Why does the United States not have mandated paid maternity

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goldfish21
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05 May 2021, 11:21 pm

:roll:

There's a difference between having just enough money and having No money/credit.

I'm not in that situation right now, but I have been. High debt load, no savings, no credit, and literally only a few dollars in my pocket.. howTF is someone supposed to simply up and move themselves to a different geographic region in pursuit of better economic conditions with $5-100 or whatever? :?

Not everyone has the option of relocating for a better job/cheaper rent - even if they had an offer of both, they may not have the means to move much more than a few miles from where they are. That's a lot of peoples' reality.


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06 May 2021, 6:55 am

goldfish21 wrote:
:roll:

There's a difference between having just enough money and having No money/credit.

I'm not in that situation right now, but I have been. High debt load, no savings, no credit, and literally only a few dollars in my pocket.. howTF is someone supposed to simply up and move themselves to a different geographic region in pursuit of better economic conditions with $5-100 or whatever? :?

Not everyone has the option of relocating for a better job/cheaper rent - even if they had an offer of both, they may not have the means to move much more than a few miles from where they are. That's a lot of peoples' reality.

I’ve been homeless. With two children. So what? Sometimes when what you need isn’t an option, you work to MAKE it an option. Stop pretending that people can’t ever have control over their own lives.

The experience of being homeless and falling into a cycle of debt afterwards taught us hard lessons in taking too many things for granted and being aware of the behaviors we had that led us to being perpetually broke in the first place. We took steps to eliminate debt first, then we did everything we could to avoid it thereafter. Then we worked to reduce utility use as much as possible. Then we paid our bills up for an entire year. Then we put money in a savings account. We didn’t ever have very much money left over after that, but then we didn’t ever actually need much. We lived comfortably and somewhat like royalty for the freedom we had. And that’s for a family of 5 on $30k or less with wife employed full time making $12k and myself working two part time jobs and picking up whatever gigs I could get.

We managed to stay debt free except for student loans. What led up to us leaving was a cascade of failures. My wife had a miscarriage, which put us in medical debt that eventually went to collections. Our boss got fired, which is something that NEVER happens in our line of work, but this was a guy who took good care of us and made sure we had what we needed to do our jobs. My school music program took a huge funding cut so I couldn’t get the instruments I needed. My boss at the church got fired...again, something that NEVER happens, and when I took on more responsibilities I found out just how many real friends I had there: None. I got a raise to do...nothing. And on top of that I was getting pressure to do things I wasn’t comfortable doing. People would come to me for advice and then do the opposite. And when my contract came up for renewal, I got turned down for a full time job. On top of all that, we tried again for another baby—NOT a fail, but still scary under uncertain circumstances. By December we could already read the writing on the wall, and there was some whispering about some situation in China and a cruise ship. By the end of March, we knew what we had to do.

With medical bills from a miscarriage and a delivery, we ran up some impressive debt that was unavoidable, plus our insurance proved to be flaky. Most of that has been sent to collections, but we just tell them the truth: this is our insurance company, this is what they told us, this is what we’re waiting on, and your check is in the mail. We have a long history of dealing with collectors, and our background as bankruptcy paralegals taught us how to take these vultures by the balls. We can make a deal or we can lawyer up, your choice. It was the path in getting here that we got into certain habits in dealing with the little money we had that made our decisions easier to make. We’d made enough mistakes in the past, recovered from them, and became determined to never endure that kind of thing again.

Oh, and about credit...we learned it’s best to just ignore our credit score. When someone needed our credit score, we’d check to see if there was any fraud, but there never was. It’s only high because we have student loans that we can’t pay back, and we claim IBR so we don’t have to (it’s legit. We are literally too poor to pay it back). We’d prefer a low or nonexistent credit score. We mortgaged our new house because we knew it would cost three times that to rent when houses in our neighborhood sell fast. It was a good risk and investment. If I lose my job now, we’ll have a few months to look ahead and plan an exit strategy. Credit is overrated because to have high credit means you have to pay a lot of bills. Smart people and wealthy people work to minimize and eliminate bills altogether. When you’re rich, you can just pay for everything in cash, anyway. Even when you’re poor, it’s a good habit to get into because even though you don’t have a lot of money, the little money you get doesn’t all go right back to the bank or bill collectors. We may not have had the same money as rich people, but we enjoyed the same freedom. You can’t do that when you do everything on credit. Sooner or later, you always have to pay up, and that’s hard to do when you lose your job.

