Gaslighting

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6ft3Aussie
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Re: Gaslighting

Post by 6ft3Aussie »

I get the impression that Socialism and Communism are becoming confused in some ways.

Communism, where pretty much the government owns everything and everyone is equal (and usually equally poor) and the government has control over the population, and aspects of socialism where the government provides services for all, such as health care (not for profit, taxpayer funded), some benefits to assist you to live (when you suddenly become unable to work or loose your job etc), services such as water, sewerage systems, cheap public transport around the city, parks, national parks, roads, highways...
Faldaguy has a good list.
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Re: Gaslighting

Post by crfriend »

6ft3Aussie wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:52 am
I get the impression that Socialism and Communism are becoming confused in some ways.
That's indeed the case, and it's reinforced very deliberately in the US from the time one is born until the day one dies. It's for one reason only, mind, and that's to further enrich the already rich at everybody else's expense.

Many in the US understand the proper definitions and workings, but those are in a distinct minority compared to the vast mass of brainwashed.
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Re: Gaslighting

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The big "socialist" push right now seems to do mostly with universal healthcare. There are also matters like "basic income" but I don't see that becoming a reality anytime soon.

Nevertheless, healthcare is in a crisis situation in the U.S., and once we lay aside our political bias, I'd be curious to hear the opinions from conservative members here as to a solution to the problem.

Maybe socialized healthcare would work, maybe it won't, but something has to be done, and so far the conservative right doesn't seem to be coming up with any ideas that serve everyone.

Under the current SCOTUS makeup, I question if true European style single payer is even possible at this point. I can certainly see some legal hurdles such a system would have to clear to pass constitutional challenges.

A state level single payer system would be more constitutional, and it's something I've given a lot of thought to, though any state that attempted it would have to lay a heavy tax burden on pretty much everyone, likely through an additional payroll tax. Such a tax could place the state in question at a competitive disadvantage with neighboring states. After all, consider the hoards of people leaving California over their outrageously high taxes and other government regulations.

I've also toyed with the notion of a private, not for profit, healthcare cooperative. Trouble here is, membership in cooperatives are generally voluntary, and thus may be difficult to obtain membership in small numbers. Small numbers mean a higher cost burden for any benefits. Such membership would almost have to be mandated by the government, but then it really ceases to be a cooperative, and just another branch of government at that point, and puts us right back into socialism territory, and all of the constitutional issues that come with it...

Thoughts?

It's time to stop bouncing rants off the wall, and time to start bouncing ideas instead. Perhaps now that King Rant is about to be dethroned, maybe we can begin the process of real problem solving.
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Re: Gaslighting

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moonshadow wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:35 pm
It's time to stop bouncing rants off the wall, and time to start bouncing ideas instead. Perhaps now that King Rant is about to be dethroned, maybe we can begin the process of real problem solving.
When troubleshooting a broken system, it's frequently easiest to enumerate the things that are wrong with it so one doesn't mistakenly inject one back into the repaired system accidentally.

First and foremost in the United States we know that the for-profit system has failed abjectly. That sector only serves the money-grubbers at everybody else's expense, and if ethics teaches us anything it's that nobody should profit from the misery of another. So, step one is to get the profit-motive out of it. As in Romneycare, the German system has an "individual mandate" -- but, unlike Romneycare, the condition is that insurance companies operating in that sector must be non-profit. That'd be a start.
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Re: Gaslighting

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moonshadow wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:35 pm

Maybe socialized healthcare would work, maybe it won't, but something has to be done, and so far the conservative right doesn't seem to be coming up with any ideas that serve everyone.

