    Originally posted by SpooRancher
    Don't ever make the mistake of thinking there is really a dime's bit of difference between Democrats and Republicans in America. They are both interested in control, albeit (at this point) in different areas. They both amount to control freaks. And, if they get their way, it always spreads to new issues.
    There are certain things that need to be controlled by the government, such as the military. A privately-run military wouldn't be wise. And you have to realize that politicians -- mainly congressmen -- say stuff more because they want votes than because it's something they strongly back. I think all Americans are fairly libertarian thinkers. Who LIKES to be pulled over by Barney and given a ticket for going 50 in a 40?

    As to the health care insurance issue: Currently, health insurance is generally available to anyone who wants to get it. There is, however, a cost. The financial burden of carrying health insurance is determined by assessing the risks of the person who wishes coverage. The health insurance companies are in business for one reason, honestly, and that is to make money. To expect them to do otherwise is foolish, and would seriously limit (in the long run) those companies willing to provide the service. So, if you are a young, healthy person with a history of not smoking, you will be able to purchase the insurance coverage at a relatively low cost. If you are older or have preexisting health problems, you will pay more. That is because it is a safe bet that the company will have to pay more claims for the older, less healthy consumer.

    What made health insurance so expensive in America WAS the idea that everyone needed it. Dollar one insurance became an expected perq of employment in the 80's. (that means that your doctor visit is entirely covered by the insurance, no deductible). That meant there were a lot more people with insurance they didn't really need, but, since they had it, they might as well use it. That, in turn, clogged up the doctors offices with patients who otherwise would have gone down to Wal-Mart and bought some cough syrup instead of visiting the friendly neighborhood doctor. The increased demand on the doctor's time increased the cost of their services (study your basic economics class). The increased cost of the doctor's time in turn increased the cost of the insurance. Then, we found out that insurance was suddenly a bit too expensive for those who did not work at a company that provided it. So the government stepped in and said that in emergency situations, the hospitals needed to provide care regardless of the patient's ability to pay or insurance status. So, now, instead of going to the doctor at the corner and paying $75 for the chest cold that never went away, people go to the emergency room. The emergency room could, after a quick exam, say that it is not an emergency and send the patient to their doctor, but, it is usually easier just to go ahead and prescribe some medicines and treat them. So, instead of a $75 bill for a doctor visit that is paid before services rendered, the individual now has a $200 charge at the hospital that they have no intention to pay. So, the hospital increases the cost of the emergency room visit for those who do pay, to cover the costs of those who do not. THAT becomes a VERY vicious cycle. The higher costs mean that more patients do not pay. So hospitals end up petitioning the local and state and federal governments for relief for those unpaid bills.

    In the end, if someone, somewhere, somehow is getting something for nothing, that means someone, somewhere, somehow is getting nothing for something. It is called the TANSTAAFL principle (pronounced tanstaffel). There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.
    You're a smart man. Always remember, health care is denied to NOBODY in the USA.

    Leave a comment:


  • SpooRancher
    replied
    Don't ever make the mistake of thinking there is really a dime's bit of difference between Democrats and Republicans in America. They are both interested in control, albeit (at this point) in different areas. They both amount to control freaks. And, if they get their way, it always spreads to new issues.

    As to the health care insurance issue: Currently, health insurance is generally available to anyone who wants to get it. There is, however, a cost. The financial burden of carrying health insurance is determined by assessing the risks of the person who wishes coverage. The health insurance companies are in business for one reason, honestly, and that is to make money. To expect them to do otherwise is foolish, and would seriously limit (in the long run) those companies willing to provide the service. So, if you are a young, healthy person with a history of not smoking, you will be able to purchase the insurance coverage at a relatively low cost. If you are older or have preexisting health problems, you will pay more. That is because it is a safe bet that the company will have to pay more claims for the older, less healthy consumer.

