Social Question

Val123's avatar

Is this a simplistic example of socialism?

Asked by Val123 (12679points) March 30th, 2010

A political expert I’m not. But if I had to explain to some one what Socialism v Capitalism was, would I be out in left field if I said, “Ok. In Capitalism you get to keep most of your money. If you make $100 you keep $90 of it, and have to “give away” $10. Let’s say that $10 is split up between 7 other people in your society. In a Socialist society if you make $100 you give $12.50 to each of those 7, and keep $12.50 for yourself.”

Is that right?

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58 Answers

bobloblaw's avatar

Not quite. Socialism is the idea that some or all of economic production is the good of the society at large and should be done for the benefit of society. There really is no consensus as to how distribution should occur.

For example, under communism, Marx put it as “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” That is to say, you put in your best effort to contribute and take out what you need. This is one way of doing it. Another way would be through the example that you cited: complete equal redistribution of wealth. Yet, another way would be to take only 10% of someone’s income and distribute that out accordingly.

Note: this answer took up a lot more time than it appears. My head hurts.

squirbel's avatar

No, it is wrong. sorry!

Capitalism has nothing to do with how much of your earned money you keep. Neither does socialism.

Both deal with what industries are privately-owned, and those that are government owned – and the economic impact. Socialists prefer that most industries be run by state, and capitalists prefer that most industries are privately-owned.

Val123's avatar

@bobloblaw Thanks very much have an aspirin…the biggest flaw I see in “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” is not factoring the fact that not all people are willing to work as hard as others….so that really isn’t fair. If you’re not willing to work, you shouldn’t get the good stuff. You should get just enough to survive (in a civilized society.)

@squirbel….....K

Trillian's avatar

Does this not encourage sloth?

bobloblaw's avatar

@Val123 That definitely is a legitimate criticism. Marx believed that capitalism would result in a situation where the proletariat would be so ill-served and ill-represented that they would completely reject the idea that people should only get as much as they contribute. In a sense, the standard cultural norm would be violently rejected. We’re talking about major societal re-organization and societal re-engineering of belief systems. The end result would be a society where people simply wouldn’t act that way.

You can kind of see why all of the historical examples of communist countries failed. Major societal and social changes are difficult to implement quickly. Marx envisioned the process would take a very long time w/out any mitigating factors.

Val123's avatar

@bobloblaw Now I’m the one with a headache! Yeah, so Marx was a bit idealistic, right? And I’ve heard about how Russian peasants would only plant around the edges of the fields because that’s all that the people who checked their crops checked out. They did it out of anger and rebellion. The other thing Marx didn’t factor in is sheer greed. You may want an ideal Socialistic society, but the fact is, too many of the folks in charge of allocating the money will tend to keep a disproportionate amount for themselves…resulting in the kind of discontent Russia faced.

bobloblaw's avatar

@Val123 Heh, apologies. Idealistic isn’t exactly how I would put it. My understanding is that the Communist Manifesto wasn’t written as a guide on how to implement Communism. Marx wrote the book as a declaration of what Communism hoped to achieve and the why and who of it all.

As to the sheer greed, in a way, he did anticipate it. He saw greed leading to the harsh inequities in society. Thus, he believed that the major social restructuring/revolution would eliminate the concept of greed (it would become as foreign a concept as, I suppose, eating insects would be to most Westerners). Again, all of the major changes need to occur naturally. No one could impose Communism on the people as the Soviets did.

At least, that’s my understanding of it all.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@Val123: What you have outlined is fairly accurate in regards to a single aspect of socialism but another aspect is that under socialism the people’s rights are reduced in favor of the government maintaining many rights. Under capitalism you are much more likely to be free to make your own decisions on your own land or to enter into a contract with another individual without the government stepping in to tell the two consenting adults they have to stop.

semblance's avatar

Your proposed explanation is not even close.

You are simply describing a tax structure. Between World War II and 1980 the USA had a tax structure where the highest marginal rate did pretty much what you try to describe as “socialist”. The tax structure has little or nothing to do with whether the economic systemt is capitalist or socialist.

Capitalism refers to an economic system where industries, particularly manufacturing industries, are privately owned and the profits flow to those who own the means of production.

The other end of the spectrum is communism, where all industry, possibly all property, is owned by the people, although in fact that means that the government owns it.

In reality, there are no truly capitalist systems – no, not even the United States – and no true communist systems – not even China.