Under the current SCOTUS makeup, I question if true European style single payer is even possible at this point. I can certainly see some legal hurdles such a system would have to clear to pass constitutional challenges.
I think a single-payer plan could pass legal challenges at the Supreme Court. Medicare has been accepted for decades. A Medicare-for-All plan, using the same funding, a payroll tax, would have the same legal justification. I'm no lawyer, but I don't see a legal problem with expanding that tax to all income, not just paychecks. The Congress just needs to be careful to model its plan on existing ones carefully.
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Re: Gaslighting

Post by rode_kater »

6ft3Aussie wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:52 am
I get the impression that Socialism and Communism are becoming confused in some ways.
I think people are completely confused about socialism. From wikipedia:
Socialism is a political, social and economic philosophy encompassing a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management of enterprises
Means of production are:
physical and non-financial inputs used in the production of goods and services with economic value.
Faldaguy's list is an amazing list of things the government does, but they are not means of production and their goal is not to produce economic value. The government providing a public service is not the definition of socialism.

Even in crazy "socialist" Europe with all its government ownership, governments do not own factories or shops. They don't own newspapers, or television stations. They mostly own infrastructure. Even in the cases where they own functioning businesses they act at arm's length, as shareholders. For example Schiphol Airport and the Port of Rotterdam in NL have large stakes held by the local councils of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, they are major stakeholders (in addition to shareholders) because the risks to the people living in the area are substantial.

I suppose a comparable example would be the Hoover Damin the US, which AFACT is owned by the US Government, without even an LLC around it. That's quite a bit more "socialist" than would be allowed in Europe. Can the Hoover Dam go bankrupt?
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Re: Gaslighting

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rode_kater wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:52 pm
I think people are completely confused about socialism. From wikipedia:
Socialism is a political, social and economic philosophy encompassing a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management of enterprises
I would be cautious using the verbatim definition as authoritative because there are many interpretations -- right and wrong -- regarding the matter, and successful economies are careful blends of socialism and capitalism, usually capitalism with an overlay of socialist restraints or regulations on what the capitalist components are allowed to do.

Unrestrained -- laissez faire -- capitalism produces disasters every time it's deployed, and you can watch that happening today in the modern United States which has been operating under "supply side"/"trickle-down" laissez faire capitalism since the rise of the neocon in the 1980s. Also, unrestrained socialism tends to produce failures for the same reason that unrestrained capitalism does -- basic human greed. Hence the blend with one restraining the other to keep things reasonable for the vast majority of the population.
I suppose a comparable example would be the Hoover Damin the US, which AFACT is owned by the US Government, without even an LLC around it. That's quite a bit more "socialist" than would be allowed in Europe. Can the Hoover Dam go bankrupt?
The Boulder Dam (later renamed for a badly disgraced and failed president [1]) is such a case, as is the entire TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) which provides non-profit (read, "cheap") power to the deep south in the United States -- without which, large swathes of which would be uninhabitable without air-conditioning. These, by their nature, cannot "go bankrupt" (unless the government fails, and there are arguments whether the US government has, in fact, failed). So, that's pure unrestrained socialism, but without it the US South (the CSA, in effect) would be a backwater. It's the North's gift to the South, and quite a few folks regard it as a whopping big mistake (although much of it may have been built simply to power the massively-greedy mass-spectrometers at Oak Ridge, TN and elsewhere during the Manhattan Project).

It's of note that even the words "socialism" and "socialist" are considered toxic in the USA, and that's down to the generations-long propaganda campaign by big business which wants all restrictions removed so they can rape and pillage as much as it takes to slake their greedy thirst.


[1] Herbert Hoover was originally a mining engineer, and a pretty good one, too. Had he stayed in that profession it's entirely likely fewer miners would have died than have. Unfortunately, he got involved in politics and got bit by the "supply side" argument (laissez faire capitalism) and the policies he created plunged the US -- and much of the rest of the world -- into the cataclysmic depression in the 1930s which likely hastened the rise of Germany in the late '30s. This, of course, led directly to the resumption of hostilities which were temporarily put down by the Armistice of 1917. ("One long war with an intermission" is how future historians are likely to frame it.)
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Re: Gaslighting

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moonshadow wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:15 pm
Pay your doctor bills with CASH... THE TRUE CAPITALIST WAY!
There is a private hospital in Oklahoma that accepts no insurance. They have fixed prices for their procedures, I'm told that it's typically about 10% of what "normal" hospitals in the US bill the "insurance" companies. I'm also told they are NOT short on patients.

