Sunday, January 27, 2008

Death? Yes. Dignity? Not Bloody Likely.

UPDATE (Dymphna's): Wretchard posted on this topic, titling his essay A Bottle of Whiskey and a Loaded Revolver.

Snipped from The Telegraph:

Paul Mason, a GP in Portland, Dorset, said there were good clinical reasons for denying surgery to some patients. “The issue is: how much responsibility do people take for their health?” he said.

“If an alcoholic is going to drink themselves to death then that is really sad, but if he gets the liver transplant that is denied to someone else who could have got the chance of life then that is a tragedy.” He [ Dr. Mason from Dorset] said the case of George Best, who drank himself to death in 2005, three years after a liver transplant, had damaged the argument that drinkers deserved a second chance.

To which Wretchard adds…

So maybe God, after all, is nothing that even socialism can abolish. Those unwilling to trust that there is meaning to universe can still hope there will be beds available at the NHS or compassion in the heart of a bureaucrat.

As usual, “read the comments...”


The doctorsI wrote on Friday about the inevitable slide towards euthanasia of the elderly that is inherent in the logic of socialized medicine.

Now the process is becoming quite explicit. The National Health Service in the UK seems to be ready to issue guidelines and protocols for letting obstinately unfit people die. According to yesterday’s Daily Telegraph:

Don’t treat the old and unhealthy, say doctors

Doctors are calling for NHS treatment to be withheld from patients who are too old or who lead unhealthy lives.

Smokers, heavy drinkers, the obese and the elderly should be barred from receiving some operations, according to doctors, with most saying the health service cannot afford to provide free care to everyone.

The health service cannot afford to provide free care to everyone.

That’s not what you promised us sixty years ago when the practice of medicine was nationalized in the UK. Everyone, no matter how indigent, was entitled to medical care. That’s what the Fabian nannies told us back in the halcyon days of EngSoc. So what happened to all those glittering promises?

The rule has been changed a little bit. They just added a dependent clause to the end:

Everyone, no matter how indigent, is entitled to medical care, provided they adhere to the behavioral guidelines established by the experts of the NHS.

And here’s one to alarm the abortion-on-demand crowd:
- - - - - - - - -
Fertility treatment and “social” abortions are also on the list of procedures that many doctors say should not be funded by the state.

The NHS doctors are making visible and explicit a process which is already occurring unofficially:

About one in 10 hospitals already deny some surgery to obese patients and smokers, with restrictions most common in hospitals battling debt.

Managers defend the policies because of the higher risk of complications on the operating table for unfit patients. But critics believe that patients are being denied care simply to save money.

Both of those explanations can be true. Unfit patients do have a higher risk of complications. And denying people care does save money.

It’s important to remember that dying early makes you less of a burden to the socialist State.

Which also means that the State has a vested interested in your untimely demise.

Just keep that in mind every time you look at those brochures showing handsome smiling doctors and nurses next to happy and healthy patients. Ah, yes, “the NHS is here to serve you.” Bu the truth is somewhat different.

If people controlled their own health care with their own money, they could decide for themselves what they needed to save money on. But that’s Stone Age thinking, and unworthy of contemplation here in the Age of Socialism.

Or at least it used to be unworthy of contemplation, until the budget crunch hit home. Now that the free market has been thoroughly destroyed, it’s time for you to pay for your own treatment:

Among the survey of 870 family and hospital doctors, almost 60 per cent said the NHS could not provide full healthcare to everyone and that some individuals should pay for services.

One in three said that elderly patients should not be given free treatment if it were unlikely to do them good for long. Half thought that smokers should be denied a heart bypass, while a quarter believed that the obese should be denied hip replacements.

Those who obey the directives of the NHS doctors deserve to be treated. The disobedient, stubborn, recalcitrant, selfish, and subversive have no right to treatment. Just let ’em die: it will help weed all the independent thinkers out of the gene pool.

Not all the doctors agree:

Responding to the survey’s findings on the treatment of the elderly, Dr Calland, of the BMA, said: “If a patient of 90 needs a hip operation they should get one. Yes, they might peg out any time, but it’s not our job to play God.”

That’s what you think. Ever since God was officially pronounced dead, one of the main functions of the State has been to play God.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.


Hat tip: Fausta.

42 comments:

Zenster said...

That’s what the Fabian nannies told us back in the halcyon days of EngSoc. So what happened to all those glittering promises?

