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Username Post: Why the Left Refuses to Talk About Venezuela        (Topic#549088)
Jobu
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05-19-17 02:02 PM - Post#1699460    



  • Quote:
During the 2016 presidential election, Bernie Sanders refused to answer questions about Venezuela during an interview with Univision. He claimed to not want to talk about it because he's "focused on my campaign." Many suggested a more plausible reason: Venezuela's present economy is an example of what happens when a state implements Bernie Sanders-style social democracy. 

Similarly, Pope Francis — who has taken the time to denounce pro-market ideologies for allegedly driving millions into poverty — seems uninterested in talking about the untrammeled impoverishment of Venezuela in recent years.  Samuel Gregg writes in yesterday's Catholic World Report: 
Pope Francis isn’t known as someone who holds back in the face of what he regards as gross injustices. On issues like refugees, immigration, poverty and the environment, Francis speaks forcibly and uses vivid language in doing so.

Yet despite the daily violence being inflicted on protestors in Venezuela, a steadily increasing death-toll, an explosion of crime, rampant corruption, galloping inflation, the naked politicization of the judiciary, and the disappearance of basic food and medical supplies, the first Latin American pope’s comments about the crisis tearing apart an overwhelming Catholic Latin American country have been curiously restrained.

This virtual silence comes in spite of the fact that the Catholic bishops who actually live in Venezuela have denounced the regime as yet another illustration of the "utter failure" of "socialism in every country in which this regime has been installed."

Thus, for many Venezuelans, the question is: "Where is Pope Francis?"

As with Sanders, it may very well be that Francis has nothing to say about Venezuela precisely because the Venezuelan regime has pursued exactly the sorts of policies favored by Bernie Sanders, Pope Francis, and the usual opponents of market economics.
It's an economic program marked by price controls, government expropriation of private property, an enormous welfare state, central planning, and endless rhetoric about equality, poverty relief, and fighting the so-called "neoliberals." 

And, as Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has helpfully explained, "There are two models, the neoliberal model which destroys everything, and the Chavista model which is centered around people.”

The Chavista model is simply a mixture of social democracy and environmentalism whic h is easily recognizable as the Venezuelan version of the hard-left ideology espoused by a great many global political elites both in the United States and Europe. Neoliberalism, on the other hand — as I've noted before — is a vague term that most of the time really just means a system of relatively free markets and moderate laissez-faire. 

Indeed, no other regimes in the world, save Cuba and North Korea, have been as explicit in fighting the alleged menace that is neoliberalism. 

For this reason, as Venezuela descends into chaos, we are hearing a deafening silence from most of the left, as even some principled leftists have noticed. 

In an article at Counterpunch, for example, Pedro Lange-Churion points out: 
Venezuela was news while it was good news and while Chávez could be used as a banner for the left and his antics provided comic relief. But as soon as the country began to spiral towards ruination and Chavismo began to resemble another Latin American authoritarian regime, better to turn a blind eye.
Nevertheless, as a dedicated leftist, Lange-Chrion unfortunately still mistakenly thinks that the Venezuelan problem is political and not economic. For him, it's merely an unfortunate coincidence that the implementation of the Chavismo economic agenda just happened to coincide with the destruction of the nation's political and economic institutions.
 
But here's the thing: it's not a coincidence. 

In fact, it's a textbook case of a country electing a leftwing populist who undoes years of pro-market reforms, and ends up destroying the economy. 
This has been going on for decades in Latin America where, as explained by Rudiger Dornbusch and Sebastián Edwards, the cycle repeats itself again and again. 

It's happened in Argentina and in Brazil most recently, and it goes something like this: first, a relatively neoliberal regime comes to power, moderately reduces government spending, somewhat restrains government power, and ushers in a period of growth. But, even with growth, middle-income countries like those of Latin America remain poor compared to the rich countries of the world, and large inequalities remain. Then, populist social democrats convince the voters that if only the regime would redistribute more wealth, punish greedy capitalists, and regulate markets to make them more "humane," then everyone would get richer even faster. And even better, the evil capitalists would be punished for exploiting the poor. Eventually, the economy collapses under the weight of the new social democratic regime, and a neoliberal regime is again elected to clean up the mess. 

