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The "welfare state"?

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Topic: The "welfare state"?
Posted By: Kevin
Subject: The "welfare state"?
Date Posted: 12-Jul-2007 at 18:24
I'm currently reading a book called the United States of Europe and a considerable part of it is devoted to the European ideals of a welfare state compared to the United States or anywhere else and the author of the book argues about how the idea of a welfare state is viewed as something to be proud of in many european nations and something worth sacrificing for,While here in the US it is viewed in a negative light as something socialist and as something that discourages people from finding jobs and putting effort into things.
 
So I was wondering if anyboy would want to contribute to the positives and negatives of a welfare state and how such a social and economic system is viewed in your nation or culture?        



Replies:
Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 13-Jul-2007 at 10:58
 
Originally posted by Kevin

I'm currently reading a book called the United States of Europe and a considerable part of it is devoted to the European ideals of a wlfare state compared to the United States or anywhere else
 
It's more a question of the European and anywhere else ideals of a welfare state, as against the United States alone.
 
From a historical point of view it always puzzles me that the US was so quick to establish free public schools (even even free public libraries) but resisted other welfare services. I mean, I know where the arguments against public health systems are coming from now, but why didn't the US start adopting welfare services in the first place?


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Posted By: Kevin
Date Posted: 13-Jul-2007 at 11:16
Originally posted by gcle2003

 
Originally posted by Kevin

I'm currently reading a book called the United States of Europe and a considerable part of it is devoted to the European ideals of a wlfare state compared to the United States or anywhere else
 
It's more a question of the European and anywhere else ideals of a welfare state, as against the United States alone.
 
From a historical point of view it always puzzles me that the US was so quick to establish free public schools (even even free public libraries) but resisted other welfare services. I mean, I know where the arguments against public health systems are coming from now, but why didn't the US start adopting welfare services in the first place?
 
That is a puzzling question,I assume maybe because education is the building blocks of soicety,So they put foreward a free education system with everything excluding college/university,and keep in mind health care makes up a sizeable portion of the economy over here in the US. So I guess they keep in privatized to encourage competitiveness?    


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Posted By: Maharbbal
Date Posted: 13-Jul-2007 at 13:02
I think that due to I'm not quite sure what maybe partly because of history US citizens have no problems with evergetism. 

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I am a free donkey!


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 15-Jul-2007 at 10:50
"Evergetism?"
 
Always wanting to get things?


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Posted By: Maharbbal
Date Posted: 15-Jul-2007 at 13:52
no evergetism with the g pronounced as in general was a political system in the Hellenistic world where the richest citizens or non citizens had to pay a lot with their personal fortune (to buy a play or the whole new theater, or a warship, or a temple) to become one of the members of mightiest class in the city. As if Warren Buffet had become life-long senator or vice-president for the sake of giving back to society his fortune.
it is a form of plutocracy but where the fact of being rich is not enough.


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I am a free donkey!


Posted By: Constantine XI
Date Posted: 15-Jul-2007 at 19:07
Originally posted by Kevin

So I was wondering if anyboy would want to contribute to the positives and negatives of a welfare state and how such a social and economic system is viewed in your nation or culture?       


In the case of Australia the welfare state was an evolution of the ideals which grew out of its convict past. Many of the early settlers were those who had simply been unlucky to have been born at the bottom end of the social spectrum and had turned to a life of petty crime, or suffered poverty in Ireland and were transported to find a new life. The early settlers developed the idea of "a fair go", where everyone deserves a reasonable level of opportunity for society to have any expectation of them to succeed in life. In creating a new nation out of wilderness, many of the settlers also had to band together and help eachother out in fighting against nature's calamities. The idea of "mateship" developed, which is a peculiar feature of Australian identity where you come to the aid of your neighbour or you help out those who suffer from difficulties which they could not possibly have forseen and prepared for. Finally, Australian society evolved in a distinctly classless way because the old feudal traditions of Europe had no application on the other side of the planet in a new land. Australians have clung to this anti-elitist tendency ever since, becoming dismissive of those who hoist themselves up on to a pedestal or try to be anything which goes against the egalitarian values of Australian society.

You can see where all this has lead to. Australian society developed a welfare state comparable to the most advanced ones back in Europe. Personally I see this not only as a commendable humanitarian achievement, but also a sound investment. Millions of intelligent and potentially talented individual who were born at the unlucky end of society are given opportunity to follow their passion in life and make themselves a useful asset to society, something I dare think many of those tough early settlers would be proud to know has been achieved. Rather than such individuals putting their intelligence and talent to use in criminal activity, they are instead given the means to make constructive use of them.


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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 18-Jul-2007 at 09:41
Originally posted by Maharbbal

no evergetism with the g pronounced as in general was a political system in the Hellenistic world where the richest citizens or non citizens had to pay a lot with their personal fortune (to buy a play or the whole new theater, or a warship, or a temple) to become one of the members of mightiest class in the city. As if Warren Buffet had become life-long senator or vice-president for the sake of giving back to society his fortune.
it is a form of plutocracy but where the fact of being rich is not enough.
 
I never knew that. Now I guess I'll never forget it. Neverforgetism? Smile
Thanks.
 
The modern US version, I guess, is the way they appoint ambassadors, except that you have to make monetary contributions to the right party. Our US ambassador here got the post for being one of Bush's most successful fund-raisers.


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Posted By: Ulrich Wolff
Date Posted: 01-Oct-2007 at 19:59
Welfare states are viewed badly because they are the same thing as communism. Take that mans money from him, give it to the "needy" (That is the common conception of them here). America provides opportunity for your own success that is why there are libraries, schools, and even financial help. But, they draw the line, and make people work for themselves. Of course that doesn't seem to always work. There are a lot bums out there claiming they aren't able to work. America attempts to give even the poorest person a proper education, and a way to be productive, but will not support them completely depending on their situation.


Posted By: Ponce de Leon
Date Posted: 02-Oct-2007 at 03:04
That is one way of American thinking (especially my family's way). And I think this is one factor of why the American economy has a faster pace in terms of growth than say economies like France and Germany. But I am just speculating


Posted By: Justinian
Date Posted: 02-Oct-2007 at 06:16
Originally posted by Kevin

I'm currently reading a book called the United States of Europe and a considerable part of it is devoted to the European ideals of a welfare state compared to the United States or anywhere else and the author of the book argues about how the idea of a welfare state is viewed as something to be proud of in many european nations and something worth sacrificing for,While here in the US it is viewed in a negative light as something socialist and as something that discourages people from finding jobs and putting effort into things.
 
So I was wondering if anyboy would want to contribute to the positives and negatives of a welfare state and how such a social and economic system is viewed in your nation or culture?        
I read a book several months ago called The Swedish Secret by Earl Gustafson that addressed this issue; it compared the american governmental system and the swedish one.  Basically the american allows the poorest to become the richest with a huge gap between the two obviously with a very large poor class, whereas the swedish model didn't have super rich but it didn't really have much poor either, think of a huge middle class.  Obviously hugely simplifying the argument but that was the main thing.  Personally I believe the swedish one is better overall, especially morally and when one thinks of helping one's fellow man.  No contest at all.  The book you are reading sounds remarkably similar to it.  I would agree with both authors assessments.  Needless to say I don't think much of this governments welfare system.  (though I do have an axe to grind in this case so keep that in mind)


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"War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace."--Thomas Mann



Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 02-Oct-2007 at 11:41
 
Originally posted by Ulrich Wolff

Welfare states are viewed badly because they are the same thing as communism.
Not in the least the same thing. Welfare states are to a large extent attempts to put Christian (and Muslim and Sikh and Jewish ... most major religions) principles into practice. That's why the medieval welfare system was run by the church, and why the modern movement towards the welfare state in most countries was driven by religious individuals.
 
Moreover, there's no reason to automatically label anything 'communist' as 'bad' without a little more analysis.
 
Take that mans money from him, give it to the "needy" (That is the common conception of them here).
I can't imagine a more Christian concept. (Again, that's shorthand, I don't want to seem biassed against other religions.)
 America provides opportunity for your own success that is why there are libraries, schools, and even financial help. But, they draw the line, and make people work for themselves.
Not if they're rich they don't. Is anyone making Paris Hilton work for herself?
 
Also most people don't work for themselves but for someone else. Incidentally one place that certainly made everyone work was Soviet Russia. Cuba does the same thing. If anything is 'communist' it's the teaching that everybody should work.
 
 Of course that doesn't seem to always work. There are a lot bums out there claiming they aren't able to work. America attempts to give even the poorest person a proper education, and a way to be productive, but will not support them completely depending on their situation.
 
 


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Posted By: Ulrich Wolff
Date Posted: 08-Oct-2007 at 18:14
Not if they're rich they don't. Is anyone making Paris Hilton work for herself?

Paris Hilton is supported by her parents not the government, it is their personal decision. They can decide at any time to cut her off.

can't imagine a more Christian concept. (Again, that's shorthand, I don't want to seem biassed against other religions.)


There is nothing more heinous to enforce on the public that they must support other people with their hard earned value. It is like taking their blood, their right to live from their very veins.

Good will towards other people absolutely, it should NEVER be enforced by the government. There are plenty of charities that help the needy, but they are private so that everyone has a choice of weather or not to help. Goodwill always a personal choice

Also most people don't work for themselves but for someone else. Incidentally one place that certainly made everyone work was Soviet Russia. Cuba does the same thing. If anything is 'communist' it's the teaching that everybody should work.


No, people do not work just for themselves. They work for their family, and THEIR right for happiness. Not some one else's.

I don't understand why you think communism teaches people to work. If any thing communism teaches you to rely on other people rather then your sweat, and blood.

Communism on the surface, sounds wonderful. In practice there is no greater tyranny.






Posted By: Northman
Date Posted: 08-Oct-2007 at 18:59
Ulrich Wolff
 
Good to see you here on AE - Welcome!
Other than that - just a few words for now ....
 
You seem to suffer from lack of knowledge or understanding that could help you differ between a modern wellfare state and Communism. There is a huge difference.
 
I'm sure you have heard of Scandinavia, but I'm sure you have never heard anyone who knows Scandinavia or have been here, calling the Scandinavian countries communist countries. 

The Scandinavian countries are based on an extremely well developed wellfare system, and I can promise you, here are less than one percent communists.
 
To read a bit about the Scandinavian Wellfare Model, you can click http://www.workindenmark.dk/Welfare - HERE .
 
Its just a brief explanation of the major elements, but if you likewise read a bit about communism, you can easily see that the concepts really have nothing to do with each other. 
 
~ Northman
 


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Posted By: Patch
Date Posted: 08-Oct-2007 at 19:14
Originally posted by Kevin

I'm currently reading a book called the United States of Europe and a considerable part of it is devoted to the European ideals of a welfare state compared to the United States or anywhere else and the author of the book argues about how the idea of a welfare state is viewed as something to be proud of in many european nations and something worth sacrificing for,While here in the US it is viewed in a negative light as something socialist and as something that discourages people from finding jobs and putting effort into things.
 
So I was wondering if anyboy would want to contribute to the positives and negatives of a welfare state and how such a social and economic system is viewed in your nation or culture?        
 
Parts of the welfare state are coming under heavy critisim in the UK at present particularly benefit payments.  There are around 4 million out of work in the UK at present (those on incapacity benefit plus those on unemployment benefit) and this is becoming an increasing burden on taxpayers.
 
There are now many areas in the UK  e.g. the north of England, north Wales and parts of Scotland where there can be several generations of a family who have known nothing but living off benefits and crime.
The benefit system has effectively created an underclass for whom it is more profitable to live off handouts than to work.
 
 


Posted By: Ulrich Wolff
Date Posted: 08-Oct-2007 at 19:14

Good to see you here on AE - Welcome!

Thank you.


I didn't say welfare IS Communism. I said welfare is associated with communism. Any thing that supports enforcement of "Goodwill charity" I will relate to communism, or socialism.



Citizens enjoy extensive financial security. They are supported in times of sickness, unemployment and old age. Supplementary services include help with rent payment and with expenses on children. Furthermore, citizens are offered extensive advanced services such as day-care centres, healthcare and home care.

Contrary to most other EU member states, social benefits in Denmark only depend on employer contributions and direct contributions to a very limited degree, and people’s right to benefits depends only to a limited extent on their former activity on the labour market.


That actually sounds like it could work, but it would put strain on employers causing to hire fewer people, and straining the people they have with larger work loads. It will likely fail, but it'll be interesting to see it play out.


The benefit system has effectively created an underclass for whom it is more profitable to live off handouts than to work.


Thank you patch. Exactly my point.

All the while they are getting hand outs it is putting strain on good, hard working people.

There are three things that cause communism/socialism in a person. They vary in combination.

1. They wish to help other people (Which in the end teaches people to rely on others instead of themselves)

2. They believe they were dealt a poor hand in life, and everyone else should help them.

3. They believe in a fanciful world where everyone helps, everyone. Which is a day dream at best. At worst a delusion.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 08-Oct-2007 at 19:37
 
Originally posted by Ulrich Wolff

Not if they're rich they don't. Is anyone making Paris Hilton work for herself?

Paris Hilton is supported by her parents not the government, it is their personal decision. They can decide at any time to cut her off.
My point is that the system doesn't make her work. Or her parents for that matter. Conrad Hilton used to work, I'll grant you.

can't imagine a more Christian concept. (Again, that's shorthand, I don't want to seem biassed against other religions.)


There is nothing more heinous to enforce on the public that they must support other people with their hard earned value. It is like taking their blood, their right to live from their very veins.
If that's the way you feel, that's the way you feel. Don't however claim to be Christian. The major institution that has enforced that on the public over the centuries has been the Church (most if not all churches).


Good will towards other people absolutely, it should NEVER be enforced by the government.
Why not?
There are plenty of charities that help the needy, but they are private so that everyone has a choice of weather or not to help. Goodwill always a personal choice
The normal result of that is that people channel their charity to people they know or who belong to societies they know, or possibly are just fashionable. That tends to mean that charity flows, for instance, within the Baptist or Catholic or whatever community and congregation and stays with members of that in-group.
 
So the middle-class supports the middle-class (as long as it remains part of it) and the unattached, the rejects, the failures and the simply inadequate get overlooked.
 
The organisation of charity so that it is properly allocated and spread out without bias need not be governmental, but it does need to be independent of special influence.


Also most people don't work for themselves but for someone else. Incidentally one place that certainly made everyone work was Soviet Russia. Cuba does the same thing. If anything is 'communist' it's the teaching that everybody should work.


No, people do not work just for themselves. They work for their family, and THEIR right for happiness. Not some one else's.
Yes they do. Think of all the people who work for Paris Hilton and her family. Think of all the people who worked for Ken Laye. Their goal may be their own and their family's well-being, but they are rarely the only people who benefit from their labour.


I don't understand why you think communism teaches people to work.
Because you go to jail (or at least ostracised) if you don't. 'From each according to his ability', remember?
 
If any thing communism teaches you to rely on other people rather then your sweat, and blood.

Communism on the surface, sounds wonderful. In practice there is no greater tyranny.
Depends what you mean by communism. Soviet-style communism, you're close to right[1]. Marxist communism in general, right again but Soviet-style would be a worse tyranny. Cherokee communism, you're wrong. Utopian communism, wrong again.
 
[1] I doubt that even Stalinist tyranny was the greatest ever. There's a lot of competition: how about Caligula?




[/QUOTE]

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Posted By: Ulrich Wolff
Date Posted: 08-Oct-2007 at 19:58
If that's the way you feel, that's the way you feel. Don't however claim to be Christian. The major institution that has enforced that on the public over the centuries has been the Church (most if not all churches).

