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Free education in the Nordic countries

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posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 04:53 AM
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It's just hit me. The US spends enough on education.

Look at the countries mentioned in the OWS poster. Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and the United Sates. I found data up to 2011 on what percentage of each country's budget goes for education. For the ten years up to 2011, the average portion of those countries budgets for education looked like this:

Finland.................. 12.5 %

Sweden................. 13.0 %

US........................ 15.1 %

Denmark................ 15.3 %

Norway.................. 16.1 %

The US is spending enough, it must not be spending it well. Get rid of the Department of Education? (What and give up some government control?) Break up Teacher's Unions? (And lose a rich source of Democrat donations?)

I wonder what the president's plan is? Or, since it's of such importance, he may have already done it. If you know about it, you can explain it to me.

And remember, the US spending doesn't have to cover any of the kids in private schools.

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posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 05:18 AM
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There is a lot about Nordic countries that makes more sense. I think I must be Nordic in origin, even my blood type agrees.

There is free higher education to an extent in Scotland but here in England it is far from free and the fees went from around £3-£4k for a degree to £9k about 2 years ago. FE establishments can choose the higher fee and many have.

Education is imperative in civilized society and a worthy investment. IMO it is a priority and all nations should be implementing free FE education.

There is a lot that can be learned from many Nordic countries policies and the UK should be looking at that.

I have often considered moving to Sweden, I think I would be happy there. The way of life, architecture, policies, some of the food and love of nature is appealing to me.



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 07:05 AM
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originally posted by: charles1952
a reply to: muse7

The US also has the highest abortion rate of any Western Industrialized nation. AND the highest college dropout rate. AND the highest teenage birth rate.

Now, which UN report did you use to determine how right wing or left wing a country is?



Having recently dropped out of University to better take care of my children I felt I could give a good response. (Don't feel bad for me I have multiple AAs)

The biggest setback to our education system and our teenage birth rate is the Bible thumpers. In the Bible Belt where they demand abstinence is the thing taught in schools sex ed class you get children ill prepared to handle their own body. That same area will also not give proper funding to places that will offer birth control or condoms.

So what you have are children in areas with no proper education or access to services to prevent unwanted pregnancies. And yet we as a country try to bring these services to other countries.

Back to education. Having gone back to school as an adult, there are still remedial courses that have to be paid for. These are the courses most of us took in H.S. I'm still not understanding how one graduates and has to pay for basic education. But, because school is a business which ot shouldn't be this will keep happening.

I'm not an expert on Common Core. Would you like to know why ? Because not a single person at my children's school understood it and, therefore couldn't explain it to me. What I do know is between common core and the changes to the SATs the way our children will be admitted into schools of higher learning has forever changed.

What this means is that all the states rejecting Common Core will still need to address it in so that their students have a fair chance at the SATs.

The entire system is convoluted and requires full time attention just to get your children through it successfully.



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 08:19 AM
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originally posted by: nOraKat
I was talking to a guy from France today..

He said all of their citizens receive free healthcare no matter who they are.


He also said there are mandatory laws for employers to provide 6 weeks of paid vacation a year!

(..not sure if any of that is true.)


Yes, it is true. -Except, you have to be employed to get medical care... Or if you lose your job for any reason, you can continue to have medical coverage, but must register with the unemployment office, where they make sure you continue trying to get a new one.

(unless you are a dependant on someone who is employed: child, spouse...)

Yearly vacations are mandatory, and some employers will give more than the obligatory six weeks. Our work week is 35 hours. Yet the productivity is very high here anyway.

Higher education is indeed free, and students get financial aid from the state to help with living expenses.
Getting into some programs is very competative though. I have two kids in university right now, and they could not have done that if we lived in the states!

One thing I liked here is that on each pay, you get a clear detailed account fo how much you have paid into social security, unemployment, retirement, etc. You have the right to exactly what you have put in.
If you want to quit your job, and create your own business, you can choose to get all the unemployment owed to you in one big sum, instead of monthly payments, to invest in it. That's the kind of thing I wish the US would try out!
edit on 25-8-2014 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 09:04 AM
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a reply to: LABTECH767

Don't really need a lesson on the beginnings of the younger blair - we all see his contribution to the UK and world peace and he should be an example to all of us…….