Venezuela is in the midst of this cycle right now. After decades of relatively restrained government intervention, Venezuela became one of the wealthiest nations in Latin America. For twenty years, the Chavistas were able to take that wealth and redistristribute it, regulate it, and expropriate it for the sake of "equality" and undermining capitalist evil. But, you can only redistribute, tax, regulate, and expropriate so much before the productive classes give up and the wealth runs out. 

To the leftwing mind, the explosion of poverty that results can't possibly be the result of bad economic policy. After all, the Chavismo regime got everything it wanted. It redistributed wealth at will. It "guaranteed" a living wage, health care, and plentiful food to everyone. "Equality" was imposed by fiat over the cries of the "neoliberal" opposition. 

The only possible answer, the left assumes, must be sabotage by capitalists or — as the Pope reminds us — too much "individualism." 

The problem the global left has in this case, though, is that this narrative simply isn't plausible. Does Colombia have fewer capitalists and individualists than Venezeuala? It almost certainly has more. So why do Venezuelans wait hours in line to cross the Colombian border to buy basic food items not available in the social-democratic paradise of Venezuela? Has Chile renounced neoliberal-style trade and markets? Obviously not. So why has Chile's economy grown by 150 percent over the past 25 years while Venezuela's economy has gotten smaller? 

The response consists largely of silence. 

This isn't to say that what the left calls call "neoliberal" is without its faults. Some aspects of neoliberalism — such as free trade and relatively free markets — are the reason that global poverty and child mortality are falling, while literacy and sanitation are rising.

Other aspects of neoliberalism are odious, particularly in the areas of central banking and crony capitalism. But the free-market answer to this was already long-ago voiced by Ludwig von Mises, who, in his own fight against the neoliberals, advocated for consistent laissez-faire, sound money, and far greater freedom in international trade. 

For an illustration of the left's answer to neo-liberalism, however, we need look no further than Venezuela where people are literally starving and will wait hours in line to buy a roll of toilet paper. 
?
And if this is what the the left's victory against neoliberalism looks like, it's not surprising the left seems to have little to say.

  http://www.ronpaullibertyreport.com/archives/why-t...

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."


 
foolish
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05-19-17 02:58 PM - Post#1699462    


    In response to Jobu

I fail to understand Venezuela being called either liberal or socialist. Its an authoritarian state.... just cuz the ruling party calls themselves the "Liberal Party" doesn't make them so. No social rights, property right, free speech.... its a dictatorship and nothing more.
 
johnz
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05-19-17 03:15 PM - Post#1699464    


    In response to foolish

I think he was mostly mis understood because of his eye roll in mid delivery, and he was a lefty, yet not liberal.
"Pitching is really just an internal struggle between pitcher and his stuff. If my curve ball is breaking and I'm throwing it where I want, the batter is irrelevant." - Steve Stone


 
Kanrok
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05-19-17 03:24 PM - Post#1699466    


    In response to foolish

  • foolish Said:
I fail to understand Venezuela being called either liberal or socialist. Its an authoritarian state.... just cuz the ruling party calls themselves the "Liberal Party" doesn't make them so. No social rights, property right, free speech.... its a dictatorship and nothing more.



You didn't even read the article.
“The greatest thing we can do just unite and love on each other and like, no barriers, no borders, like, we all need to just co-exist.”

- K. Perry


 
foolish
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05-19-17 04:44 PM - Post#1699467    


    In response to Kanrok

  • Kanrok Said:
  • foolish Said:
I fail to understand Venezuela being called either liberal or socialist. Its an authoritarian state.... just cuz the ruling party calls themselves the "Liberal Party" doesn't make them so. No social rights, property right, free speech.... its a dictatorship and nothing more.



You didn't even read the article.