HAHAHAHA! You should not claim to be Christian either if you come in here with that. I can't count how many times God says "Ye will not help them, or preach to them because of their creed". For centuries religion has been the biggest aggressor for war. Marx himself "Religion is opium for the masses"

Good will towards other people absolutely, it should NEVER be enforced by the government.
Why not?


Because you are taking away their right to be happy, and wealthy. It is a right that must be pursued by an individual, not given to them.  Basically, you must fight for your own survival if you are capable. America has plenty of welfare programs for people who cannot provide for themselves. But, we will not tolerate lazy slouches. In my opinion let the rich be rich! Because they earned it.



My point is that the system doesn't make her work. Or her parents for that matter. Conrad Hilton used to work, I'll grant you.
The point is they have the FREEDOM, to either be productive people, or sit on their butts, and suffer for it. Paris Hilton does not have to be productive because she does not have to support herself. Which is exactly what a welfare state hands to people.

Because you go to jail (or at least ostracised) if you don't. 'From each according to his ability', remember?

Ok, lets throw every one who doesn't work into jail, so they can have free food, and free beds.  While we pay for it.  That teaches people to work real hard!

Marxist communism is not bad in words. In action it is not possible.



Posted By: Ulrich Wolff
Date Posted: 10-Oct-2007 at 19:51
I didn't have time to address a few things in my last post, so I will address them now.

Cherokee communism, you're wrong. Utopian communism, wrong again.


Cherokee communism worked because the tribe is just like a family. Each work, each take care of those who do not work with in the family. So, in a sense its just like what you said here.

The normal result of that is that people channel their charity to people they know or who belong to societies they know



Utopian communism does not work in the real world. The fact bears in its very name.



That tends to mean that charity flows, for instance, within the Baptist or Catholic or whatever community and congregation and stays with members of that in-group.


I can't count how many charity groups there are. I can't count how many I've participated in over the years. When I went to school we had at least 1 or 2 charity programs a year. When I went to boy scouts every time you turn around we're doing charity work.

Red Cross
City of Hope and affiliates
CARE
Save the Children

Those are all non-religious charity programs.


Yes they do. Think of all the people who work for Paris Hilton and her family. Think of all the people who worked for Ken Laye. Their goal may be their own and their family's well-being, but they are rarely the only people who benefit from their labour.


I think the answer to this question is the most obvious. They had an employer (AKA Hilton family) who paid them a certain amount of money to work for them, thus advancing, and providing for their families. One could even argue that having people like the Hilton family is very beneficial because they provide work for a variety of people.



Posted By: Northman
Date Posted: 10-Oct-2007 at 21:26
Originally posted by Ulrich W

I can't count how many charity groups there are. I can't count how many I've participated in over the years. When I went to school we had at least 1 or 2 charity programs a year. When I went to boy scouts every time you turn around we're doing charity work.
 
That is exactly the point Ulrich.
 
How great would you feel being at the receiving end of charity?
How do you think people feel about having to rely on charity from strangers, good will (and money) from family and friends?
When would YOU start thinking that you might be a burden to those who helps you if you were in that situation?
 
Thats what welfare is about  - to ensure every citizen that they can go through life, most notably a decent and dignified life, not having to rely on crums from those who are better off.
This should be a right for every human being on this planet.
 
It also involves ie. free healthcare, eldercare, meds. and hospitals so that you can be treated for any illness - have a decent 3'rd age, getting your diabetes medicine and having the surgery you need etc. etc.
 
Wellfare is also about equal opportunities for all, - something most US citizens value very high. I also think its in your Constitution.
But - if you think that can be accomplished without a free education system all the way through university, you are dead wrong.
 
If a guy is born "on the wrong side of the street", his chances of getting a higher education, no matter how smart he is, is very poor. I know there are scholarships and so on, but they remain a possiblity for the very few (so absolutely no equality for all).
 
Also, this way a country is being "robbed" for the great brains who most likely is serving burgers at McDonalds instead of going to highschool and university. Instead, the universities are filled with "well off" kids of which quite a few, should switch places with those kids at McDonalds - if we want the best brains in the country to be educated the most.
This is actually "a Republican" point of view, but sadly enough, they don't care. And they won't care as long as they can get their own kids into the scools. Money has proved heavier than IQ on the scale.
 
Our taxload here will give any US citizen goosebumps.
But I'm happily paying my taxes, well knowing they provide and guarantee the right to basic needs for us all.
 
What is wrong with taxes anyways? - They don't matter!
What matters is, the amount of money you have left to yourself AFTER you have paid your taxes.
 
The filosophy?
"A society where only a few has too little, and even fewer too much" (N.F.S. Grundtvig, 1783-1872)

~ Northman
 
 


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Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 10-Oct-2007 at 22:38
Dear Ulrich wolff
 
If it is rigt for the government to steel 500 billion $ from tax payers money, not to mention tax cuts, to spend it on subsidies, bailouts and non bidding contracts, which are the modern day equivalent for subsidies, for companies that cannot keep up a desent check book that have failed managment that reward themselves for bringing the companey more and more into the red, then by God we deserve to be treated like these companies by giving the poor, the uneducated and most importantly the sick the same care that we give to companies that not only steel from us, but even outsource our jobs.
 
By the way I am talking about the US but the situation is exactly the same here in Saudi Arabia, just take one zero out and I am talking about KSA.
 
Al-Jassas  


Posted By: Ulrich Wolff
Date Posted: 11-Oct-2007 at 15:28
Tax cuts can be a very good thing, and subsidizing; because they both promote more production, and trade. Thus increasing the overall income of their workers, and the amount of workers there are.

http://www.outsourcing-offshore.com/dobbs.html - http://www.outsourcing-offshore.com/dobbs.html Please read this article about outsourcing, or "offshoring". It'll explain it better then I can. We do give the poor, and the sick care. We don't give the uneducated able-to-work care because normally in America "uneducated" means they dropped out in high school by choice, and they are reaping the rewards of that choice.

So, if we did things your way, and had  a government run medical system. Just check out Canada's medicare system. A lot of them die waiting for health care, or try to get in America or some other country.


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 11-Oct-2007 at 18:34
Hello Ulrich
 
In case you wondered I am a libertarian, I don't believe in taxes period.
 
But taxes must be imposed if we are to run a state. I detest the European welfare state because it is a nanny state not a welfare state. Welfare state means that only essentials are taken care of, retirement ensurance,  long term and expensive health care costs and basic education but the european model is just outragegous punishing the middle and upper classes because people chose not to take the right path in their life and thus the burden of keeping them is the responsibility of every one.
 
 But I even detest more what is hapening in the US. In the US companies that do not deserve get free money from those who do not own. One of the most essential aspects of capitalism is personal responsibilty, if you go on a venture you know what is in it for you and what is in it against you and whatever happens is your responsibility. That was what made Americas great companies back in the good old days. In those days these companies did not wait for government charity or lucrative contract given for free. They worked on great projects based on their own intiative and it worked. When the Wright brother approached the American government for help they were given the cold shoulder and yet the US became the world largest and most innovative aviation industry. Nowadays the congressionl corporate agents, wrongly called representative and senators, are far more interested in the prosperity of the corporation they represent than the welfare of their own citizen. Certain politicians call for doom and gloom when ever a social or economic legistlation is presented because it is steeling tax payers money and giving it to failiure, like what happened to the child health care bill. But when it comes to failed corporations that left no rule in the books that they did not break, that are full of irregularity and irresponsibility you see them the first to call for free bailouts with out any strings, like what happened in the latest credit crunch. In times of ecomonic hardships and in case of strategic economic sectors, there I have no problems with bailouts, loans that is, and tax cuts. But to bailout the greed of these corporations and their mismanagement is to say to them is totally unacceptable, in my humble opinion it is nothing but steeling.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: Ulrich Wolff
Date Posted: 11-Oct-2007 at 19:18
Corruption is not avoidable in any government. Please do not act like the sky is falling, that is a very liberal-popular trait. Nearly all American media is liberal bias which is why the American people tend to be misinformed. Try to find a solution, and think it through, don't just aim fire, or complain until the sky does fall. Thats what they did in canada when they began their medicare system.

"People need medical care."
"I know what we should do! Lets pay for them all with money out of their pockets for the greater good, therefor making everyone carry one persons burden, and greatly harm the efficiency of our medical system!"

I agree with you, in a perfect world there would be no taxes, and there would be no need for money, but this is the real world.


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 12-Oct-2007 at 00:25
Hello Ulrich
 
I exclusively heard Rush Limbaugh and Laura Schlessinger for four years and still I was not convinced. I am neither a "liberal" nor a "conservative", I am Saudi Arabian and do not care for local politics of the US, I only care about foriegn policies. However if I were to be an  American, I would definitely be a classic Gladstonean-Lloyd Georgian liberal with a conservative outlook. 
 
As for solutions, they do exist. In Ireland for example there is an excellent complete and full health coverage system alogside private providers, an excellent retirement system and the country has a lower taxation level with respect to GDP (30.1 % if I remember correctly) than the US (34%-35). The same goes for Japan. Both countries have far more successful businesses than the US and far more competetiveness, productivity and a lot tougher laws against free bailouts.
 
There is no disagreement that people should pay for their own expenses, except those desperatly poor or bankrupt who are very small minority. But one thing I do not accept is for me to pay for the mistakes and wrong decision of others especially if these were companies that mismanaged their resources and then they come crying for help.
 
By the way I did not see the last of Moore's films.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: Ulrich Wolff
Date Posted: 12-Oct-2007 at 15:24
The health-care service in Ireland has been enacted for only two years. That is not enough time to tell if it has worked or not, also; Ireland is a smaller country. What might work there might not work in any larger country, same for japan.

I hate Moore. All he does is show every thing bad, and make up a few things along the way.

Productivity increases with lower tax rates, I agree that taxes should be lowered. If it is possible for a government run medical system then I'm all for it, but that is as likely as the USA building a space station on mars in the next five years.

Both countries have far more successful businesses than the US and far more competetiveness, productivity and a lot tougher laws against free bailouts.

I agree with you. Stop complaining. Figure it out.

Your some what modern liberal, some what good ol' liberal from when they were sane. Encourage sanity, and debate pros and cons before you agree with them. A lot of people agree with some thing just because they want it to be true, think with logic only.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 12-Oct-2007 at 15:54
 
 
Originally posted by Ulrich Wolff

If that's the way you feel, that's the way you feel. Don't however claim to be Christian. The major institution that has enforced that on the public over the centuries has been the Church (most if not all churches).

HAHAHAHA! You should not claim to be Christian either if you come in here with that.
I don't. I'm glad to see you are not being hypocritical about it. Many people are.
 
 
I can't count how many times God says "Ye will not help them, or preach to them because of their creed". For centuries religion has been the biggest aggressor for war. Marx himself "Religion is opium for the masses"

Good will towards other people absolutely, it should NEVER be enforced by the government.
Why not?


Because you are taking away their right to be happy, and wealthy.
No-one has a right to be wealthy. Not even Paris Hilton. No-one has a right to be happy for that matter. It's not a question of rights, but of the biological fact that humans are a pack animal, and the social fact that the kind of social organisation you are talking about falls apart.
 
The two major economic/social lessons of the 20th century are that Soviet Communism doesn't work (exemplified by the fate of the Soviet Union, and its abandonment by China) and that free-market capitalism doesn't work (exmplified above all by the events of the 'thirties, but also the similar depressions of the 19th century, and the crime rate of societies like the US compared to that of the social democratic ones).
It is a right that must be pursued by an individual, not given to them.  Basically, you must fight for your own survival if you are capable. America has plenty of welfare programs for people who cannot provide for themselves. But, we will not tolerate lazy slouches. In my opinion let the rich be rich! Because they earned it.
In fact I don't have much trouble with rich people who earned their money. Vastly however in the US (as elsewhere) rich people are rich because their parents were. The moderately well off like Gates may make it to the super-rich, but the poor don't. (Even if they did in the days of the frontier, which is pretty doubtful)
 
What happens in the kind of society you describe is that the rich get richer and the poor poorer. As a result the economy eventually stalls because it depends essentially on the ability of the majority of the population to consume what is manufactured.


My point is that the system doesn't make her work. Or her parents for that matter. Conrad Hilton used to work, I'll grant you.
The point is they have the FREEDOM, to either be productive people, or sit on their butts, and suffer for it. Paris Hilton does not have to be productive because she does not have to support herself. Which is exactly what a welfare state hands to people.
If it's all right for Paris Hilton to sit on her hands and get funded, why is it wrong for other people? Quite apart from the economic arguments for the welfare state, which are determinative from a non-ethical point of view.


Because you go to jail (or at least ostracised) if you don't. 'From each according to his ability', remember?

Ok, lets throw every one who doesn't work into jail, so they can have free food, and free beds.  While we pay for it.  That teaches people to work real hard
Now you are supporting Communism. What happened to freedom?


Marxist communism is not bad in words. In action it is not possible.

Well I agree with the second sentence but not the first. Marxist analysis is flawed I think, but that's another topic.
 
The welfare state isn't Marxist. At least it's not a Marxist concept or the Marxist ideal. It's foundations are more on religion and empirical economic analysis than anything else.


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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 12-Oct-2007 at 16:03
 
Originally posted by Ulrich Wolff

I didn't have time to address a few things in my last post, so I will address them now.

Cherokee communism, you're wrong. Utopian communism, wrong again.


Cherokee communism worked because the tribe is just like a family. Each work, each take care of those who do not work with in the family. So, in a sense its just like what you said here.
 
Precisely. If you want to argue that welfare systems work best when they are decentralised, I'd probably agree with you.


The normal result of that is that people channel their charity to people they know or who belong to societies they know



Utopian communism does not work in the real world. The fact bears in its very name.
Agreed.

That tends to mean that charity flows, for instance, within the Baptist or Catholic or whatever community and congregation and stays with members of that in-group.


I can't count how many charity groups there are. I can't count how many I've participated in over the years. When I went to school we had at least 1 or 2 charity programs a year. When I went to boy scouts every time you turn around we're doing charity work.

Red Cross
City of Hope and affiliates
CARE
Save the Children

Those are all non-religious charity programs.
I didn't mean to imply that all charities were religious. I did mean to imply that lots of them put restrictions on the population the benefits go to. But not all. We support Médecins sans Frontières for example. I don't see your point though.



Yes they do. Think of all the people who work for Paris Hilton and her family. Think of all the people who worked for Ken Laye. Their goal may be their own and their family's well-being, but they are rarely the only people who benefit from their labour.


I think the answer to this question is the most obvious. They had an employer (AKA Hilton family) who paid them a certain amount of money to work for them, thus advancing, and providing for their families. One could even argue that having people like the Hilton family is very beneficial because they provide work for a variety of people.

 
That is, people work for other people, not for themselves (on the whole). You'r now arguing that the rich shouldn't have to work, as long as they pay others to work for them. In other words you don't mind people being idle slackers as long as they are rich (or had rich ancestors). Doesn't sound very logical to me.
 
Sounds to me like the kind of decadent aristocratic society the US was built to get away from.


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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 12-Oct-2007 at 16:11
 
Originally posted by Ulrich Wolff

So, if we did things your way, and had  a government run medical system. Just check out Canada's medicare system. A lot of them die waiting for health care, or try to get in America or some other country.
 
Straight nonsense. The real truth is that stacks of Americans depend on buying their medicines in Canada (or Mexico even) because they can't pay for them in the US.
 