I’ll concede this much and no more: It’s near impossible to move when your main concern is paying heavy debt. You have to know from an early age to never buy on credit and to avoid debt at all costs. There are exceptions, like buying a house, but it doesn’t make sense to buy a six figure house unless you already have six figure salary. That’s how we became homeless. Paying debts keeps you from saving money better spent on improving your situation. Loans=slavery. What happens is a person tries to make it somewhere things are already bad, so instead of doing the smart thing and moving while he can, he gets a credit card so he can buy groceries for his family. After a while he gets credit cards to pay off his credit cards, and before long he’s parking his car at a friend’s house so the repo man can’t find it. I’ve heard of people’s lives being ruined because they took out private school loans, forcing them into dead end jobs they can’t leave because every spare penny has to go to the bank.

But when you think about how people GET into these situations, it’s absurd. It really is. When someone has no job, no collateral, and high risk, TYPICALLY banks won’t make quarter million loans to them. But that’s exactly what happens with some student debt. And that leaves the student crying because he flunked out of med school and can’t bankrupt away those loans. The bank owns you for life at that point, and there’s no working your way out of it. You can’t start a business because you give all your overhead right back to the bank. You can’t move because your UHAUL money goes to the bank. You can’t mortgage or rent a new place because your outstanding debt makes you too much of a risk. You can’t sell your house, either, because all that money will have to go to paying back student debt. It’s not the bank’s fault, it’s not the school’s fault...it’s YOUR fault when you default, and all of that is completely avoidable. If I blame anyone besides myself, I blame the education system for pushing college education as the answer to realizing my dreams when there might have been better options. I think kids get indoctrinated to this kind of thing early on and expect the same lifestyle their parents gave them without all the work that goes into it. I hope Biden is ultimately successful at wiping out student debts because what induces kids to become slaves to them are predatory lending practices—kids, who are taught to trust adults to know what’s best for them, take out loans to go to college because somehow college is a requirement for everything else you do in life. It’s as though education is a vital necessity, like food, water, or safety. They lie. College education is not some magical golden ticket that opens all the doors. It’s iron shackles. What kids need to learn instead is that anything worth having is worth exchanging value for. If you don’t have the money up front for an education, it has no value for you. If it has no value, there’s no logical REASON you should crave it. If you have the money to buy it, it has value for its own sake. An education should reward you, not enslave you. If you can’t pay for it, you shouldn’t want it. If it holds that much meaning for you, then it’s worth working for. Debt means taking money from someone else to have things you don’t consider worth working for, meaning you enslave yourself to someone else for something that is inherently worthless (because you’ve done nothing productive to exchange for it).

This is absurd and stupid. But that’s what young people are expected to do. If they are taught to value objective reality and reason, they have no excuse but rather must see how absurd and stupid this is.

But if I expect my life to improve, blaming the government, predatory lenders, parents, teachers for my behavior RIGHT NOW isn’t going to move the needle. I can’t blame the church, the school, or other gigs for decisions only I can make. If I get stuck and stay stuck, I only have myself to blame. If you insist that people can’t possibly take any kind of control over their own lives, you are only perpetuating the problem. Shame on you.



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06 May 2021, 10:45 am

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But if I expect my life to improve, blaming the government...

But this I CAN blame the government for: its own actions to needlessly limit the freedom of its citizens. Social programs depend on the government for force and cannot exist without that force. Collectivist practices have long held sway in the United States as long as there has been some common enemy of "the people." Before the founding of the United States, that common enemy was monarchy. The people broke those chains. Then the common enemy was racial slavery. The people broke those chains. Once men were free in the United States, there were no more enemies to fight.