“Socialism” has no precise definition. It is generally used to refer to a society which is percevied somewhat closer to communism than the one you happen to be in right now. Thus, Sarah Palin calls European countries and Canada which have government health care plans “socialist”. To someone from China, they would see little difference between the Canadian/European economic systems and the USA. We would all be capitalists from their point of view.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@semblance: Wrong! The high tax rate wasn’t doing the same thing as under socialism! If they confiscate your money and give it to a fat welfare mother with hepatitis C and five children from five different father so that she can get some more drugs that is a symptom of a socialist distribution system. Under capitalism in WWII in the USA the money would instead be used to build tanks and bombs for defense of freedom and the working. When not under duress capitalism in practice results in much lower tax rates since there isn’t anything for a capitalist government to do with that much money.

Val123's avatar

@semblance Thanks…that’s why I asked.
Uh oh…started to read @malevolentbutticklish as I was thanking @semblance…settling in now.

davidbetterman's avatar

Actually, there is very little difference between the two in terms of how much reported earnings you get to keep.

There seems to be a little more freedom in capitalist regimes than found in communist/socialist countries.

“When not under duress capitalism in practice results in much lower tax rates since there isn’t anything for a capitalist government to do with that much money.”

That statement is a load of dung.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@davidbetterman: Your “reported earnings” statement is very misleading. Consider that all taxes could be collected on other than reported earnings.

davidbetterman's avatar

That didn’t even make sense. Try writing a coherent sentence…

Val123's avatar

Guys, guys….I think @malevolentbutticklish is talking about all the things that are taxed other than reported earnings, like property tax and stuff. I want to hear what you guys have to say. Come on…..

Val123's avatar

@malevolentbutticklish OK, then. I’m simplistic! How would the property tax (for example) be different in a Socialist government than in a Capitalist Society? (Maybe my wording “Socialist Government” v “Capitalist Society” means I’m starting to “get it?”)

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

I composed and submitted an answer. Fluther timed out my session between when I started to compose the answer and when I submitted it. Fluther then lost my answer rather than retaining it through the login process.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@Val123: A great example is when the USA switched in one small regard from Capitalist to Socialist. The supreme court case Kilo vs New London reinterpreted eminent domain in the USA and gave the government the authority to seize land from anyone who wasn’t paying much tax on it and give it to anyone who said they would pay more tax. This means that even at the exact same tax rate within the USA a tax increase took place when the Kilo vs New London decision was handed down! Now you have to be sure your land is being used in the way which generates the highest taxes possible or it could be seized and given to someone who would pay more taxes! Luckily many states passed laws against this use of eminent domain but it is a great example of rights-reductions causes even equal property tax rates to be higher effective tax rates under socialism.

davidbetterman's avatar

That was a terrible decision on the part of the Supreme Court (5–4)...However, this was not a switch from capitalism to socialism…this was a switch from democratic rule to tyranny by the money elite.
Insofar as taxes and Capitalism vs. Socialism…There is no difference. Both forms of rule take close to 50% of the workers’ earnings.

As for the reported earnings aspect of my answer above…that deals strictly with income taxes of course. However, we also pay taxes on everything we consume (sales taxes and excise taxes and taxes on the taxes).

@Val123 Your example in the details of your question are skewed.

In a Capitalist society (like ours) if you earn $100, you pay about 40% income tax on said reported earning(s)...$40 to the gov, $60 to you.

In a Commie/Socialist State, you still pay about 40% to 70% of reported earnings.

So the Commie State probably takes more of your hard earned dough, but not much more than is taken by our criminally insane system under which we are living.

ETpro's avatar

Ha! I love this forum, but if you really want to know what the two words mean @Val123 you should look them both up in a dictionary. I have, and I can tell you lots of the information supplied above involved people’s pet peeves or misconceptions of the meaning.

See socialism and capitalism defined with these links.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@davidbetterman: “this was a switch from democratic rule to tyranny by the money elite.” <== wrong, the whole point outlined by the case was it is fine to seize someone’s private land TO INCREASE TAXES COLLECTED.

davidbetterman's avatar

Yes, that was what they had to say to make it work.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@ETpro: Thank you for the definition but I believe there is something to be learned about what socialism really is by listening to the pet peeves about socialism. Consider communism on paper vs communism in the former USSR. The definition of communism never says anything about “in Soviet Russia man on radio listens to you” even though this is one of the most important parts.

ETpro's avatar

@malevolentbutticklish The US has the lowest individual income tax rate of any industrialized nation on earth. We are at the far extreme of decent places to live that avoid socialized programs as much as possible. The only places with less socialism than us, more regressive taxes and less regulation are banana republics like Haiti.