Americans pay more than anyone else in the world for health care. And they have the 37th best service as a result (according to the WHO). I had the bad luck to be in the US four years ago when I had a minor heart problem. As a result I was in hospital for two nights, and on an operating table (only a local anaesthic) for about a half-hour while they put in a stent.
 
The bill? Thirty three thousand dollars.
 
I investigated what it would have cost the government system (not me personally) in Luxembourg. Answer: a little over three thousand euros, of which I would have had to pay some 300. I repeat: the cost to the system in Luxembourg was one tenth of the cost in the US.
 
Of course not too many of the tens of millions of uninsured in the US would have been able to fork out thirty-three thousand. They would have got the treatment (thanks to one of the few pieces of welfare state federal legislation) but they would still have had to pay the bill by instalments.
 
It's unbelievable the way Americans will put up with the health system they have, pay way over the odds for it, and still claim other people's systems are worse.
 
 


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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 12-Oct-2007 at 16:16
 
Originally posted by Ulrich Wolff

The health-care service in Ireland has been enacted for only two years.
Ridiculous. It may well have been tinkered with.
 
 
 
That is not enough time to tell if it has worked or not, also; Ireland is a smaller country. What might work there might not work in any larger country, same for japan.
Looked at the population of Japan lately? This is small?
I hate Moore. All he does is show every thing bad, and make up a few things along the way.

Productivity increases with lower tax rates,
Nope.
 
 I agree that taxes should be lowered. If it is possible for a government run medical system then I'm all for it, but that is as likely as the USA building a space station on mars in the next five years.

Both countries have far more successful businesses than the US and far more competetiveness, productivity and a lot tougher laws against free bailouts.

I agree with you. Stop complaining. Figure it out.

our some what modern liberal, some what good ol' liberal from when they were sane. Encourage sanity, and debate pros and cons before you agree with them. A lot of people agree with some thing just because they want it to be true, think with logic only.


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Posted By: Ulrich Wolff
Date Posted: 12-Oct-2007 at 17:08
Ok now your running in circles....

Capitalism needs to be balanced with socialism which is why we have two parties in the government.


Looked at the population of Japan lately? This is small?

Japanese 123 million to the US 300 million.

Ridiculous. It may well have been tinkered with.

Mistake, three years. years.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland

Nope.

Please state more then nope. Lower taxes increase production because the populous  has more money to spend, and invest. Thus creating more market.

Straight nonsense. The real truth is that stacks of Americans depend on buying their medicines in Canada (or Mexico even) because they can't pay for them in the US.

Medication is cheap in Canada, what I was referring to was medical service. I will illustrate my point below.

Americans pay more than anyone else in the world for health care. And they have the 37th best service as a result (according to the WHO). I had the bad luck to be in the US four years ago when I had a minor heart problem. As a result I was in hospital for two nights, and on an operating table (only a local anaesthic) for about a half-hour while they put in a stent.
 
The bill? Thirty three thousand dollars.


Guess what? If you were in Canada, you would have died waiting in line before you saw a doctor. I think thirty thousand is well worth your life.

If you can give me evidence that the system works in long-term with out results such as Canada's I will say let the government run it. I have researched Ireland's system, I find it very interesting, and I  think it could work.

I agree with you the medical costs are ridiculous.  It cost me 300 dollars to get ten stitches. I nearly said "I'll do it myself next time!"


No-one has a right to be wealthy. Not even Paris Hilton. No-one has a right to be happy for that matter. It's not a question of rights, but of the biological fact that humans are a pack animal, and the social fact that the kind of social organisation you are talking about falls apart.

That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my entire life. Ok, you no longer have the right to be happy, you serve the government, the government does not serve you. Now what? Monarchy. Government was created to protect, and serve the people, to give us the chance to pursue happiness, and not baby-sit us every step. If it does not you are speaking of oligarchy. I am all for government run medical care. IS IT POSSIBLE? Is what I have a problem, and including all socialism. Is it possible? History says NO. Socialism, and capitalism need to be in balance together. That balance is rocking here. One capitalist is in this forum, and that is becoming an awful trend in the world.

precisely. If you want to argue that welfare systems work best when they are decentralised, I'd probably agree with you.

So you agree with the current welfare system in America? Because that is what it is.




Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 12-Oct-2007 at 17:09
Hello Ulrich
 
thanks for your reply. I guess that Senator Edwards and Howard Dean's ideas should be a starting point for fixing the problem of health care. I was not implying in my post a full socialisation of health care and that the federal government should do it because it is not practical. Instead, such programs with varying degrees of coverage should be the responsibility of the state or even the county. The only two groups that realy deserve coverage are the elderly and the children, any body else should pay for his/her health care. But what really interested me is that MEDICARE/MEDICAID programs spend more per-capita on the American patient than the european counterparts but is lightyears away from the level provided by Germany which means that interest groups really control spending.
 
As for Michael Moore's pictures well I only partly saw Fahrenheit 9/11 and I heard all about his film Sicko on NPR and unfortunatly as gcle said before, what he aid is true. Our neighbour worked there for several years, one of his boys was born prematurely and the cost of 1 month care was over 20 000 $ and that was when health care costs were low in 96, since his yearly income was 100 000$ he did not have much of a problem paying off but imagine if he had a mortgage, a combined income of 80 000 $ and other costs, how the hell is he going o pay for this keeping in ind he had a full coverage for himself and his family in addition to the company coverage, only God know's how much his company paid.
 
As for Ireland, there were two health care acts, one in 1970 which is basically the same as the one today except for certain administrative changes and a 1947 act. Also, Europe has much higher taxes and productivity in general than the US.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: Ulrich Wolff
Date Posted: 12-Oct-2007 at 17:31
I saw Moore's documentary on the Iraq war. A lot of it was over reaction to seeing what war really is. Thanks to the media today war REAL war is on our TV screens, and most people cannot handle seeing such things. It is ugly, and the truth of it is there of civilians killed in bombings, the government taps phones, and investigates thoroughly. It was no different in WWII or any other war, MORE civilians died in that war then I could fathom. A lot of what he said in bowling for columbine was completely inaccurate. I cannot say any thing about his other films, but generally I do not respect the man as a intelligent individual.

Health care is a highly demanding job, and few people get into. It is following the economics code supply, and demand.

As for Ireland, there were two health care acts, one in 1970 which is basically the same as the one today except for certain administrative changes and a 1947 act. Also, Europe has much higher taxes and productivity in general than the US.


I need to research the act more in depth before I can comment further on this. I did a very short reading and presumed an act that I saw that was recently dated was what you are speaking of.


Posted By: Patch
Date Posted: 12-Oct-2007 at 18:13
While Europe tends to have significantly high taxes than the US, its productivty is lower.  Below is a list of GDP per capita at PPP.
 
List by the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Monetary_Fund - International Monetary Fund
Rank Country GDP (PPP)
$ per capita
Estimates
(for 2006)
start after
1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flag_of_Luxembourg.svg">Flag%20of%20Luxembourg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxembourg - Luxembourg 80,471 2005
2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flag_of_Ireland.svg">Flag%20of%20Ireland http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Ireland - Ireland 44,087 2005
3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flag_of_Norway.svg">Flag%20of%20Norway http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norway - Norway 43,574 2005
4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flag_of_the_United_States.svg">Flag%20of%20the%20United%20States http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States - United States 43,444 2005
5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flag_of_Iceland.svg">Flag%20of%20Iceland http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland - Iceland 40,277 2005
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flag_of_Hong_Kong.svg">Flag%20of%20Hong%20Kong http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong - Hong Kong, S.A.R., China 38,127 2005
6 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flag_of_Switzerland.svg">Flag%20of%20Switzerland http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland - Switzerland 37,369 2005
7 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flag_of_Denmark.svg">Flag%20of%20Denmark http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denmark - Denmark 36,549 2005
8 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flag_of_Austria.svg">Flag%20of%20Austria http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austria - Austria 36,031 2005
9 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flag_of_Canada.svg">Flag%20of%20Canada http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada - Canada 35,494 2005
10 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flag_of_the_Netherlands.svg">Flag%20of%20the%20Netherlands http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands - Netherlands 35,078 2005
11 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg">Flag%20of%20the%20United%20Kingdom http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom - United Kingdom 35,051 2005
12 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flag_of_Finland.svg">Flag%20of%20Finland http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finland - Finland 34,819 2005
13 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flag_of_Belgium_%28civil%29.svg">Flag%20of%20Belgium http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgium - Belgium 34,478 2005
14 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flag_of_Sweden.svg">Flag%20of%20Sweden http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden - Sweden 34,409 2005
15 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Flag_of_Qatar.svg">Flag%20of%20Qatar http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qatar - Qatar 33,049 2005
 
The two biggest European countries, France and Germany arn't even in the top 15.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28PPP%29_per_capita - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28PPP%29_per_capita
 


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 13-Oct-2007 at 00:49
Hello Patch
 
GDP per capita tells you nothing about productivity, it only gives a rough sketch about the wealth distribution in a country without going much into detail. In most countries it is enough to make an accurate assumption but as you see in the list, Qatar is number 15 with 33 000$ but that is not the case their, half the street of the capital aren't even paved and people stil live in tents from poverty there. Also, it does take into account non-effective population like unemployed (12% in France, 15% in Germany), retired and children which in percentage terms take roughly half of the population away. I will not go deep into the mumbo jumbo of economic indicators and how to analyze them because they are beyond this discussion, but if you are interested go to the world bank site and the economist intelligence unit for starters and you will find there some interesting facts.
 
As for health care, unfortunately, the current situation in the health care is just beyond the laws of supply and demand. Health care costs in the US and abroad have been growing counter to every supply and demand law  that exist. Not mentioning tax breaks and subsidies for the industry which are overpriced, the growth in costs passed both industry as well as national inflations rates and the service per dollar given has deteriorated significantly. This is not supply and demand.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 13-Oct-2007 at 15:00
Originally posted by Ulrich Wolff

Ok now your running in circles....

Capitalism needs to be balanced with socialism which is why we have two parties in the government.
A parochial non sequitur. The US has two parties taking turn and turn about, but most places have more than two.
 
I don't understand the bit about running in circles.

Looked at the population of Japan lately? This is small?

Japanese 123 million to the US 300 million.
And the same order of magnitude. What works for 123 million should work for 300. Anyway, even if there was a magic turning point at 200 million, no US state is as big as Japan, so just break it up into state-sized chunks. I've certzainly no problem with that.


Ridiculous. It may well have been tinkered with.

Mistake, three years. years.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland
Still ridiculous. The General Medical Scheme was introduced in 1970. And before that the public hospitals were, ingeniously, financed through international lotteries (the famous 'Irish Sweep'). In fact some public health care traces back to 1922 and the Free State.
http://www.combatpoverty.ie/publications/EvolutionOfHealthServicesAndHealthPolicyInIreland_2007.pdf - http://www.combatpoverty.ie/publications/EvolutionOfHealthServicesAndHealthPolicyInIreland_2007.pdf
 
Also you have to remember that the Church provided a great deal more health services than in most countries (and opposed having its leadership taken away from it).


Nope.

Please state more then nope. Lower taxes increase production because the populous  has more money to spend, and invest. Thus creating more market.
Increased capital investment increases productivity (except when it fails because it doesn't work). Private agencies tend not to invest in capital improvements, but spend money on consumption, on investment in vehicles like buying current shares on the stock market (taking up IPOs may lead to capital investment, but it isn't guaranteed), real estate, art, buying more expensive cars, using more oil, and the like.
 
Lower taxes, per se, are simply inflationary in the medium term as the market reacts to the extra monetary demand.
 

Straight nonsense. The real truth is that stacks of Americans depend on buying their medicines in Canada (or Mexico even) because they can't pay for them in the US.

Medication is cheap in Canada, what I was referring to was medical service. I will illustrate my point below.

Americans pay more than anyone else in the world for health care. And they have the 37th best service as a result (according to the WHO). I had the bad luck to be in the US four years ago when I had a minor heart problem. As a result I was in hospital for two nights, and on an operating table (only a local anaesthic) for about a half-hour while they put in a stent.
 
The bill? Thirty three thousand dollars.


Guess what? If you were in Canada, you would have died waiting in line before you saw a doctor. I think thirty thousand is well worth your life.
That'sn just outrageous propaganda.
 
In Luxembourg I'd have got attention just as fast if not faster. and it wouldn't have cost anyone that kind of ripoff charge.

If you can give me evidence that the system works in long-term with out results such as Canada's I will say let the government run it. I have researched Ireland's system, I find it very interesting, and I  think it could work.

I agree with you the medical costs are ridiculous.  It cost me 300 dollars to get ten stitches. I nearly said "I'll do it myself next time!"
Well, that's private health systems for you.


No-one has a right to be wealthy. Not even Paris Hilton. No-one has a right to be happy for that matter. It's not a question of rights, but of the biological fact that humans are a pack animal, and the social fact that the kind of social organisation you are talking about falls apart.

That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my entire life. Ok, you no longer have the right to be happy, you serve the government, the government does not serve you.
I didn't say that. The government is there to serve the people. That doesn't mean they have the right to be happy. Even the founders of the American Republic didn't go that far. They promulgated the rights to 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness', not happiness itself. Moreover, there's not much point in a right to life without a right to health. In fact without a right to health there is no right to life.
Now what? Monarchy. Government was created to protect, and serve the people, to give us the chance to pursue happiness, and not baby-sit us every step.
If you'd stop the silly hyperbole, you might have more chance of creating a sensible argument. Noone is advocating 'babysitting' people 'at every step'.
If it does not you are speaking of oligarchy. I am all for government run medical care. IS IT POSSIBLE? Is what I have a problem, and including all socialism. Is it possible? History says NO.
But history says 'YES' and it says it with overwhelming consistency. Health systems work everywhere in the civilised world EXCEPT the US. Of course they aren't perfect, of course some work better in some ways, others in other ways.
 
And I never said it had to be government run. It's not government run in Luxembourg. It's privately run (with the exception that some of the hospitals are owned by the local government, and some are run by nuns). What it is is government insured. I pay insurance into one of several state-managed insurance schemes, and it pays for my treatment or medicines or whatever. Those charges are negotiated between the insurance group and the doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies and so on.
 
But the insurance groups are not trying to make a profit, just to provide a service. So the cost of the system is way lower than it is in the US, but access to it is not interfered with: I choose the doctor to go to, I go to specialists I choose (actually usually the one recommended by my GP) and it rarely takes me more than a few days to set up an appointment, even for non-critical illnesses.
 
So please stop talking about 'government-run' schemes. We're talking about what actually happens in Europe, not some ideologue's propaganda version of it.
 
 Socialism, and capitalism need to be in balance together. That balance is rocking here. One capitalist is in this forum, and that is becoming an awful trend in the world.

precisely. If you want to argue that welfare systems work best when they are decentralised, I'd probably agree with you.

So you agree with the current welfare system in America? Because that is what it is.
What there is is to some extent decentralised. There is no general public health service in the US except for Medicare (which is federally run and only affects a few people other than the old) and Medicaid (which is state run and in most places only affects the very poor - in Georgia you must have under $2,000 in assets other than your car and home. Medicaid doesn't cover medications, without which health care doesn't amount to much, because you die anyway. Medicare also doesn't pay prescription charges for most people, and in fact covers less now than it did before the last revision, which was supposed to help old people.