That's when greed and envy took hold. Once slavery ended, the common enemy became "the white man." The commerce clause in the Constitution was intended to empower the nation to protect the freedom of people to do business across state lines and trade amongst themselves. Instead, it became a weapon to protect the interests of those who could bribe politicians into getting themselves more than what they had earned. Monopolies were created, and with shifting political winds, the new common enemy was Big Business--oil, rail, and steel interests, and successful men with great ideas were demonized. With more government action, Big Business (that the government enabled) was broken up at the whim of politicians rather than the inevitable failures that come with bad practices. To this day, fickle government, without the knowledge and experience of what it takes to bring great ideas to life, picks its champions and losers according to the shifting wind of the day. Survival depends not on actual achievement, but rather one's ability to appease a government too out of touch to fully understand what's best for a business's needs.

One cannot entirely fault Facebook, for example, for falling right in line. There's a new victim class to cater to every day, and by staying ahead of the game through political censorship, Facebook can maintain a real monopoly in social media and garner favorable government policies to keep it for the long term. Facebook has the freedom to enforce its own rules about what can or cannot be posted or shared on its platform--on this there is no disagreement. But when such a company uses its wealth and influence to control the flow of information and ideas along political lines, it is not acting as a private company but rather a governing entity. Last time I checked, Facebook didn't appear as a political candidate or party on any ballot I ever voted on. But the moves they've made have favored political figures currently in power, and I'm sure, same as other companies in the past, Facebook expects something in return. Political censorship in return for maintaining a profitable status quo. Making money off of government regulation. But always remember: What we allow the government to granteth, the government may also taketh away.

Beware, then, that you expect the government to always grant health care, parental leave, and so forth, for that will disappear as soon as your government does. When there's nothing left to tax, there'll be no way to fund those programs. When businesses can no longer operate from being overburdened by so many mandated benefits, when the last common enemy of "the people" dies--the host that parasites feed from--"the people" will remember their most important lesson forgotten from long ago: He who does not work does not eat.



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06 May 2021, 11:26 am

:lol: Wtf? If this isn't a case of the abused defending their abuser, I don't know what is..

Miscarriage resulting in medical expenses/debt & (near) bankruptcy? Wtf? Not in the developed civilized world.

Not getting paid enough to repay student loans? But I thought you said if you deemed yourself worthy of pay you'd be paid? That you could just simply go to the next firm that values you as you do and get paid a wage and benefits package that aligned with your self worth? :?

A system designed to market student loan money and escalating education costs to naive people that then get trapped in it with no way out? I'm sure there's nothing government regulations could possibly do to sort that out better in favour of people over profits.. :roll:

Having to have a background as bankruptcy paralegals to navigate your medical insurance and financial system = good for you, but silly to expect of everyone.

Six figure incomes and six figure houses? Sounds like an affordability utopia! We have 5 figure incomes and 7 figure houses. Quarter Mill? That's a down payment. At least you have some things easy there.. but overall everything you described = intentional citizen screwing by a government and corporations in cahoots to do so.

As for governments not being able to afford to pay for miscarriages or higher education: BS! Your government can afford to, but chooses not to. Your tax dollars get burned on ~$730 Billion/year worth of "democracy bombs," being dropped on Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan etc and another $2 Trilli in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans over the course of a ~decade. There's plenty of money in the USA to pay for all the basic things we get here in Canada and most Europeans get (and more!) from their tax dollars, you've just been successfully convinced otherwise by the same people that have managed to persuade a generation or two to bury themselves in impossible student loan debt with a low probability of financial return.


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06 May 2021, 11:32 am

goldfish21 wrote:
:lol: Wtf? If this isn't a case of the abused defending their abuser, I don't know what is..


You've just summed-up the entire U.S.


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06 May 2021, 11:35 am

XFilesGeek wrote:
goldfish21 wrote:
:lol: Wtf? If this isn't a case of the abused defending their abuser, I don't know what is..
You've just summed-up the entire U.S.
What Goldie describes is called "enabling behavior", which is often displayed by kidnap victims who have acquired the Stockholm Syndrome.


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goldfish21
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06 May 2021, 11:53 am

Fnord wrote:
XFilesGeek wrote:
goldfish21 wrote:
:lol: Wtf? If this isn't a case of the abused defending their abuser, I don't know what is..
You've just summed-up the entire U.S.
What Goldie describes is called "enabling behavior", which is often displayed by kidnap victims who have acquired the Stockholm Syndrome.