If we keep making our tax system more regressive to bless a tiny handful of very wealthy people the debt we are piling up will bankrupt us, and the ultra rich multinationals who used right wing cons to get all that wealth will simply move on to greener pastures.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@ETpro you keep making these sweeping statements about “economic freedom” in the US as if we’re on a tipping point to become some kind of basket case (or banana republic) such as Haiti or your other favorite example in this regard, Somalia, if we have less government involvement in our lives.

Though I know you won’t go along with it, the Heritage Foundation has put a fair amount of thought and factual analysis into a world-wide Economic Freedom Index which puts the US at 8th place in the world, behind such other ‘basket cases’ as Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland and Canada.

Haiti is a good ways farther down the list at #141, and Somalia doesn’t appear on the list—perhaps they’re ahead of all the rest now and in some kind of economic Nirvana.

ETpro's avatar

@CyanoticWasp I will make this sweeping generalization in response, and I think on this you and I may agree. Our national debt is approaching $13 trillion dollars. If we do not bring it under control, we will be one of those basket case countries, and the economic freedom we enjoy now will be a thing of bygone days. We will not bring the spiraling debt under control by continuing to further cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

JeffVader's avatar

Frankly, I think, as always, you Americans have utterly missed the point. All this nonsensical discussion about socialist theory, state or privately run industry, Marx, the USSR & peasantry is not what modern socialism is about, even in the slightest. Fine, 100yrs ago these points were valid but not anymore. Nowadays it simply boils down to a few basics about how we want to live our lives, under what values. In a capitalist dominated country the emphasis is on the individual, the acquisition of personal wealth, materialistic self-improvement… basically the Gordon Gekko thing of greed being good, selfishness in other words. In modern socialist dominated countries, so basically the whole of Europe, & just about including Britain, the emphasis is more on people as a whole. Social responsibility dominates, the belief that, fine I’m doing ok, but I only need so much. The understanding that everyone deserves certain minimums in life such as healthcare that’s free at the point of need, benefits if they cant work, whether this be due to physical impairments, mental health issues, or social issues.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@JeffVader why stop at health care? Shouldn’t food also be “free at the point of need”? Between the two of those things, I need food more—and more often—than I need health care. Housing, too. I know you have ‘council housing’; shouldn’t everyone live there? After all, what more does one need? Transportation should be free, too, come to think of it. Bicycles for everyone!

@ETpro I don’t quite agree in the way that you think. (But I think our debt is much worse than what you state, too.) For every $1 that the government takes in taxes, it spends around $2. My proportions may be off; it may be worse than 2:1, and maybe it’s not quite ‘that bad’. But we still have a Congress and Executive that see fit to spend more than they take in taxes—and think that’s the way government should be run. The government needs to be—and to feel—much poorer than it is.

JeffVader's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Now, that’s exactly the sort of attitude I’d expect….. why bother with rational discussion when you can act all nuts. It boils down to a simple question of human selfishness. Do I need cable TV, 4 cars & 3 LCD TV’s. Or would I rather the money allowed someone less fortunate to cloth their children, treat their cancer, & put a decent roof over their heads. To use a phrase I’ve only ever heard Americans use…. what would Jesus do?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@JeffVader you’re talking to the wrong guy about Jesus. What would Darth do?

How are my statements less rational than yours? Nothing is “free”; why pretend that it is? Making it seem “free” means that it has to be rationed by some kind of governing authority, and it’s irrational to pretend other than that, too. Socialism not only “spreads the pain”, but increases it, since it removes incentives to work harder and do more.

Capitalism, for all its faults, does provide incentives for “the less fortunate” to work harder, smarter, longer, better (whatever way works for them) to improve their lot—it’s one of the reasons people come to this country, after all. And if someone does feel like he needs cable TV, 4 cars and 3 LCD TVs, then this is a way to do it. (Do you really know anyone like that? I’ve lived here for over half a century, met thousands, befriended hundreds, and I only read about such people, myself.)

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@ETPro: I second what @CyanoticWasp has said. Also, If we become a basket case due to our debt (which everyone agrees is bad) it will be because of government programs and government spending not because of lack of government programs and spending.
...
@ETPro: “We can cut all social programs from the Government. Get rig of social security, Medicare, Medicaid and Welfare/workfare. ” <== this is the correct answer!

