Arkadi

do Germany and France live under socialism today?

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Wolf DeVoon--To begin with, you quoted me only to discuss not the issue I addressed. Medicaid is not Obamacare, as far as I can tell. But to address your account, I fail to see from it how Obamacare, while it was in effect, made anything compulsory for you. You make enough money to pay the fees you cited--good for you; I know quite a few people who don't.  And they are hard working, trust me; perhaps just not as smart as you are, or had worse starting conditions in life. I agree that Obamacare sucks. But that's precisely my point--re the difference with Germany and France.

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Oh, and here it is your own words: " Whatever the government [in US (and Britain?)] imposes, it does badly."--QED. But not so in continental Europe. And your next one is plainly wrong: " When people make individual decisions, they do fine." I know quite a few people who don't.  BTW, where do you get your figures from? Fox channel? Wiki says: "In 2009, 62.9 million Americans were enrolled in Medicaid for at least one month, with an average enrollment of 50.1 million."

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1 hour ago, Arkadi said:

You make enough money to pay the fees you cited...

$8000 / 15 years = $533 per year, far less than most people pay for high-deductible health insurance. Let's suppose total cost was double that, if you add up all the little doctor visits and medications. Still small, $1000 a year. Anyone can do it, unless they have a chronic debilitating illness -- and there was a time within living memory that most U.S. private hospitals took charity cases. Probably senseless to discuss this with an European. When I lived in Holland, I had to call a doctor to attend, a really great guy who came to my hotel room, charged a small fee. When I moved to a rental house less than a mile away, he couldn't treat me because I was 100 meters outside his geographically designated practice area. Effing brilliant, ja?

No good to quote 2009 statistics. Medicaid ballooned in cost and coverage since 2009 under Obama. I gave the latest figures.

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

I looked at the WHO comparison of France, Germany, Japan, Norway, U.S. health care. Americans spend more on health care than anyone else and our life expectancy is a couple years lower than average. Japan has the lowest cost and highest life expectancy -- and that brings me to an awkward aspect of this matter. Japan is 99% Japanese. America is 30% black and hispanic, 70% white. If you exclude "people of color" from our health statistics, U.S. has lower costs and longer life expectancy. The vast majority of Medicaid recipients are blacks and hispanics (see below)

cdc-lifeexpectancy.png

Quote

In 2011, blacks were almost twice as likely as whites to be uninsured. And though they made up just 14 percent of the U.S. population, blacks accounted for 20 percent of Medicaid rolls. Hispanics were almost three times as likely as white non-Hispanics to be uninsured and made up 29 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries... The benefits of the Medicaid expansion would be similarly skewed along racial lines. In Mississippi, 50 percent of those who would gain coverage are black, according to a 2012 Urban Institute study. In Louisiana, the figure is 47 percent; in South Carolina, 43 percent. In Texas, 48 percent of those who would gain coverage are Hispanic. [Bloomberg]

 

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i have a good friend who is 100% white, with a college degree, very hard working, pays thousands out of pocket per year for medicals as deductibles and co-pays with his employer provided insurance and barely makes his ends meet. he can choose his MDs, but none of them is great in his geographical area, and some really suck.with those who are a bit better than others, he is to make appointments months in advance, no matter how urgent the issue is.

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3 minutes ago, Arkadi said:

i have a good friend who is 100% white, with a college degree, very hard working, pays thousands out of pocket per year for medicals as deductibles and co-pays with his employer provided insurance and barely makes his ends meet. he can choose his MDs, but none of them is great in his geographical area, and some really suck.with those who are a bit better than others, he is to make appointments months in advance, no matter how urgent the issue is.

I see. This is called anecdotal evidence. Fair enough. I spend about $1000 a year on health care, another individual case. There are 330 million people in America, a lot of individual circumstances, some young and healthy, some not so young, not so strong. At the moment, our #1 health problem in the U.S. is dangerous narcotics and gang wars, including black market abuse of pharmaceutical opioids, alcoholism, car wrecks and train wrecks because drivers are impaired. Universal government health care cannot fix that problem.

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sure, the problem you mentioned cannot be fixed by universal government health care. but neither can it be fixed by totally capitalist, private health care. simply because it is not a problem that can be fixed by health care.

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12 minutes ago, Arkadi said:

sure, the problem you mentioned cannot be fixed by universal government health care. but neither can it be fixed by totally capitalist, private health care. simply because it is not a problem that can be fixed by health care.

Although we see things differently, I like talking to you. I'm glad you mentioned "totally capitalist, private health care." If it were politically possible (it isn't) I'm certain that laissez faire capitalism would solve most U.S. social problems. Elsewhere on OL today I mentioned The Gilded Age, roughly 1870 to 1910, an era in U.S. history that was more capitalist than ever before or since. It was also the time of highest immigration, a spike of millions who came to America with nothing and made their way unaided by "free" anything. Doctors charged fees. So did grocers and butchers. It was that simple.

