posted on Feb, 24 2005 @ 08:29 PM
This is the funny point where this debate changes from economics to politics. Which is nice because economics aren't really my strong suit.
I guess reganwasourgreatest and I would probably just agree to disagree. I don't think that anyone with 'socialist' tendencies (i use quotes
because I abhor labels like that) would necessarily agree to support 'blood sucking leeches', but I do think that they would agree that the state
should support those who are unable to support themselves.
I understand the private charity argument (a fan of Any Rand, perchance?) but I just believe that I would want my bottom line to be guaranteed by the
state. Since I'm a graduate student who's about to turn 25 and lose access to my parents health plan, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'm
damn happy to live in a country (I'm in Canada, by the way) that guarantees me health insurance and the same access to health care as I had before.
(Minus the free teeth cleaning and discounted prescriptions that I got with my parents...but who likes the dentist anyways?)
I can easily admit that most of America's overwhelming successes have grown from its private system. But I don't think that you can attribute the
whole thing to lower taxes. The scandinavian countries have consistently had some of the highest taxes in the world, but have been able to reimburse
that money into tons of programs, not the least of which are great public education systems. These great systems insure an educated populace and
encourage strong and innovative technological developments which then find there way into the private market and eventually get reinvested back into
the public system.
I'm not saying that one system is perfect. Far from that. I think that it's a matter of balance. Balancing resources with your populations.
Balancing taxes with strong public systems (that work...if there corrupt then it doesn't mean anything). Balancing personal incentive with collective
good, and basically just balancing your decisions to your interests. No one system will work for every country, and I guess that's what's nice about
democracy..the people get some say in their systems.
The majority of Americans (as I garnered from the last election) seem to buy Reganwasourgreatest's arguments...and I guess I can just say, 'To each
his own'...it's worked for you before, it may keep on working. All I can say is I'm pretty happy where I am...
...oh...and I don't think you need to worry about america becoming more 'socialist' (Frankly, I can't imagine where you get that impression from)
because it seems to be quite the other way. At least that's how it looks from up here...
Just a quick edit because I just reread regan's post...you asked if I think that voting for liberals actually helps the poor. Well, I can't say
anything about american liberals (I can't really tell them apart from the Conservatives...they both seem pretty right to me) but I do think that
voting liberal in Canada helps. (Actually, I didn't vote for the liberal party here, but I'll use your language to keep things consistent.) I can
understand your belief that these social systems denigrate people and encourage poverty, and I think when they are poorly developed and executed,
that's entirely true. But, if the programs are well developed and divided even from rich to poor (ie. strong public education and health) then I
don't think it contributes to cycles of poverty. If kids are given the oppurtunity to be equal to their peers at a young age through these programs,
then it can only help but encourage them. Somehow I think that private charity that singles out and targets individuals might be more detrimental than
a large public system that simply insures equality for everyone. Actually, just a quick question...if you believe that private charity can do a better
job at helping people than public funds, then wouldn't you just be further encouraging these people you call 'blood sucking leeches', because now
they can get there money more efficiently?
[edit on 24-2-2005 by robotbot]