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Just a Friendly Reminder: You Aren't Rich

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posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 12:59 PM
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Masked Avatar says:


While clearly it isn't punishment except perhaps in the perspective of the greedy possessive (at worst anally retentive) materialist who understands nothing of the nature of giving...


I always considered the nature of giving to, well, to give, like I give to charity or at church. Perhaps you equate "giving" with the government taking your money without your consent; I don't. To me the difference between giving and taxes is like the difference between consensual sex and rape.


... I would still be interested in a single example of how tax on any of your earnings is given directly to any other individual.


I doubt if any of it is, although, during the Vietnam War, many protestors withheld a percentage of their taxes that "would go toward the war".

But the point is not whether the ten-dollar bill goes from your pocket to a corporate slush fund or an unemployed person; the fact taht the government shovels it all into a pile from whiuch it dispenses it still means that your wealth ends up in someone else's pocket.




posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 01:09 PM
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wyrdeone, I haven't done this before (and probably won't again, so don't get all anticipatory on me), but as much as your comments gt my dander up sometimes....


You have voted WyrdeOne for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 01:26 PM
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gladly i dont need to look at charts to KNOW FOR SURE ..im not rich ... im thinking about renting my Internet Access to ppl with no PC... that would surely help.....



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by AlexofSkye




The only way to reduce taxes is to reduce government spending. Raising corporate taxes only means the government is adding it to the cost of your purchases instead of deducting it from your paycheck.


Yeah God forbid some CEO should have to forfeit some of their multimillion dollar bonus, or that their company might make seven or eight hundred million dollars profit, instead of nine or ten.

Let the hundreds of thousands of those laid off without severance packages pay the taxes to run the country instead of the wealthy corporations.


[edit on 6-8-2005 by groingrinder]



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 06:14 PM
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Rant says:


Anyone that can't see that a progressive tax on income is not only the only fair way, but the only way to make a capitalist system work is deluded. This is a superpower people! Get over it. We're not some friendly alliance of gentleman farmers. You want to play? You have to pay.


Well, I can't very well impugn anyone who disagrees with me by calling him deluded; but then, I'm not a super moderator safe from arbitrary and capricious actions by others.

R.H.I.P., as it were.

Nonetheless, Rant, thank you for sharing your exotic and interesting assertions with us here.



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 08:17 PM
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Originally posted by Off_The_Street
Well, I can't very well impugn anyone who disagrees with me by calling him deluded; but then, I'm not a super moderator safe from arbitrary and capricious actions by others.


To be fair, I don't think I did that. Certainly not directly and not without regard to my greater post not quoted in full in your response. I do believe it's a rather unhealthy delusion (which is after all the thrust of my argument here) to think that paper and coin printed by the US Government belongs to you, or that any income (aside from direct neighborly barter) is somehow an autonomous island outside an aggressively supportive system. Or furthermore that there are increasing degrees to which one may choose (or choose not) to engage in that system, with progressive rewards and responsibilitites accordingly.


Nonetheless, Rant, thank you for sharing your exotic and interesting assertions with us here.


Is my thinking really exotic here? Considering there seems to be an overwhelming sentiment toward at least progressive tax lip service regardless of who controls all three branches of government (rigged loopholes for wealthy and corporate tax evasion notwithstanding), I actually feel like I'm on the mainstream side of this discussion.

If it's just my definition of capitalist that throws you, sure I can do exotic. I'm with the crazy people...


Not all usages of the word assume actual ownership of capital. Some philosophers and political theorists, such as Ayn Rand and David Friedman, use "capitalist" to mean "an advocate of capitalism."


You own the land, the orchards, the well, the rain, the sunlight, your sweats, your tears, the harvest... the means are yours. Until you plug in to the system and trade all that away. And that's where I pick up the discussion in reality, not fantasy land.

Because, again, printing, circulating and securing the money alone takes 116,000 employees and $11.1 billion a year. And that's just a drop in the bucket of course to the modern infrastructure required to advance a superpower's capitalist system, and the sizable rewards of those that choose to partake.



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 08:22 PM
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Just discussing this in the chat,
The middle class in america, who may not be able to afford $300per month for medical insurance are only one illness away from poverty.

There are members here on the board who can attest to that.

That just shows that for the majority of americans richness is a mere illusion, to be shattered by a twist in life that can happen at any time.