Apart from the once free education here which I took benefit from being older, what does bother me is the infiltration into our education system of politics, PC, and now spreading into our schools.

We have always had the "Jobs Worth" mentality within a small portion of our society - (they keep us in line with EU policy but don't police the French etc) but now living in a eco village I hear the children playing outside and often hear the little jobs-worths coming to the fore which is something that didn't exist when I was a child. We were always shooting out of the house as quckly as our little legs could carry us, all party to whatever mischief we could get ourselves into and had a great time, but even little ones seem to be worrying about whether they are doing the right thing or not today and especially what they are saying. Someone is preparing them for real automatic pre-programmed adults.

The danger of this is that we will breed out our innovation and free thinking virtuosity. Its not in the English nature to be goody goodies and pious poppies.



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 12:58 PM
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a reply to: ypperst

I think its an unfair comparison. The Nordic countries are genuine countries in that Sweden, for example, is the tribal homeland of the indigenous Swedish people and therefore its the homeland of the Swedish people, a people bound together by their common ethnic ties. This means its a lot easier for "The People" of the Swedish to come together for a common goal or purpose and come to agreement as to their priorities.

The US isn't a country in that traditional, ethnic commonality, sense of the word. There are those who view the United States as the "homeland" for the indigenous "Indian" population although in reality, they are descendants of immigrants long, long ago. The US is an amalgamation of many ethnicities. So, there aren't any uniting "ethinic" ties. And since the adoption of the open borders program, the US is less a "country" than it is simply a tax jurisdiction. (and a high tax jurisdiction if your a corporation which is why so many corporations are looking to leave the US).

So what happens in the US is that you've got a tax jurisdiction composed of various unrelated ethnic groups who often times find themselves in competition with one or more of the other ethnic groups. In this type environment, its nearly impossible to reach consensus on common goals or purpose or to come to agreement as to priorities.

BTW, I'm not advocating for or against anything, I'm simply reciting the facts as they exist and attempt to show the distinction between the two regions. That's to say, I'm not for or against any particular agenda.

Enjoy the Nordic countries.



posted on Aug, 25 2014 @ 01:43 PM
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a reply to: nOraKat

I can confirm that it is indeed true. I lived in France as an American ex-patriot for 20 years, and I had free medical care for myself and my child, who was also American.

At that time there was only one month paid vacation, so I guess they've increased it to 6 weeks now.
edit on 25-8-2014 by antoinemarionette because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 02:30 AM
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originally posted by: antoinemarionette
a reply to: nOraKat

I can confirm that it is indeed true. I lived in France as an American ex-patriot for 20 years, and I had free medical care for myself and my child, who was also American.

At that time there was only one month paid vacation, so I guess they've increased it to 6 weeks now.


O .. M.. G!

That's incredible. I don't think I've ever met anyone with 6 weeks paid vacation.



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 02:35 AM
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originally posted by: nOraKat

originally posted by: antoinemarionette
a reply to: nOraKat

I can confirm that it is indeed true. I lived in France as an American ex-patriot for 20 years, and I had free medical care for myself and my child, who was also American.

At that time there was only one month paid vacation, so I guess they've increased it to 6 weeks now.


O .. M.. G!

That's incredible. I don't think I've ever met anyone with 6 weeks paid vacation.


My husband has nine, I have seven.



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 10:03 PM
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Here in the US our biggest problem with college tuition is federal student loans. They push tons of unsecured loans on people without credit checks. The schools then respond by asking for more money. The feds counter that by increasing the amount of loans they'll pay out.

I would support either solution but we either need to go full blown communist in regards to education pricing and dictate to schools what they can spend and where they can spend it or we need to make it all out of pocket again and make the schools themselves offer financing options so that they can compete for better loan terms. Either solution would be an improvement, our current situation of never ending tuition increases paired with never ending increases in financing just creates runaway prices.



posted on Aug, 26 2014 @ 10:32 PM
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We do not provide free higher education because our government and society is terribly short sighted and can't see beyond the next quarter or election cycle. There are few long term thinkers in this country, who actually think, plan, and invest in things that were go beyond their life time. The only thing people care about is now, the next decade or generation be damned. Many Americans will not support things that they do not immediately benefit from.