I absolutely did not. Is that the correct use of the word?
 
Canucko29
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05-19-17 08:01 PM - Post#1699470    


    In response to foolish

  • foolish Said:
I fail to understand Venezuela being called either liberal or socialist. Its an authoritarian state.... just cuz the ruling party calls themselves the "Liberal Party" doesn't make them so. No social rights, property right, free speech.... its a dictatorship and nothing more.



They sure nailed down that redistribution of wealth concept.


 
Johnny_Upton
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05-19-17 08:48 PM - Post#1699471    


    In response to foolish

  • foolish Said:
I fail to understand Venezuela being called either liberal or socialist. Its an authoritarian state.... just cuz the ruling party calls themselves the "Liberal Party" doesn't make them so. No social rights, property right, free speech.... its a dictatorship and nothing more.



Sounds like the current Democratic Party platform

Dis somanumbatching country was founded so that the liberties of common patriotic citizens like me could not be taken away by a bunch of fargin iceholes... like yourselves.

#Filthystrong


 
Canucko29
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05-24-17 12:01 PM - Post#1699727    


    In response to Johnny_Upton

Well, even in Venezuela, they're blaming him for everything:

http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/05/23/maduro-sla ms...

LOL

Does anybody think for a second that Bernie Sanders wouldn't have been using Venezuela as an example of the greatness of socialism if he had ran for president a decade ago?

This article from 2013 would have made him proud:

http://www.salon.com/2013/03/06/hugo_chave zs_econo...


 
foolish
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05-24-17 12:12 PM - Post#1699728    


    In response to Canucko29

I would have thought Bernie would point to Canada, Britain, Australia, France etc...... they seem closer to his model....

(no I didn't read the links)
 
Johnny_Upton
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05-24-17 12:20 PM - Post#1699732    


    In response to foolish

Which model would have his wife make some nice bank running a bullshit "college" into the ground?

Dis somanumbatching country was founded so that the liberties of common patriotic citizens like me could not be taken away by a bunch of fargin iceholes... like yourselves.

#Filthystrong


 
Pete
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05-24-17 12:24 PM - Post#1699735    


    In response to Johnny_Upton

I believe Bernie actually used Denmark or one of the Nordic countries as his model during the Democratic debates. Maybe he's racist and believes the presence of blacks or Latinos is a non-starter?
 
Canucko29
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05-24-17 12:40 PM - Post#1699737    


    In response to foolish

  • foolish Said:
I would have thought Bernie would point to Canada, Britain, Australia, France etc...... they seem closer to his model....

(no I didn't read the links)



That's my point. Venezuela was already in the shitter by the time he decided to run for president.

The funny thing is that I'm not even 100% opposed against a single-payer healthcare system. I honestly don't know if it makes a huge difference cost-wise than an insurance based model.

100% subsidized education, on the other hand, is absolute garbage. Tantamount to making high school nine years instead of five years. And that's the issue I have with liberals who claim not to be socialist. Every generation wants more and only pushes you towards a more socialist model and will eventually require Brave governments to make cutbacks against programs that society has become dependent on.


 
Pete
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05-24-17 12:46 PM - Post#1699738    


    In response to Canucko29

  • Canucko29 Said:
  • foolish Said:
I would have thought Bernie would point to Canada, Britain, Australia, France etc...... they seem closer to his model....

(no I didn't read the links)



That's my point. Venezuela was already in the shitter by the time he decided to run for president.

The funny thing is that I'm not even 100% opposed against a single-payer healthcare system. I honestly don't know if it makes a huge difference cost-wise than an insurance based model.

100% subsidized education, on the other hand, is absolute garbage. Tantamount to making high school nine years instead of five years. And that's the issue I have with liberals who claim not to be socialist. Every generation wants more and only pushes you towards a more socialist model and will eventually require Brave governments to make cutbacks against programs that society has become dependent on.