8O Don't say that! It sounds like some kinda European Socialism!! ! COMMIES ARE COMING! :lol: :lol: :lol:


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06 May 2021, 12:37 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
:lol: Wtf? If this isn't a case of the abused defending their abuser, I don't know what is..

Miscarriage resulting in medical expenses/debt & (near) bankruptcy? Wtf? Not in the developed civilized world.

Bankruptcy occurs when one has an accumulation of debt. We aren't 100% debt-free, but we haven't been anywhere close to bankruptcy in several years.

goldfish21 wrote:
Not getting paid enough to repay student loans? But I thought you said if you deemed yourself worthy of pay you'd be paid? That you could just simply go to the next firm that values you as you do and get paid a wage and benefits package that aligned with your self worth? :?

Exactly. We quit our jobs and relocated. Things are much, MUCH better. Not as good as I'd prefer, but I see this as a stepping stone towards greater things. Yes, if you believe you're worth more, get out.


goldfish21 wrote:
A system designed to market student loan money and escalating education costs to naive people that then get trapped in it with no way out? I'm sure there's nothing government regulations could possibly do to sort that out better in favour of people over profits.. :roll:

Government could simply get out of the student loan racket. Teachers could push higher education to those who actually NEED it and stop selling snake oil about how education will make all your dreams come truuuuuueeeeeee... I bought into that crap. My master's degree was a big accomplishment and I worked my butt off for it. If that had translated into something a bit more material than mere bragging points, I wouldn't have so much to say against university false promises.

For certain professions, it is understandably reasonable and necessary, such as in the medical field and in education itself. But unless you WANT to teach music for the rest of your life or work in the arts, it's useless. There are folk artists out there making more money in graphic design than college grads. That should tell you something.

goldfish21 wrote:
Having to have a background as bankruptcy paralegals to navigate your medical insurance and financial system = good for you, but silly to expect of everyone.

Not all. People do well to educate themselves. I just happened to work for a lawyer and see firsthand how the system gets abused and how people prefer to stay in debt rather than fix the behaviors that got them there in the first place. Most of the tricks we happen to know are tricks anyone can use. You just have to talk tough and stand your ground is all. The reason collectors call you is because the company that sold you out to them has already given up. It's amazing how much you can settle debts for once you know how to talk to them. Entire books have been written on this subject.

goldfish21 wrote:
Six figure incomes and six figure houses? Sounds like an affordability utopia! We have 5 figure incomes and 7 figure houses. Quarter Mill? That's a down payment. At least you have some things easy there.. but overall everything you described = intentional citizen screwing by a government and corporations in cahoots to do so.

Then you and I agree that government interference in the marketplace is a bad thing. Good to know.

goldfish21 wrote:
As for governments not being able to afford to pay for miscarriages or higher education: BS! Your government can afford to, but chooses not to. Your tax dollars get burned on ~$730 Billion/year worth of "democracy bombs," being dropped on Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan etc and another $2 Trilli in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans over the course of a ~decade. There's plenty of money in the USA to pay for all the basic things we get here in Canada and most Europeans get (and more!) from their tax dollars, you've just been successfully convinced otherwise by the same people that have managed to persuade a generation or two to bury themselves in impossible student loan debt with a low probability of financial return.

On that you really have no idea what you're talking about. I prefer paying my own way. The last, idk, 5 years give or take have seen the US military being less active overseas. I also agree that government should focus on the security of its own citizens, not meddling in the affairs of other countries. Has Canada done anything militarily worthwhile since Passchendaele? Or is Canada's government still obsessed with abusing its own indigenous peoples?



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06 May 2021, 12:44 pm

Sooo, you have nothing real to say in defence so you put words in my mouth and then attempt to insult my country after telling lies about yours? Interesting ways to make yourself feel better about being governed by people who don't care about you.


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06 May 2021, 3:11 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
Sooo, you have nothing real to say in defence so you put words in my mouth and then attempt to insult my country after telling lies about yours? Interesting ways to make yourself feel better about being governed by people who don't care about you.

Ooooooooh, so YOU can put words in someone else's mouth and demean THEIR country, but it's an outrage when someone gives it back? Hmmmm...

I'm still wondering how indigenous Canadians are holding up.



