Social Question

thisismyusername's avatar

What should people have a right to?

Asked by thisismyusername (2935points) December 29th, 2017

To keep things simple, let’s assume we’re talking about citizens of your country. The people in question are 18 years old.

First, if the person (person A) is working full-time, what should this person have a right to, regardless of income/wealth?

1. roads
2. housing
3. firefighters
4. police
5. healthcare
6. military protection
7. K-12 school
8. trade/skill training
9. college
10. pre-school
11. child care
12. heating/electricity
13. trash/recycling services
14. public transportation

Second, if the person (person B) is either unemployed or working part-time, does this have an effect on your answer?

I’m more interested in the reasoning and criteria behind your thoughts on this. For example, if you feel that person A should have access to roads and protection by firefighters but not housing, what criteria are you applying to make this assessment. And if person A has access to something that person B does not, please elaborate.

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29 Answers

Zaku's avatar

I would hope pretty much all of that, both for person A or B, with the most marginal ones to me being:

pre-school
child care (depending on what you mean)

And I would add as well:

15. food (even, non-industrial food)
16. clean water
17. clothing
18. freedom of expression
19. privacy
20. freedom of occupation

My reasoning is that it doesn’t benefit society to abandon people and deny them access to what it takes to live a happy and productive life. The “free market”, “tough love”, and “everyone for themself” approaches lead to giant corporations winning and people being squeezed for as much as possible, and homeless abandoned hungry people, criminals, government corruption, etc. Someone who is educated and does not need to worry about how they can please some corporation into hiring and paying them enough to do something (so that they won’t go homeless of bankrupt due to medical bills or college loan debt or whatever) will tend to find and pursue what they are best at, and do that. The consequence that some worry about, that people will choose to do nothing, should I think be that people engage them about what they’d like to do, not that they get shamed and abandoned and made to do something that doesn’t suit them.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

^You two pretty much covered it, although our right wing friends will cry it’s not sustainable, or not on my fucking tax dollars type thing.
The poor if they can’t afford highly priced health care insurance should just die, the rich need the tax breaks, because if they save millions$$ in taxes they will in turn throw a few pennies at the poor, after all that is how the free market works.
But enough of that the 20 items you two listed are great,I was just getting you ready for our right wing friends to freak out over them.

kritiper's avatar

Life, liberty, and the purfuit of happineff.

seawulf575's avatar

I would go with Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness as the rights. That, to me, means that you are entitled to a free life, with the right to free speech and the right to your own beliefs. You are entitled to pursue those things that make you happy, provided they are legal (murder might make a serial killer happy, but that isn’t legal). Though, I guess, you also have the right to make the decision that you will violate the law, provided you understand that you may have to pay the consequences. But you should be allowed to decide what job you want to do, what hobbies you want, etc. You should be entitled to a right to privacy.
Some of the things listed in the original question and in the subsequent answers I view as things that we should expect for our tax dollars. A solid highway transportation system, police and firefighters, a good basic (k-12) school program and military protection fall into this category.
Then there are the things that I believe are good to have available, but not guaranteed to each individual, for a solid society. Garbage service, electricity, public transportation, child care, higher education, healthcare, and a good food and water supply. I have seen places where many of these are rolled into local taxes and I am good with that as well, pushing them into my second category.
As for the part of whether a person is employed or not, I would say that what I see as “rights” and “things to expect for our tax dollars”, those things should be available regardless. When you start getting into the last section, I think most of those things come with fees from private businesses and should not be a guaranteed right for anyone.

thisismyusername's avatar

@seawulf575 – I’m not sure I caught the distinction you made between those that we should have a right to and those that are “good to have available”. Could you elaborate on what specifically makes something fall into the “available” vs guaranteed categories?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

He means “good to have available” if one can afford to pay for it, if not too bad so sad.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I will go with this, one should have the RIGHT, not to risk financial ruin if they or a loved one falls ill or is injured.