Americans will only be rich when they recognise how much they are being screwed.

[edit on 8-6-2005 by Netchicken]



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 08:30 PM
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Allow me to attest, testify, bear witness and serve as an example!

Don't Let This Happen to You!

Not that you have a choice, but you know. Just saying you're screwed is all. Plan for it.

[edit on 8-6-2005 by RANT]



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 08:50 PM
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Does the public consider the fact that those who profit from sickness also treat it a conflict of interest? I do.

Is it a coincidence that the biggest lobby in washington is the combined interests of plastics, chemicals, and pharma? They're playing with a lot of money, our money. They're paying out tens of millions of dollars in severance, salary, and compensation to individual CEOs who last a year or less in many cases.

This sort of exhorbitant hurling about of money, while people wither and die from preventable illnesses..it's sick. The factories located in India are polluted fallout zones, taking full advantage of cheap labor and zero environmental oversight. When we finally get the stuff in our bodies, it causes as many illnesses as it cures, or worst of all, it simply treats symptoms and develops dependency in us.

It's sick. There's no other word for it. All this stems from the most basic of instincts, greed. They want, always want. When they see a way to take advantage of the weakness of their fellow men, they do not hesitate. They think that makes them gods. They're wrong, it makes them bullies.

This system is unworkable, I think 90% of America is in silent agreement on this, no?

My question is this, how long do you suppose they'll be content to remain silent?



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 08:43 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Does the public consider the fact that those who profit from sickness also treat it a conflict of interest? I do.

Is it a coincidence that the biggest lobby in washington is the combined interests of plastics, chemicals, and pharma? They're playing with a lot of money, our money. They're paying out tens of millions of dollars in severance, salary, and compensation to individual CEOs who last a year or less in many cases.

This sort of exhorbitant hurling about of money, while people wither and die from preventable illnesses..it's sick. The factories located in India are polluted fallout zones, taking full advantage of cheap labor and zero environmental oversight. When we finally get the stuff in our bodies, it causes as many illnesses as it cures, or worst of all, it simply treats symptoms and develops dependency in us.

It's sick. There's no other word for it. All this stems from the most basic of instincts, greed. They want, always want. When they see a way to take advantage of the weakness of their fellow men, they do not hesitate. They think that makes them gods. They're wrong, it makes them bullies.

This system is unworkable, I think 90% of America is in silent agreement on this, no?

My question is this, how long do you suppose they'll be content to remain silent?


I think the first time that most people become aware of how much they are at the mercy of medical industry is the first time that you or someone you love has ever had a serious illness. It is really a brutal wake up call.

But if "they" have the cure, and you need it, you are backed into a corner. Regardless of whether or not the system of government kickbacks and sweetheart deals with the big pharmaceutical and health insurance companies is repaired, these firms aren't going to instantly grow a soul.

And morality, whether corporate or personal, can't be legislated. However, in a free-market without legislative barriers to entry, other firms can act on the opportunity to provide more cost effective solutions. Government is supposed to be the watchdog--not a co-conspirator in collusion.

And this is the main problem. The too-close relationships between our elected representatives and their corporate interests, on both sides of the aisle, and their subsequent misrepresentation of themselves during the election process--and the lack of an independent media in the U.S.

The funny thing is, some of America is starting to get it, but because mainstream media is not on our side, it is slow to catch on. Check the attacks on Howard Dean as of late. Dean is trying to move the Democratic party away from corporate interests, namely by moving away from big donors. This has infurated those in the party that have corporate patrons, as well as the corporate patrons themselves.... hence the media attack dogs.

However small donations are still pouring in and are greater than past efforts in non-election years. It's certainly a start.

But I think the silence is due to the fact that the media ignores what they consider "grassroots" efforts... or rather, not something their corporate sugardaddies want to discuss.



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 10:09 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
This system is unworkable, I think 90% of America is in silent agreement on this, no?


Well, certainly something aproaching that. Yet the 10% or so that disagrees with the healthcare concerns of Americans vigorously are the ones with lobbyists, not us.

Here's what blows me away on the whole national healthcare debate. It's not like we don't already subsidize people without healthcare, we just do it at a for-profit markup. CNN reported just this morning that $1 in $12 healthcare cost dollars now goes to pay someone elses bill. Seems about right since the government allows over 11 million children to fall between the cracks with no healthcare insurance, yet we as a society have demanded that sick people not be turned away to die in the streets. It's bad for business after all.