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06 May 2021, 3:26 pm

AngelRho wrote:
goldfish21 wrote:
Sooo, you have nothing real to say in defence so you put words in my mouth and then attempt to insult my country after telling lies about yours? Interesting ways to make yourself feel better about being governed by people who don't care about you.

Ooooooooh, so YOU can put words in someone else's mouth and demean THEIR country, but it's an outrage when someone gives it back? Hmmmm...

I'm still wondering how indigenous Canadians are holding up.


Once again deflecting instead of admitting that Americans get shafted compared to ~everyone else in the developed world.. and then they defend the practices of those giving them the shaft! Possibly because they've been sold a lie that maybe, just maybe, if they go along with agreeing to deprive their fellow countrymen of the basics of modern life, that maybe, just maybe, they can rise to the level of shater instead of shaftee and then they get to abuse their newfound power just like their own abuser before them.


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06 May 2021, 3:51 pm

Not been following the conversation, so apologies for potentially derailing. You shouldn't compare America to small European nations, you can't just scale up a government program to the size of America and just hope it all works out. The problems and inefficiencies of state-led programs scale up exponentially with the size of the population - what works in Norway would more likely than not to be a disastrous failure if implemented in the U.S. Comparisons between countries of a similar population are more valid however. Unfortunately something like (decent) universal health care is probably a financial impossibility for the U.S., rather than just a political one.


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06 May 2021, 3:55 pm

goldfish21 wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
goldfish21 wrote:
Sooo, you have nothing real to say in defence so you put words in my mouth and then attempt to insult my country after telling lies about yours? Interesting ways to make yourself feel better about being governed by people who don't care about you.

Ooooooooh, so YOU can put words in someone else's mouth and demean THEIR country, but it's an outrage when someone gives it back? Hmmmm...

I'm still wondering how indigenous Canadians are holding up.


Once again deflecting instead of admitting that Americans get shafted compared to ~everyone else in the developed world.. and then they defend the practices of those giving them the shaft! Possibly because they've been sold a lie that maybe, just maybe, if they go along with agreeing to deprive their fellow countrymen of the basics of modern life,

I wish I could be an indigenous Canadian. It must be sooooooo nice...



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06 May 2021, 4:35 pm

Mikah wrote:
Not been following the conversation, so apologies for potentially derailing. You shouldn't compare America to small European nations, you can't just scale up a government program to the size of America and just hope it all works out. The problems and inefficiencies of state-led programs scale up exponentially with the size of the population - what works in Norway would more likely than not to be a disastrous failure if implemented in the U.S. Comparisons between countries of a similar population are more valid however. Unfortunately something like (decent) universal health care is probably a financial impossibility for the U.S., rather than just a political one.

TBH, Mikah, pretty much everything the United States does is a financial impossibility. Our political structure and the various cultures that support it won't allow progress to be made either way on this matter. Unless you understand American race and culture first, you can't understand how we get so deadlocked. There's no real reason why we COULDN'T have universal healthcare or parental leave. There are some legit ethical reasons NOT to, but whether or not it happens or not is entirely political. Because of off-the-rails deficit spending, nobody from the treasury would ever actually notice anything had changed, it would just be a few trillion dollars thrown onto the fire.

Democrats rarely actually care to pass anything like this because it would actually temporarily SOLVE a problem that keeps coming back as a party plank. When problems get SOLVED for liberals, they lose enemies to fight. Without enemies to fight, they can't energize their base. Obamacare is a textbook example of their MO. It was hastily passed with little to no meaningful debate. There was no compromise on it, and it committed Americans to a health insurance mandate, basically forcing Americans to buy a product. To force competition, insurance companies had to join a marketplace so that Americans had affordable options. The problem that inevitable showed up was that premiums increased, deductibles remained higher than anything Americans could ever pay in a year, and patients were unable to see their previous physicians. Americans were forced to pay for a product they couldn't use. The goal for Democrats was never to make Obamacare succeed. They wanted it to fail, and it was set up to be a failure. The problem they encountered was that the voting margins in Congress were too tight to pass anything else, even with a solid Democrat majority, so Congress became stuck with a system that was designed to fail without a way to pass legislation to replace it. What they were trying to do was show that insurance markets were doomed to failure and that the only way Americans could have affordable healthcare was by going to a single-payer system. The voters didn't universally want that because they were mostly happy with what they had. Mostly. Our experience was finding something outside conventional insurance that would satisfy the legal mandate. It worked fine to keep us legal. Actually GETTING them to pay claims was a different story, but I digress... Americans largely are not in favor of a totally socialized system. So rather than repeal it entirely, which Congress never could get the votes to do, the law became neutered by executive order and a subsequent Supreme Court case that upheld the order. The whole thing was incredibly unpopular and ended up politically backfiring.