Northman: Edited the text to a larger size



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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 13-Oct-2007 at 15:46
 
Originally posted by Al Jassas

Hello Patch
 
GDP per capita tells you nothing about productivity,
Agreed. GDP per hour worked is a better measure (while still not perfect, being money-based as GDP derivatives must be). The OECD gives the top dozen countries for GDP per hour normalised so the US is 100, as
 
Norway 122
Luxembourg 121
Belgium 110
France 103
Ireland 102
USA 100
Netherlands 95
Germany 91
Denmark 88
Sweden 86
UK 86
Finland 85
Austria 83
 
Japan comes in as 70, and one of the worst is South Korea at 40.
 
The full table is buried way down the page at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/31/7/29880166.pdf - http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/31/7/29880166.pdf
and gives the base figures for population, GDP, hourse worked and so on.
 
I can't locate any decent international tax comparisons, but as I recall, the US tax burden (federal plus state, direct plus indirect) is a fair bit higher than the UK nowadays, though lower than the countries above it in the table.
 
Anyway one should, where there is no compulsory health system payment, add on to taxes the payments made for private insurance or treatment, since the payments are not voluntary, except in the sense that a muggee handing over his wallet to a mugger is acting voluntarily.
 

 


-------------


Posted By: Ulrich Wolff
Date Posted: 13-Nov-2007 at 16:16
How would the health insurance system you propose work?

I think we should continue to give choice in the matter of having insurance or not.


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 13-Nov-2007 at 19:43
Hello Ulrich
 
I am now reading Milton Friedman's book "Bright Promises, Dismal Performance" and the guy has lots of good points. On principle, I am with minimal regulation and government interference in the economy however, like Friedman acknowledged, there are certain sectros of the economy that the government has to interfer and play with because they are beyond the capability of the private sector. The current system for free choice of health insurers must stay as it is because frankly, if you have a job you should take care for yourself and pay your own expenses, ma government should never allowed to exist. But unemployed who lost their insurence as well as elderly and the underaged children all should be covered in a national scheme that replaces MEDICARE/MEDICAID programs. Already the US pays on its citizens per capit through those two programs more than france does and France has a better coverage. How the system works, well I do not know the system in the US, it can be implemented via state level or county level or what ever but the nearer to the consumer the better the deal,  Vermont covered all the children there and the system can be a starting point.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: Patch
Date Posted: 13-Nov-2007 at 22:17
Originally posted by gcle2003

 
Originally posted by Al Jassas

Hello Patch
 
GDP per capita tells you nothing about productivity,
Agreed. GDP per hour worked is a better measure (while still not perfect, being money-based as GDP derivatives must be). The OECD gives the top dozen countries for GDP per hour normalised so the US is 100, as
 
Norway 122
Luxembourg 121
Belgium 110
France 103
Ireland 102
USA 100
Netherlands 95
Germany 91
Denmark 88
Sweden 86
UK 86
Finland 85
Austria 83
 
Japan comes in as 70, and one of the worst is South Korea at 40.
 
The full table is buried way down the page at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/31/7/29880166.pdf - http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/31/7/29880166.pdf
and gives the base figures for population, GDP, hourse worked and so on.
 
I can't locate any decent international tax comparisons, but as I recall, the US tax burden (federal plus state, direct plus indirect) is a fair bit higher than the UK nowadays, though lower than the countries above it in the table.
 
Anyway one should, where there is no compulsory health system payment, add on to taxes the payments made for private insurance or treatment, since the payments are not voluntary, except in the sense that a muggee handing over his wallet to a mugger is acting voluntarily.
 

 
 
I would be wary of the accuracy of estimates of 'hours worked'.  Most people do not use a clock card and many people do not work standard hours.  The report you linked to notes that some figures, particulaly those for France where officially they are not allowed to work more than 35 hours, have had to be changed.
 
GDP is an objective measure of how wealthy a country is.  Wealth is produced by people thus the ideal productivity measure is GDP per capita.
The below reference though from wiki actually uses IMF numbers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29_per_capita - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 14-Nov-2007 at 10:08
Hello Patch
 
I could go deep into economic mumbo jumbo but here is a wiki article about GDP and I suggest you read the criticism part carefully:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_Domestic_Product - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_Domestic_Product
 
Read my earlier response so that you can get examples for what I have said.
 
Al-Jassas


Posted By: Ulrich Wolff
Date Posted: 14-Nov-2007 at 15:57
I will not support nor oppose some thing I do not fully understand.... Please give me a link to an article of some sort.


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 16-Nov-2007 at 14:03

Hi, I'm Davide from Milan (Italy)...and my english it's no good.Cry

Discussion on welfare state it is important in Europe too: important problem is welfare for new generation, pubblic debt and the growth of population age.
There is an important document that give information on UE and USA, economic data in comparison.
http://www.euractiv.com/ndbtext/innovation/sapirreport.pdf - http://www.euractiv.com/ndbtext/innovation/sapirreport.pdf
Especially in Italy, the issue is show ideologically: "pubblic service is inefficient", "welfare state is death", "private service look only for profit and not to social stability" etc etc
Opinion on social equity is not simple like it seems, for example, in Italy, pubblic university support rich families.
I think that it is important the quality of policy: in Italy welfare is good, but stupid policy, political patronage of the past penalize the pubblic finance.
 


Posted By: longshanks31
Date Posted: 25-Nov-2007 at 10:07
I like the NHS we have, i ever have a health problem, touch wood, ive never had anything serious yet, but if it happens it will be looked after and there will not be a bill to fret about afterwards.
 
Sure it has its hiccups and problems, like anything government run, but life here would be worse without it.
 
other benifits of the welfare state are a source of contention for me, my view is a man/woman should work, and the benifits system here seem to give rise to a breed of lazy sit on the backside human.
 
to my mind keep the nhs but unemployment benifits should be scrapped, theres no need for them, we would not be importing hundreds of thousands of polish if there was a job shortage.


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long live the king of bhutan


Posted By: Patch
Date Posted: 25-Nov-2007 at 13:06
Originally posted by longshanks31

I like the NHS we have, i ever have a health problem, touch wood, ive never had anything serious yet, but if it happens it will be looked after and there will not be a bill to fret about afterwards.
 
Sure it has its hiccups and problems, like anything government run, but life here would be worse without it.
 
other benifits of the welfare state are a source of contention for me, my view is a man/woman should work, and the benifits system here seem to give rise to a breed of lazy sit on the backside human.
 
to my mind keep the nhs but unemployment benifits should be scrapped, theres no need for them, we would not be importing hundreds of thousands of polish if there was a job shortage.
 
The NHS is fine as long as you never get ill. 
 
The NHS forms poorly compared to most other European countries e.g. 20,000 people a year die from infections caught in British hospitals because of poor standards of hygine.
Cancer survival rates are much lower in the Uk than western European countries - you get better cancer treatment in Poland at a fraction of the cost.   
Waiting lists are higher than Europe..
 
While the NHS provides a poorer quality service it is not due to lack funding - UK healthcare spend is higher than the EU average.
 
 


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 25-Nov-2007 at 13:29
Hey folks, you can not fight the vagaries of history here. In terms of the state and the role of government the parameters were set in the 19th century and arose in both France and England under different guises (Saint-Simon/Comte in France and J. S. Mill in England) during the first third of the 19th century. Long before anyone had heard of Karl Marx and scientific socialism, the principles of parliamentary democracy gave birth to the Welfare State in terms of the government as the provider of social needs through the expertise and administration of a professional bureaucracy.  Let's face it, the Romanticism of the general populance in most matters--emotion over logic--made such an outcome inevitable. At the same time, it also neutered the inherent revolutionary violence premised under the Marxian variant of the socialist phenomena.

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Posted By: Flipper
Date Posted: 21-Dec-2007 at 13:29
Originally posted by Justinian

I read a book several months ago called The Swedish Secret by Earl Gustafson that addressed this issue; it compared the american governmental system and the swedish one.  Basically the american allows the poorest to become the richest with a huge gap between the two obviously with a very large poor class, whereas the swedish model didn't have super rich but it didn't really have much poor either, think of a huge middle class.  Obviously hugely simplifying the argument but that was the main thing.  Personally I believe the swedish one is better overall, especially morally and when one thinks of helping one's fellow man.  No contest at all.  The book you are reading sounds remarkably similar to it.  I would agree with both authors assessments.  Needless to say I don't think much of this governments welfare system.  (though I do have an axe to grind in this case so keep that in mind)


Note however that the Swedish system is not the same as in the 70s anymore. It has declined a lot. One of the things the organizers of the 40's didn't count on is that the ranges of inflation comming in the future. That means that the 1000 dollars your parents payed in taxes per year during the 60s-70s, had no value for the generation of the 90s. My brother for example who lives there, will most certainly not get any money when he retires. Another problem is the system of money distirbution amongst state services. Some sectors might recieve huge amounts of funds which are an overkill while others might not have enough of them.

As for helping a fellow man, that's the original idea. However, i can't say that it is what practically happens in peoples mind. I don't think i've ever heard elsewhere in my life, people making openly statements of how much a human costs ($$$) for the society. The idea that an honest hard working individual (to avoid missconception) is always reminded of what he costs and never what he offers, to society is kinda frightening. Note however, that this type of unethical trend has been "farmed" in the last decade.

Generally, I love the era of the 60s-70s in that country where it was definetly a wellfare paradise. Nowdays, i believe a major update has to be done in peoples mind about myths and reality. It is 2007 and what we usually hear of is the glory of the 70s.




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SÃ¥ nu tar jag fram (k)niven va!


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 28-Dec-2007 at 11:22
 
Originally posted by Flipper


Note however that the Swedish system is not the same as in the 70s anymore. It has declined a lot. One of the things the organizers of the 40's didn't count on is that the ranges of inflation comming in the future. That means that the 1000 dollars your parents payed in taxes per year during the 60s-70s, had no value for the generation of the 90s.
The misconception here is that you can save money now and rely on being able to use it in the distant future. That's not true whether you are putting the money into some private institution or into state-run 'insurance'. Inflation wipes out both.
 
Pensions and health bills have to be paid (no matter how anyone tries to distort things to hide the fact) out of current taxes.
 
At any point in time the output of the economy, no matter how organised, is set, and controlled by various groups of people, dependent on the organisation.
 
Either those control groups are willing to divert part of their output to looking after the children, the sick and the old or they're not. How much they are willing to divert (pay/raise in taxes) determines what the welfare beneficiaries receive.
 
Saving money to anticipate the situation only serves to increase the money supply at that point in time and therefore provide an extra inflationary push.
 
(It remains true that over a short enough period of stability he who saves more will be better off than he who saves less. But that would be no consolation to anyone who lived through 1917 in Russia or the early 1920s in Germany or the late forties in any country that took the German side in WW2, particularly Hungary. And of course, many other times and places.) 


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Posted By: hugoestr
Date Posted: 28-Dec-2007 at 15:38
Well said, gcle. My wife and were just having a discussion about this. In the U.S. many mistake the U.S. Social Security as some kind of savings account where their money is waiting for them at the end of their years. It drives me crazy about how older people here talk about their money.

Their money is gone. It was spent years ago on the retirees that were living back when they were working, the same way that my social security contributions are being spent today. This doesn't bother me at all.

It does bother me that people don't understand the real nature of the social system that they are using though.

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Posted By: raygun
Date Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 03:20

Well, in Singapore we have a social/personal security system in place. It's called the Central Provident Fund.

Basically, every working adult have to contribute an average 20% (depending on age) of their pay into a government account. Their employeers also need to contribute another 14% (fluctuates depending on economic performance). At out retirement age we can withdraw certain portion for our retirement and certain percentage (called Medisave) will be saved for any medical payment requirements - like big expensive items like heart surgery & stuff.
 
So, is this a better way that the US Social Service? I dunno. What I do know is, If I earn more, I'll have more in the future & it's my $. Is it the same in the US? How about Europe?
 
You can read about our CPF scheme here: http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/CPF/About-Us/Intro/Intro.htm - http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/CPF/About-Us/Intro/Intro.htm


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 11:27
Originally posted by raygun

Well, in Singapore we have a social/personal security system in place. It's called the Central Provident Fund.

Basically, every working adult have to contribute an average 20% (depending on age) of their pay into a government account. Their employeers also need to contribute another 14% (fluctuates depending on economic performance). At out retirement age we can withdraw certain portion for our retirement and certain percentage (called Medisave) will be saved for any medical payment requirements - like big expensive items like heart surgery & stuff.
 
So, is this a better way that the US Social Service? I dunno. What I do know is, If I earn more, I'll have more in the future & it's my $. Is it the same in the US? How about Europe?
But what will you be able to buy with those future dollars? It's not simply a matter of inflation, though that's important. You're relying on the belief that the producers of wealth in the future will honour a contract with you that they won't themselves have agreed to, that contract being that they will exchange their goods/services for your money.
 
You can read about our CPF scheme here: http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/CPF/About-Us/Intro/Intro.htm - http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/CPF/About-Us/Intro/Intro.htm


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Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 13:07
The myth of security, as with almost all aspirations in human experience, stems from fear of the future and the resolution of this uncertainty. One can argue over the benefits received from the largesse of the state until doomsday, but when the burden becomes onerous in terms of individual responsibility towards the state so as to preserve the structural components, the state itself collapses. Essentially, at some point in time there is a transition in the role of the state from a vehicle for the promotion, protection and distribution of equitable wealth (where society believes itself invested in its operation) to that of an exploiter whose purported benefits overwhelm the initiatives of production and communal responsibility in the individual.  It is an ancient equation [for example look at the social and political fragmentation of the Roman Empire between AD 250-450] and one that underscores the fallacy in believing that continuous growth will ensure future prosperity. 

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Posted By: Northman
Date Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 18:38
@drgonzaga
 
You may have a few good points, but through my lifetime (I'm old), I have always believed that when someone is responsible for the preparation, planning and actual presentations of, in a complicated manner, comprehensive, interrelated and hierarchically ordered  elements, structures and concepts, the usage of polycromatic visual stimulations of mineral origin should be taken into consideration.
 
Would you consider such a statement to hold any value?
 


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Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 21:37
Simply put you invest only to the degree that future benefit is perceivable (be it in terms of animal, vegetable or mineral). Once that perception is lost on an individual horizon no amount of tinkering would permit continuity--or shall we say longevity. The colors may look good yet the substance is but mirage.
 
Aesop might have believed the ants practical, but hey we are all grasshoppers in the end.


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Posted By: Seko
Date Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 22:30

Being that circumspect radiation composed of more than one wavelegth increases perceived value, overconfident presumptions can enhance a sense of hightened security let alone generalized anxiety over lack there of. A sanctuary under such conditions enables imminent refuge under a pledge of inevitable self fulfillment.

Grasshoppers may also attest that an unexamined life is not worth living.
 
 
 
A bit of lost in translation. Compliments of Danny Ocean, Linus and Matsui.
 
- Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream. I am a traveler in both time and space, to be where I have been.

- A doctor who specializes in skin diseases will dream that he has fallen asleep in front of the television. Later, he will wake up in front of the television, but not remember his dream. 
- Would you agree?
 


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Posted By: Northman
Date Posted: 29-Jan-2008 at 23:52

Originally posted by drgonzaga


Simply put you invest only to the degree that future benefit is perceivable (be it in terms of animal, vegetable or mineral). Once that perception is lost on an individu al horizon no amount of tinkering would permit continuity--or shall we say longevity. The colors may look good yet the substance is but mirage.
 
Aesop might have believed the ants practical, but hey we are all grasshoppers in the end.