Question - Is quality healthcare a right or a privilege? I think that fundamental determination may impact how far the U.S. is willing to go towards single-payer model
 
Canucko29
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05-24-17 12:49 PM - Post#1699739    


    In response to Pete

I firmly believe it's a privilege. It's something you should have to work for.

I do believe that there are some medical benefits though that should beuUniversal more for the safety of the public, such as mental health care for instance and vaccinations.


 
Pete
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05-24-17 01:03 PM - Post#1699742    


    In response to Canucko29

  • Canucko29 Said:
I firmly believe it's a privilege. It's something you should have to work for.

I do believe that there are some medical benefits though that should beuUniversal more for the safety of the public, such as mental health care for instance and vaccinations.



I agree. But I think public feelings on this are shifting towards it being a right. This will be an interesting road forward.
 
Canucko29
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05-24-17 01:08 PM - Post#1699743    


    In response to Pete

That would be inevitable. Obamacare wasn't started as a final solution, but was simply a step ladder to single-payer.

If you must go there, I would suggest people of working age who are able-bodied to work should never get coverage unless they are working or seeking work. But with liberals pushing the envelope, the non-working sponges will probably get the most and best care.




Edited by Canucko29 on 05-24-17 01:09 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
Hike
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05-24-17 01:45 PM - Post#1699744    


    In response to Pete

  • Pete Said:
  • Canucko29 Said:
  • foolish Said:
I would have thought Bernie would point to Canada, Britain, Australia, France etc...... they seem closer to his model....

(no I didn't read the links)



That's my point. Venezuela was already in the shitter by the time he decided to run for president.

The funny thing is that I'm not even 100% opposed against a single-payer healthcare system. I honestly don't know if it makes a huge difference cost-wise than an insurance based model.

100% subsidized education, on the other hand, is absolute garbage. Tantamount to making high school nine years instead of five years. And that's the issue I have with liberals who claim not to be socialist. Every generation wants more and only pushes you towards a more socialist model and will eventually require Brave governments to make cutbacks against programs that society has become dependent on.



Question - Is quality healthcare a right or a privilege? I think that fundamental determination may impact how far the U.S. is willing to go towards single-payer model



I view quality healthcare as a privilege. The Declaration of Independence says we have certain unalienable rights: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Don't think it mentions anything about free hospital stays or MRI's, LOL.

Rights are not about giving you something for free. They are about protecting natural liberties from those who would take them away from you.

That said, I strongly believe that that is, if not already, will soon be, a minority opinion. I would venture to guess that within the next 5 to 8 years we will be a single payer healthcare system.
When you have bacon and eggs for breakfast, the chicken makes a contribution, but the pig makes a committment


 
foolish
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05-24-17 04:38 PM - Post#1699748    


    In response to Canucko29

  • Canucko29 Said:
That would be inevitable. Obamacare wasn't started as a final solution, but was simply a step ladder to single-payer.

If you must go there, I would suggest people of working age who are able-bodied to work should never get coverage unless they are working or seeking work. But with liberals pushing the envelope, the non-working sponges will probably get the most and best care.



Oh, so now Obama is HITLER!?!?!?!!

I don't think we ever get to real single-payer in the USA. American's value their individualism too much and the perks of the private hospitals are insane (my buddy's wife had a kid on Friday.. there was a jacuzzi tub in their birthing room.... that they had for 5 days!). My hope for America is that we develop a free system that provides basic care without frills and without having everyone use the ER for everything. Basically just an extrapolation of a lot of the programs already available.
 
Canucko29
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05-24-17 05:09 PM - Post#1699750    


    In response to foolish

There was a time that the GDP to debt ratio was the gold standard of an administration's performance measures.

I expect in 10 to 20 years liberals to abandon those kinds of measures and start looking at stuff like gross national happiness. So warm and fuzzy. Maybe Katy Perry will be the Secretary of State.


 
Pete
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05-25-17 07:42 AM - Post#1699765    


    In response to foolish

  • foolish Said:
  • Canucko29 Said:
That would be inevitable. Obamacare wasn't started as a final solution, but was simply a step ladder to single-payer.