So we pay for it. Through the nose. Through our own private healthcare bill.

Why should you care which way you pay if it's the basically the same amount either way (minus the private markup of course)? Well, it's either a progressive tax publicly or a regressive "tax" rate privately.

If we say healthcare costs runs the average middle class American $400 a month including all those "deadbeat" children you're already paying for, it costs the average millionaire the same thing. The difference is it's 30% of some people's income and 0.0048% of other people's income.

But wait a minute. We already established some can't pay at all, and we all share that burden as a society. The bills get passed along to us through private healthcare costs anyway. That's a fact. And why do we do this? We can? It's right? It's our moral obligation? Who the hell knows, but we do. And all that logic that makes me pay 10% more than I should (at least) for healthcare, should apply exponentially to people exponentially more able than me to fulfill those obligations to society.

Why am I going dutch on America's healthcare crisis with pharmco CEO's, insurance exec's and other multi-millionaires? It's sheer insanity. I just had soup!



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 11:51 AM
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I'm not a big fan of healthcare here, although it could be worse -- the government could be controlling it even more than it does now, like it does in Yurrup and Canada.

But the people who howl about the costs of drugs and the "conspiracy" of the big pharmas to screw us out of our "right" to medical care are the same people who demand that these same "irresponsible" pharmas spend more time and money in making their drugs safer for the people that use them.

Here's an interesting news flash, folks: It costs the pharmas millions and millions of dollars to develop and test a drug so that it passes all the stringent requirements for 'safety'. Regardless of how many sick people a new drug may cure, or how many people's pain it may alleviate, if there are any serious side effects, they must be tested for over and over again, and then must be documented in detail.

Now no one wants to have a repeat of the Thalidomide debacle, but regardless of your feelings on safety, the calculus is simple: the more testing and re-testing the4 government requires, the more the non-recurring costs of that drug are -- and the more the pharma must charge for that drug to get their investment back. And it doesn't help when, just about the time the particular drug has amortized its development costs and is beginning to make enough money to support new development -- it loses its patent. Now everyone else, who haven't spent a dime in development and testing, gets to make generic versions and sell them at a huge discount.

And we as consumers benefit in the short run because we can get the Wally World version of Protonix, Zocor, or Zithromax, but by cutting off the capability to earn good money on their drugs, we inhibit the incentive -- and the assets -- of the pharmas to develop new drugs for us.

Which company brand name sells more drugs than any other in the US? Right! Equate, the Wally World Brand! And how much money do they spend on pharmacological research? Probably not any at all.

But that's not the only reason why your medical treatment costs so much. Some of you may know that two of the guys in my band are physicians; Gary the pediatrician pays $30k per year in malpractice insurance premiums and Ralph the orthopod pays $125k/year. This money, along with the lawsuits suffered by doctors and hospitals, is passed along to the patients. You'd think there'd be this outrage at the costs that litigation adds on to everyone's bill, but since most people see any mistake by a doctor, nurse or hospital as a chance to win the Millionaire Loser's Lottery, they let it slide.

And the final reason is that most people -- at least here in the US -- seem to have the delusion that they have a "right" the the very best patient care imaginable. And of course, the doctors and hospitals, who realize that if they don't give everyone these tests the patient might sue, roll over for those patients and there goes the cost higher -- again.

You want to see the Evil Villain who is primarily responsible for running your medical costs through the roof?

Look in the mirror.



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 05:56 PM
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Health care is reasonably priced in many nations. Are we to believe that doctors are simply "more greedy" in the US than elsewhere? I doubt that. Health care costs are high because healthcare in the US is as close to being a government run institution as is possible without actually being there.

Every aspect of healthcare is tightly controlled and regulated. The costs are systematically socialized in one form or another, so there is every incentive on the part of consumers to get as much as possible, and very little incentive to compare prices, or to withold from procedures of only slight benefit.

Malpractice suits do raise the costs, but why are there so many malpractice suits? If you look at the statistics, there is a small minority of crap doctors responsible for most of these suits. Yet they are protected by the AMA from being run out of town. Doctor, heal thyself.