JeffVader's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Hahaha, yeh me too on the Jesus front. I guess the point I was getting at is that people only need so much. Beyond that, it is simply the right thing to do to help those less fortunate. Why do I say your comments over free food are less rational, its simple. Food costs a pittance & is affordable by pretty much everyone (at least over here thanks to our benefits system). Healthcare, on the other hand, can be very expensive. & it’s just not right to make people choose between their health &, well, to be frank, anything. Healthcare free at the point of need is simply engrained into our social conscience, & I am utterly convinced this is the moral way to behave. I also disagree with your assertion that socialism either spreads or increases the pain. Where is the pain in knowing that my labour helps my elderly next door neighbour pay for his prescription, or that it helps pay for milk formula for the single mum down the road & helps put a roof over her & her child’s head. It’s a simple matter of having a social conscience…. or not.
Sadly, yes, I have met people like that. Who think nothing of buying a new 42inch LCD TV, or signing up to a new phone contract just to get an iphone, who buy their 17yrs old child a car despite them already having 2, who feel nothing about buying new clothes every weekend, who lavish toys on their children, who fritter money in fast food outlets etc etc. & it’s always these people who go on about the lazy & feckless, those who could work if only they weren’t too lazy….. wouldn’t be so bad if they had any idea whatsoever what they were talking about rather then regurgitating the crap tabloids spout.

semblance's avatar

My goodness but this has generated a lot of heat! Congratulations Val123 for asking a controversial question.

Malevolent whatever-his-name-is seems to be ignorant of history and apparently did not read my post completely or failed to comprehend it.

My point was that you attempted to describe socialism by the way in which income is taxed, but that does not define whether a system is “socialist” or not. In World War II taxes were indeed high and yes, the money at that time was largely allocated to the war effort which was ostensibly – and at least in that war probably really was – in the best interests of the citizens as a whole. However, taxes continued at very high rates, much as you describe in your example, until the early 1980’s. Taxes only tell us what part of one’s earnings the government takes, not what is done with the money.

The notion that capitalist systems result in lower taxes because there is not that much the government can do with the money is naive. Witness the current expenses of the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and the undeclared war in Pakistan, to say nothing of the costs of Homeland Security. These are significant factors which contribute substantially to the near-bankruptcy of the USA and they have nothing to do with socialism. History is replete with a long string of governments that believed they were ordained to change the world by force of arms and in the long run all of them have collapsed, largely due to the unsustainable cost of such endeavors. Most of these were not “socialist” countries.

To get back to socialism, again, as I said, it cannot be precisely defined. The USA as you know it today has many socialist programs. For example: 1) health care for the elderly and disabled (Medicare); 2) pensions for the elderly and disabled (Social Security); 3) medical and long term care for the poor (Medicaid); 4) support payments for the unemployed; 5) welfare programs for the poor; 6) child nutrition programs (e.g. the school lunch program). I am not commenting on whether these are good or bad programs in their conception or their administration. The point is simply that the USA is already a “socialist” country. It may not have as many social programs as its counterparts, such as Canada or many European countries, but we are talking about differences in degree, not kind.

davidbetterman's avatar

@JeffVader Malevolent whatever-his-name-is is a troll of the 1st magnitude.

ETpro's avatar

@CyanoticWasp & @malevolentbutticklish I am glad to see you are being upfront about your need for money, all you can grab, being strong enough you would prefer to eliminate Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Welfare. Let all who fall through the cracks just die. Let all seniors go without insurance, because virtually none can afford what private insurers would charge the elderly, even those lucky few who don’t already have a preexisting condition and thus can’t get coverage at any price. I’d just appreciate it if the rest of the right would be more honest about their desire to just let as many as 50 million Americans starve in the streets so you can balance the budget without any tax increase.

You are right that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet give of their own accord. But you are dead wrong in implying that we must keep taxes on top brackets as low as they are today or nobody could ever do as well as they have done. Both men were extremely wealthy, and Warren Buffet was on Forbes list of Wealthiest 400 Persns in the World well Before Reagan slashed taxes for the rich. They made it just fine with tax brackets that were actually paying down the debt, and not requiring 50 million Americans to die wo they could have more for themselves. I think both men would be appaled at your suggestion that such a policy would be good for our country.