Another problem we do not value education much. A person who is wealthy and "successful", who makes tons of money and has all the toys any rich person could ever want, but who is of average intelligence and low moral fiber is more respected and idolized than a scientist, scholar, or other intelligent person with less material wealth, but greater and more critical contributions to society. Ignorance is bliss, as they say, and many people will resist trying to be educated because they don't want to be a "nerd".

Plus, if we start educating our youth better, we might end up with a nation of free thinkers who no longer think that working yourself into an early grave to buy and consume mindlessly is a desirable way of life. They will start challenging the system with more authority, refusing to be overworked slaves, and start thinking beyond business as usual. And we can't have that, because that might end our abusive neo-serf economic model.



posted on Aug, 27 2014 @ 03:12 AM
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originally posted by: LABTECH767
Tony Blair was actually a junior tory party member, his father had been a lifelong Tory party member and Mr Blair as a young activists realised he did not have the connection's to make it to the top of the Tory Party (the Tory party is the heart of the larger Conservative party but are not conservative being right wing elitists).


What are you dribbling on about? Blair was never a "junior Tory party member" - he once stood in a mock election at school as the Conservative candidate, but has been left wing through his entire political career, joining the Labour Party properly when he was 22 after graduating from Oxford. He has never been a member of the Conservatives.

As for your claim that the "Tory Party" is different to the Conservatives is also bunk - they are one and the same, with "Tory" simply being the nickname they acquired back in the 18th/19th Centuries.

Honestly, it's like that other twonk in the Rotherham Sex abuse thread saying it's all Maggies fault... Any excuse to have a swipe, isn't it, despite the country time and again being shafted by the left-wing Labour party, it's always the right that get's maligned.

But you're right, it was Blair who brought in "Tuition fees", right after the 2005 election where he promised [n]not to bring them in and only did so with the help of the 40 odd Scottish labour MP's who voted for it, despite the law not having any effect in Scotland.

That said, University attendance is now at it's highest ever - this is despite your claims to the contrary about how it's all some plot to keep us all downtrodden - and to be honest, the whole Student debt thing is totally mis-reported and made out to be a huge mountain when it's nothing of the sort.

For example, the typical Student when they leave University may have £30k in Student debt, but they don't have to pay a penny back until they earn over £21k a year and even then, it's less than the price of a Mobile phone contract (£30 a month). After 20 odd years, it all gets wiped anyway, whether you pay it off or not. So anyone complaining about it saddling them with debt, or how it stifles the poor going to University hasn't actually got a bloody clue what their talking about. And it is still cheaper than many US institutions!

Nobody needs money to go to University - all you need are decent grades. If you get the grades, you can go to University, even if your dad lives in a box and your mum is a crack whore. Anyone claiming the contrary is just deluded or has some deep seated issues against "the right".



posted on Aug, 27 2014 @ 03:23 AM
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originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
There is free higher education to an extent in Scotland but here in England it is far from free and the fees went from around £3-£4k for a degree to £9k about 2 years ago. FE establishments can choose the higher fee and many have.


And what , in your words, is the problem with that? Uni standards have gone up immensely since Tuition fee's came in and attendance is up as well.

If you do any half-decent degree, you could be looking at a job that pays north of £50k a year within a few years of leaving Uni (forgot doing Art, or Media Studies or any other Mickey mouse degree - do a proper one like Business or a technology), so I don't see why paying back the loan is so bad when it's obviously done you right.

Here is the breakdown of how Student loans are paid back:



If you are earning £20,999 pa, you pay nothing.

If you earn £25,000 a year, you will pay 9% of £4000 (ie the difference between £21k and £25k). This means you will pay £360 pa (£30 a month).

If you earn £50,000 a year, you will pay 9% of £29,000 (ie the difference between £21k and £50k). This means you will pay £2610 pa (£217.50 a month).

