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Old 09-01-2007, 09:56 PM   #21
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Car Expenses: $30/mo for gas
Insurance? Registration? Repair and maintenance?
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Old 09-01-2007, 10:00 PM   #22
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Insurance? Registration? Repair and maintenance?
Hell, I just spent $400 on a new oxygen sensor. Where can I get one of these $30 a month cars?
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Old 09-01-2007, 11:06 PM   #23
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Insurance? Registration? Repair and maintenance?
That didn't include registration, minimum liability insurance, maintenance, and repair, all of which have been adding up to a whopping $42/mo, more or less. That was counted in the "misc".

I am sure it would be a whole lot more if I did not live a mile and a half from work. I hardly drive at all. BUT, my housing costs would be a lot lower if I lived farther away.
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Old 09-02-2007, 09:09 AM   #24
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That didn't include registration, minimum liability insurance, maintenance, and repair, all of which have been adding up to a whopping $42/mo, more or less. That was counted in the "misc".
Could add up to a lot more than that if you're ever responsible for a bad accident if you're only carrying minimum liability...
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 09-02-2007, 03:25 PM   #25
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First of all, I think schools should be private and not funded by the gov't. Look at all the controversy surrounding what should or shouldn't be taught in school. Sex ed, good or bad? Evolution or creation? All those issues are avoided with private schools, where if you don't like the curriculum, you take your tuition money to a different school. Or, you home school your children and teach them the values and lessons you want them to learn and not what some bureaucrat thinks they should.

Here in Illinois we have toll roads instead of freeways so you pay your way if you choose to use certain highways.

Look, I know this is a hot button issue. I realize that taxes and gov't funding of certain programs is necessary. I don't have a problem with my tax dollars toing to pay for services that I use. After all, I may need the fire dept. or the police dept some day and I certainly use roads. What I don't want is my tax dollars going to pay for a service that I will never use and that doesn't provide me with any benefit.

Most people need to stop relying on the gov't to provide everything for them. Take some responsibility for your lives.

Services that you use now? or services that you might use sometime in the future too? What about the social contract that we have, most of us, agreed to that we care if our neighbor is hurt or disadvantaged? What about creating a democratic society in which we give those not as fortunate a leg up?

I strongly disagree with the idea of a totally Darwinian society in which people have to take total responsibility for their fate. People as human beings want to live in a family and a community that cooperates with each other, most people do anyway. I know there are so-called rugged individualists who would rather do or die by themselves.

If you visit other countries that have stronger communities then you realize what is really missing here in the USA. We are so fragmented, a melting pot, that it's harder to feel empathy for our neighbor. Plus, many feel overburdened these days by government taxes with little personal payback. I understand all that.

But I think it's wise and even wonderful if a person can rise above his/her personal prejudices, grievances, and think about the other people who are not as fortunate, in whatever way, and see that extending oneself a little is a very good thing. And, believe it or not, you get back much more than you give.
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Old 09-02-2007, 06:12 PM   #26
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In many States you do not have to have car insurance to drive your car you just post a bond of $XXXX to the State fund and go on your way. Of course when you do have the accident that is your fault you may see a civil suit coming your way but the State pays for the accident after the claim by the person you hit (less the civil suit results). Why not have everyone purchase a bond for say $10,000 (usual cost would be about 10% or a $1,000) maybe you have to renew it each year going forward. For this you get minimal preventative care (annual physical). This would give you some care and maybe the people that do not want to purchase HC insurance that, are young and are healthy, would need nothing more. Those that have purchased HC insurance, receive it due to current or past employment would be exempt. I do not know what would be consequences of not having the "bond" coverage; most of the time if you do not have car insurance or contribute to the state fund they can take your driver's license and in some case confiscate you vehicle; maybe the same I do not know. Exceptions for the truly needy, truly infirm, etc., could be made and frankly as a society we should protect those persons without assets and ability to pay. Personally I do not have much like, for people that can and refuse to get HC, as that just costs the rest of us and IMHO is just another form of taxation (or maybe the PC term is "redistribution of wealth").
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:44 AM   #27
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Geez I just hate that I feel compelled to respond to these threads after a few glasses of wine but here goes...

Hey, we live in a mixed economic system that, for the most part, works fairly well. Seems to me when we slide too far one way or the other (individualist vs. collectivist or however you want to define the conflict) we get into trouble. We go in cycles. The "New Deal" stuff suffocated in its excesses in the late 70s/early 80s and gave way to some economic reform which was, to some extent, sorely needed. Flash forward a quarter century and, IMO, we have run into the excesses of individualism. Yes, it is good to have some flexibility in the labor force but the pendulum has swung too far toward laying the risk at the feet of the average middle class person.

It just seems so painfully, painfully, PAINFULLY obvious to me that we need to put ideology aside, cherished as those beliefs are, and create realistic solutions to problems like healthcare. How do we achieve wide or universal coverage along with adequate cost containment? This is the real and difficult conversation we need to have. Frankly, I'm sick of hearing one side or the other is anchored to their ideological fetish and refuses to engage in the messiness of the situation at hand.