    What made health insurance so expensive in America WAS the idea that everyone needed it. Dollar one insurance became an expected perq of employment in the 80's. (that means that your doctor visit is entirely covered by the insurance, no deductible). That meant there were a lot more people with insurance they didn't really need, but, since they had it, they might as well use it. That, in turn, clogged up the doctors offices with patients who otherwise would have gone down to Wal-Mart and bought some cough syrup instead of visiting the friendly neighborhood doctor. The increased demand on the doctor's time increased the cost of their services (study your basic economics class). The increased cost of the doctor's time in turn increased the cost of the insurance. Then, we found out that insurance was suddenly a bit too expensive for those who did not work at a company that provided it. So the government stepped in and said that in emergency situations, the hospitals needed to provide care regardless of the patient's ability to pay or insurance status. So, now, instead of going to the doctor at the corner and paying $75 for the chest cold that never went away, people go to the emergency room. The emergency room could, after a quick exam, say that it is not an emergency and send the patient to their doctor, but, it is usually easier just to go ahead and prescribe some medicines and treat them. So, instead of a $75 bill for a doctor visit that is paid before services rendered, the individual now has a $200 charge at the hospital that they have no intention to pay. So, the hospital increases the cost of the emergency room visit for those who do pay, to cover the costs of those who do not. THAT becomes a VERY vicious cycle. The higher costs mean that more patients do not pay. So hospitals end up petitioning the local and state and federal governments for relief for those unpaid bills.

    In the end, if someone, somewhere, somehow is getting something for nothing, that means someone, somewhere, somehow is getting nothing for something. It is called the TANSTAAFL principle (pronounced tanstaffel). There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

    (BTW, I used to work in an Emergency Room, so I saw this thing happening EVERY day).

    Leave a comment:


  • Dr Maturin
    replied
    Originally posted by Harrdy
    That doesn't sound very democratic to me...
    I'd have to agree.

    Who would have guesst the same is true for Europe! (WOW!)
    You could live in England, where work conditions are more similar to USA or you could (try) to live in Germany where there are a lot of social services but also a lot of unemployment. Or you could live in the northern part of the Continent where welfare is even better than in germany. Or you could try the new Member States where things like Flat Tax happen... Europe is before everything else diversive.
    Taxes anywhere in Europe are too high.

    Leave a comment:


  • Harrdy
    replied
    They are the sole reason that decisions are made in government that go against the majority of American opinion.
    That doesn't sound very democratic to me...

    And here is a little factoid for you: There are places you can live here that would resemble your home country. There are others that would be much more conservative. The great thing is that you can choose a place that best fits you and live there.
    Who would have guesst the same is true for Europe! (WOW!)
    You could live in England, where work conditions are more similar to USA or you could (try) to live in Germany where there are a lot of social services but also a lot of unemployment. Or you could live in the northern part of the Continent where welfare is even better than in germany. Or you could try the new Member States where things like Flat Tax happen... Europe is before everything else diversive.

    PeAcE

    Leave a comment:


  • David Panzer
    replied
    What's sad is that when it's a Republican's turn to appoint judges, the Democrats don't want to play fair and give the judges a vote.
    And when a Democrat was in the White House, the Republicans didn't want to play fair and give the judges a vote. Reminds me of when I was in pre-school when something didn't go the way someone wanted, they'd throw a tantrum and yell "No fair", and whine to the teacher.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dr Maturin
    replied
    Oh yeah, and I'll tell you one thing...if anyone ever tries to hijack a plane again in this country, they're going to get rushed. The terrorists do not know how much they've strengthened America by carrying out the devastating attacks.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dr Maturin
    replied
    Originally posted by Towelmaster
    Absolutely. But I think that there should be a choice. You either decide to get health-insurance or you decide not to, but there should be a health-insurance garantueed to be available if you want to pay for it. If you don't want it then that is your own decision. This is not the same as 'lets do away with government-controlled health-insurance'. It means that everyone should have the liberty, the personal freedom, and you yourself decide whether you want to get insurance or not. So in my view there is definitely a place for government-controlled services(which are therefor available to everyone). However, they should not be monopolized by the state and they should not be compulsary.

    Is that somewhat in accordance with the idea of libertarianism in the U.S.A. or is this a typically non-American view?
    You do have the choice in having health care...it's called getting a job that offers it or paying for it on your own. That's the whole thing...the USA was not set up to offer health care coverage. The Clintons' big health care bill was shot down in the 90's.

    Do you realize that life-appointments for judges are the only things that have allowed progressive movements to take hold in the USA? They are the sole reason that decisions are made in government that go against the majority of American opinion. What's sad is that when it's a Republican's turn to appoint judges, the Democrats don't want to play fair and give the judges a vote.

    And here is a little factoid for you: There are places you can live here that would resemble your home country. There are others that would be much more conservative. The great thing is that you can choose a place that best fits you and live there.