Thank you for a profound answer which clearly and precisely demonstrates what I expected. Namely, an intelligent answer that noone would understand, and that you would understand even less of my post, than I did of yours. 
To avoid such examples of confusion in the future, let me suggest that we both will consider whom we are addressing and that we both will strive to use a more plain english when we are writing on a public forum.
Only that way we can ensure that our precious words of wisdom will be understood, appreciated and embedded in the minds of present and future generations.   
I usually enjoy and understand some of some of your posts (is that plain english?), but I would be ever so thankful if I could read and understand them without a 20 inch pile of dictionaries in front of me.
Please don't misunderstand me, its very educational but extremely time consuming - and I have passed 60 last year, so time is short.

Thank you

 

Originally posted by Seko


Being that circumspect radiation composed of more than one wavelegth increases perceived value, overconfident presumptions can enhance a sense of hightened security let alone generalized anxiety over lack there of. A sanctuary under such conditions enables imminent refuge under a pledge of inevitable self fulfillment.
Grasshoppers may also attest that an unexamined life is not worth living. 
 
A bit of lost in translation. Compliments of Danny Ocean, Linus and Matsui.

No no - I understood it perfectly. Your CRT-TV blew up because you were lax and didn't secure the wavelenghts of the Cathode Rays. Now you're sitting in outmost tranquility and fulfillment without the TV to disturb you, yet still longing for your favorite Grasshopper show on Animal Planet and worries if they should commit suicide. 

Originally posted by Seko


- Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream. I am a traveler in both time and space, to be where I have been.
________________________________________
- A doctor who specializes in skin diseases will dream that he has fallen asleep in front of the television. Later, he will wake up in front of the television, but not remember his dream.
- Would you agree?

Yes, I absolutely agree - see a shrink or get a new TV!

PS.
Back on topic guys ....  The welfare state Smile
 
~ Northman
 


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Posted By: Brian J Checco
Date Posted: 30-Jan-2008 at 01:37
Originally posted by drgonzaga

Simply put you invest only to the degree that future benefit is perceivable (be it in terms of animal, vegetable or mineral). Once that perception is lost on an individual horizon no amount of tinkering would permit continuity--or shall we say longevity. The colors may look good yet the substance is but mirage.
 
Aesop might have believed the ants practical, but hey we are all grasshoppers in the end.


Well put, Dr. G. The vagaries of the future are intangible. Of course it is the "common sense" tendency to put something by in the event of a rainy day; but nothing is guaranteed. Per an example, a farmer can grow more than he needs in the event part of the crop is lost; but if a blight wipes out the entire field, he has worked even harder for the same negative outcome. Economics can work the same way- you can put away money that may be useful in the future, but even that might be inefficient. What if the economy tanks? What if inflation were to render what was at one time a considerable sum into a measly pittance? Certainly such things can, and do, happen.

Now, is that an argument against planning effectively for a foreseeable or likely future? I don't know, and can only speak with the illusionary wisdom of a twenty one year old. As an American, am I happy that the money taken out of my paychecks goes to members of a previous generation from whom I am largely disconnected and exploited by? Is it fair that I am stripped of a substantial portion of my income to provide for the health and financial well-being of those who have had their time in the sun and whose time is passed? What are the societal benefits of keeping these animated mummies breathing? Or of allowing people over the age of 65 the leisure to cease their productive endeavors so that they can play golf in Florida until they inevitable expire? I believe these are realistic questions that Americans need to address discursively, political correctness be damned.

Cheers,
BC

Edit: Note: I have not taken a stand one way or the other on these issues. On one hand, I believe that we ought to do everything in our power to preserve the lives and well-beings of every single person. On the other hand, I wonder, after providing others with the essentials, must we provide for their comfort and leisure as well? Because, as far as I can tell, there are very few geriatrics throwing any of their money into a beer fund for thirsty college kids, while we're required to give up a large percentage of our hard-earned dollars to provide for their retirement (which is generally expected to be a pleasant, enjoyable time by the beneficiaries).



Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 30-Jan-2008 at 12:04

Well Northman you can have comprehension without understanding, so when read the intent behind your response was more than clear for, you see, I am older than you!

Yet, the welfare state, or a discussion of it, requires incisive and complex language because it is where the "dismal science", Economics, weds Political Science, the catechist of Utilitarian harlotry. Consequently, as Ortega y Gasset underscored nearly three-quarters of a century ago, when people confuse the useful for Truth then one enters the realm of the Lie. And there is no greater Lie than the results of parliamentary democracy operating under the impetus of economic planning and social munificence. Yes, one can appeal to the Newspeak of contemporary society and in simplicity invert meaning, but such is also an intricate part of dumbing down the citizenry in but the latest version of "Bread and Circuses" for the sake of a smothering statism that is nothing but illusion. In small homogenous states, such as Denmark, the immediacy of contact keeps in check the  political stratification and manipulation (the social engineering) that overwhelms the individual; nevertheless, the larger the theatre the more oppressive democracy becomes unless kept in check by respect for the autonomy of the individual. It is not a new observation, Jacob Burckhardt intimated as much at the close of the 19th century when he reviewed the results of Industrial Democracy and its impact on individual creativity.
 
I will defend the above generalizations as the topic expands, and it does deserve to expand because current trends towards "world government" (and the desire to control all of the uncertainties in life--including natural phenomena) has become the central impetus affecting our daily lives.


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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 30-Jan-2008 at 15:30
 
Originally posted by Brian J Checco

Now, is that an argument against planning effectively for a foreseeable or likely future? I don't know, and can only speak with the illusionary wisdom of a twenty one year old. As an American, am I happy that the money taken out of my paychecks goes to members of a previous generation from whom I am largely disconnected and exploited by? Is it fair that I am stripped of a substantial portion of my income to provide for the health and financial well-being of those who have had their time in the sun and whose time is passed? What are the societal benefits of keeping these animated mummies breathing? Or of allowing people over the age of 65 the leisure to cease their productive endeavors so that they can play golf in Florida until they inevitable expire? I believe these are realistic questions that Americans need to address discursively, political correctness be damned.

 
Basically, the Grimm brothers nailed this one. http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/grimms/78oldmangrandson.html - http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/grimms/78oldmangrandson.html
THERE was once a very old man, whose eyes had become dim, his ears dull of hearing, his knees trembled, and when he sat at table he could hardly hold the spoon, and spilt the broth upon the table-cloth or let it run out of his mouth. His son and his son's wife were disgusted at this, so the old grandfather at last had to sit in the corner behind the stove, and they gave him his food in an earthenware bowl, and not even enough of it. And he used to look towards the table with his eyes full of tears. Once, too, his trembling hands could not hold the bowl, and it fell to the ground and broke. The young wife scolded him, but he said nothing and only sighed. Then they bought him a wooden bowl for a few half-pence, out of which he had to eat.They were once sitting thus when the little grandson of four years old began to gather together some bits of wood upon the ground. "What are you doing there?" asked the father. "I am making a little trough," answered the child, "for father and mother to eat out of when I am big."
 
The deal is supposed to be that they paid for the retirement of others when they were working, and that you will be paid for your retirement by the people working then. It's called continuation of community, and I guess if you feel unfairly treated by it, then you can try and do something about it.
 
Which is why, before our polyverbal and multisyllabic diversion, I said, somewhat more tersely:
Originally posted by gcle2003

But what will you be able to buy with those future dollars? It's not simply a matter of inflation, though that's important. You're relying on the belief that the producers of wealth in the future will honour a contract with you that they won't themselves have agreed to, that contract being that they will exchange their goods/services for your money.
 
You apparently are toying with the idea of not honouring that contract, which exactly makes my point.
 
 


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Posted By: Decebal
Date Posted: 30-Jan-2008 at 16:08

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." John Kenneth Galbraith



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What is history but a fable agreed upon?
Napoleon Bonaparte

Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.- Mohandas Gandhi



Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 30-Jan-2008 at 16:33
The perceived conflict between the old and the young is much more complex when the State through its policies dissolves the bonds that had previously provided social adhesion. No one can mistake the reasoning behind either prolonged adolescence or enforced retirement. Not only are they related to population growth but also a product of greater human longevity. Naturally, state social engineering is the fodder fo the darker aspects of science fiction, yet what the Grimm Brothers memorialized in their little tale focused more on the educative function of family and not the dicta of contracts or government policy. Respect and responsibility, are they learned or imposed behaviours? Further where are their seeds first planted? Where are the roots of the social contract to be found? Are they the products of systems and methods. Rousseau certainly did not believe so since there is the tale of his encounter with a "disciple" who on meeting him asserted that he found Emile fascinating and that he had raised his own son under the principles therein espoused. The philosopher's response? "That is too bad, sir!"  And further clarified: To bad for you and your son. I did not intend to furnish a method; I wanted only to prevent the evils of education as it existed."
 
Where the sense of community in the the age of The Lonely Crowd


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Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 30-Jan-2008 at 16:49
Originally posted by Decebal

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"I for one hope that the next time a nation experimenting with socialism or communism fails, which will happen the next time a nation experiments with socialism or communism, Ken Galbraith will feel the need to explain what happened. It's great fun to read. It helps, of course, to suppress wistful thought about those who endured, or died trying, the passage toward collective living to which Professor Galbraith has beckoned us for over 40 years."--William F. Buckley

Can't have one without the other as anyone who recalls the old Firing Line programs will understand.


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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 30-Jan-2008 at 20:18
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga

Naturally, state social engineering is the fodder fo the darker aspects of science fiction, yet what the Grimm Brothers memorialized in their little tale focused more on the educative function of family and not the dicta of contracts or government policy.
What they were focussed on, and what is relevant to the present discussion, and what forms the moral of the tale, is that each generation provides for the last, because each generation will be dependent on the next. Whether at the family level or any other.
 
In precisely the same (or possibly the inverse) way, we look after our children, because we rely on our children to look after us. The generation that denies support to the old is denying the support it received when it was young.
 
 
 
 


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Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 30-Jan-2008 at 21:41
And that is exactly the point. The welfare state has increasingly disrupted the intergenerational relationships set long in history by its persistent intrusion into all aspects of daily life. There is no coincidence in the Britishism of the "nanny state", that is, the foisting upon the community the responsibilities once forged by personal bonds. Bringing up Baby or Making Room for Daddy is no longer a priority within the modern mind-set as the State has facilitated the expansion of self-centeredness (call it the ethos of narcissism) that sees no problem in the abdication of personal responsibility because the State shall provide.

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Posted By: Brian J Checco
Date Posted: 30-Jan-2008 at 22:55
Originally posted by gcle2003

 
Originally posted by Brian J Checco

Now, is that an argument against planning effectively for a foreseeable or likely future? I don't know, and can only speak with the illusionary wisdom of a twenty one year old. As an American, am I happy that the money taken out of my paychecks goes to members of a previous generation from whom I am largely disconnected and exploited by? Is it fair that I am stripped of a substantial portion of my income to provide for the health and financial well-being of those who have had their time in the sun and whose time is passed? What are the societal benefits of keeping these animated mummies breathing? Or of allowing people over the age of 65 the leisure to cease their productive endeavors so that they can play golf in Florida until they inevitable expire? I believe these are realistic questions that Americans need to address discursively, political correctness be damned.

 
Basically, the Grimm brothers nailed this one. http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/grimms/78oldmangrandson.html - http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/grimms/78oldmangrandson.html
THERE was once a very old man, whose eyes had become dim, his ears dull of hearing, his knees trembled, and when he sat at table he could hardly hold the spoon, and spilt the broth upon the table-cloth or let it run out of his mouth. His son and his son's wife were disgusted at this, so the old grandfather at last had to sit in the corner behind the stove, and they gave him his food in an earthenware bowl, and not even enough of it. And he used to look towards the table with his eyes full of tears. Once, too, his trembling hands could not hold the bowl, and it fell to the ground and broke. The young wife scolded him, but he said nothing and only sighed. Then they bought him a wooden bowl for a few half-pence, out of which he had to eat.They were once sitting thus when the little grandson of four years old began to gather together some bits of wood upon the ground. "What are you doing there?" asked the father. "I am making a little trough," answered the child, "for father and mother to eat out of when I am big."
 
The deal is supposed to be that they paid for the retirement of others when they were working, and that you will be paid for your retirement by the people working then. It's called continuation of community, and I guess if you feel unfairly treated by it, then you can try and do something about it.
 
Which is why, before our polyverbal and multisyllabic diversion, I said, somewhat more tersely:
Originally posted by gcle2003

But what will you be able to buy with those future dollars? It's not simply a matter of inflation, though that's important. You're relying on the belief that the producers of wealth in the future will honour a contract with you that they won't themselves have agreed to, that contract being that they will exchange their goods/services for your money.
 
You apparently are toying with the idea of not honouring that contract, which exactly makes my point.
 
 


You make it sound as if I've proposed that rather than providing for the elderly, we eat them. The simple fact is that these generations benefiting from social security are largely the first en masse recipients. Simply put, in previous generations, the expected lifespan would not carry them through the age a which many choose to retire, let alone deep into their 70's, 80's, or 90's. And taxes for their benefit, i.e. social security, have gone up, putting excess strain onto the younger generations which they themselves never paid. And they expect not only medical care and some degree of social security, but for the other generations to provide for their leisure and entertainment.

It's not like putting an old horse out to pasture, with food, medical care, and a roof over its head; it's like doing all that, and hiring a Swedish masseuse to continually rub said animal continually, while perpetually feeding it sugar cubes and pieces of apple. And I think, as a member of the younger generation, I pose a legitimate question when I ask just how much we're expected to provide for them. Now, if my generation comes to the conclusion that we also would like to sacrifice a certain part of our income to provide for an uncertain future of unmitigated leisure after the age of 65, then I guess that's how it will be.

I repeat though; I believe that social security and medicare are a good thing; but the amount that needs to be provided is what's in question. I have no problem feeding, clothing, housing, and caring for the older generations- but I don't necessarily agree with sponsoring months-long geriatric field trips to Arizona and the Gulf Shore.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 10:18
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga

And that is exactly the point. The welfare state has increasingly disrupted the intergenerational relationships set long in history by its persistent intrusion into all aspects of daily life. There is no coincidence in the Britishism of the "nanny state", that is, the foisting upon the community the responsibilities once forged by personal bonds. Bringing up Baby or Making Room for Daddy is no longer a priority within the modern mind-set as the State has facilitated the expansion of self-centeredness (call it the ethos of narcissism) that sees no problem in the abdication of personal responsibility because the State shall provide.
 
But the decline of the extended family, and the parallel decline in the size of the nuclear family, was not dictated or even encouraged by the State[1]. In fact some states, notably France, still provide fiscal and other encouragement to increase family sizes.
 
The abdication of responsibility at the personal level is one of the driving factors that makes state support necessary. It didn't come about because the state intervened: the state intervened because it happened. The other factors are of course simple enlightened self-preservation ('I want a good pension system because I want a good pension') and human sympathy.
 
 
[1] except insofar as it encouraged migration - emigration, immigration or simply moving to the frontier as in the US.
 


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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 11:25
 
Originally posted by Brian J Checco

  The simple fact is that these generations benefiting from social security are largely the first en masse recipients. Simply put, in previous generations, the expected lifespan would not carry them through the age a which many choose to retire, let alone deep into their 70's, 80's, or 90's. And taxes for their benefit, i.e. social security, have gone up, putting excess strain onto the younger generations which they themselves never paid.
And that younger generation itself of course will put even more strain on the generation that follows them, because they will live even longer. And expect to be looked after.
And they expect not only medical care and some degree of social security, but for the other generations to provide for their leisure and entertainment.
You write as if young people and old people were different groups. The truth is that people are just people who are young at one time, middle-aged at another, and old at another. Today's 'young' are just tomorrow's 'old'. They too will be decrepit, sick, lose their memories and their facilities. Young does not imply superhuman.