What was that famous slogan? Ah, yes:

All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.

Let's make one wee little adjustment, shall we?

All animals are equal but some animals are less equal than others.

I'll bet nobody saw that coming!

Queen said...

Just get rid of the indegenous old white people who gave England its "finest hour." Population replacement is complete. I wonder if they are thinking of withholding medical care from Muslim women who get rickets because of wrapping themselves in black Hefty bags? Or Muslim children born with birth defects because they are the children of cousins who were themselves the children of cousins? Thought not. But those old, useless, indigenous white people who paid into the welfare system for 50 or 60 years -- they gotta go. Please tell me why Gordon Brown hasn't had his head on a pike outside Traitor's Gate yet.

Homophobic Horse said...

Don't vote Democrat.

In America it is still reasonably well understood that Socialism implies a loss of personal liberty. He who pays the Piper calls the tune the saying goes.

heroyalwhyness said...

Quote: "Everyone, no matter how indigent, is entitled to medical care, provided they adhere to the behavioral guidelines established by the experts of the NHS.
"

Aging apparently doesn't adhere to their behavioral guidelines.

Reliapundit said...

WOULD THEY WITHHOLD TREATMENT FOR GAYS?

GAY IS AN UNHEALTHY LIFESTYLE.

I SUSPECT NOT.

AIDS IS PC ILLNESS.

OBESITY AND LUNG CANCER ARE NOT.

FOR LEFTISTS, IT'S REALLY ALL ABOUT PICKING WINNERS AND LOSERS: THEIR FAV' VICTIMS GET LARGESSE; THEIR ENEMIES GET SHUNNED.

EUTHANASIA AND REDISTRIBUTION AND ABORTION ARE ALL ABOUT THEM PLAYING GOD.

tsarbomba said...

I certainly hope the American public is aware of this! This is truly frightening!

spackle said...

This is a very confusing issue for me. On the one hand it is deplorable to me that anyone would be turned down for treatment by some socialist tool in a side office for nefarious reasons. However, as someone who worked in healthcare specializing in Medicaid for a number of years I have seen the other side. I cant tell you how many hundreds of people I saw who didnt give a crap about their own health. Obese people with diabetes, high blood pressure and all those other goodies who dont even try to rectify their problems even after major surgery. Wheelchairs, wound care, home health aides, the services go on and on and these folks dont even give a second thought as to who is paying for this. I wont even get into drug addicts and alcoholics. All of this footed by joe tax payer. I guess the whole point however is to do away with any form of socialized medicine or at least have some strict patient responsibility requirements.

spackle said...

As far as denying treatment for the elderly? That is just wrong at any cost. There I a japanese film called "Ballad of Narayama" that shows what used to be done to the elderly in a certain region of Japan years ago. They were taken willing or not to a mountain top, dumped and left to die. Maybe this would be a good solution for the NHS.

Henrik said...

Ever since God was officially pronounced dead, one of the main functions of the State has been to play God.

Waitaminute, this is profound. Nietsche did this declaration (though some may say it's the other way around), and that was immensely inspirational to the philosophers and movements that eventually inspired the Soviet Union, Fascist Italy and many other regimes where the state was supposed to take care of everything, fix every problem for every citizen. This usually resulted in a big mess, or worse, war.

We need a state that is just a state. And a God that inspires people to do useful things, not kill those of other religions.

Laine said...

Anytime the state takes over provision of a service, there will be abuse in both directions.

Why the right to "free" i.e. state-funded i.e. middle class taxpayer funded health care has become a sacred cow is a mystery. Why does the state allow people to "suffer" discrepancies in the food they can eat, or in housing, but suddenly when it comes to health care, everybody must get the same? Since a smaller number contribute to health care than drain it, the level of care is mediocre and dropping as the ratio changes in favor of more free riders.

When health care expenditure is left up to the individual, the responsible individual curbs other (optional) expenditures accordingly. This is socialism's fatal flaw, the belief that being irresponsible is a human "right" and any ill effects must be compensated for by the state i.e. the money of responsible citizens. Socialism encourages a nation of grasshoppers, fiddling their health and money away, then demanding the best of health care and pensions which the ants, who have been slaving away at their work and health (with the two strongly inter-related) are conscripted to provide. Eventually, the sheer weight of the grasshoppers overwhelms the ability of the ants to provide and everyone's standard of living comes crashing down.