OK, I'm going to have another glass. Are there any other radical centrists out there?
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Old 09-03-2007, 05:05 AM   #28
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Hmmm -

Deming may have passed on but The Red Bead Experiment is a good meditation.

And then there will be the external discipline imposed by The World is Flat even if Freidman is only partially right.

Even Americans can only stay stupid so long in the modern world.

heh heh heh - what the hell - ya wanna live forever or something! 1993 - 2006 no health insurance and ER, now an American passport and 10k deductible cause time in the market means I can afford it.

1st cup of coffeee post. Generic radical coffee don't cha know!
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:56 AM   #29
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Are there any other radical centrists out there?
Here.

I also think we're going to have get beyond the usual partisan name-calling and extremism to solve this one. Neither the market-based status quo nor socialization of the health care system, IMO, are palatable and effective fixes.
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:32 AM   #30
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Frankly, I'm sick of hearing one side or the other is anchored to their ideological fetish and refuses to engage in the messiness of the situation at hand.

OK, I'm going to have another glass. Are there any other radical centrists out there?

i totally agree... take any economic/political system all the way down one ideological vein and you have weird outcomes...i think in particular, that is why you have extremists - because our system/beliefs as a country are not purely down one vein, you have people pushing the masses in one direction or the other - trying to polarize the discussion...

if we were totally libertarian, conservative rep, or liberal dem, or commy, we'd have strangeness everywhere!

given that, i do think we can use more education in general ameriCAN public about what these ideas are and how to select the best each has to offer...sure they conflict at certain intersections, but then we have to make a choice about what produces the best outcome for the population (like universal healthcare vs. individual)...etc...
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Old 09-04-2007, 03:59 PM   #31
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given that, i do think we can use more education in general ameriCAN public about what these ideas are and how to select the best each has to offer...sure they conflict at certain intersections, but then we have to make a choice about what produces the best outcome for the population (like universal healthcare vs. individual)...etc...
The place to start is with the facts. Too much energy is spent dismissing or politicizing the problem. Here is one glaring fact:

"Lack of health insurance causes roughly 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in the United States. Although America leads the world in spending on health care, it is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not ensure that all citizens have coverage."

This is from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, not an organization known to wing it.
Insuring America's Health: Principles and Recommendations - Institute of Medicine

So, the issue is, what do we do about 18,000 unnecessary deaths?

1. Do nothing, and make believe this is an insignificant number, which is what some insurance reps claim.

2. Do nothing, believing those 18,000 can make the decision to get out of their situation, which seems to be the Libertarian position.

3. Provide assistance to those who can't afford insurance without wholesale changing the current system. One way, provide Medicare to everyone below a certain income level. Above that level, pay your own way. Will it increase taxes? Yes.

4. Have universal health care along the lines of other countries. Will it increase taxes? Probably. Will it create longer waits and decrease choice for some who currently have good coverage? Probably.

There are no free lunches.
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:15 PM   #32
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1. Do nothing, and make believe this is an insignificant number, which is what some insurance reps claim.
Just for the record that number is .006% of the American population.
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:33 PM   #33
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2. Do nothing, believing those 18,000 can make the decision to get out of their situation, which seems to be the Libertarian position.
Here's the official Libertarian position taken directly from their website at:

Official Website of the Libertarian National Committee

I suggest people who agree with my posts take a look at this site and take the "Are you a Libertarian" quiz.

III. Domestic Ills
Current problems in such areas as energy, pollution, health care delivery, decaying cities, and poverty are not solved, but are primarily caused, by government. The welfare state, supposedly designed to aid the poor, is in reality a growing and parasitic burden on all productive people, and injures, rather than benefits, the poor themselves.
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:01 PM   #34
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III. Domestic Ills
Current problems in such areas as energy, pollution, health care delivery, decaying cities, and poverty are not solved, but are primarily caused, by government.
I took the quiz and, surprise surprise, I'm not a Libertarian. But I'm glad there is an alternative, any alternative, to the sorry Democratic and Republican parties.

Maybe it would help if you could tell me how the govt "primarily causes" the situation in which someone is uninsurable due to poor health, and can't pay their own health care because their health keeps them from a high paying job, or a job at all.
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Old 09-04-2007, 05:21 PM   #35
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I took the quiz and, surprise surprise, I'm not a Libertarian. But I'm glad there is an alternative, any alternative, to the sorry Democratic and Republican parties.

Maybe it would help if you could tell me how the govt "primarily causes" the situation in which someone is uninsurable due to poor health, and can't pay their own health care because their health keeps them from a high paying job, or a job at all.
Here's my take on the problem. It may or may not be the "official" Libertarian position.

In your specific example, the gov't hasn't caused the situation. It also shouldn't be expected to solve it.

By constantly coddling people and telling them it's OK to not have a job, we'll pay for your day to day expenses with a welfare check. And it's ok that you don't have a job and because of that you don't have insurance, we'll pay for that as well. And heck, have a few more children we'll send you more money if you do.