https://surgerycenterok.com/

Not saying this is necessarily the answer, just pointing out it's existence...
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Re: Gaslighting

Post by Dust »

Faldaguy wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 2:20 am
Below is a partial list of of Socialist Programs in the USA -- you'll be hard pressed to find anyone that wants to toss them all, or even many of them. It is long past time for people to acknowledge that the term "socialist" is not the downfall of mankind! I've eliminated the description for most of these to keep the length reasonable. If you want the details, there is a link at the bottom -- but it will 'gaslight' some you a bit more as it comes from a biased publication -- yet I doubt any here can argue that there is not a heck of a lot of benefit and willing participation in these programs.

Socialism is taxpayer funds being used collectively to benefit society as a whole, despite income, contribution, or ability.
Sounds horrible, huh?

...but Socialism, which you have been told to fear all your life, is responsible for all this...
A number of those things we could really do without (Amtrak, NPR, DoE, etc.). Many are local or regional government things (transportation, schools, etc.), which should stay as locally controlled as possible. Some aren't even run by the government or paid for by taxes in many places, like sewer, trash, the fire department, and so on.

I'll never forget the time I was talking to the owner of a used book store (who seemed like an old hippie) who mused to me that she was running a "capitalist library." People seem to think that because the government runs something in the place they are at right now, that the government is the only one who can accomplish it. That is often simply not the case.
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Re: Gaslighting

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moonshadow wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:35 pm
I've also toyed with the notion of a private, not for profit, healthcare cooperative. Trouble here is, membership in cooperatives are generally voluntary, and thus may be difficult to obtain membership in small numbers. Small numbers mean a higher cost burden for any benefits. Such membership would almost have to be mandated by the government, but then it really ceases to be a cooperative, and just another branch of government at that point, and puts us right back into socialism territory, and all of the constitutional issues that come with it...
I've heard radio ads for a "Christian healthcare sharing ministry" or something like that. It was advertised as a cheaper alternative to insurance, that also doesn't fund certain things Christians might object to. Supposedly met the Obamacare mandate requirements and everything. So what you describe may already exist in some form.
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Re: Gaslighting

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Dust wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:30 am
A number of those things we could really do without (Amtrak, NPR, DoE, etc.).
Without Amtrak I'd not be able to travel long distances without having to resort to my personal automobile. So, I regard that one as important as do many others -- quite a few of which do not own cars and for which Amtrak is a necessity if they want to travel.

The Department of Energy (DoE) is a subset of the War Department (DoD) so will never come off the list. NPR provides, somewhat, a useful foil for Fox "News", and provides some of the more interesting programming available. I'd vote to keep NPR even though they are now semi-commercial and also spend way too much time begging for money.
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Re: Gaslighting

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Dust wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:24 am
moonshadow wrote:
Sun Dec 13, 2020 3:15 pm
Pay your doctor bills with CASH... THE TRUE CAPITALIST WAY!
There is a private hospital in Oklahoma that accepts no insurance. They have fixed prices for their procedures, I'm told that it's typically about 10% of what "normal" hospitals in the US bill the "insurance" companies. I'm also told they are NOT short on patients.

https://surgerycenterok.com/

Not saying this is necessarily the answer, just pointing out it's existence...
Interesting, and may be a viable option for folks in the upper middle class range, contractors, and other 1099 workers that can afford it.

There is also a doctor who runs a practice in Wise County VA who I believe charges a monthly fee for her patients, and in return they get so many visits per period, and pay much smaller out of pocket expenses for office visits. She actually ran for VA house of Delegates as a Democrat (and lost by a landslide.... but then again, no Democrat stands a chance in the coal fields, usually our ballots run an unopposed Republican).

If this nation is bound and determined to NOT have a single payer system, then here's what I'd like to see come out of the private sector:

A non-employer sponsored (portable) month to month insurance market with premiums generally in the range of 15%-20% of gross income.