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"a spike of millions who came to America ... " only the fittest of whom survived. (well, actually, those were already the fittest of the fittest who survived the journey). i have to admit, the picture has its appeal--not unlike the appeal of Plato's ideal state, where unfit infants were to be right away discarded.

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1 hour ago, Arkadi said:

"a spike of millions who came to America ... " only the fittest of whom survived. (well, actually, those were already the fittest of the fittest who survived the journey). i have to admit, the picture has its appeal--not unlike the appeal of Plato's ideal state, where unfit infants were to be right away discarded.

Plato was an unabashed admirer of The Spartans....  That is why he loved Socrates  who was the mentor  of Alcibiades,  the quintessential  political Bad Boy.

Plato would have done right well in a modern Fascist State.  He would have been appointed King of the Philosophers by the ruling dictator. 

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6 hours ago, Arkadi said:

"a spike of millions who came to America ... " only the fittest of whom survived. (well, actually, those were already the fittest of the fittest who survived the journey). i have to admit, the picture has its appeal--not unlike the appeal of Plato's ideal state, where unfit infants were to be right away discarded.

That's not what happened, sir.

Infant Mortality in U.S. per thousand live births
1850     216.8
1870     175.5
1890     150.7
1910      96.5
1930      50.1

https://eh.net/encyclopedia/fertility-and-mortality-in-the-united-states/

Approximately 9 million desperately poor Eastern Europeans who immigrated to America 1900-1910 were prompted to do so in part by very high European infant mortality at the time, 250 per 1,000 live births in countries such as Germany, Austria and Russia.

https://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/32/

The entire white population of the United States from the beginning were people who fled European wars and poverty.

Liberty = prosperity

 

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8 hours ago, Arkadi said:

i have a good friend who is 100% white, with a college degree, very hard working, pays thousands out of pocket per year for medicals as deductibles and co-pays with his employer provided insurance and barely makes his ends meet. he can choose his MDs, but none of them is great in his geographical area, and some really suck.with those who are a bit better than others, he is to make appointments months in advance, no matter how urgent the issue is.

So, he's a victim of the system?

How much debt is he servicing?

Does he rent or own?

How many cars does he have and are they financed?

Vacations?

Does he save?

How many children does he have?

Does his wife like to shop?

Does he expect to be taken care of--somehow--when he retires?

Etc.

If you're going to use your friend to illustrate your point you need to cough up a lot more about him.

--Brant

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7 hours ago, Arkadi said:

sure, the problem you mentioned cannot be fixed by universal government health care. but neither can it be fixed by totally capitalist, private health care. simply because it is not a problem that can be fixed by health care.

Whose problem? In this country the problem is in the head, not the body, generally speaking.

This self mind-fucking stops people from bettering their individual circumstances.

--Brant

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Brant--My friend is a social worker in foster care (a job to which he's wholeheartedly dedicated, but which is quite stressful and takes a lot of energy unpaid for in cash); he has one car, is single, earns 42K, and takes care of his dysfunctional (and handicapped) relatives. I'm not saying he is a victim of anything. He just has lots of health problems. And this drains him financially (let alone physically). 

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Wolf DeVoon-- Fitness includes all the gifts of nature, including IQ and the will for survival. Of all the poor population of Europe only the fittest fled. But many of even those immigrants literally sacrificed themselves for their posterity. "while many Irish men labored in coal mines and built railroads and canals. Railroad construction was so dangerous that it was said, "[there was] an Irishman buried under every tie." https://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/immigration/irish4.html

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1 hour ago, Arkadi said:

Wolf DeVoon-- Fitness includes all the gifts of nature, including IQ and the will for survival. Of all the poor population of Europe only the fittest fled. But many of even those immigrants literally sacrificed themselves for their posterity. "while many Irish men labored in coal mines and built railroads and canals. Railroad construction was so dangerous that it was said, "[there was] an Irishman buried under every tie." https://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/immigration/irish4.html

Every other cross-tie.  The under the alternate cross-tie was a Chinese worker.

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It was mooted, incorrectly, that something terrible happened to Chinese and Irish laborers building the Transcontinental Pacific railroad.

(sources: Harvard, Univ of Groningen, Univ of Nebraska, Wiley, CP and UP documents, Irish history websites, and Wikipedia)

Although the romance of the settlement of the West has received much attention in the literature, the Northeast remained the industrial powerhouse of the continent, attracting large numbers of immigrants to work in its mines, factories and mills, despite the growing ascendancy of Chicago. However, new research using the complete count US 1880 census dataset demonstrates that until the latter part of the period, the US railroad industry and its associated employment opportunities were also heavily concentrated in the Northeast region.