It's not like putting an old horse out to pasture, with food, medical care, and a roof over its head; it's like doing all that, and hiring a Swedish masseuse to continually rub said animal continually, while perpetually feeding it sugar cubes and pieces of apple. And I think, as a member of the younger generation, I pose a legitimate question when I ask just how much we're expected to provide for them.
Decide first how much you want to be provided with. And don't count on being able to provide for your own needs.
Now, if my generation comes to the conclusion that we also would like to sacrifice a certain part of our income to provide for an uncertain future of unmitigated leisure after the age of 65, then I guess that's how it will be.

I repeat though; I believe that social security and medicare are a good thing; but the amount that needs to be provided is what's in question. I have no problem feeding, clothing, housing, and caring for the older generations- but I don't necessarily agree with sponsoring months-long geriatric field trips to Arizona and the Gulf Shore.
What particular provision should be made for whom is a legitimate subject for political debate. My main point here however was not that, but to dispel the illusion that people can be assured that they can provide for their own old age. I'm in agreement with you that whether anybody will honour your contract forty or fifty years from now will depend on how they answer the same question you are asking yourself.
 
That will include whether the money you put aside, or the shares you bought, or those diamonds, or that real estate are worth anything or whether, indeed, they will still be recognised as belonging to you.


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Posted By: Leonidas
Date Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 12:26
Originally posted by drgonzaga

And that is exactly the point. The welfare state has increasingly disrupted the intergenerational relationships set long in history by its persistent intrusion into all aspects of daily life. There is no coincidence in the Britishism of the "nanny state", that is, the foisting upon the community the responsibilities once forged by personal bonds. Bringing up Baby or Making Room for Daddy is no longer a priority within the modern mind-set as the State has facilitated the expansion of self-centeredness (call it the ethos of narcissism) that sees no problem in the abdication of personal responsibility because the State shall provide.
I cant see how welfare promotes self centeredness.  i like the fact i pay tax that helps others amongst other things.

 The break down of the extended family was due to urbanisation. In the case of Britain this, by and large, coincided with the industrial revolution. The process was not forced by an external body, instead this was a result to structural change in the economy and the roll on effects to society.



Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 12:58
Originally posted by gcle2003

 
 
But the decline of the extended family, and the parallel decline in the size of the nuclear family, was not dictated or even encouraged by the State[1]. In fact some states, notably France, still provide fiscal and other encouragement to increase family sizes.
 
The abdication of responsibility at the personal level is one of the driving factors that makes state support necessary. It didn't come about because the state intervened: the state intervened because it happened. The other factors are of course simple enlightened self-preservation ('I want a good pension system because I want a good pension') and human sympathy.
  
[1] except insofar as it encouraged migration - emigration, immigration or simply moving to the frontier as in the US.
 
 
I would disagree and underscore that it was the rise of the State as parliamentary democracy that initiated the social manipulation in a manner little different from the most maniacal central planner paying homage to the scientism of Marx.
Government as gratification may be ancient in some respects but refusal to give deference to the individual is not.
Essentially, from the last decades of the 19th century onward, the State as social engineer has moved steadily to destroy the autonomy and dignity of the individual consolidated by European thought with the advent of the Modern Age. And it has done so within the rationales of a debilitating collectivism. Whether by the craftiness of a Bismarck or the corporate distributism of France, political dialogue has become nothing more than argument over benefits. Further, throughout the 20th century, it became steadily difficult to comprehend where the State ended and civil society began as the former steadily manipulated (or "managed") the extent of individual decision.


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Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 13:39
Originally posted by Leonidas

I cant see how welfare promotes self centeredness.  i like the fact i pay tax that helps others amongst other things.

 The break down of the extended family was due to urbanisation. In the case of Britain this, by and large, coincided with the industrial revolution. The process was not forced by an external body, instead this was a result to structural change in the economy and the roll on effects to society.

 
Well, Leonidas, you would be one of the few individuals on this side of the pond that proclaimed a love for taxes! Besides, your declaration is near tantamount to equating government with charity, and such an attitude does promote self-centeredness when it comes to individual attitudes within the paramaters of social interaction on the personal level: why should I concern myself since the government will take care of my neighbor.
Likewise, it is a bit naive to assign the disruption of the extended family to urbanisation. For example, my family has been in an urban environment since even before the Industrial Revolution and city life did not affect the proclivity toward multiple procreation [now that's a construct guaranteed to raise the hackles of a certain resident wordsmith].
 
I know that often self-centeredness is confused for individualism (the praise of selfishness inculcated by the inverted Mass Thought of an Ayn Rand) but what I am focusing on is the natural instinct toward cooperativeness characteristic of man as a species, interaction on a personal intimate level. Sympathy and empathy are not attributes of the State.


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Posted By: Zagros
Date Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 15:15
Essentially, from the last decades of the 19th century onward, the State as social engineer has moved steadily to destroy the autonomy and dignity of the individual consolidated by European thought with the advent of the Modern Age.


In what way, or how, has it moved to destroy the autonomy and dignity of the individual from the latter 19th c onwards?  I am not disagreeing btw; a little contextual elaboration would be appreciated.


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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 18:49
Originally posted by drgonzaga

 
Originally posted by gcle2003

 
 
But the decline of the extended family, and the parallel decline in the size of the nuclear family, was not dictated or even encouraged by the State[1]. In fact some states, notably France, still provide fiscal and other encouragement to increase family sizes.
 
The abdication of responsibility at the personal level is one of the driving factors that makes state support necessary. It didn't come about because the state intervened: the state intervened because it happened. The other factors are of course simple enlightened self-preservation ('I want a good pension system because I want a good pension') and human sympathy.
  
[1] except insofar as it encouraged migration - emigration, immigration or simply moving to the frontier as in the US.
 
 
I would disagree and underscore that it was the rise of the State as parliamentary democracy that initiated the social manipulation in a manner little different from the most maniacal central planner paying homage to the scientism of Marx.
Balderdash. The public welfare system antedates parliamentary democracy by centuries. Moreover it's been associated with countries that did not enjoy parliamentary democracy or other kind. That's certainly true in the ancient world but even in the modern world the welfare state begins with Bismark in what was hardly one of the world's great parliamentary democracies.
 
One of the greatest examples of public welfare systems is that of the medieval Church: hardly parliamentary and hardly democratic.
 
In fact welfare statism is more associated with tyranny, religious and political, than with democracy. Nothing is more associated with parliamentary democracy than the rise of politico-economic liberalism in Britain: very little is more associated with the denial of public welfare.
Government as gratification may be ancient in some respects but refusal to give deference to the individual is not.
Balderdash again. Refusing to defer to the individual is as ancient as Egypt.
 
And what on earth does 'government by gratification' mean? Bread and circuses? That's supposed to be associated with parliamentary democracy?
Essentially, from the last decades of the 19th century onward, the State as social engineer has moved steadily to destroy the autonomy and dignity of the individual consolidated by European thought with the advent of the Modern Age. And it has done so within the rationales of a debilitating collectivism. Whether by the craftiness of a Bismarck or the corporate distributism of France, political dialogue has become nothing more than argument over benefits. Further, throughout the 20th century, it became steadily difficult to comprehend where the State ended and civil society began as the former steadily manipulated (or "managed") the extent of individual decision.
 
There is no such thing as 'the State'. It's the invention of political Idealists (capital I). A large chunk of political dialogue [1] is of course devoted to levels of welfare payments: there can be very little of more importance to the functioning of a civilised society. But the idea of 'the State' manipulating or managing anything is simple metaphysical claptrap.
 
People manipulate other people, yes. That's all.
 
Incidentally why the apparently pointless quotation marks around "managed"? Does it have some special meaning to you here, or what?
 
[1] I can throw in pointless and irritating italics too.


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Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 31-Jan-2008 at 21:31
Bed knobs and broomsticks to you balderdash! Equating the activities of the Church to the public welfare system is as facetious as calling the Reichstag "undemocratic" in the 1880s as if its British counterpart was the paragon of  democratic virtue. Get over it! If you want to identify noblesse oblige as a form of welfare go right ahead but when one speaks of the welfare state or generalizes on the the State they are not entertaining an abstraction. They are directly addressing political life. Perhaps Jacques Barzun summed it up best when he wrote:
 
"It (the welfare state) was the eutopian imagination at work making corrective rules as the path to the good life. The welfare ideal did not merely see to it that the poor should be able to survive, but that everybody should be safe and at ease in a hundred ways. Besides providing health care, pensions, and workmen's compensation for accidents, it undertook to protect every employee by workplace regulations and every consumer by laws against harm from foods, drugs, and the multiform dangers that industry creates. All appliances were subject to design control and inspection. The citizen must moreover be protected from actions by others that are not visibly hostile or inherently criminal, those for example, that can be committed by the imagination in trade, investment, and banking.
 
At the same time, it was also held that the state had the duty of supporting art and science, medical research, and the integrity of the environment, while it must also make sure that all children were not simply literate but educated up to and through college--rules, rules, definitions, classifications, and exceptions = indignation--and litigation. The welfare state can not avoid becoming the judiciary state....The task of distributing benefits was alone overwhelming. High taxes was unavoidable, and so was waste. Add to it corruption, also inevitable when inspectors are afoot, and it should have no surprise to the contemporaries that the program fell short of its aim. There was still poverty, derelicts on the street, unattended illness, and complaints of "not enough" from every welfared group in turn--workers, farmers, businessmen, doctors, artists, scientists, teachers, prisoners, and the homeless."
 
"Demotic Life and Times" in From Dawn to Decadence (New York:2000), p.776-778.
 
The culture of good intentions beyond the power to fulfill not only breeds distrust and contempt for politics but is also the starkest characteristic of a system in decadence.


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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 01-Feb-2008 at 11:16
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga

Bed knobs and broomsticks to you balderdash! Equating the activities of the Church to the public welfare system is as facetious as calling the Reichstag "undemocratic" in the 1880s as if its British counterpart was the paragon of  democratic virtue. Get over it! If you want to identify noblesse oblige as a form of welfare go right ahead
It is.
but when one speaks of the welfare state or generalizes on the the State they are not entertaining an abstraction. They are directly addressing political life.
People who talk about 'the State' manipulating people are not just entertaining an abstraction, they are endowing it with consciousness and will and desire. Which is Idealism carried several steps beyond the border of sanity.
Perhaps Jacques Barzun summed it up best when he wrote:
I'll snip the Barzun extract since it's so long and it will be available for reference in your post.
 
It is of course more balderdash as one can expect from someone who can apparently write 'eutopian' (sic). Much more important is that silly use of the past tense everywhere. The welfare state is alive and kicking almost all over the world: to put it in the past is as silly as the idiotic quote from Buckley earlier (and, yes, I remember Firing Line, mostly from the '70s).
 
Simply take Luxembourg for example: for all but a few years socialist governments ever since WW2, nationalised railways and municipalised buses, both of which run superbly, shelter for drug addicts and homeless alcoholics (plus free, if necessary, clinic rehabilitation), low crime rate...and a per capita GDP greater than the US, and net disposable income much higher than the US, especially since Americans have to pay for higher education and medical care out of their 'disposable' income.
 
But all over Europe nationalised or publicly funded services produce a far superior infrastructure to that of the US: and the British example over the last 20-30 Thatcherite and Blairite years has also shown how essential infrastructure falls apart when privatised.
 
I have an American wife and have spent more of the last 20-odd years in the US than in Britain, and the poor quality of roads, transport services and even such things as potholed roads and dim street lighting - let alone the disaster of US health care - give immediate evidence that if there are failed states around, it's not the socialist ones.
 
The culture of good intentions beyond the power to fulfill not only breeds distrust and contempt for politics
More nonsense. No-one has more contempt for their own politicians that the citizens of the US. And arguably no-one has rightly more contempt for their own politicians than the citizens of the US.
 but is also the starkest characteristic of a system in decadence.
No the starkest characteristics of a system in decadence are a population over its head in debt, transport infrastructure that is falling apart, nearly 20% of the population without health insurance, people with it who are forced into bankruptcy by long-term illness, incredibly high prison populations, unrestricted gun ownership, a plummetting currency. And so on.
 
I'm not a socialist and never have been, but the socialist governments of Britain and Europe have provided a far better universal living environment for their citizens than the untrammelled capitalism of the US, despite the way they had to rebuild after each world war while the US escaped scot-free.


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Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 01-Feb-2008 at 13:12
Gcle wrote:
It is of course more balderdash as one can expect from someone who can apparently write 'eutopian' (sic). Much more important is that silly use of the past tense everywhere. The welfare state is alive and kicking almost all over the world: to put it in the past is as silly as the idiotic quote from Buckley earlier (and, yes, I remember Firing Line, mostly from the '70s).
 
One must admit, you do "keep in character" and have the veneer of the supercilious expat in full shine. Just because you have never encountered a term does not make it an error is spelling. If you had known that eutopia is Latin for "true and good place" and that an eutopian theory of government encompasses the Welfare State (in contrast to the coinage of Thomas More for utopia, no place) then you would not have written in the verbal metier characteristic of Mass Man. Nevertheless, I am most amused by your protestations over not being a socialist although you do go out of your way to intone the usual mantra typical of the anti-American effete resident in Europe and steeped in the rationalizations typical of the "eurocrat".
 
I must admit however that you had me in stitches when you employed the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as the paragon of socialist efficiency!


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Posted By: Leonidas
Date Posted: 01-Feb-2008 at 14:42
Originally posted by drgonzaga

Originally posted by Leonidas

I cant see how welfare promotes self centeredness.  i like the fact i pay tax that helps others amongst other things.

 The break down of the extended family was due to urbanisation. In the case of Britain this, by and large, coincided with the industrial revolution. The process was not forced by an external body, instead this was a result to structural change in the economy and the roll on effects to society.
 
Well, Leonidas, you would be one of the few individuals on this side of the pond that proclaimed a love for taxes! Besides, your declaration is near tantamount to equating government with charity, and such an attitude does promote self-centeredness when it comes to individual attitudes within the paramaters of social interaction on the personal level: why should I concern myself since the government will take care of my neighbor.
For any functioning society we need taxes and we need welfare. i dont know how you expect the vulnerable to look after themselves but not everyone can 'pay their way' and not everyone on welfare is there because they're lazy. Granted many are, but many have disabilities, bad luck, no family etc etc.

 If your so self-less i imagine you open your door to those in need, share your plate with the hungry and shouted some one a doctors appointment! of course it cant replace the welfare state if it is just you, it would be take so many others to do the same. Since most people do not even get out of the way on the road or on the foot path i don't trust that revolution is coming to a soup kitchen near you any time soon. Otherwise if you haven't got a large, not great but adequate safety net these people will live a horrible life.... My self centered expectations would rather their basic needs to be met, via housing, medicine and eduction and by professionals that can make it happen. All subsided by my pay packet along with every other lucky one that has a job and with all the economic benefits of scale.