It is insane that western nations with generous welfare policies allow in immigrants who have no hope of sustaining themselves through work. Worse, they are allowed to bring in elderly relatives who have never contributed work or taxes and who are at the peak of health care and other support requirements. These people could live for much less in their country of origin. In essence, that's what foreign aid should be buying, not golden toilets and Mercedes for dictators. Western nations are dinged twice - foreign aid cash to third world countries and still hosting/subsidizing millions of their unproductive citizens.

This is unsustainable. Curb immigration so that there is no importation of guaranteed drains on the economy. If it is so critical for some extended families to be reunited, let them do so in their country of origin. The other option is for offspring to pay the entire freight for their elderly parents, but this is in reality unworkable. They are constantly passing on the costs of their family preference to the taxpayer at large.

Let the chips fall where they may. meaning let people deal with the consequences of their own actions. If someone can't be bothered looking after his health, and/or save enough to buy his own health care or insurance, then he dies early without the superhuman effort of a transplant. "C'est la vie ou la mort".

Change the government system to actual health INSURANCE similar to car insurance so no one is beggared by a health "accident". This would not cover "pre-meditated" destruction of one's health over years.

It is no one's right either to have a child or not have one. Everything to do with fertilization procedures and abortion should be paid out of pocket. Encourage and facilitate contact between pregant young women who do not want to raise a child and would-be adoptive parents.

It is impossible for the state (meaning taxpayers) to kiss everyone's boo-boo better. Everyone has a boo-boo of some sort. There are better ways of dealing with these things than taking money out of someone else's wallet and setting up a costly bureaucracy to divvy out the remnant.

The poor can start following the guaranteed route out of poverty: get as much education as possible (free to end of high school and beyond with scholarships), do not have kids out of wedlock, and work steadily at any job. Families can pool resources to take care of their own. Charity is the voluntary giving of money by strangers. Communities can be mobilized to solve whatever needs solving e.g. building a youth center using supervised youth labor which in itself keeps idle hands from delinquency. The literate can tutor the illiterate with cheap proven phonics programs. Every able hand to the wheel. Anyone able-bodied requiring temporary help should get workfare, never welfare. The welfare rolls should be pared to the truly disabled, (and frankly, in this computer age, there are few people who can make no contribution to society). The mentally ill should not be able to refuse reasonable treatment since they are incapable of proper judgment.

We would be left with a very small and manageable residue of people requiring state (i.e. conscripted) charity.

Diamed said...

What's wrong with denying treatment to the elderly and the irresponsible?

I think public health care would work wonderfully with just those two measures. No one over the age of 70, say, gets free health care. If they want to live on and on and on they can pay for it themselves. We're not here to provide everyone immortality, simply a fair chance at a quality life. If they never made peace with their Maker all the way to 70 and still fear death that's their problem.

As for smokers, STDs, drinkers, fatsos, druggees, etc, good riddance. The sooner they die the better for the gene pool. You can't possibly expect taxpayers to subsidize vice, sin, and voluntary choices to get sick. They can pay for it themselves if that's what they want, no one owes them the health care for their own bad habits.

These measures are simply a return to sanity, responsibility, and prioritizing the good over the bad like we should.

spackle said...

Diamed,
" I think public health care would work wonderfully with just those two measures. No one over the age of 70, say, gets free health care. If they want to live on and on and on they can pay for it themselves. We're not here to provide everyone immortality, simply a fair chance at a quality life. If they never made peace with their Maker all the way to 70 and still fear death that's their problem."

Wow Diamed thats pretty hardcore. I hope for youre sake you are young and wealthy.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

The irony of banning smokers from the NHS is that almost its entire budget is met from the taxes on tobacco and cigarettes.

Zenster said...

Spackle: They were taken willing or not to a mountain top, dumped and left to die. Maybe this would be a good solution for the NHS.

One simple solution: Mandate that every politician who approves of this measure must receive all of their medical treatment only at these government facilities without any access to private services.

It's long past tea for these socialist nimrods to share in the joy of their own handiwork.

Zonka said...

Diamed wrote:
What's wrong with denying treatment to the elderly and the irresponsible?

Two things first who decides at what age one is elderly and who is irresponsible. Second and more importantly, NHS and other universal health care is nothing more than a compulsory insurance deal, where a percentage of your taxes covers the premiums. If the NHS/state doesn't want to fulfil their end of the bargain they should pay back all previous payed premiums, as a minimum as they're negating a contract. And that would be the end of the universal healthcare, which might or might not be a good idea.