    Leave a comment:


  • Towelmaster
    replied
    Zhd: Is freedom as defined in America only for americans or is it a universal principle? I do not visit the U.S.A. For one : I would have to get a damned retinascan-passport although these things have not even been tested, are bloody expensive and Do Not Work Properly. If I don't get one I won't get into America. Although I do not have anything even remotely like a criminal record I am treated as one by default. If you do not call that curtailing people's right to freedom, dismantling the 'innocent until proven guilty-idea' as well as spreading paranoia and hate of foreigners I don't know what is.

    Further more there are numerous stories in your own press(from left- to rightwing in this case) that are either all lies or that contradict your opinion/data/etcetera. There is no way in Hell that you can call someone like for instance Jerry Pournelle left-wing(www.jerrypournelle.com). Stories of people not allowed to carry a nailfile on a plane... As R. Williams joked in december 2001 ; "What are they thinking? YOU! Take this plane to Washington or the bitch loses a cuticle!" Not having plastic cutlery on the plane anymore, by Jove; ever tried to eat with one of those crapthingies? They break if you handle them without love and affection. How is one supposed to force a plane down with a plastic fork?

    It has gone to the extreme and I have to admit immediately that, although the european countries have not gone that far yet, they are definitely following a lot of the American rules. I believe strongly that politicians just love to spread this FUD. It keeps the people on edge and insecure. I also think politicians should be booted out of office for this kind of thing as it is the exact opposite of what they are supposed to work for.

    Now on a related note : No, I have not travelled the length and breadth or the U.S.A. although before 9/11 I had plans to do so during a long vacation. The plan was to hire a van or something and just drive into America. Because do not get me wrong ; I believe there is much to be seen and enjoyed in the U.S.A. and much of it seems beautiful to me. And I'm not just talking about mountains and other landmarks, I'm also talking about people. I also believe that politics does not define a people, it only defines the "image" of a people to the outside world. Europe consists of a couple of dozen countries and they are all very different. Hence my objection to you trying to define Europe as a whole. Hence my example of the European Constipation being flagged down by the people. Although I do not consider the European Union a democratic institution at all, the same can be said for a big chunk of the American system. How come that if a president is "lucky" and several judges in the supreme court die, he gets to completely change the outlook of the Supreme Court for who knows how long? How can it be that one person can rule over his own political grave? After 8 year he is gone and if this president has been able to get lets say 3 judges elected they could be there for ever. As a matter of fact ; your supreme court justices typically grow to be very old. If you consider the U.S.A. to be a complete and utter democracy(for instance), how can it be that the winner takes all in politics, thus shutting out a(usually) very sizable minority? That is called a Republic and that is what the U.S.A. is. It may be a democratic republic but a republic it remains. Compare this to the Netherlands where the winner does not get all, he gets exactly what he deserved. This forces compromise into the system and prevents stuff like those idiotic Fillibusters that the democrats now have to use to get compromises from the republicans.

    I do not think that America is the 'baddie' of the world as so many others do outside the U.S.A. but neither is Europe. And it is disturbing to see how you assume so much that just isn't true while at the same time responding incredibly protective when it comes to the pitfalls of the American system.
    Both are far from perfect and - to put it a bit extreme - it does not do to glorify the one crucify the other.

    P.S. I never mistake a political movement with an ethical movement. With liberterian I meant the ethical movement(as promoted by for instance Benjamin Franklin I believe), not whatever political movement might exist. Because political movements frequently tend to screw their own initial beliefs because of their best personal interests.

    Originally posted by SpooRancher
    If you are not free to earn and spend your money as you see fit, you are not free, you are merely a member of a vassal state. You are not a free man, you are a resource for your government, to be exploited at it's whim, not your own.
    Absolutely. But I think that there should be a choice. You either decide to get health-insurance or you decide not to, but there should be a health-insurance garantueed to be available if you want to pay for it. If you don't want it then that is your own decision. This is not the same as 'lets do away with government-controlled health-insurance'. It means that everyone should have the liberty, the personal freedom, and you yourself decide whether you want to get insurance or not. So in my view there is definitely a place for government-controlled services(which are therefor available to everyone). However, they should not be monopolized by the state and they should not be compulsary.

    Is that somewhat in accordance with the idea of libertarianism in the U.S.A. or is this a typically non-American view?

    TM.
    Last edited by Towelmaster; 06-06-2005, 07:08 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dr Maturin
    replied
    Originally posted by SpooRancher
    That is what makes the difference between a "civil libertarian" which is basically a leftist liberal and a "libertarian" who believes that the only thing people should not be free to do is avoid the consequences of their behavior.