If your earnings never reach £21k, you never repay your loan or any part of it.

The outstanding balance of your loan is cancelled after 30 years, if you die, or if you become permanently unable to work through illness or disability.

You do not need to repay any money paid in grants, bursaries or scholarships

Link


So, for your £50k a year ex graduate (and this is the lower end of the scale - decent graduates can earn far more) is looking at paying just £217 a month back.

Here is abreackdown of how such a £50k a year person would look, finacially:



Salary Summary
Yearly Monthly Week
Gross Pay £50,000.00 £4,166.67 £961.54
Tax free Allowances £10,000.00 £833.33 £192.31
Total taxable £40,000.00 £3,333.33 £769.23
xTax due £9,627.00 £802.25 £185.13
Student Loan £2,978.00 £248.00 £57.00
National Insurance £4,231.28 £352.61 £81.37
Total Deductions £16,836.28 £1,403.02 £323.77
Net Wage £33,163.72 £2,763.64 £637.76


Link to Tax Calculator

So, as you can see, hardly breaking the bank for setting him/her up for life, is it?

As for living in a Nordic country - be prepared to pay through the nose. The only reason they enjoy "higher standards" is because they pay for it - either through the prices of goods or taxation - if you think the UK is "rip off Britain", be prepared to be shocked. They also have smaller populations, which helps.
edit on 27/8/14 by stumason because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2014 @ 03:35 AM
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a reply to: stumason

The question would be more about you finding a problem with me posting a fact and not giving an opinion on it and you getting your knickers in a twist and presuming it was an attack on conservatives or a moan and attacking my comment. Back off.

It posted a fact, Get over it.

I also have, among other qualifications, an Art degree and can say it certainly isn't a 'mickey mouse' degree. It involves vast research, lots of work and dissertations like any other degree. Adding teaching qualifications means I can also teach in HE, FE and other establishments, typically earning between £28 and £40k for starters and much more privately and as head of departments.

I also didn't comment on Britain compared to Nordic countries, so again less of the presumptions. Being rude on threads is just unnecessary. If I happen to like many things in Nordic countries, that is my choice and my business. I am perfectly aware of taxation, however, there is more to life than taxes. Quality of life matters and if Nordic countries are more tuned to more of my needs and standards then it isn't for you or anyone else to comment on.
edit on 27-8-2014 by theabsolutetruth because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2014 @ 04:34 AM
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Thick with irony, this one...


originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
The question would be more about you finding a problem with me posting a fact and not giving an opinion on it and you getting your knickers in a twist and presuming it was an attack on conservatives or a moan and attacking my comment. Back off


Er, what? I mentioned nothing about the Conservatives in my reply to your post and nor did I "attack" your post. I was merely asking for your opinion, which you freely admit you didn't give, to your "fact". What's so wrong with that?


originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
It posted a fact, Get over it.


I am over it - I was never "under" it. I think you have read my post as a personal attack when that couldn't be further from the truth. Is it so wrong to ask for your opinion? Clearly it is.


originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
I also have, among other qualifications, an Art degree and can say it certainly isn't a 'mickey mouse' degree. It involves vast research, lots of work and dissertations like any other degree.


My partner has a degree in Fine Art and yes, it involves a lot of work but is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard - had she done Graphic Design, that's another kettle of fish. You'd think she could get a job in a Gallery, but nope, old boys network that. Teaching is another avenue to pursue, after more training, but what else? The country is crying out for engineers, doctors, scientists but instead we train Beauticians, Hairdressers and "teachers" with less life experience than a jacket potato..

The point I was making, which you so elegantly failed to grasp and instead got your knickers in a twist over, was that many students go to University with precious little idea why, do a degree in a subject they might have an interest in, but won't actually help them in any way get a career, the bitch about the cost, the "debt" etc.


originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
Adding teaching qualifications means I can also teach in HE, FE and other establishments, typically earning between £28 and £40k for starters and much more privately and as head of departments.


After training and with London weighting, yes, you could earn the better part of £30k, but compared to other graduates, that is a pittance. Head of Department? Not without several years teaching under your belt first.


originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
I also didn't comment on Britain compared to Nordic countries, so again less of the presumptions.