I agree that there are lots of problems with universal healthcare, and would gladly exchange it for a better system, however I have yet to see a system that overall works better. The US model is not exactly something to strive for, unless you happen to be wealthy and in good health.

spackle said...

Zenster.

"it's long past tea for these socialist nimrods to share in the joy of their own handiwork."

Amen, brother.

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

zonka: "The US model is not exactly something to strive for, unless you happen to be wealthy and in good health."

You are absolutely right. The reason of course is the socialist regulatory practices of the government which have encouraged the masses to believe that there is such a thing as a free lunch. The US unfortunately has begun the journey down that road.

Paul said...

This is exactly the point Francis Schaeffer made in several of his books in the closing quarter of the twentieth century.

He translated modern society's acceptance of abortion to acceptance of the following concept: 'There is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived.' After society's acceptance of this concept there is no stopping the inevitable conquest of euthanasia, infanticide, abortion.... You name it.

The german doctors bought into this concept before the Jewish extermination began in the '30s when they supported killing the disabled and the mentally retarded.

Killing Jews was a natural extension for the Germans after that. There was no stopping the water behind the dam once the floodgates were opened.

And there is no stopping the floodgates in the present day either. The British national health service is simply bowing to it's only remaining master: economics and political force.

Homophobic Horse said...

"'There is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived.'"

Godless liberalism in action: "Do what thou wilt as though it were the law" (spit). We need a water cannon filled with holy water.

the doctor said...

From some one inside the glorious NHS:
I posted on my blog " The Doc Spot "
today ... if the medical costs were not so high in the US I would leave these shores without a backward glance and let the United States of Europe go to Hell in a handcart ,
( my son lives in Chicago ) .
In the UK there is a new oxymoron which is " medical ethics " most doctors practice un-ethically now .

Laine said...

Zenster said: "NHS and other universal health care is nothing more than a compulsory insurance deal, where a percentage of your taxes covers the premiums".

Universal Health Care is not an insurance plan. The premiums are not distributed according to risk as in car insurance where a bad driver or someone driving an expensive car with potential expensive repairs pays more. Those at high risk of needing expensive health care often pay little or nothing into the system.

Car insurance also doesn't pay for routine maintenance, winter tires, or the deductible. It's there so that accidents, caused by yourself or others don't beggar the unlucky. The irresponsible (e.g. speeding, driving while drunk) pay for their irresponsibility through higher premiums.

The universal health care system with which I'm familiar started out paying even for cosmetic procedures such as electrolysis i.e cadillac care for everybody. Of course, that was unsustainable as more and more free passengers climbed aboard so as well as dropping the frills, every year some of the basics are now subtracted, such as physiotherapy, routine eye examinations etc.

Diamed must be very young to consider 70 as the put-em-on-an-ice-floe age. That 70 year old is entitled to the health care for which he has paid over his lifetime. Somewhere in the blogosphere recently there was an article entitled (I'm paraphrasing because I can't remember it exactly) "Alfred has to die so that Mohamed can live" and the gist of it was that Alfred who had paid into the NHS all his life was being written off in his old age and the rationed health care bought with his dollars is now going to a young Mohamed who along with his family is still in the minus column for contributions. Where is the fairness in that?

Following Diamed's reasoning, young people could just go squat in old people's homes, eat their food etc.

Ed Mahmoud said...

Can't wait for the four years of Hillary or Osama we can supposedly live through, and the permanent new national socialized healthcare entitlement/bureaucracy that will never be rolled back. No entitlement ever gets rolled back, only expanded.

Diamed said...

yes I'm young. But don't give me that 'they paid for it with taxes.' No they didn't. It takes 5 or 10 tax payers to support the health care of one single old person. You only paid 1/5 or 1/10 of the expenses you cause others with YOUR health care bills. It's a pyramid scheme. The health care bills of an old person are astronomical and commonly are more not only than they pay in taxes, but more than they ever made at their job in their whole life!

Here's a simple thought experiment, if there were an immortality elixir that for 10 million dollars could extend an old person's life another year, every year, forever, would he have the right to infinite elixir? How much does society owe him? If he doesn't have that right, there must be some definable limit. If there is a limit, you're no longer in principle against me, you're just talking details, and admit I'm right.

cubanbob said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ENGLISHMAN said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Whilst I agree with the sentiments I think, in honour of our hosts, it would be wise to try and keep the profanity to a minimum.