JeffVader's avatar

@andavidbettermanimen….... Just a troll of the first order? ;)

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@ETpro there’s no middle ground with you, is there? Either we accept every self-serving lame-brained half-assed overly expensive regressive tax-supported inflationary and budget-busting stupid government program that comes along (and the one that comes along later to “fix” that one, in a (you hope) unending succession of inanity… or we’re in Somalia and Haiti, and (in your words) Let all who fall through the cracks just die. Let all seniors go without insurance, because virtually none can afford what private insurers would charge the elderly, even those lucky few who don’t already have a preexisting condition and thus can’t get coverage at any price. I’d just appreciate it if the rest of the right would be more honest about their desire to just let as many as 50 million Americans starve in the streets so you can balance the budget without any tax increase.

Don’t ever run for office, okay? Obviously there are enough stupid voters who eat that shit up, and I can’t counter all of their stupidity.

ETpro's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Yeah, there are a lot of voters who do like having Social Security and Medicare. Enough that as much as the servants of massive welth have always hated those programs, they couldn’t stop them from being enacted and know very well that if they killed them, it would be political suicide. It would wreck the economy as well.

There is a middle ground. We were in it during the Clinton Administration. We could eliminate the tax breaks and loopholes for the ultra wealthy, set top rates at something around 40%—only affecting the top 1% of income earners, and get back to retiring the National Debt like we were in the 90s and enjoying widespread prosperity. We don’t have to let people die so people with over a billion dollars already in hand can rapidly get more.

We are currently, slowly bleeding the middle calss dry. Real wages are down for the decade just ended. That’s the first time since the depression. Meanwhile the wealthiest 1% have been making over 60% of ALL the money. The bottom 90% have fallen to the lowest level sing the 1920s. This is not good for America. http://seekingalpha.com/article/189649-wealth-disparities-in-u-s-approaching-1920s-levels

mattbrowne's avatar

East Germany had been a socialist country for about 40 years. People were allowed to have private belongings such as a house or a car (although most had to wait many years till one was available). People were not allowed to own companies or farms. The employer was the state and the pay was almost the same for all kinds of jobs. Laziness or creativity didn’t really matter. There were only few incentives. The economy was not driven by supply and demand. There was a plan for everything. Basic goods needed to survive were made inexpensive such as bread, milk and heating. The latter also meant that people wasted energy.

Please note, socialism is not the same as a social market economy.

ETpro's avatar

@mattbrowne Thanks. It is nice to see there are some in the USA who still know what the word “Socialism” actually means. The people who lived in what used to be East Germany are ever so glad to be free of that “worker’s paradise” and part of West Germany now. There is no rush on their part, however, to overturn the social programs like universal healthcare that all Germans enjoy.

mattbrowne's avatar

@ETpro – Most West Germans appreciate the social programs as well. A social market economy is a market economy driven by supply and demand as well as creativity and incentives. Otherwise cars like Mercedes, BMW or Audi would not be possible.

Val123's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Food IS free to the very low income. It’s called food stamps.
@everyone….thank you so much for this education!

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Val123 you missed my point. “Food” is vital to everyone on a daily / weekly basis, without fail. “Health care” (except for emergency “get him breathing and stop the bleeding” response) is generally less ‘vital’ in the short term.

So before we nationalize the medical industry, which we are doing by degrees in the US, wouldn’t it have made sense to do that with supermarkets first? (No, of course not. But the point is that if health care is “too important to leave in private hands” ... then what is food?)

ETpro's avatar

@CyanoticWasp I do not believe we are anywhere remotely close to nationalizing our healthcare system in America. With the wild fight it took just to stop the most egregious of the private insurance cartel’s abuses, I think it is pretty ridiculous to see a loomong nationalization of the entire medical industry.

Most of the rest of the developed world has opted for a single payer system with government being the insurer (like Medicare) but for private hospitals, clinics and doctors. This most is what is in use by those nations with the best healthcare outcomes.

Val123's avatar

@CyanoticWasp I don’t think that’s a valid comparison. I really don’t. For a total of about 8 years I’ve lived without any Health Insurance. It’s awful. It’s like driving 90 mph through rush hour traffic, with no seatbelt and no air bags. If you’ve never been there, you can’t understand. I mean, after Rick and I let the shop go, and he got a wonderful job with health insurance benefits, a year later he wound up in the hospital for 6 days with deep vein thrombosis. The bill was $6000. After insurance, our share was $600. What would we have done without it? And what if some catastrophic thing had happened to him again, on the heels of that?
I’m getting Well Women checks, and dental care for the first time in 4 years. I don’t think it’s right that so many uninsured women can’t afford even basic preventative measures like that. In the end, when they miss the uterine cancer, or the breast cancer, it’s going to cost the public a whole lot more than it would had they had access to basic preventative insurance.
Can’t be compared to food, because if it’s bad enough, you can always grow a garden, or buy a farm and raise your own food. You can’t grow health insurance.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@Val123
My point above was that if health insurance is “too important to be left to the private sector”, then why is food not so important? How is that not valid?