New laws are constantly being added to raise the entry barriers. Pretty soon you won't even be able to buy vitamin C without a prescription. In many other places, you just walk in and tell the pharmacist your problems, and he tells you what you need and sells it to you. You don't first have to pay $85 for the priviledge of getting permission (office visit cost for teh prescription).

The problems haelthcare faces are multi-faceted, but the root problem is the federal government.



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 08:31 PM
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Well, IMO, as a Canadain I think that the Canadian system isn't unmanagable, it needs work to be sure but what medicare system doesn't? I would much rather one like the one we have in Canada over anything within the States.

From what I have seen it would appear that the major costs are people going to the emerg for silly things. I kid you note I dated a girl once whose mother would go to the hospital emergency rooms, via 911 because - headaches, stomach aches, colds, etc. The most assinine stuff you'd ever hear, but fundimentally it was for the drugs. She wanted to go to the hospital because of the drugs. She knew they would eventually give in and give her the methidone, or whatever it was she wanted. Sadly she isn't the only one, and as long as we have the very people the system is built to help abusing it, it can't stand. However I tend to think of this as behaviour learned from society rather than ingrown human trait. Maybe I am wrong there?

Secondly is the insurance company themself's. I have a grandmother that lives with me and she was having a hard time walking. We looked into those electrical scooters for her and saw them for outragous prices. Like 10 times what I figured parts would go for, to make one of them so I asked around why were they so expensive, and found out that the reason is that insurance had made it clear that they pay anything - what do they care, they only pass it on the line. Because of this manufucturers will gouge the living hell out of the insurance companies. i'd like to think that governments would have some special ability to aviod this, but seeing as they typically pay $3 for a $0.05 pencil, something tellls me they don't.

In the end, I think we have to come together and realize we are in this together. That because someone sees the solution to the problem slightly different doesn't mean they are evil incarnate. Really, what is it that most North American people desire from their health care system?



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 10:43 PM
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As someone with a chronic illness who has relatives in the medical field, I can attest to the fact that the pharmaceuticals spend more money on the following:
-- trips to the tropics
-- dinners for doctors (mostly residents) at 5 star restaurants
-- paying physicians and universities to "talk up" their product through 'scientific papers'
-- direct consumer marketing
than the whole research budget for the majority of drugs.

Please, it is all a racket. Insurance is, in essence, legalized racketeering in its current form.

The AMA, Pharmas, and Insurance Lobbies have a stranglehold on the Congress that is only now being challenged by the companies they have been squeezing all along (Ford, GM, Shell, Exxon). It is going to be a fight between them that will make the decision.

The AMA is one of the only professional organizations with an Anti-Trust decision against them due to their prosecution of chiropractors - and, chiropractors are very effective on back and muscular skeletal problems. Currently, the AMA just hollers 'quack' and in some states they still go after D.O.s who aren't purely allopathic doctors.

The drug companies work very hard with the AMA to make certain that you don't have access to acupuncture (it works), chiropractic, nurse practitioners, midwives (higher infant survival rate in countries with midwives), and other alternative health care practitioners from practicing legally without being gatekeepers on something they don't even understand!

I have food allergies, 99% of general practitioners are not qualified to treat me because they don't take it seriously until they almost kill me. So, what does the HMO types tend towards? Make sure you have to waste money by going to a GP when you have a KNOWN PRE-EXISTING CONDITION that is only effectively managed through a specialist. (This is true for a number of other folks with complex chronic illnesses.)

Sorry, if I'm coming across like a raving ranting lunatic, but this is a sore spot to me as I've been given drugs that contained inactive ingredients that I'm very sensitive to after physicians and pharmacists and pharma companies saying it wasn't there. "Oh yeah, that has blank." which is a derivative of the key allergen. So I have to spend more money to buy yet another drug?

So, the triumvirate of Pharma, HMOs, and the AMA move to cause me to spend much more money than if I had been allowed to properly manage my illness in the beginning. (I know more about it than the majority of doctors and nurses who aren't specialists in allergy or radiology. Radiologists tend to understand because they don't like the aftereffects of allergy when they are trying to take pictures.)

So, I have no illusion I'm rich. My money goes to healthcare. And don't get me started on the fact that the food sources are more expensive than they need to be to eat good, quality, nutritious food. It is cheaper to live on junk than fresh fruits and veggies.