Diamed's post is a very good example of just why cradle-to-grave healthcare simply doesn't work. It promotes a selfish attitude of entitlement, a belief that the world owes the person something for nothing. If it were up to me the NHS - if it had to exist - would deal with emergency care and anything elective would have to be carried out privately.

On the subject of US healthcare I believe that there are several studies around demonstrating that the US system provides slightly better care on average than the NHS though, given the way the NHS is falling apart these days, I'd be surprised if that difference in the level of care hasn't significantly altered. IOne of the few touted advantages of national healthcare is that it provides for chronic patients, yet I see no evidence of that in the way the NHS is being re-organised right now. Current reforms include attempting to get people to treat themselves and a focus on out-patients, clinics and quick-and-easy operations. Anything more complex than a hernia op seems to get shunted to France.

Baron Bodissey said...

Cubanbob --

Gates of Vienna's rules about comments require that they be civil, temperate, on-topic, and show decorum. Your comment violated the last of these rules. We keep a PG-13 blog, and exclude foul language, explicit descriptions, and epithets. This is why I deleted your comment.

Use of asterisks is an appropriate alternative.

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

cubanbob said...

" Diamed said...

yes I'm young. But don't give me that 'they paid for it with taxes.' No they didn't. It takes 5 or 10 tax payers to support the health care of one single old person. You only paid 1/5 or 1/10 of the expenses you cause others with YOUR health care bills. It's a pyramid scheme. The health care bills of an old person are astronomical and commonly are more not only than they pay in taxes, but more than they ever made at their job in their whole life!"


Dude the problem with your take on the matter is that you to are and have been and statistically will always be a burden on the tax payer. Your schooling wasn't free from birth through university. How much did you pay towards that cost? The old people paid it, not you.
lets see from kindergarden through high school that 18 years at an average constant dollar vallue of 10 thousand dollars, $180 grand you cost the taxpayers. Then there is college. Not to mention all the services as a tax consumer you have consumed before you have paid dollar one in to the system. Odds are you are not smart enough or ambitious enough to ever earn enough money to join the ranks of the true net taxpayers, the top quarter that actually do pay the overwhelming bulk of all taxes. I'm in my fifties and already have paid in $300 grand in s.s and medicare taxes and still have another 16 years to go before I see dollar one back. So dude you never have and never will pay any of my costs in the most remote way but without I doubt been paying for you all your life and will have that dubious honor cramed down my throat for many more years to come.

Your daily existence is costing me money so kindly take your own elixer and be true to your convictions and simply shut the f*** up and quietly die.

Baron Bodissey said...

Englishman --

There were similar problems with your comment, with the additional issue of name-calling.

As you can see from my redacted version below, it's possible to make the same point without either name-calling or using foul language.

Please moderate what you write so that I don't have to.

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

ENGLISHMAN said...

No one wishes to be ill or old,this is just the human condition,and if our peoples future welfare depends on [unappealing citizens] like diomed then why since the enlightenment have people striven to make our existences as tollerable as possible,what of compassion,humanity and all the things that differenciate us from the animals,you will be old one day sunshine,may god help you,for with ideas like you have no-one else will.

PapaBear said...

How about this as a radical concept: yearly and lifetime limits to healthcare expenes, based on how much you put into the system (ie, how much health insurance premiums you paid in)

You exceed the limits, your health care is rationed

@cubanbob: Here in the US, each employee pays 5.9% of gross (2.9 employee, a hidden 2.9% by employer) over your entire lifetime. For the average middle-class taxpayer, if that had been invested into a medical 401K, that would have been enough to pay for a LOT of medical bills after 65

allat said...

"about the inevitable slide towards euthanasia of the elderly "

HA! Inevitable march towards "Stem Cell " harvesting you mean! Leading to obtaining "stem cells" from any or all sources- you mean!

Tell me, what is your indignation and your looking askance at "Euthanisia" of the elderly? Are they more sacred or to be honored, than an unborn child further than 7 months in the uterus?

Hell! I'm not against birth control or prevention of conception - called Herbal Contraceptives - but killing the unborn already able to survive out side the uterus, is unconscionable!

And these are called live abortions!

What is the difference?