If you must go there, I would suggest people of working age who are able-bodied to work should never get coverage unless they are working or seeking work. But with liberals pushing the envelope, the non-working sponges will probably get the most and best care.



Oh, so now Obama is HITLER!?!?!?!!

I don't think we ever get to real single-payer in the USA. American's value their individualism too much and the perks of the private hospitals are insane (my buddy's wife had a kid on Friday.. there was a jacuzzi tub in their birthing room.... that they had for 5 days!). My hope for America is that we develop a free system that provides basic care without frills and without having everyone use the ER for everything. Basically just an extrapolation of a lot of the programs already available.



"free system". Thanks for the early morning laugh
 
foolish
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05-25-17 09:18 AM - Post#1699767    


    In response to Pete

  • Pete Said:
  • foolish Said:
  • Canucko29 Said:
That would be inevitable. Obamacare wasn't started as a final solution, but was simply a step ladder to single-payer.

If you must go there, I would suggest people of working age who are able-bodied to work should never get coverage unless they are working or seeking work. But with liberals pushing the envelope, the non-working sponges will probably get the most and best care.



Oh, so now Obama is HITLER!?!?!?!!

I don't think we ever get to real single-payer in the USA. American's value their individualism too much and the perks of the private hospitals are insane (my buddy's wife had a kid on Friday.. there was a jacuzzi tub in their birthing room.... that they had for 5 days!). My hope for America is that we develop a free system that provides basic care without frills and without having everyone use the ER for everything. Basically just an extrapolation of a lot of the programs already available.



"free system". Thanks for the early morning laugh



Sorry - "publicly funded system". Better?
 
PuckRogue
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05-25-17 09:41 AM - Post#1699768    


    In response to foolish

Much.

-PR


 
Johnny_Upton
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05-25-17 10:35 AM - Post#1699774    


    In response to foolish

  • foolish Said:
  • Pete Said:
  • foolish Said:
  • Canucko29 Said:
That would be inevitable. Obamacare wasn't started as a final solution, but was simply a step ladder to single-payer.

If you must go there, I would suggest people of working age who are able-bodied to work should never get coverage unless they are working or seeking work. But with liberals pushing the envelope, the non-working sponges will probably get the most and best care.



Oh, so now Obama is HITLER!?!?!?!!

I don't think we ever get to real single-payer in the USA. American's value their individualism too much and the perks of the private hospitals are insane (my buddy's wife had a kid on Friday.. there was a jacuzzi tub in their birthing room.... that they had for 5 days!). My hope for America is that we develop a free system that provides basic care without frills and without having everyone use the ER for everything. Basically just an extrapolation of a lot of the programs already available.



"free system". Thanks for the early morning laugh



Sorry - "publicly funded system". Better?



With all of the "Publicly funded systems", We are rapidly approaching a tipping point where entry level employment is going to be a losing proposition.
Dis somanumbatching country was founded so that the liberties of common patriotic citizens like me could not be taken away by a bunch of fargin iceholes... like yourselves.

#Filthystrong


 
Canucko29
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05-25-17 11:36 AM - Post#1699777    


    In response to Johnny_Upton

Was just reading the other day that the original purpose of the minimum wage for economists back in the thirties when it was first implemented under FDR was to out undesirables from the workforce, such as black people who used to provide less than market labor, young women and immigrants.

And now all of those three of those segments wave signs in the air begging for it. Oh the irony.




Edited by Canucko29 on 05-25-17 11:37 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
foolish
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05-25-17 12:20 PM - Post#1699779    


    In response to Johnny_Upton

  • Johnny_Upton Said:
  • foolish Said:
  • Pete Said:
  • foolish Said:
  • Canucko29 Said:
That would be inevitable. Obamacare wasn't started as a final solution, but was simply a step ladder to single-payer.

If you must go there, I would suggest people of working age who are able-bodied to work should never get coverage unless they are working or seeking work. But with liberals pushing the envelope, the non-working sponges will probably get the most and best care.