seawulf575's avatar

The distinction between the various portions for me is the Rights are things that you control, that are part of being a human. The right to speak, believe, to have privacy….those sort of things. The things we ought to have for our tax dollars are those services that I feel the government should have to pay for that impact all of us. A viable highway system, police, firefighters, basic schooling, and military. I think I would actually add the postal service to that, though they have been more and more a drain on funding.
The Available are services that people use, but which are privatized. Electricity, water/sewer, garbage, healthcare, child care, higher education, food from stores, etc. As I mentioned, there are some areas I have seen which roll electricity, water/sewer, and garbage into local taxes. I’m good with that as well. It gives a person the right to decide with that knowledge up front if they want to live in that area or not. Some people will argue with Food, Water/Sewer, and Healthcare. I understand the angst with these. I am just giving my opinion. These are provided by private enterprises. There is a certain amount of competition involved with them. To me, if the government had to provide these things, the quality of the goods and services would drop significantly. And the overall cost would go up. Granted, it would be seen as an increase in our taxes, but we would all be paying more for less. I think the one that gets people the most annoyed is the healthcare argument. I understand the issues. But I have been in the military and seen socialized healthcare up close and personal. Long waits, poor service, incompetence and malpractice….all that goes on with no recourse. I have had 10 x-rays of my head for the doctor to tell me I had a sinus infection, which is what I told him when I walked in. He didn’t prescribe antibiotics to treat it, he gave me pain killers. I remember a case of a doctor that showed up for the delivery of a baby. He was drunk on his ass and the baby died during delivery. The family had no recourse other than to complain to the Navy. If the Navy decides to take action, the doctor might lose a rate in pay, but could still continue practicing. So no, I don’t like socialized healthcare.
I don’t believe that I have ever seen anything the government did efficiently or effectively. They run too many things based on ideology and political power. There is too much corruption. I don’t like the idea of putting important aspects of my life totally under their control.

kritiper's avatar

@seawulf575 What if you have no choice?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Ah,but the privately run us health care system and all it’s glory was becoming to expensive to access for the lower classes, what are thy supposed to do ?
I guess just die if they can’t afford it,isn’t the private sector wonderful?
You can’t pay them a living wage,that will bankrupt the economy.
You can’t pay their medical benefits that will bankrupt the economy.
yet when they need the medical system you just say you should have had medical insurance.
Your right I don’t get it.
And everything isn’t the best in the private sector, 30 plus years ago our government privatized our provincial highways,while I have no problem with highway construction being privatized, highway maintenance on the other hand is horrible in private hands it has gotten so bad the government is threatening to take the maintenance part back again especially winter maintenance, I have no problem if the government wants to waste my tax dollars by putting another load of sand down on a icy highway.

seawulf575's avatar

@kritiper What if I have no choice about what?

seawulf575's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 I would suggest the issue you have with the “privatization” of the highway maintenance isn’t a problem with the private company, it is with the government contract for that service. In the case of highway maintenance, there is no way for a private company to do that work and bill the individuals. Therefore all that gets paid for through government contract. In other words, it really isn’t privatization, it is contracting. In a contract, one party agrees to provide a certain good or service, the other party agrees to pay a set amount for that good or service. If the maintenance is not up to par, the problem is not with the company, it is with your government. Either the contract is inadequate to meet your needs, which falls back on the government for not establishing enough work to be done, or the contractor is not doing what was spelled out in the contract. If the company is doing this and still getting paid, that comes back to your government as well. If you hire a contractor to come in and put a roof on your house and he only patches a hole but bills you for a new roof, would you pay him for a new roof? No. Not unless you are a fool. You would take him to court to force him to do what was in the contract, or just fire him and hire a more reputable contractor. But if you paid him, can you really blame him for getting paid?

kritiper's avatar

@seawulf575 ”...putting important aspects of my life totally under their control.”

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I’m going to shock you @seawulf575 and actually agree with you on the maintenance thing we can actually blame the government for not enforcing the contractor to do better, BUT why then threaten to take back the maintenance part back again?

And you never came back with the problem the lower classes have with accessing your wonderful private health care in your country, or should they just quietly go die after being exploited for cheap labour by the large corporations that say it would bankrupt the economy to pay them a living wage, or health benefits?

seawulf575's avatar

@kritiper That happens. I just don’t support it, if I have a say. And right now, in this country, I do. If things continue down the path we have been pushing, we will end up in a situation where the government is imprisoning those that speak out, censoring the internet, etc. That seems a bit extreme, but look around the world…it goes on all the time. And it always seems to happen in countries where the people have given up their rights to the government. That is what I see happening in this country. Every time you say you want something new from the government, you are tacitly agreeing to giving control of that portion of your life to them. If you say you want free healthcare, you are giving up control of decision making to the government for things like the need of services, whether there are enough doctors available, how much your taxes go up, etc. When we ask for free higher education, you are giving up your right to decide what career you can pursue. Since they are paying for your education, they have the right to decide where you can go to college, what careers we have most need of, etc. You allow the government to set the rules for all these things and as such, you give up your independence. If you don’t want independence and want someone else to make all your decisions for you, have at it. I don’t want to go that path.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Ok let’s end with this, People have the right NOT to risk financial ruin if and when they need the medical system,so in my opinion thats affordable health care weather the Government provides it or the private sector makes no difference to me.
And when I say people I mean everyone from all walks of life from the very poor to the very rich.