So what's the shock factor? If the young can be killed without a second thought, what's the difference?

Old people that have already experienced everything there is in life? To the fullest!

Are old people better than the unborn children?

leadpb said...

Years ago I read about something similar, that the US citizen *on average* has withdrawn ALL of what they paid into Social Security within only a very few years after retirement. After that they are riding on the contributions of others (including employer contributions), often for many more years. A critical problem in this scheme is that no interest accrues on their money over all those decades.

I'm not sure why someone would feel embittered about being in the top 25% taxpayer bracket. After all they are making a lot of money, regardless of any egregious rate of Federal taxation. Is there any society where the wealthiest do not support, per capita, a disproportionate cost of services-- including capital? Personally I think we should do away with income tax. But without lower- and mid-level schmoes there is no system of wealth-generation; all classes depend on other classes to make everything work. This includes military personnel, without which there would be no secure bastion of free markets and liberty to avail one's self of.

So who is riding on who's back?

Agreed there should be some disincentive for taking one's health laxly, and rewards for those who make better health decisions. But this would depend largely on a complete overhaul of nutrition-health education in K-12 and this is not even on the horizon.

cubanbob said...

" Blogger PapaBear said...

How about this as a radical concept: yearly and lifetime limits to healthcare expenes, based on how much you put into the system (ie, how much health insurance premiums you paid in)

You exceed the limits, your health care is rationed

@cubanbob: Here in the US, each employee pays 5.9% of gross (2.9 employee, a hidden 2.9% by employer) over your entire lifetime. For the average middle-class taxpayer, if that had been invested into a medical 401K, that would have been enough to pay for a LOT of medical bills after 65
1/28/2008 10:16 AM"

Brother your preaching to the choir. However when you are self employed you pay the full Social Security and Medicare taxes yourself since after all you are the employer. So it's 6.2% for the S.S. x 2 up to this year's maximum of this year's S.S. salary cap of $97 grand. The Medicare portion (1.45% x2) has no cap. Next year the S.S. cap will increase. If the Democrats have their way they would eliminate the cap all together so if that were to occur the top quarter would get still another hosing for a benefit they will never receive back even a shadow of what they would have contributed. At some point people who have that kind of money won't stand for getting fleeced and simply shift their money outside the country.
Rich liberals like the Kennedy's have done so for decades. How do you think they manage to stay so wealthy for so long despite inheritance taxes?

The real problem with medical insurance is that it isn't a true insurance scheme. It's a pre-paid plan that allows you so much in services which encourages over consumption. That drives up the base costs. Furthermore hospital and other providers are forced to subsidize the indigent. Someone has to pay for that, and that person is you. Hospitals should directly bill the appropriate government agency for the indigent care instead of absorbing the cost and passing it on to the insured. When the government openly pays for the indigent in full then society will have a true cost figure of the indigent care and decide through the ballot just how much they are willing to pay. Also there is no national market for insurance so the insured in each state have to have the plans offered only in that state. Usually they are larded with things like acupuncture and chiropractic that add to the cost. You usually can't get a true medical catastrophe with a high deductible and therefore a low premium. And finally we have a President and Congress that either are too stupid or too corrupt to address the real reason why prescription drug prices are so high in the US: we subsidize the world. Just imagine if Congress enacted the following:drug companies can charge whatever they want in the US provided they charge the same price to all buyers everywhere else in the world or they can only charge in the US the lowest price they charge in the EU 25, Canada, Australia and Japan. We have been subsidizing the Canadians and Europeans long enough with defense expenditures, we don't need to be subsidizing their drug costs as well.

Do the above and drug prices in the US will fall dramatically. The Canadians and Europeans will squeal like stuck pigs but that that is not our problem. There is nothing they could about it. Many of the big pharma companies are European so what are they going to do? Kill their own? I doubt it.

Sodra Djavul said...

Leadpb,
I disagree with your assessment that all classes must rely upon all others to make everything work. The wealthy are wealthy because they found a market need, driven by and large the middle class, and satisfied that need. Not because of the government, entitlement programs, etc.

Just because someone is making a lot of money does not mean they should be denied equal retention of said efforts that the middle or lower economic classes enjoy.

An entrepreneur in the truest sense of the word has ZERO job security. The middle class enjoys the job security of bi-weekly paychecks, retirement benefits, etc. in exchange for removing the day-to-day risk, both personally (groceries, utilities, etc.) and professionally, an entreprenuer must endure.