Oh, so now Obama is HITLER!?!?!?!!

I don't think we ever get to real single-payer in the USA. American's value their individualism too much and the perks of the private hospitals are insane (my buddy's wife had a kid on Friday.. there was a jacuzzi tub in their birthing room.... that they had for 5 days!). My hope for America is that we develop a free system that provides basic care without frills and without having everyone use the ER for everything. Basically just an extrapolation of a lot of the programs already available.



"free system". Thanks for the early morning laugh



Sorry - "publicly funded system". Better?



With all of the "Publicly funded systems", We are rapidly approaching a tipping point where entry level employment is going to be a losing proposition.




I won't disagree - but I believe strongly that basic heath services are a publicly funded system that should be one of the last to go. I think my Canadian-ness makes me value healthcare a lot more than Americans do..... whether thats right or wrong, who is to judge?

 
Canucko29
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05-25-17 01:00 PM - Post#1699783    


    In response to foolish

  • foolish Said:
  • Johnny_Upton Said:
  • foolish Said:
  • Pete Said:
  • foolish Said:
  • Canucko29 Said:
That would be inevitable. Obamacare wasn't started as a final solution, but was simply a step ladder to single-payer.

If you must go there, I would suggest people of working age who are able-bodied to work should never get coverage unless they are working or seeking work. But with liberals pushing the envelope, the non-working sponges will probably get the most and best care.



Oh, so now Obama is HITLER!?!?!?!!

I don't think we ever get to real single-payer in the USA. American's value their individualism too much and the perks of the private hospitals are insane (my buddy's wife had a kid on Friday.. there was a jacuzzi tub in their birthing room.... that they had for 5 days!). My hope for America is that we develop a free system that provides basic care without frills and without having everyone use the ER for everything. Basically just an extrapolation of a lot of the programs already available.



"free system". Thanks for the early morning laugh



Sorry - "publicly funded system". Better?



With all of the "Publicly funded systems", We are rapidly approaching a tipping point where entry level employment is going to be a losing proposition.




I won't disagree - but I believe strongly that basic heath services are a publicly funded system that should be one of the last to go. I think my Canadian-ness makes me value healthcare a lot more than Americans do..... whether thats right or wrong, who is to judge?





I am subject to the same bias, but I don't see health care as a right and see it much more as a privilege of living in a country where we are efficient and productive (ty capitalism). If that were to ever change, and we were to downsize, I would expect healthcare to be one of the first budgetary targets.




Edited by Canucko29 on 05-25-17 01:01 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.
 
taz
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05-25-17 06:05 PM - Post#1699802    


    In response to foolish

  • foolish Said:
  • Johnny_Upton Said:
  • foolish Said:
  • Pete Said:
  • foolish Said:
  • Canucko29 Said:
That would be inevitable. Obamacare wasn't started as a final solution, but was simply a step ladder to single-payer.

If you must go there, I would suggest people of working age who are able-bodied to work should never get coverage unless they are working or seeking work. But with liberals pushing the envelope, the non-working sponges will probably get the most and best care.



Oh, so now Obama is HITLER!?!?!?!!

I don't think we ever get to real single-payer in the USA. American's value their individualism too much and the perks of the private hospitals are insane (my buddy's wife had a kid on Friday.. there was a jacuzzi tub in their birthing room.... that they had for 5 days!). My hope for America is that we develop a free system that provides basic care without frills and without having everyone use the ER for everything. Basically just an extrapolation of a lot of the programs already available.



"free system". Thanks for the early morning laugh



Sorry - "publicly funded system". Better?



With all of the "Publicly funded systems", We are rapidly approaching a tipping point where entry level employment is going to be a losing proposition.




I won't disagree - but I believe strongly that basic heath services are a publicly funded system that should be one of the last to go. I think my Canadian-ness makes me value healthcare a lot more than Americans do..... whether thats right or wrong, who is to judge?





It's too bad half the country wants the other half of the country to pay for all of it.
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