Er, you did:


originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
There is a lot that can be learned from many Nordic countries policies and the UK should be looking at that.

I have often considered moving to Sweden, I think I would be happy there. The way of life, architecture, policies, some of the food and love of nature is appealing to me.



originally posted by: theabsolutetruth
Being rude on threads is just unnecessary. If I happen to like many things in Nordic countries, that is my choice and my business. I am perfectly aware of taxation, however, there is more to life than taxes. Quality of life matters and if Nordic countries are more tuned to more of my needs and standards then it isn't for you or anyone else to comment on.


Rude? You need to grow a thick skin if you think I was being rude. It is clear you have an opinion on the subject, it is clear you don't agree with the current set-up (you have stated as much - HE/FE should be free, Nordic countries should be used as an example etc) and yet, when challenged on that, you bleet about me "being rude" and fail, in spectacular fashion, to actually counter anything I said.

For someone so concerned with "facts", I would have thought some "facts" would be of interest to you. Clearly not, you have an axe to grind and don't like someone with an opposing view.
edit on 27/8/14 by stumason because: (no reason given)
edit on 27/8/14 by stumason because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2014 @ 06:59 AM
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a reply to: stumason

Your replies to me were too full of presumptions. I will answer it later.

But for now, you attacked things I didn't say. I happen to think there is a lot can be learned from Nordic countries, many things. I also think ideally that FE education should be free. I would restructure society if it were my choice. I also never mentioned anything about people's choices but to some of that I agree, there are too many beauticians and teachers lacking experience.

I am very experienced and have worked in high ranking management positions and graphic art for years. I chose a Fine Art degree as I am an artist to the core and however much I suppressed it is just emerges brighter. Something inside me made it imperative that I realise my self more. I could have chosen Illustration or Graphics but having worked in those industries it isn't the same as producing art to ones own tune. A bit like being an orchestral musician or in a band, the creative process isn't the same.

I am also logical and science minded, I was offered places for Sciences and English also, but again, having studied these to a degree I know that my creativity is imperative. People aren't all the same and it would be a boring world if all were engineers and statisticians.

Additionally, often to get anywhere in the science world a first class degree is essential. I know of those with 2:2 BSc Physics that couldn't get ANY position in the milk round or on spec applications, all the positions went to the first class grads. To me that is a waste. I also know first class physics grads that dropped out of their positions after a while for pursuing other adventures like VSO. Sometimes if life threw a curve ball adapting is required.

I know plenty of graduates from many disciplines and many haven't found appropriate work, it is well known that many end up in lesser positions or other careers. I think educational planning needs revising and the structure of employment should tie into education with allowance for women and having children and for families, that is my opinion.



posted on Aug, 27 2014 @ 07:51 AM
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a reply to: theabsolutetruth

"Too full of presumptions"? I made one - which seems to actually be accurate - in that you don't think University should be paid for by the Student. I asked you a simple question, all it took was a simple reply. Quite why you have taken personal umbrage at it is a mystery, to be honest. The rest of what I posted was factually accurate financial breakdowns for how much it really costs the student to pay back the loan - nothing to do with you.

However.....

Having read the rest of your post (and skimming over the bits which seem to me to be a "look at my CV everybody"), we probably agree on more than we disagree. There should be proper guidance for students as to their realistic career prospects in a chosen subject combined with what we as a nation require.

As well as my missus, there is a chappy who has just completed his apprenticeship with my employer. He was a "graduate", but having chosen a "Mickey Mouse" degree of Sociology found he was as employable as a recently deceased Womble - he essentially had to start from scratch with the apprenticeship and his 3 years at Portsmouth Uni were wasted, a long with the student debt he has built, simply because he chose the wrong degree.

I am not saying everybody should be engineers, but on the flip side, people bitch and whine about there not being "any jobs" when there are plenty (just not in fields they studied) or worse, they complain about "immigrants" taking the jobs, when the simple fact is these people are more suitably qualified. You cannot, in good conscience, complain about there being no jobs or immigrants taking them if you haven't adequately prepared yourself to compete. And just to be clear this is the royal "you" - this is not a personal "attack".