seawulf575's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 I respect your opinion. I just don’t share it. The question posed was “what should people have a right to?” It is asking for our opinions. I have stated mine and explained my reasons. Healthcare is only one piece of what I have spoken. I have not had good experiences with socialized health care. Additionally, most socialized health care really only cover a minimum of services. That’s why Canadians that want “the best” drop south of the border to the US to get what they can’t get up north. In England it works the same. The state provides a “minimum” but the wealthy buy private insurance to provide for better care. So in the end, the socialized services everyone touts really isn’t any better than our medicaid, which poor people are entitled to as is.
I’m not trying to convince you or say your opinion isn’t valid or anything of the sort. I just don’t share it and am stating my own opinion.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

You stated that you think commie medical system is of poor quality, but what else don’t you share?
People should risk financial ruin?
The lower class should die?
Only the upper classes should have access to the medical system ,because they can afford it?
You say Canadians flocking to the us for higher health care.
Is that the same as us citizens flocking to Canada for cheaper prescription drugs?

kritiper's avatar

Another thing, people shouldn’t lose everything they own just because they got sick. Lots of homeless people out there who ended up just that way.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I just don’t get when people think universal health care is so bad.
but most of those that think it is so bad,have a life coverage of health care from the military, others have never worried about because they have super coverage from their work place.

but what about the millions that can’t afford coverage?
The wealthy have no problem exploiting them for cheap labour, but heavens forbid don’t ask for health benefits.

seawulf575's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 do you really believe the tripe you put out? “Life coverage of health care from the military”? Really? Have you seen all the examples of horror from our Veterans’ Administration?

http://time.com/4591001/oklahoma-veterans-maggots-death/

http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/02/politics/va-inspector-general-report/index.html

I won’t go on. There are pages and pages that shoot a hole in the idea that people love that military healthcare. Here’s where your argument really falls apart. First, the only veterans that use VA hospitals are those that are on limited incomes, i.e. the poor. Second, that wonderful military healthcare is a living example of socialized medicine, run by the government. Really?!?!?!?! This is your argument? That is MY argument. Stay on your side of the debate.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Look I never said universal health care was perfect, my argument is health care has to made affordable for everyone.
If the private sector can accomplish this then great,if they won’t or can’t then it must fall into the governments hands that you seem to have a huge problem with.
Understand this I have never had a problem with the u.s health care system I have a problem with millions of your citizens, before Obama care couldn’t access that system.
You always say my hair is on fire I don’t know what I am talking about but you NEVER did answer me are those people that can’t afford your wonderful system are they supposed to just die??

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Not coming back to answer about the less fortunate that can’t afford private health care,typical extreme right wing of you.
but quick dissect the question,find a spelling mistake,or some other error that will make it a score for your side of extreme right wing thinking.
You are a very mad little right winger aint ya??

seawulf575's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 what you don’t understand about our healthcare system is that poor people were never denied basic healthcare. There has been medicaid since 1965 and all could take advantage of that. Before that, though, they were not ignored either. Granted, they weren’t given the Cadillac service that J. Paul Getty might get, but he also paid for that service. But if you look at what Obamacare did, for the poor it allowed them to sign up for medicaid, which they could do anyway. And what you MISS about Obamacare is that it drove the cost of insurance sky high and lowered the services it covered. Now, instead of having just the poor not getting insurance, you are dragging it into the lower middle class. When your health insurance plan costs as much as a house payment and doesn’t pay anything until you cover the first $10,000 and only 60% after that, it is pretty useless. So let’s take the other argument off the table right now…the person with a pre-existing condition. The complaint was that they couldn’t get health insurance and had to pay for everything out of pocket. Given the high cost and low performance of the insurance policies, these people are actually worse off. The money they were putting into medical treatment is now going to an insurance company and they still have to pay for medical treatments.
As for the high cost of medical in this country, now we are getting to the source of the problem. And it is one that none of our leaders want to approach and one that Obamacare totally ignored. Well, not totally, they just approached it from the wrong end and in a vacuum. It attempted to reign in costs by only paying a set amount to a doctor for services. As a result, many doctors refused to accept Obamacare policies. They couldn’t afford it. There are several aspects of high medical costs that truly need to be addressed. The first is pharmaceutical. The same pill that gets sold in Canada for $2 costs $50 here. Why? Because the Pharma companies figure they can get it here. Another cost is malpractice insurance. Don’t get me wrong, I totally agree that if a doctor screws up, they should be sued. But there are a lot of frivolous lawsuits in this country that get settled out of court because it is cheaper and easier than taking the time and effort and legal costs of fighting them. Our legal system needs more of an overhaul than our medical system does. But the doctors have to maintain malpractice insurance to protect themselves from these sorts of suits.
There are tons of improvements that can be made. No argument there. The problem with discussions on this topic is that people like you seem to believe that all people should be entitled to Cadillac medical services for free. People like me recognize that doesn’t work and that nothing is free.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I am done arguing with you,I never once said free I said affordable,YOU said free, I do agree with a few things you say and totally don’t with others.
You are not going to convince me your way is the way, nor I will convince you my way is the way.
You say your against corruption but understand why health care insurance rips people off.
Let’s leave with this,I thank GOD I am a Canadian, and think people shouldn’t just die because they fell gravely ill and don’t make over $90,000 a year.
Have a great day and hurry to your meeting before the cross totally burns out,and don’t forget to pick up your white suit from the cleaners you know the one with the pointy hat.