I agree that charity that isn't personal is somehow a cop out, blood money is how i would put it. but that goes for all charities not just  government taxes. However our; mass-scale, urban, anonymous but free society is designed like a pyramid. Some one needs to work other wise he also falls down into the poverty/welfare trap and therefore doesn't have a spare dime or time to do much else. so yes I expect the government to upheld the safety net and those that are unlucky to work their way out, and i will be as productive as possible to help myself and yes in a anonymous way, others around me. Its not idealistic like yourself, simply realistic.
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga

Likewise, it is a bit naive to assign the disruption of the extended family to urbanisation. For example, my family has been in an urban environment since even before the Industrial Revolution and city life did not affect the proclivity toward multiple procreation [now that's a construct guaranteed to raise the hackles of a certain resident wordsmith].
ah yes before reliable contraception and a TV hehe.

your talking about lots of kids, im talking about extended families. As some one that is one generation away from a peasant and with a largish extended family that lived in both worlds,  i can say urbanization has everything to do with the changes of community and family. In small tight knit rural communities there was less need for welfare and more of that 'helping each other' you seem to think is encroached by big government. i think you need to look back at the effects on urbanisation >on the individual (and family unit) and then take a snap shot to what the village was like before you think i am niave.
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga

I know that often self-centeredness is confused for individualism (the praise of selfishness inculcated by the inverted Mass Thought of an Ayn Rand) but what I am focusing on is the natural instinct toward cooperativeness characteristic of man as a species, interaction on a personal intimate level. Sympathy and empathy are not attributes of the State.
One would find being cooperative very if he has no medium to express that but more importantly if the individual is alienated from his job/meaning and from his community. start with how we live and how we function in our living space and then comment on how (why) we behave.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 01-Feb-2008 at 15:19
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga

Gcle wrote:
It is of course more balderdash as one can expect from someone who can apparently write 'eutopian' (sic). Much more important is that silly use of the past tense everywhere. The welfare state is alive and kicking almost all over the world: to put it in the past is as silly as the idiotic quote from Buckley earlier (and, yes, I remember Firing Line, mostly from the '70s).
 
One must admit, you do "keep in character" and have the veneer of the supercilious expat in full shine. Just because you have never encountered a term does not make it an error is spelling.
Where did I say it was an error in spelling? Nowhere that's where. At least I read what you post.
 
What it was was pretentious. And I don't put much stock in verbal pretentiousness.
 If you had known that eutopia is Latin for "true and good place"
I knew that's what it meant. I also knew it was Greek, which appears to be news to you.
 and that an eutopian theory of government encompasses the Welfare State (in contrast to the coinage of Thomas More for utopia, no place)
Utopia as used by Thomas More is a pun. It means BOTH 'no place' and 'good place'. You seem to have missed the whole point of the joke - to indicate that no good place exists. I am however not surprised.
then you would not have written in the verbal metier characteristic of Mass Man.
It's true I try and write so that I am easy to understand. So I'll take that as a compliment.
 Nevertheless, I am most amused by your protestations over not being a socialist although you do go out of your way to intone the usual mantra typical of the anti-American effete resident in Europe and steeped in the rationalizations typical of the "eurocrat".
You would be more effective if you explained what the mantra was, why you think I'm anti-American, and why on earth you think me 'effete'. Can't be the way I write.
In fact the point is I'm pro-American and i hate what is happening to the country.
 
And I stood for Parliament in the UK for the Liberal party, which, before you get all muddled again, is and was specifically opposed to centralised government and nationalised control of industries. That a socialist beat me was not due to lack of trying to beat him.
 
That you, in common with too many Americans, have no idea what 'liberal' and 'socialist' mean on the world stage is predictable, but not my fault.
 
I must admit however that you had me in stitches when you employed the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as the paragon of socialist efficiency!
 
Why? What do you know? You've lived here? What's wrong with it? 60% of the population of Luxembourg City are foreigners attracted here by the standard of living - from other OECD countries mainly, whereas easily the majority of foreigners coming to live in the US are from the third world.
 
I'd listen to an argument that it's easy for a small country to be socialist (because of the small scale of the planning decisions, for instance) since I feel that way myself. But that doesn't appear to be the argument you're making.


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Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 01-Feb-2008 at 18:15

Leonidas observed

For any functioning society we need taxes and we need welfare. i dont know how you expect the vulnerable to look after themselves but not everyone can 'pay their way' and not everyone on welfare is there because they're lazy. Granted many are, but many have disabilities, bad luck, no family etc etc.
No one is dismissing the purpose behind taxation or that government exists to preserve the common good; instead, the focus falls on the systemic shortcomings of a regulatory ambiance that transfers all decisions to anonymous bureaucracies that forever encroach upon the autonomy of personal decisions. Further this impetus toward minimizing the ambit of individual initiative not only generates a false sense of security but also forges an understanding of rights that moves far beyond the political and enters the arena of economic entitlement. One might even surmise that the latter will ultimately breed a permanent underclass whose preservation becomes the driving force behind the interested bureaucracy whose existence flows from their deprivation.
 
 
 
 


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Posted By: red clay
Date Posted: 01-Feb-2008 at 18:58
That you, in common with too many Americans, have no idea what 'liberal' and 'socialist' mean on the world stage is predictable, but not my fault.
 
 
Sadly true, many in the US wouldn't know a true Liberal or socialist if one were to bite them on the butt.
 
 


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"Arguing with someone who hates you or your ideas, is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter what move you make, your opponent will walk all over the board and scramble the pieces".
Unknown.


Posted By: Kevin
Date Posted: 01-Feb-2008 at 23:11
Originally posted by red clay

That you, in common with too many Americans, have no idea what 'liberal' and 'socialist' mean on the world stage is predictable, but not my fault.
 
 
Sadly true, many in the US wouldn't know a true Liberal or socialist if one were to bite them on the butt.
 
 


Again true, Liberal and Socialist are often thought of and used in the same context and form in this nation.


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Posted By: Leonidas
Date Posted: 02-Feb-2008 at 04:36
Originally posted by drgonzaga

Leonidas observed

For any functioning society we need taxes and we need welfare. i dont know how you expect the vulnerable to look after themselves but not everyone can 'pay their way' and not everyone on welfare is there because they're lazy. Granted many are, but many have disabilities, bad luck, no family etc etc.
No one is dismissing the purpose behind taxation or that government exists to preserve the common good; instead, the focus falls on the systemic shortcomings of a regulatory ambiance that transfers all decisions to anonymous bureaucracies that forever encroach upon the autonomy of personal decisions. Further this impetus toward minimizing the ambit of individual initiative not only generates a false sense of security but also forges an understanding of rights that moves far beyond the political and enters the arena of economic entitlement. One might even surmise that the latter will ultimately breed a permanent underclass whose preservation becomes the driving force behind the interested bureaucracy whose existence flows from their deprivation.
your whole opposition to what is a natural and logical outcome of a mass scale, industrialize economy/society is puzzling and has no practical purpose. There is an economic entitlement as the economy is a shared resource, however the difference between the losers and winners that are a natural outcome of this resource has to managed.  Safety nets make sure the situation for the poor is not desperate, which is totally responsible and actaully protects the economy and society from such a potentially more costly outcome.

BTW, there has always been an underclass and welfare is a reaction to this rather than the other way around. difference of the old times and now is that we feel responsible for those that are at the loser end of society. Any concern that this is wrong because its via a anonymous intermediary should be dismissed as purely  and uselessly academic. Since this intermediary alone has the capacity, mandate and resources to do so, with no obligations attached beyond good citizenship.

Who wants to go back to  'the good ol' days' where there a moral attachment to wealth with all that outdated and barbaric pseudo-aristocratic entitlement of the upper class.




Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 02-Feb-2008 at 13:09
Originally posted by red clay

That you, in common with too many Americans, have no idea what 'liberal' and 'socialist' mean on the world stage is predictable, but not my fault.
 
 
Sadly true, many in the US wouldn't know a true Liberal or socialist if one were to bite them on the butt.
 
 
 
Fiddlesticks! Everyone knows that liberals have blue eyes while socialists have green ones!
 
In politics, there are no classic Liberals left in Europe at all--with the possible exception of Albania--and everyone of the remaining lot from Berlusconi through Merkel to Brown are all children of socialism in one manner or another. As for whether the Demos in the US would recognize a Liberal from a Socialist, such is an inane contemplation since the political outlook here has been, from the start, essentially utilitarian: if it works fine, if it doesn't let us argue over it and then dump it!
 
How many more Galloways are about?


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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 02-Feb-2008 at 16:49
Originally posted by drgonzaga

Originally posted by red clay

That you, in common with too many Americans, have no idea what 'liberal' and 'socialist' mean on the world stage is predictable, but not my fault.
 
Sadly true, many in the US wouldn't know a true Liberal or socialist if one were to bite them on the butt.
 
Fiddlesticks! Everyone knows that liberals have blue eyes while socialists have green ones!
 
In politics, there are no classic Liberals left in Europe at all--with the possible exception of Albania--
I know that statement is annoying and you like that, but it would help your credibility if you would explain what you mean by that 'possible exception of Albania'.
and everyone of the remaining lot from Berlusconi through Merkel to Brown are all children of socialism in one manner or another.
Berlusconi, Merkel and Brown have very little in common, though the last two have more in common than either has with Berlusconi. None of them even claims to be a Liberal.
 
Brown at least calls himself a socialist, though he's tarred in that respect with having been associated with Blair. In Britain the liberal party is more than alive and kicking, having more MPs than at any time in the last 60-odd years.
 
Merkel is literally a child of communism wince she was born, brought up and educated in a Communist country: now however she represents the Christian Democrats, occupying much the same ground as the US Democratic party (insofar as that has a common platform). The socialist party in Germany at the moment are the Social Democrats and the liberal one is the Free Democrats, though they are well to the right of the British Liberals.  I'm not sure how to classify the German Green party.
 
Berlusconi is a law to himself really, but is close to being an American Republican as it is possible to be and still stay alive in European politics. His personal party is Forza Italia, which claims to be Christian Democrat, liberal and liberal-conservative, but mostly seems to be in the old Italian tradition of standing for whatever the leader thinks it should today. He certainly has never shown any sign of being a 'child of socialism' in any way whatsoever. He is after all the richest man in Italy and 51st in the world.
 
But I'm not going to get drawn into analysing Italian political parties Confused  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_Italy - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_Italy
As for whether the Demos in the US would recognize a Liberal from a Socialist, such is an inane contemplation since the political outlook here has been, from the start, essentially utilitarian: if it works fine, if it doesn't let us argue over it and then dump it!
I see the great American myths are still flourishing. It may have een true at some time but if it were still true the US would have dumped its health care system years ago for a more efficient and cheaper one, General Motors would be long gone, and so would the American merchant marine. Just for a few items.
 
Welfare for individuals may be a low priority for the US government, but much of industry relies on welfare from the government to stay in business.
 
How many more Galloways are about?
I assume you know as little about Galloway as about that mixed bag Brown, Merkel and Berlusconi. I hope however the answer to y<our question is none, though I don't see what possible relevance it has to the thread.
 
Neither do you probably, or you would have been able to explain it and not once more drop some meaningless murky hint.


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Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 02-Feb-2008 at 19:24
Hello to you all
 
No matter how libertarians want to spin it, the only reason for the current prosperity is government intervention and regulation of the economy. Before the 30s, sever depression episodes and long running inflation was commonplace. From 1870 to 1900 Britain was in a deep and long stagnation. Same goes for the US economy and all other economies of the world. Poverty was so rampant and unemployment was so huge that the current number of today look a blessing. Yes, there are many problems associated with the model of the welfare state but the answer is to fix those problems not to cancel the reason for them. Look at the countries of central and South America, the darlings of Friedman and co. The social situation there is dire and the reason is wild uncontrolled capitalism. What is needed now is more regulation of the economy not less and the current subprime crisis is just an example.
 
AL-Jassas


Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 02-Feb-2008 at 21:49

Gcle bemoaned:

I know that statement is annoying and you like that, but it would help your credibility if you would explain what you mean by that 'possible exception of Albania'.
...
Welfare for individuals may be a low priority for the US government, but much of industry relies on welfare from the government to stay in business.
 
How many more Galloways are about?
I assume you know as little about Galloway as about that mixed bag Brown, Merkel and Berlusconi. I hope however the answer to y<our question is none, though I don't see what possible relevance it has to the thread.
 
Neither do you probably, or you would have been able to explain it and not once more drop some meaningless murky hint.
 
No murkier than the effort to turn this thread into another example of Yankee-bashing so typical of Euro smugness. So far there has been little of history and the historical processes that gave rise to the socialist constructs of the modern European state and instead a flow of defensive posturing more typical of a candidate standing for Parliament and telling the constitutency they've never had it so good.


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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 03-Feb-2008 at 12:24
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga

No murkier than the effort to turn this thread into another example of Yankee-bashing so typical of Euro smugness.
 
Why is telling the truth about the US seen as 'Yankee-bashing'?
So far there has been little of history and the historical processes that gave rise to the socialist constructs of the modern European state
Well, Leonidas and Al Jassas have just recently brought up the historical processes.
 
However, you need to look at the title of this sub-forum and its parent. This part of All Empires is specifically not restricted to discussing history.
 
If you want to restrict your posts to historical matters then you are free to do so here. If you want other contributors also to stick to historical aspects, then start a thread in one of the history sub-forums, presumably in modern history.
 
In any case to confuse the welfare state with socialism is a fundamental error. The defining feature of socialism is centralised state ownership and control. Pretty well all parties in most of the world subscribe to the principles of the welfare state: it has nothing necessarily to do with socialism, though of course most socialists like most liberals and conservatives and communists and even anarchists support it.
and instead a flow of defensive posturing more typical of a candidate standing for Parliament and telling the constitutency they've never had it so good.
You really must love displaying your ignorance. That particular phrase is forever associated with British conservatism. No Liberal or Labour candidate would have used it, no opposition candidate is ever likely to use it, and anyway while I guess I was technically old enough, I didn't stand for Parliament in 1959.


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Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 03-Feb-2008 at 13:46
Originally posted by gcle2003

 
Originally posted by drgonzaga

No murkier than the effort to turn this thread into another example of Yankee-bashing so typical of Euro smugness.
 
Why is telling the truth about the US seen as 'Yankee-bashing'?
So far there has been little of history and the historical processes that gave rise to the socialist constructs of the modern European state
Well, Leonidas and Al Jassas have just recently brought up the historical processes.
 
However, you need to look at the title of this sub-forum and its parent. This part of All Empires is specifically not restricted to discussing history.
 
If you want to restrict your posts to historical matters then you are free to do so here. If you want other contributors also to stick to historical aspects, then start a thread in one of the history sub-forums, presumably in modern history.
 
In any case to confuse the welfare state with socialism is a fundamental error. The defining feature of socialism is centralised state ownership and control. Pretty well all parties in most of the world subscribe to the principles of the welfare state: it has nothing necessarily to do with socialism, though of course most socialists like most liberals and conservatives and communists and even anarchists support it.
and instead a flow of defensive posturing more typical of a candidate standing for Parliament and telling the constitutency they've never had it so good.
You really must love displaying your ignorance. That particular phrase is forever associated with British conservatism. No Liberal or Labour candidate would have used it, no opposition candidate is ever likely to use it, and anyway while I guess I was technically old enough, I didn't stand for Parliament in 1959.
 
Ah! Another who is forever certain that they are the fountain of truth and certainty. The Welfare State is socialism "lite" and stems from the posture adopted by those in the Second International at the close of the 19th century who accepted the position of Edouard Bernsten against revolutionary violence as the means to political power. Whether you wish to accept it or not, the achievement of Eden through persistent "reform" or the efficacy of violent cleansing is rather immaterial in terms of the ends sought: the eutopia of a regulated society.
 
At the moment I am seriously considering getting you ASBO status.
 
 


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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 04-Feb-2008 at 13:56
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga

 
Ah! Another who is forever certain that they are the fountain of truth and certainty.
Who's the other one?
The Welfare State is socialism "lite" and stems from the posture adopted by those in the Second International at the close of the 19th century who accepted the position of Edouard Bernsten against revolutionary violence as the means to political power.
More balderdash. (Incidentally that's Bernstein.)
 