By giving people free money, we're sending the message that you don't need to try to better yourself. Good ol' Uncle Sam will take care of you. If we eliminate social programs people would learn to rely on themselves and not the gov't. When that happens, taxes will go down and my paycheck will go up and I'll be able to sock away even more for retirement. An guess what, the paychecks and living standards of those people who learned to rely on themselves will increase as well. Everybody wins.
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Old 09-04-2007, 06:57 PM   #36
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My final thoughts on the subject.

I think most people are too lazy to try to help out with the problems facing this country so they defer to the government to step in and help. They think to themseves "somebody ought to do something about this issue." Yet they refuse to be that somebody. They think the gov't should be that somebody.

Some of you think I don't believe in helping people at all, which is not the case. I simply don't believe this help should come from the gov't. My wife and I donate money to a number of charities that we believe in. Charities that help people. If you're of the "it takes a village" mindset, organize people in your neighborhood to become that village. Help people on a local level. Get to know the people you think the gov't should be giving handouts to in your area and organize a charity funded by private dollars to help them find a job and get them off welfare and help get them insurance.

Too much work? Don't want to get your hands dirty? Think it's the governments job to help people, not yours? Think you're doing your part because you pay taxes? If you think you're right and we should be helping these people with our tax dollars, why not eliminate the gov't as the middle and and help these people directly? Figure out how much money would be taken from your paycheck in the form of increased taxes and donate that money to a charity that helps get people jobs so they can afford insurance for themselves and their families. We don't need the gov't to tell us to be good citizens and help people.
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:23 PM   #37
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Eyerishrold, methinks you long for a world that never has and never will exist.

So, who is going to take care of that mentally ill young homeless woman I see frequently? She is not very pleasant to be around and likely will need a lot of help before she can be self supporting. She has unpaid medical bills and no way to pay the copay on her subsidized drugs so I pay the copay. Months after applying Social Security has not yet decided if she is disabled. Odds are she will get denied and I will look for a volunteer to appeal for her. What if I can't find anyone? What if the libertarian world eliminates disability payments? I can't take care of her and pay her huge medical bills. It is tough to find volunteers and there are never never enough. How about the guy who started drinking too much, lost his job and his family and now is ill? Not a very appealing character because so much of what has happened is his own fault. Should we let him die? Who is going to take care of my mentally retarded neighbors who now live on SSI and have numerous health problems, including one who has seizures on a daily basis? My neighborhood doesn't have deep enough pockets. With government assistance they manage an ok, but subsistence existence.

How many people can pay for their own health care if they don't have insurance? Very, very few. And face it, some people cannot afford health insurance and some people can't buy health insurance because there is no product for them. More and more small employers are unable to offer health benefits any more.

When I was in law school I worked for Legal Aid. A number of the clients were not pleasant people to be around and sometimes you would just get tired of the never ending problems some people have. Failure is not pleasant to be around. I say this because people often tire of giving when they don't see results and sometimes the only result you might see is that someone survives. Funders of charities want to fund programs that show results. They always seem to want something new and better. They don't want to fund staff and the day to day costs of running a program. Charities can also act unfairly and treat people differently depending on any number of characteristics.

Thank God, most people are able to be productive. Thank God, our country is rich. The government is not inherently evil--it can help make a society more than the sum of its individuals. Through a government of laws we can see that the poor, black, Muslim man (who may not be appealing to a local charity) is treated the same as a poor white Christian man. We can decide what we want to be like as a nation. We can decide as a whole what we value and live by those values. I am not talking about "rights." I am talking about values. I value human life. I want to see people given a chance to be successful and productive. People who are healthy, have a roof over their heads and food in their bellies, who can go to school or training for a job, are more likely to become happy, successful, independent people. So, I support national health care. I support homeless shelters and even more importantly, better treatment for the mentally ill and addicted. I support grants and student loans for schooling. I support a minimum wage. Get people while they are young and do all you can to get them on the right road. Right now, we do much for kids but when you turn 18 you are on your own no matter how unprepared you are and how many problems you have.

Oh, there is no "welfare" in the form of cash assistance to adults without children who are not fully and completely disabled. There is no " coddling people and telling them it's OK to not have a job, we'll pay for your day to day expenses with a welfare check." Charities don't do much to step in either to help this group. No one is especially generous to perceived losers.

Our American values of independence and individualism are both winning qualities and our biggest problems.
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:19 PM   #38
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Oh, there is no "welfare" in the form of cash assistance to adults without children who are not fully and completely disabled. There is no " coddling people and telling them it's OK to not have a job, we'll pay for your day to day expenses with a welfare check."
True.

But don't expect people to stop basing their conclusions on said premise.
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Old 09-06-2007, 12:43 AM   #39
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when i was in asia, i saw people who were very mentally and/or physically disabled, all begging on the street. i mean one guy was on a skateboard/bodyboard because he had missing limbs and face down on his belly, pushing himself around. i was startled. in that country, family is supposed to be your welfare net, but for some (either due to socially unacceptable mental/physical problems, poverty or social exclusion (at one point very recently included single moms)) there is a lot of begging going on...that was when i did realize what our government does do...
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Old 09-06-2007, 07:22 AM   #40
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