As to societies where the wealthiest do not support the other economic classes, just where would the original United States of America fall? You know, before there was even such a thing as taxation?

- Sodra

cubanbob said...

Baron Bodissey said...

Cubanbob --

" Gates of Vienna's rules about comments require that they be civil, temperate, on-topic, and show decorum. Your comment violated the last of these rules. We keep a PG-13 blog, and exclude foul language, explicit descriptions, and epithets. This is why I deleted your comment.

Use of asterisks is an appropriate alternative."


I stand corrected and will watch myself.

cubanbob said...

Blogger Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Spot on! I have relatives in the UK.
NHS is fine for the small stuff. Anything else is out of pocket, private insured and to doctors out of the NHS.

" leadpb said...

Years ago I read about something similar, that the US citizen *on average* has withdrawn ALL of what they paid into Social Security within only a very few years after retirement. After that they are riding on the contributions of others (including employer contributions), often for many more years. A critical problem in this scheme is that no interest accrues on their money over all those decades.

I'm not sure why someone would feel embittered about being in the top 25% taxpayer bracket. After all they are making a lot of money, regardless of any egregious rate of Federal taxation. Is there any society where the wealthiest do not support, per capita, a disproportionate cost of services-- including capital? Personally I think we should do away with income tax. But without lower- and mid-level schmoes there is no system of wealth-generation; all classes depend on other classes to make everything work. This includes military personnel, without which there would be no secure bastion of free markets and liberty to avail one's self of. "

Try this on for size: write check and then tell me you feel all sweetness and nice. Next time you go to a restaurant see if anyone is charged a different price for the same identical meal solely due to the ability to pay. Or at a supermarket or gas station. The government is not doing the top payers any special favors that is does not do for the rest. My peeve isn't the amount I pay in total dollars but rather the higher marginal rates (although the total does grate me a bit). By the way would you prefer a head tax? Or how about limiting the vote (for the house of representatives) to true net tax payers? What riles me is this sense of entitlement to my money on the part of others. As if they are doing me a favor with my money.

In case you did not know, the US Supreme Court ruled in 1960 that you have no property rights to your S.S. contributions. Which means Congress can amend, adjust or abolish the program at any time it chooses to. That is why Social Security needs to be privatized. What Congress giveth it can taketh.
Truly it is scandalous that Social Security and Medicare are portrayed as insurance schemes by the government when all they really are is a general welfare scheme. If had all the money I already paid in to date in S.S and Medicare taxes, excuse me paid in "premiums" and invested them modestly I would have had at least 500 grand by the time I'm 62 (ten years from now). Yes your right. I am embittered, I work for my money. Don't you work for yours?

leadpb said...

Sodra,

I think you are misconstruing what I meant to say, that is, that different levels of society depend on one another to make our society work-- lower working class (no real assets), middle class and a wealthy capital-wielding class. This has nothing to do with government efforts at anything, unless you consider government as a class. Problem is we are nearing the point where the actual distinction between govt and the society that sustains it is blurrier everyday. Not a good thing at all.

I don't think I said anything at odds with the rest of your comments but don't expect me to shed a tear for the risk-taking entrepreneur. That risk is fully elective and, properly undertaken, is the gateway to wealth far beyond most salaried workers. Resentment against the wealthy, in my opinion, is largely based on perceived tax loophole advantages and the like-- in spite of the fact that they do pay more than their fair share. The whole code needs to be chucked and we should pay a flat sales tax, with a few exemptions (food, etc.). But then would you say that this is unfair because of all the consumption tax that well off consumers would end up paying? As long as people focus on the unfairness of any system they will be distracted from the unfairness of life in general and their own responsibility to do something about it.

Alas, the original USA is long gone! It took us until about 1900 to overcome our violent hatred of taxation (conditioning, you know). But we can dream...

cubanbob-- You said "Or how about limiting the vote (for the house of representatives) to true net tax payers?" That is a great idea. If we don't move in this direction and along the lines of the general sentiment here we are all headed for Euro-style Socialism at a 40-something% tax rate. The current burden will then be the Good Ol' Days.

Sodra Djavul said...

Leadpb wrote:
"I don't think I said anything at odds with the rest of your comments but don't expect me to shed a tear for the risk-taking entrepreneur. That risk is fully elective and, properly undertaken, is the gateway to wealth far beyond most salaried workers."