Also, for many, University is not the best option - apprenticeships can offer the same level of qualifications and these may suit those who do not excel in an academic environment but are by no means less capable. It's also debt free and you get paid for it, with a job at the end.

At the end of the day, I have no time for people whining about the cost of Higher/Further education. For those that do wish to go to Uni, it costs them nothing up front and very little after the fact. If they pick the right course or career path, it shouldn't be an issue and they will benefit from it in the long run.

For those who do not wish to go to Uni, other options exist and can offer better career prospects than going to University anyway.



posted on Aug, 27 2014 @ 10:15 AM
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a reply to: stumason

Perhaps you didn't understand that your post sounded like an attack on my comment.

I merely said my opinion. I will say it again, IMO I would rearrange society and enable FE education to be free, I would also ensure that appropriate FE education for all is considered rather than people choosing random degrees that they can't use much afterwards. I would have courses adapted for industry so all can have a valid place. I would also ensure free energy and curb immigration. These are my utopian ideals and given the choice I would ensure society is adapted for inclusion rather than a top serving pyramid structure that is open to corruption.

When I said I think FE is imperative and should be free, it is utopian ideal. As it stands in the current system, I think it shouldn't. Only when everything else is in place.

As for Nordic countries having things I like, it is true, for example childcare, family aspects, respect, community integration and values etc.

As for your comment of 'showing my CV' I only mentioned it as it is relevant and you mocked certain degrees.

Do you disagree me having opinions of my idea of utopia or of liking aspects of Nordic society?



posted on Aug, 27 2014 @ 10:45 AM
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originally posted by: nOraKat
I was talking to a guy from France today..

He said all of their citizens receive free healthcare no matter who they are.


He also said there are mandatory laws for employers to provide 6 weeks of paid vacation a year!

(..not sure if any of that is true.)


We have the same system in Denmark.

Here you get:

- Free health care, that includes both GP and hospital.
- we have treatment guarantee, which means that if we don't receive treatment within 2-3 months of diagnose we can freely choose a private hospital at the expense of the state.
- We get subsidies on denstistry, so when I go to have my teeth checked and cleaned once a year, state pays half of the bill.

This weekend we had a bit of an experience with the healthcare system as our boy of age 3 had a bad case of diarrhea with blood in his stool.
At first we went to the emergency service but was sent home told to wait and see.
Then we went a second time the day after because it had gotten worse.
We had several doctors see him, had an IV placed in his arm, had him x-rayed, shipped by ambulance to the state hospital, where they did an ultrasound and blood samples along with stool samples to check for bacteria.
At the state hospital we received a room with bed for both him and us. The room had 2 PS3 consoles for leisure and the room next door was a play room for the kids on the ward. Both rooms had cable tv.

As we waited we couldn't eat at first because he had to faste for the ultrasound, but we all had free water, coffee, lemonade and eventually my gf had a free sandwich and when our son was allowed to eat again, the ward kitchen had several fridges which contained free yoghurt, protein shakes and so on.

At the end, thank fully, there was nothing wrong with his intestines apart from a bad virus which now is gone after 4 days of bloody stool…

My point:

- How much do you think we were charged for all of the above? You've already guessed it…….. NOTHING.


In regards to our vacation system:

- I get 5 weeks paid vacation. Some people who have union deals have 6 weeks paid vacation.
- I get 2 weeks paid leave after birth of our son.
- My girlfriend gets 6 months of paid leave after having given birth.
- After those 6 months she can opt to have additional months on welfare benefit instead. It's substantially lower than her salery, but still better than nothing.

Child support:
- All parents get around 800 dollars every third month pr. child. This of course is to spend on child related expenses.
- We pay in full for daycare for the most expensive kid, but the others are half price.
- School in general is free.

That's some of the benefits of living in a socialist welfare state where the taxes might be high, but you never suffer.
edit on 27/8/14 by flice because: (no reason given)
edit on 27/8/14 by flice because: (no reason given)
edit on 27/8/14 by flice because: (no reason given)






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