Who gets the blame for it backfiring? Trump and Congressional Republicans. But therein lies my point: It was never meant to succeed in the first place. Its failure was used as political ammunition against Republicans. And that was really all Democrats really wanted. Even if a super-majority of Americans were in favor of single-payer, Democrats would prefer to find a way to craft bills totally unreasonable for Republicans just so Republicans would vote it down. They wouldn't want it to pass because that would mean they lose an enemy to fight. They can still pass the blame on Obamacare. They still have an enemy to fight and try to keep votes coming in. Passing single-payer EVEN IF Americans supported it would mean they lose a political weapon since there'd be nothing to campaign over. It's an ongoing theme in American politics.

The racial issue is the same. Back in the Civil Rights era, White People were the enemy. Then desegregation happened and nobody could legally separate the races beyond how they chose to separate themselves (you can't FORCE integration; you just can't actively separate). Now the culture has shifted so that blacks WANT to be separate, and critical race theory is being pushed institutionally. The actual problems of race have already been solved. What you see now are groups of organizers creating problems where problems don't actually exist. Once the White Man stops being the enemy, leaders within black communities lose power. It's largely these urban power plays that drives national politics. When you visit rural towns in, say, the Mississippi Delta, you'll never know until you start running in local political circles that there are still political bosses among minorities, and you don't run for office unless THEY say you can. It's kind of a public secret that everyone knows and never talks about. I've never met a white politician who really cared. If you want to run for office, you run for office, and all these guys running against each other are all actually good friends. That's the America nobody ever sees, and it's crazy how much we keep ourselves stuck in the 1940's. It doesn't have to be like that, but everyone wants an enemy.



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06 May 2021, 4:37 pm

Mikah wrote:
Not been following the conversation, so apologies for potentially derailing. You shouldn't compare America to small European nations, you can't just scale up a government program to the size of America and just hope it all works out. The problems and inefficiencies of state-led programs scale up exponentially with the size of the population - what works in Norway would more likely than not to be a disastrous failure if implemented in the U.S. Comparisons between countries of a similar population are more valid however. Unfortunately something like (decent) universal health care is probably a financial impossibility for the U.S., rather than just a political one.

We're the wealthiest country on Earth--yet we are neither the largest nor most populous. Bigger, more populous countries than us have universal healthcare, and I don't hear them demanding the 'efficiency' of privatized medicine. I think we can manage it. If anything, the private healthcare system is much less efficient. So much money wasted on overhead and advertising.


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Posts: 14,764
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

06 May 2021, 7:16 pm

Mikah wrote:
Not been following the conversation, so apologies for potentially derailing. You shouldn't compare America to small European nations, you can't just scale up a government program to the size of America and just hope it all works out. The problems and inefficiencies of state-led programs scale up exponentially with the size of the population - what works in Norway would more likely than not to be a disastrous failure if implemented in the U.S. Comparisons between countries of a similar population are more valid however. Unfortunately something like (decent) universal health care is probably a financial impossibility for the U.S., rather than just a political one.


So then do it like Canada. Socialized medicine is clear across the country, yes, but each Province & Territory administers it's own.

Those of us in BC were amongst the last to still be paying BC MSP (Medical Services Plan) Premiums. As of a year or so ago, we no longer have to pay those at all - no user fees; our Provincial healthcare system is now 100% funded by other forms of taxation vs. the regressive tax of charging premiums.

USA can very simply have socialized medicine clear across the country that's administered by each State. Problem solved.. if it weren't for the many layers of profit being leeched by insurance companies that will fight tooth & nail to keep their undeserved slice of the pie. Well, them and some of the "haves," who prefer a system where they have, and others, who largely don't look like them, have not. Race & class division seems to be the preferred way of Americans.


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No :heart: for supporting trump. Because doing so is deplorable.