    I have watched with interest some goings on in Europe and Canada. "Civil libertarian" issues such as gay marriage and drug legalization (neither of which am I opposed to, mind you) are given as great examples of the increasing freedom proffered by the governments, where heavy taxation, high social program spending, gun control and oppressive business regulation are basically ignored as issues.

    If you are not free to earn and spend your money as you see fit, you are not free, you are merely a member of a vassal state. You are not a free man, you are a resource for your government, to be exploited at it's whim, not your own.

    Likewise, if you are not free to engage in non-violent personal and sexual behavior (and make no mistake, I consider any action toward a minor to be violent, as they are not legally or morally able to consent) you are not free, you are merely, again, a servant of a government.

    Out of the boardroom AND the bedroom is the only direction we should be taking government. Scale them back to the point where they are protecting us from others who initiate force, fraud or violence, and we have the amount of government we need. They should protect us from others. We can neither afford, not dare have, enough government to protect us from ourselves.
    Don't mistake libertarian with Libertarian. The party has its own stances on ALL issues, so "civil" and "economic" doesn't really come into it. Those modifiers can be used when the L is not capitalized.

    Leave a comment:


  • SpooRancher
    replied
    Originally posted by Z'ha'dumDweller
    Exactly. It's unfortunate that some believe you are free when the sexual and personal are factored in while leaving out the financial.
    That is what makes the difference between a "civil libertarian" which is basically a leftist liberal and a "libertarian" who believes that the only thing people should not be free to do is avoid the consequences of their behavior.

    I have watched with interest some goings on in Europe and Canada. "Civil libertarian" issues such as gay marriage and drug legalization (neither of which am I opposed to, mind you) are given as great examples of the increasing freedom proffered by the governments, where heavy taxation, high social program spending, gun control and oppressive business regulation are basically ignored as issues.

    If you are not free to earn and spend your money as you see fit, you are not free, you are merely a member of a vassal state. You are not a free man, you are a resource for your government, to be exploited at it's whim, not your own.

    Likewise, if you are not free to engage in non-violent personal and sexual behavior (and make no mistake, I consider any action toward a minor to be violent, as they are not legally or morally able to consent) you are not free, you are merely, again, a servant of a government.

    Out of the boardroom AND the bedroom is the only direction we should be taking government. Scale them back to the point where they are protecting us from others who initiate force, fraud or violence, and we have the amount of government we need. They should protect us from others. We can neither afford, not dare have, enough government to protect us from ourselves.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dr Maturin
    replied
    Originally posted by SpooRancher
    Initiation of force, fraud and violence are 100% against our platform. So we do not endorse all behaviors. We merely believe that what happens between two consenting adults, be it sexual, personal or financial, should not be unduly regulated by the government.
    Exactly. It's unfortunate that some believe you are free when the sexual and personal are factored in while leaving out the financial.

    Leave a comment:


  • SpooRancher
    replied
    Originally posted by Z'ha'dumDweller
    I believe in Social-Darwinism, so yeah, survival of the fittest.

    I don't think you understand what Libertarianism is...having the freedom to say what you want, to do what you want, hell, to fuck in public, means nothing without economic freedom to equal it.

    And capitalism in the US does have morals...we charge people with crimes.
    As a card-carrying member of the Libertarian Party, US, "fuck in public" is not one of the things in our platform. We do not believe in the freedom to "say what you want, to do what you want". We believe that each person should have the freedom to make their own choices, for good or for bad, and deal with the consequences, good or bad, of their decision. We do not believe the government should make artificial consequences for non-violent behavior.

    Initiation of force, fraud and violence are 100% against our platform. So we do not endorse all behaviors. We merely believe that what happens between two consenting adults, be it sexual, personal or financial, should not be unduly regulated by the government.

    Leave a comment:


  • AaronB
    replied
    Originally posted by Z'ha'dumDweller
    I shortened it on the edit using the "insert hyperlink" tool. Does it not appear as "New York Times?"
    The first time I saw it, it didn't. Now that I am at work, it shows as a link. That may be an issue with Safari (the Mac default browser).

    Leave a comment:


  • Dr Maturin
    replied
    Originally posted by thebaron
    ZHDD,

    tinyurl.com is your friend.
    I shortened it on the edit using the "insert hyperlink" tool. Does it not appear as "New York Times?"

    Leave a comment:

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