I don't think anyone should shed a tear for the risk-taking entrepreneur. They're certainly not asking for them. If they've gotten good enough at what they do, they've long since shed tears for any one of their competitors. But they are the driving force behind economic growth, and should be able to fully enjoy what they have added to the bottom line (i.e. GDP) of their society.

What I take issue with is the entire idea of using economic status as a class. It seems very alien (i.e. socialist/communist) at its core.

Penalizing economic success should not be a mainstay of the idea that there is no class, no monarchy, no feudalism present in our society. And the American dream should NOT be a middle-class existence in a nondescript cubicle farm as the Democrats and most other class-based political actors would have the American public believe.

hank_F_M said...

I realize the claims that something or
someone is a Fascist
have been made in an excessive manner around this blog, even so that policy is Fascist


Hope I don’t get banned for hate speech

Kathy said...

Re: Graham Dawson's comment on the NHS being funded almost entirely by tobacco and cigarette sales - aye, there's the rub. Denying health care to smokers, or to diabetics who don't watch their sugars, etc., is a natural extension of socialist health care, or outcome-based medicine. Outcome-based medicine is already being practiced in the US. I agree with the poster who mentioned an "health accident" insurance, such as to take care of an extended illness or hospitalization. If all other forms of "health insurance" were eliminated, you would see medical costs drop like a rock. But beause too many people make too much money from the way things are, health care costs will continue to go up and up, people who get sick because they don't live perfect lifestyles will continue to be vilified and receive substandard care, the lemmings will continue to clamor for their free lunch, and governments will continue to tax smokers and tobacco users to pay for social medicine until there are no smokers or tobacco users left, in which case they'll simply tax someone else. Isn't it a great system?

Jesus Christ Supercop said...

Responding to the survey’s findings on the treatment of the elderly, Dr Calland, of the BMA, said: “If a patient of 90 needs a hip operation they should get one. Yes, they might peg out any time, but it’s not our job to play God.”

How are they not "playing God" by replacing someone's hip or prolonging their life?

Diamed:
Here's a simple thought experiment.
-- snip --


I think that's a pretty good argument. Nobody has responded to it so far.

cubanbob:
Dude the problem with your take on the matter is that you to are and have been and statistically will always be a burden on the tax payer. Your schooling wasn't free from birth through university. How much did you pay towards that cost? The old people paid it, not you.
lets see from kindergarden through high school that 18 years at an average constant dollar vallue of 10 thousand dollars, $180 grand you cost the taxpayers. Then there is college. Not to mention all the services as a tax consumer you have consumed before you have paid dollar one in to the system.

Your daily existence is costing me money so kindly take your own elixer and be true to your convictions and simply shut the f*** up and quietly die.


Educating and training citizens is a useful and necessary investment. Keeping old people alive is not quite as useful or necessary.


I think there should definitely be some reasonable limits to how much you can get free medical treatment. There's just no point in sustaining people who aren't interested in sustaining themselves.

Kafir_Kelbeh said...

I spent 1 year studying nothing but Social Security, and here are some interesting facts:

1. Those who retired in 1990 recouped their SS investment within approximately 18-24 months.

2. Those who retire in 2039 will recoup their SS investment in 40 years. (Yes, they will have to live to be 110.)

3. Black men, based on average life expectancy, would be better off investing half their money in stocks and flushing the other half of their money down the toilet.

But remember that, just because those in the highest tax brackets are "raking in" that $2,000 a month, the top 5% in income in the US pay 95% of our income taxes.

And yes, that 1960 Supreme Court ruling mentioned above is true. We do not have a "right" to what we think is an entitlement.

What's interesting is if we opted out, and only invested our portion (leaving our employer's portion to fund those remaining), we could most likely fix this problem.

I worked on the only reform package on the Hill that involved a macroeconomic model assessing the economic impact, and it would've worked. Yet every Democrat on the Hill fought this tooth & nail in the '90s.

USpace said...

Hillary or Obama will fix everything, they will take care of us. Why? Because they care.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
destroy your healthcare system

Cuba's filthy hospitals
are something to aspire to


absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
don't pay healthcare premiums

for the uninsured
just destroy system for all


absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
forget healthcare reforms

just dismantle the market
government monopoly


absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
NO one deserves great healthcare

get checkups free and easy
just wait for critical care


absurdthoughtsaboutgod.blogspot.com
.