Mariah's avatar

@seawulf575 You are quite misinformed about the changes that the Affordable Care Act brought about.

“But if you look at what Obamacare did, for the poor it allowed them to sign up for medicaid, which they could do anyway.”

This is not accurate. The Medicaid expansion allowed people in participating states to qualify for Medicaid on basis of income alone. In the past, qualification was based on a complex set of factors including household size and health status. It was nearly impossible for a poor adult who does not have children to qualify for Medicaid before the expansion. 10.7 million people now have coverage under Medicaid who didn’t qualify for it before. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/jan/15/rand-paul/medicaid-expansion-drove-health-insurance-coverage/

“When your health insurance plan costs as much as a house payment and doesn’t pay anything until you cover the first $10,000 and only 60% after that, it is pretty useless.”

A $10,000 deductible is not legal if your income is below 2 times the federal poverty level. At these income levels your max deductible is $2,350 for an individual plan and $4,700 for a family plan. This is a restriction imposed by the ACA. Before the ACA, “catastrophic” insurance plans with $30k+ deductibles were common. https://obamacarefacts.com/health-insurance/deductible/

”...the person with a pre-existing condition. The complaint was that they couldn’t get health insurance and had to pay for everything out of pocket. Given the high cost and low performance of the insurance policies, these people are actually worse off. The money they were putting into medical treatment is now going to an insurance company and they still have to pay for medical treatments.”

Speaking as a person with a “pre-existing condition”.... you are dead wrong there. As stated before, the max deductible I could have to pay for a plan year is $2,350. Most insurance will then cover a high percentage of costs after that (for me it is 100% as long as I stay in network), and furthermore there is an out of pocket cap that can be no higher than $7,150 for an individual and $14,300 for a family. https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/out-of-pocket-maximum-limit/

If I didn’t have insurance my medical costs out of pocket would be $30,000+ per year. Someone receiving chemo, $100,000+. You cannot claim we would be better off without insurance. That is absurd.

I don’t disagree with your assertions about the cost of medical care being way too high in the US, but please stop spreading misinformation about the ACA. These are factually wrong statements you are making.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Great answer @Mariah but you know he won’t be back now that you shot holes in his answer.
But one thing you have to remember ANYTHING the democrats do that actually helps the less fortunate is wrong in the rep/cons way of thinking.

seawulf575's avatar

@Mariah I find it interesting that none of the information you cite can be found in the actual PPACA text. You don’t have to trust me, you can look for yourself. The ACA did have CBO predictions of the amount of increase of poor people that were covered by medicaid and I’m sure it did cover some. But I’ll be honest, I can’t find the solid numbers other than in second and third hand reports. I’m trying to go to the root…the government documents. Very tough to find the numbers that you cite. I see in the second and third hand reports that the ACA allowed people at 138% of the federal poverty level to receive medicaid, but I cannot find that in the text of the bill. You cite many deductions and yes, the sites you reference do have those numbers. But the actual ACA bill does not.
Here are some of the references I found that address the high cost of the ACA:

http://www.phrma.org/press-release/new-report-many-exchange-plans-burden-the-most-vulnerable-patients-with-high-out-of-pocket-costs-for-vital-medicines-patients-left-with-limited-access

https://ccalliance.org/blog/affordable-care-act-the-effect-on-cancer-patients/

And overall, ACA is killing healthcare for the middle class, that used to be able to afford healthcare:

http://money.cnn.com/2016/11/04/news/economy/obamacare-affordable/index.html

Now granted, these are all based on anecdotal evidence that was found when doing the research, but really, why would someone make it up? And in the last case, it wasn’t all anecdotal. The numbers bear out what I have been saying.

I’m glad it is working out for you…I really am. But I still firmly believe you are in a minority of the country

Mariah's avatar

I’m not going to spend my time combing through hundreds of legal pages to do your homework for you. If you won’t take the official healthcare.gov website as a reliable source of information then I don’t know what to tell you. Everything I said was true and cited.

The ACA saves lives by increasing the number of insured. A study showed that for every 830 uninsured, 1 person dies unnecessarily per year. With an estimated 20 million insured by the ACA, this means 24 thousand lives are saved a year. This is twice the number of people who die of gun homicide annually in the US, hardly a tiny minority. Tell it to those people and their families that covering them wasn’t worth an increase in overall national healthcare expenses.

Really it ends up coming down to whether you value money or lives more, and most folks with souls will choose lives.

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