The welfare state, even in its modern form, derives from sources like British nonconformism in the early 19th century (and the equivalent in other countries), led by people like Wilberforce and Rowntree, just as much as from any form of socialism, Marxist or otherwise. Even later Lloyd George and Asquith were no socialists, not even of the non-Marxist socialist varieties like William Morris (better classified as an anarchist) and Robert Owen (better classified as a liberal).
 
Bismark was no socialist. FDR was no socialist. Robert Peel was no socialist, but the factories acts were important steps in establishing the welfare state philosophy. Disraeli was no socialist, but the 'one nation' concept was also an early move toward the philosophy underlying the welfare state.
 
And I'm pretty sure the welfare state, even in its modern form, was well under way in most of western Europe anyway before there were any socialist governments there, though of course the arrival of socialist governments speeded up the process, and the disastrous collapse of the unregulated capitalist system in the thirties made it necessary to extend it further than before (even in the US).
 
You might as well claim that the abolition of slavery was due to socialism. It's true it would run counter to socialist principles, but it wasn't socialists that abolished it: Lincoln was no socialist.
 
 Whether you wish to accept it or not, the achievement of Eden through persistent "reform" or the efficacy of violent cleansing is rather immaterial in terms of the ends sought: the eutopia of a regulated society.
Eden? You mean Anthony Eden? I guess not, since he has nothing to do with anything here: pretty well his entire career was involved with foreign affairs.
 
On second thoughts I guess you mean Paradise. But anyway the choice between peaceful and piecemeal reform on the one hand, and violent revolution on the other is highly important.
 
Moreover, while my view on the pretentiousness of 'eutopia' remains unchanged, whether one sees there as being an ideal achievable society or not is critical to the distinction between socialism and other philosophies of the welfare state. It is in fact one of the reasons that I, and other liberals like Popper for instance, reject socialism, and in particular reject Communism.
 
Frequently more damage is done in the search for and the belief in the achievability of, and ideal state than is done by clinging on to the existent from self-interest and fear of change.
 
At the moment I am seriously considering getting you ASBO status.
How would you do that?
And what for - pointing out that you're wrong, as when you said 'eutopia' was Latin?


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Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 04-Feb-2008 at 22:46
Quite a sleight-of-hand that shuffling of Wilberforce and Rowntree (I suppose you meant Joseph and not Benjamin) in the same deck. But then I suppose all do-gooders can be classified as Socialists...but as matters stand the pettiness in the content of your posts speaks for itself. Perhaps in the rant over eutopia you simply wish to gestate or replicate in utero; however, etymology does not work the way you wish it so. The word had no existence in Greek whatsoever (find outopos anywhere?), and is the coinage of Scholastic Latin of the 16th century;  Did you not know that Thomas Moore's little book was originally written in Latin?
As for you usual querelousness over a typo, you nevertheless did know who Edouard was...sic transit poppaea mundi.


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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 05-Feb-2008 at 10:36
Does that post contribute anything to the subject?
 
I guess you can classify anything any way you like. However, to classify all 'do-gooders' as 'socialist' makes a mockery of any attempt to talk seriously about the early development of the welfare state.
 
I know that 'eutopia' and 'utopia' are relatively modern coinages: I even explained to you how More was joking when he made up the word 'Utopia'. The point is that the components of the word are Greek, and indeed the pun is a Greek pun. What it certainly isn't is Latin, as you said.
 
What you wrote, incidentally, was
If you had known that eutopia is Latin for "true and good place" and that an eutopian theory of government encompasses the Welfare State (in contrast to the coinage of Thomas More for utopia, no place)
'Eutopia' is not 'Latin for "true and good place"'. It isn't Latin for anything.  And you misrepresented More's coinage, whatever the language, since it deliberately means both 'good place' and 'no place'.
 
I note that once again you have not countered or even contradicted any of my points (or other people's) except to claim that Bismark, FDR, Lloyd George, Asquith, Rowntree[1], Peel and Disraeli were socialists. I guess you could also throw in Moses, since he advised storing up the produce of the seven fat years to redistribute it in the seven lean years, which is as early an example of welfare statism as I can think of.
 
And what on earth is
Perhaps in the rant over eutopia you simply wish to gestate or replicate in utero;
supposed to contribute, if indeed it means anything at all, which it doesn't appear to do.
 
[1] I was actally thinking of Joseph, but Benjamin would also make the point, since he was a lifelong Liberal and a friend of Lloyd George. What neither of them was was socialist.
 
 
 


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Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 05-Feb-2008 at 12:34
The components of the word psychopath are Greek but such does not make the word a Greek word thus its etymology (origins of historical usage) is not Greek. But that is besides the point because the drive in all of the postings set by you is the gnawing at irrelevancies so as to maintain the fantasy that the "Welfare State" is indistinguishable from the objectives and politics of all government through history rather than an apt descriptive set squarely within the ambits of European political thought since 1890.
 
By the way, eu and ou are Greek, "u" is not, so gestate that...
 
How about the Welfare State as an example of neo-Luddism in politics?


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Posted By: Chilbudios
Date Posted: 05-Feb-2008 at 13:19

There's no Latin lexicon to include a word like "eutopia" so obviously it's not a Latin word (unlike the word "psychopath" which exists in many English dictionaries and lexicons). Its components are not Latin, so it's not even a word derived from other Latin words. And actually if one knows a bit of Latin (and I doubt drgonzaga knows) would have known that "topia" (or better said "topos") does not mean "place" in Latin (it can mean in Greek, but this is another dish). And any reader of this book (and I doubt drgonzaga is one) could have noticed that most of the names in this book are derived from Greek: Hythlodaeus, Ademus, etc. Any well-edited copy of this book should have such things clarified in its foreword because obviously the casual English reader does not know Greek and cannot understand the double meaning these names have.

As a side comment: the Greek "ou" is casually transliterated in Latin alphabet by "u". My nick-name on this forum is a good hint.


Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 05-Feb-2008 at 14:36
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga

The components of the word psychopath are Greek but such does not make the word a Greek word thus its etymology (origins of historical usage) is not Greek. But that is besides the point because the drive in all of the postings set by you is the gnawing at irrelevancies so as to maintain the fantasy that the "Welfare State" is indistinguishable from the objectives and politics of all government through history
'Indistinguishable' isn't the point.  The 'welfare state' doesn't spring into existence in 1890 or with the second international or at any other time. Its growth is organic, and its historical development a continuous process, albeit moving faster and more slowly at different periods.
 
In fact it's arguable that 'welfare' and 'state' are so closely intertwined that their development is parallel. Take the opening paragraph of Aristotle's Politics (Jowett's translation)

Every state is a community of some kind, and every community is established with a view to some good; for mankind always acts in order to obtain that which they think good. But, if all communities aim at some good, the state or political community, which is the highest of all, and which embraces all the rest, aims at good in a greater degree than any other, and at the highest good.

 
 
Of course, as several people have already pointed out here, the need for the State to intervene to provide for the common good changes with time, and in particular the processes associated with urbanisation in some places and migration to new worlds in other, leading to the break-up of traditional support mechanisms have made the requirement sharper than ever in the last 100-200 years. The diminishing role of the churches and the democratisation of society have also increased the requirement substantially. (If there is no noblesse how can noblesse oblige? If the church doesn't collect tithes for charity, who will?)
 
However any attempt to put in that development a marker that says "from now on, and only from now on, the 'welfare state' exists" cannot be justified.
rather than an apt descriptive set squarely within the ambits of European political thought since 1890.
What's Luxembourg declaring independence got to do with it? Or the start of the County Championship in cricket? The pilot got dropped?
 
How's anyone supposed to know what you are talking about?
By the way, eu and ou are Greek, "u" is not, so gestate that...
Do you know what 'gestate' means?
 
How about the Welfare State as an example of neo-Luddism in politics?
Bad example. I don't know what you may intend neo-Luddism to mean, but Luddism is a good example of short-sighted ultraconservatism. Neo-Luddism, I guess, like its forebear, would have to represent the attempt to turn the clock back and reverse the progress of the welfare state, as exemplified by the so-called neo-cons in the US, or some of those that have misappropriated and misnamed 'welfare reform' over the last 20 years or so.


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Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 05-Feb-2008 at 16:41
The Peanut and its gallery of one...how amusing. I suggest that both take it up with E. P. Hennock and how the term Welfare State is defined in historiography. Perhaps then they might understand their collective responsibilitie.
 
 E. P. Hennock. The Origin of the Welfare State in England and Germany, 1850–1914. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.


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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 05-Feb-2008 at 19:24
 
Originally posted by drgonzaga

The Peanut and its gallery of one...how amusing. I suggest that both take it up with E. P. Hennock and how the term Welfare State is defined in historiography. Perhaps then they might understand their collective responsibilitie.
 
 E. P. Hennock. The Origin of the Welfare State in England and Germany, 1850–1914. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
 
Can't you state a position and then stick to it? You were just claiming it started in 1890; before that you said it started with Bernstein and the second international; now you've come up with 1850. In a way you're making exactly my point: the choice of a startng point is entirely arbitrary, since the development is continuous.
 
Hennock's title is a misnomer anyway. You can't say the 'origin' was a period of 64 years. By 1914 the 'origin' was well over. A better title would have been The Development of the Welfare State in England and Germany, 1850-1914 - although in any case he doesn't restrict himself to that period. This is from the opening chapter:
Despite the subsequent preoccupation with urban poverty, the transformation of poor relief in the nineteenth century began in a rural setting. In Prussia as in England it began with a drastic change in rural society. In England that change came about in response to market forces and then created a situation that led to the intervention of the State in the form of the Poor Law (Amendment) Act of 1834.
In Prussia, he considers events as early as 1816, and there are references to developments in the eighteenth century, in particular in rural areas. He in fact provides tables on population growth and internal migration from 1816 onward.
 
From the tone, Hennock (for whom I have respect for his views on the modern welfare state and its future in the UK) would certainly have accepted that the Poor Law Act of 1834 was itself a direct descendant of the Elizabethan acts of 1598 and 1601, which really did mark a turning point in the history of state welfare provision in England.
 
What does start around 1850 is a growing preoccupation with the difficulties of the urban poor; up until that time, not surprisingly, legislation had been mainly concerned with the rural poor, as Hennock describes.
 
And of course none of this whatsoever backs up your contention that it all started with socialism.
 


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Posted By: drgonzaga
Date Posted: 06-Feb-2008 at 09:24
You are a jewel, always gnawing at the flesh like the larvae of putrescence so as to demand a last word that is totally beside the point given that "poor relief" does not constitute the Welfare State. Under your loosey-goosey constructs you might as well call the constructions of the pyramids the initial attempt to solve rural unemployment in Egypt outside the harvest season and hence the Pharaohs lie at the root of the welfare state! Pvoerty has little if anything to do with Welfare as defined within the statits perspective and touches upon entitlement and the transformation of economic considerations into political rights.

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Posted By: gcle2003
Date Posted: 06-Feb-2008 at 10:48
'Poor relief' is certainly part of the welfare state - in fact what else are welfare benefits paid for? And equally certainly Hennock's book is concerned with poor relief as the extract I quoted makes clear. So why did you post the book if you don't agree with what it says? Could be you hadn't read it?
 
You comment about the pyramids is just silly. Since I never said anything of the sort, there's no reason to imply I did. I mentioned Moses (somewhat light-heartedly) because the implication of the biblical story is that in Egypt at the time, the State, insofar as it can be considered a state, saved food in order to distribute it to the people in hard times. Which is as close to an State insurance scheme as one can get.
 
I would agree that one cannot logically talk about the 'welfare state' where there is no organised central state, or where welfare is the responsibility of some institution other than the state. So in the medieval period where welfare was seen as the responsibility of the Church (which collected taxes and donations partly to that end) it would be incorrect to talk about the welfare state.
 
However it is no coincidence that as the centralised state developed in the Tudor period in England, the State began to intervene directly in legislating to provide support for the poor. As a term the 'welfare state' may be a relatively modern coinage (ww2 in the UK, late 19th century in German, second empire in France), but as a reality the idea that the state should support the unfortunate goes back to the origin of the state itself.
 
To say
Originally posted by drgonzaga

Poverty has little if anything to do with Welfare
under any reasonable definition of welfare is ridiculous. If there were no poor, why would there be welfare? 
 
Incidentally it's somewhat ironic in view of recent history that De Toqueville considered the US to be a welfare state, which he disapproved of, and complained in 1835:
Cet État se veut si bienveillant envers ses citoyens qu’il entend se substituer à eux dans l’organisation de leur propre vie. Ira-t-il jusqu’à les empêcher de vivre pour mieux les protéger d’eux-mêmes ?
 
My translation:
This State wants to be so caring of its citizens that it attempts to take over from them the organisation of their own life. Will it go as far as stopping them from living better in order to protect them from themselves?
 
De Toqueville was voicing many people's objection to the welfare state: how could he do that if it didn't exist?
 
Anyway isn't it about time that you tried to produce some kind of argument, preferably with your definition of 'welfare state', to support your various assertions? So far you've only quoted an American TV pundit who thinks all socialist states are failed, a 92 (or so) year old French/American who thinks the welfare state is a phenomenon of the past, and a respected English specialist in the subject who disagrees with you.
 
That would make such a change after such idiocies as "The Peanut and its gallery of one...how amusing" and "always gnawing at the flesh like the larvae of putrescence".


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Posted By: opuslola
Date Posted: 25-May-2010 at 15:08
Such a sad end for a very enlightening view of the world!

I respect both or all of the above correspondents equally!

All I need is a good scholar and tutor to make sense of most of it!

"Above my head, it was!" yoda!

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http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/history/


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 18-Jul-2010 at 08:19
Most primitive tribes cared for each other, then as they evolved and became large civilizations, they stopped caring about each other.  Unfortunately, they did not stop reproducing.  Biologically we are not designed to live in large numbers.  Groups of about 12 are best for decision making and getting things done.  Communities around 500-600 are the limit for natural relationships, and beyond that number, concepts of how we treat one another, need to formalized into laws and enforced, because people start becoming strangers to one another.

Now we have the environmental factor.  When people in the New Land move west they found an abundance of natural resources that seem inexhaustible.  In Oregon, nature was their supermarket.  Every family owned a rifle, because people hunted and fished for meat, and people with low IQ's could manage very well.   They do not do so well in our cities, and get pushed to the margins.  Not because they are lazy, no good people, but because we don't need them.  Now are we to be less civilized than the "savages" who once lived in tribes, or do we organize ourselves with humane values?     We have built malls on farm land, destroyed our forest and rivers, and made it almost impossible for anyone to live off the land anywhere.   We need to compensate for what we have done.

Here is another piece-  wealth is supported by low income workers.  International trade depends on low income workers.   Low income workers deserve a decent standard of living and their families deserve security.  I believe we should plan for that.  If not?  Then perhaps those hunting guns, have another survival purpose?  

I would say, the welfare state is unavoidable, and if we do not use our human intelligence to adjust to our present reality, well hey, revolutions serve a purpose.  


Posted By: TheGreatSimba
Date Posted: 19-Jul-2010 at 09:14
I think the term "welfare state" is misleading and a loaded term. Its not a "welfare state", its what I would refer to as a humane state where people care for there fellow human beings, where equality, health, happiness, justice, and freedom are rights, not privileges.

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I use CAPS for emphasis, not yelling. Just don't want to have to click the bold button every time.



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