Val123's avatar

I don’t understand then. Food IS left to the private sector, but I don’t think that compares to health insurance because they’re two different animals, run by two vastly different private sectors with two different mind sets. Yes, they both want to make money, but look at the greed of the insurance big wigs. I don’t think you see that in the food industry, not to the point were they’re going to raise the prices of food so high, to make a profit, so that only the wealthy can afford food, and the rest can just starve to death. I haven’t done any research though, so I’m talking off the top of my head.
And it would be a lot easier for a person with some means to start their own food-distribution industry, if needed, than for someone to start their own insurance company.

ETpro's avatar

@CyanoticWasp I know it must just break your cold hard heart to hear this, but we do subsidize food for the truly poor. We don’t just leave them to beg or starve.

We really aren’t going to be subsidizing that many people for health care, just those that are really poor. Like it or not, we already do subsidize them, only in a far more expense way, through treatment in emergency rooms instead of with a primary care provider. The truly poor can’t pay for that care either, and when they fail to reimburse, that expense already falls to all of us who are paying customers.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@ETpro despite your mischaracterization of my heart, I do know that we have food stamps. We also have Medicaid. What is that for, if not “to take care of the really poor?” You don’t need to tell me; I already know: it’s not big enough; it’s not inclusive enough; if only we put more into it then it would be the smashing success that Medicare and Social Security are. Yes, of course. Your arguments are already noted.

Despite your claims that “we’re only going to be subsidizing those who are ‘really poor’” (and that you actually seem to believe that), the fact is that the more we attempt to subsidize poverty in this country, the more of it we end up with. I know that you have already drunk the Kool Aid and won’t believe it, but the deadweight loads that all levels of government add to normal taxpayers year upon year (federal, state and local) means that… more and more of them are marginalized and become poor year after year. (No, it’s not that people are bankrupted and lose incomes because of taxes, but the tax load that we all bear means that there’s less disposable income for hiring those poor people at the margins, and they lose their jobs.)

The argument is not for you; I already know that you’re not going to believe it—or claim that it’s because we don’t subsidize ‘enough’ of the marginally poor (thereby making my claim for me). I only hope to reach some of those who haven’t already followed you through the looking glass.

ETpro's avatar

@CyanoticWasp You really don’t know me very well, nor do I know your heart of hearts. We instituted Workfare under Bill CLinton and to the degree that it is possible, I would very musch advocate expanding it. Anyone capable of working should do so, and if there aren’t jobs than train them to fix the crumbling roads, bridges and infrastructure and put them to work doing that. I am in no way an advocate of an ever expanding welfare system.

We can’t even discuss how we ought to manage social programs in America, the right of today and the left, because the moment I say I favor universal healthcare back comes the stuff about having “drunk the Kool-Aid and rational discussion is useless..

Val123's avatar

@CyanoticWasp The poor already can receive medicare (Medicaid is for those retired and over 55.) What this insurance reform will do is pick up all of those folks who fall in that grey zone between being really poor, and being well off enough to afford insurance…those people who are working minimum wage jobs, etc.

ETpro's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Adding to @Val123‘s list, all those who work multiple part-time jobs and get no work coverage (a rapidly growing segment of the population); all who loose a job and coverage, and are then excluded because of a preexisting condition; the self employed and small businesses who simply can’t afford the astronomical rates the insurance cartel charges for tiny groups. I fell in that last category before I got old enough to qualify for Medicare. Blue Cross was $2,700 a month to cover just my wife and I, and I am healthy as a horse, and hadn’t been hospitalized in 40 years. They considered the appendicitis at age 20 a preexisting condition even though it was removed 40 years ago.

Val123's avatar

@ETpro Obama’s putting a stop to that pre-existing crap. It was getting to the point where they were about to say, “Well, being born means you were going to have a preexisting condition at sometime in your life, so although you’ve paid premiums for 10 years and never filed an insurance claim we’re going to drop you now because of your illness which wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t been born.”

ETpro's avatar

@Val123 Exactly. We had death panels. They were called Wellpoint executives, and Aetna executives, etc. What the chage is about is putting an end to the death panels.

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