Irish immigration to U.S. (1820-1910) 4 million
settled primarily in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago
Westward expansion drew Irishmen who built Kansas City, largely Irish today

After 1840, most Irish Catholic immigrants went directly to the cities, mill towns, and railroad or canal construction sites on the East Coast. In upstate New York, the Great Lakes area, the Midwest and the Far West, many became farmers or ranchers. In the East, male Irish laborers were hired by Irish contractors to work on canals, railroads, streets, sewers and other construction projects, particularly in New York State and New England.

Irish immigrants quickly found employment in the police departments, fire departments and other public services of major cities, largely in the Northeast and around the Great Lakes. By the turn of the 20th century, five out of six NYPD officers were Irish born or of Irish descent.

map of Irish immigrant population in 1872
xirish_population_1872.jpg.pagespeed.ic.


 

UNION PACIFIC AND THE IRISH (approx 3000 workers)

Numerous "hell on wheels" towns proliferated along the Union Pacific construction route from Omaha, Nebraska, to Promontory Summit, Utah. The towns were famous for their rapid growth and infamous for their lawlessness. Many of the Union Pacific railroad workers were young Civil War veterans, many were Irish immigrants, and almost all were single. The close attachment to the railroads meant a constant stream of transient residents and a mixing of ethnic groups under the banner of the Pacific Railroad.  The towns were often temporary and made up of tents and cheap board structures that easily could be dismantled and moved to the next location. The towns offered everything from dentistry to hardware supplies to saloons and prostitutes. The Union Pacific lost the most workmen from exposure and from diseases contracted in the "squalid dens of prostitution" that followed the crews westward. More UP workmen were murdered in the Hell on Wheels towns than were killed in accidents, a ratio of about four to one.

Irish laborers were killed by Native American war parties, who attacked laborers and construction parties for their efforts to build a railroad that Native Americans believed threatened the continued existence of their culture and violated treaties granted by the US government. The Indian attacks caused the loss of hundreds of lives and further ran up the cost of building. The Cheyenne and the Sioux assaulted the road throughout Nebraska and Wyoming; they stole horses, damaged track, and scalped workmen along the way. The government paid the costs of sending extra troops along the line to help protect it. But after they left, the graders, tie-setters, track-layers, and bolters often had to work in teams with half of them standing guard and the other half working. In some cases, such as the Plum Creek massacre in Nebraska, the UP attorney admitted his line was negligent. It had sent workingmen into areas known for the presence of hostile Indians.

CENTRAL PACIFIC AND THE CHINESE

With respect to transcontinental railroad construction. The Central Pacific building from California employed 12,000 Chinese, because more able-bodied white men were busy chasing placer gold. Winter weather was the CP's greatest, most underestimated problem. During the winter of 1866, it took nearly half the CP work force just to keep the track shoveled. Eventually crews constructed enclosed wooden snow sheds around the track, enabling them to continue making progress. Still, the crews had to contend with frostbite, pneumonia, inadequate shelter and avalanches of snow.

In contrast to the crews of Irish workers, the Chinese immigrants were placed into gangs of twelve to twenty men, each with a cook. The Chinese had healthy eating habits, unlike all other white workers, and paid for their own food. As the white workers ate beef and potatoes, the Chinese consumed varieties of fish, meats, vegetables, and fruit. Most significantly, the Chinese drank tea exclusively. This water was boiled and then brought to them by younger workers at the construction sites. The Irish, who drank from streams and lakes, suffered from dysentery, something the Chinese escaped by drinking uncontaminated water. In addition to their superior diet, the Chinese maintained cleanlier lifestyles by giving themselves daily baths, lived in a tidier environment, and refrained from drinking whiskey. With these healthy tendencies, the Chinese were able to avoid acquiring many of the diseases the Irish encountered. About 130 workers are believed to have died building the Central Pacific (based on the secondary literature), with many of those due to weather related events such as avalanches, not preventable accidents. All of the accident reports are very specific accounts of small numbers killed. As best as we can determine, the number of documented fatalities during the CPRR construction reported in the primary literature by those actually participating is quite small, totaling 36.

 

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Is, in your view, the following statement false? "The Irish often suffered blatant or subtle job discrimination. Furthermore, some businesses took advantage of Irish immigrants’ willingness to work at unskilled jobs for low pay."

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3 minutes ago, Arkadi said:

Is, in your view, the following statement false? "The Irish often suffered blatant or subtle job discrimination. Furthermore, some businesses took advantage of Irish immigrants’ willingness to work at unskilled jobs for low pay."

Not uniquely. I am not going to reply to every cockamamie line of bullshit you picked up from grade-level government propagandists.

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Everywhere in the world, my own parents' lines included, did people at some points in time "work at unskillled jobs for low pay". Being taken "advantage of" many called "surviving".

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