No-fault car insurance? ACK! It's just a hidden tax on the middle class.

No, the rich do not pay their fair share because the US has lost touch with the idea of the social contract. And virtue. It is all "me, me, me!" I blame the flower children. And the kids today! They expect to be handed jobs. Hello? Ever hear of pounding the pavement? Decompressing a little after school is fine if you can afford it, but really, shouldn't you be applying yourself?

Ah well, I'll stop now.

Regards!



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 05:14 AM
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No, the rich do not pay their fair share because the US has lost touch with the idea of the social contract. And virtue. It is all "me, me, me!" I blame the flower children. And the kids today! They expect to be handed jobs. Hello? Ever hear of pounding the pavement? Decompressing a little after school is fine if you can afford it, but really, shouldn't you be applying yourself?


You know, aren't you asking for handouts here? You have a medical problem, and you expect the government, or the rich, to pay for your treatment.

There is no such thing as a social contract. It certainly has never existed in America.


i'd like to think that governments would have some special ability to aviod this, but seeing as they typically pay $3 for a $0.05 pencil, something tellls me they don't.


If you know the government is incompetent, then why would you want them running your healthcare?



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 06:57 AM
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i'd like to think that governments would have some special ability to aviod this, but seeing as they typically pay $3 for a $0.05 pencil, something tellls me they don't.


If you know the government is incompetent, then why would you want them running your healthcare?



Good question, I have asked myself that a few times. I think it is because I have a strong beleif that might does not make right. The right makes right. That merely being a Canadian gives certain rights, freedoms and responsibilities. One of those rights for as long as I can remember was universial health care. I do know it is hurting the country financially, however, I beleive and polls show that the majority of Canadians feel the same that no one who is sick should be refused care. To do so is inhuman and a disgrace to the name.

Can it be run better? Ofcourse, but one, universial health care for every Canadian whether you live in the Yukon, or Toronto, Quebec, or BC, NFLD or NS all deserve the same treatment and access to the basic freedoms, rights and responsibilities. Making politicians become accountable would solve this problem and fix most of the inefficiencies within government, however here like in the US getting politicians to make the system better is a difficult challange and it gets harder when there are international problems to direct peoples attention away from the problems at home.



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by Passer By
Making politicians become accountable would solve this problem and fix most of the inefficiencies within government,


...(wiping away tears of laughter). Well, good luck with that.



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 01:44 PM
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Originally posted by spamandham

Originally posted by Passer By
Making politicians become accountable would solve this problem and fix most of the inefficiencies within government,


...(wiping away tears of laughter). Well, good luck with that.


I know, but really, it is a lesser of two evils. With the government there is some accountablity to the end user with corperations, despite claims to the countrary, there seems to be very little accountibility to the end user, only to profits and IMO that is more dangerous when it is put into the place of peoples health.

The way I see it, EVERYONE, should be treated of illness before you reach for their wallet - which is not the case for many in the US, and I would hate to see that happen here.

IMO humanity is here to help, not to kill.



posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 01:59 PM
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Christian Science Monitor
Rich-poor gap gaining attention

A remark by Greenspan symbolizes concern that wealth disparities may destabilize the economy.


The income gap between the rich and the rest of the US population has become so wide, and is growing so fast, that it might eventually threaten the stability of democratic capitalism itself.
Is that a liberal's talking point? Sure. But it's also a line from the recent public testimony of a champion of the free market: Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan [...]

Greenspan's comments at a Joint Economic Committee hearing last week were typical, for him. Asked a leading question by Sen. Jack Reed (D) of Rhode Island, he agreed that over the past two quarters hourly wages have shown few signs of accelerating. Overall employee compensation has gone up - but mostly due to a surge in bonuses and stock-option exercises.

The Fed chief than added that the 80 percent of the workforce represented by nonsupervisory workers has recently seen little, if any, income growth at all. The top 20 percent of supervisory, salaried, and other workers has.

The result of this, said Greenspan, is that the US now has a significant divergence in the fortunes of different groups in its labor market. "As I've often said, this is not the type of thing which a democratic society - a capitalist democratic society - can really accept without addressing," Greenspan told the congressional hearing.




If Communism is state owned means, what's this? Corporate owned government? Just as top heavy. Just as much disparity (if not more). And just as much a threat to a democratic society.



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