Deductibles back under $1,000 ($500 ideally)

Affordable prescriptions

Certain "high priority" preexisting conditions covered (the kind of things your life depends on)

Perhaps a rider to cover your premium in the event you're unemployed for any reason, or out sick.

An 80/20 plan with plan discounts like I'm accustomed to seeing on my E.O.B.'s (maximum allowable charges)

Do all of those things and I can live with a mandate in compromise.

Alright capitalist... what do ya got...?

That or universal healthcare....

One thing I DO NOT WANT is that ridiculous "ACA" with their $700 per month premiums for a $10,000 deductible... F---. THAT!

Only a politician would call that fuster cluck "affordable"...
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Re: Gaslighting

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Let's get one thing clear, the plans subsidized under the ACA have gotten expensive because the Republicans refused to consider any fixes to it at all. Not even technical amendments. For instance, having just one definition for a Native American that's used throughout the law instead of 4, that's correct 4! How'd that happen? Simple, the law is 1,000+ pages long and lots of different working groups contributed to it. It's common for things like that to occur in large, complex laws, but they get ironed out. Unless they were laws promoted by Barrack Obama and passed despite the best efforts of the Republicans to stymie them. Don't take my word for it, look it up. See if Mitch McConnell said the day after Pres. Obama was inaugurated that his job and that the of the Republicans in the Senate for the next four years was to see to it that Obama was a one-term President, which in practical terms meant being as obstructionist and recalcitrant as he knew how.

Premiums have also been pushed up by the insurance companies' being dangled by the string of Trump trying to poleaxe the ACA by refusing to pay the insurance companies the funds REQUIRED BY LAW for in effect having to pay for more medical claims than any reasonable person would have predicted. Remember what I said about Oregon's Medicare program and pent-up demand?

Finally, as our European friends can attest, there are almost as many single-payer plans as there countries that have them.

Just as we stubborn Americans are some day going to have to adopt the metric system; sooner or later we're going to have to go to a single payer system. Right now we have two obstacles: a Senate where rural states have representation far in excess of their share of the population, which gives Republicans a wildly disproportionate share of the seats and simple fear of the unknown. Most Americans would rather dance with the devil they know than throw that devil over completely and plunge into the unknown.

That's why I advocate for a government subsidized public option. Medicare available to all. That way, no one who wants to take the chance has to. In time, people will see that the public option works just as well, probably better, than the private options and it will be cheaper. If it doesn't work that way and the private insurers figure out how to do better for less, that's fine too. One way or another we'll get a system that's much better for everyone. And cheaper.
Last edited by Pdxfashionpioneer on Mon Dec 21, 2020 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gaslighting

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As well as direct taxation, Income Tax or Pay As You Earn, and indirect taxation, Value Added Tax, we also have another taxation called National Insurance that pays for State Pensions and Maternity Pay. National Insurance comes from two sources, the employee and the employer who each pay a fixed percentage of income. As I now draw my State Pension ( but am not yet retired, the two are not necessarily synonymous but for low income people without private or fixed benefit schemes usually are ) I no longer pay NI which is a saving for me but my employer still pays their portion of the NI. It seems that perhaps you could benefit from a NI style taxation to pay for healthcare.

Incidentally it has just been released that it will cost the NHS ( indirectly the Government ) about £12bn to inoculate the population of the UK for CV19, will take well over 2021 and require an extra 46000 personnel. Not figures to be trifled with. At the moment 10,000 people per day are being inoculated but it is expected that that figure will increase dramatically once the system gets underway. The recent flu campaign was pretty slick and there may be a limitation caused by the rate in which the serum can be supplied. Maybe, maybe not, bearing in mind that a few companies are providing supplies for the whole world and trying to supply fairly and humanely. There is also a tiered system based upon risk ( age, underlying conditions and exposure ( health service workers and so on ) ) and as a 66 year old with diabetes I'm tier 5. The comparable figures for the US hardly need thinking about. Needless I think your country will have the lurgy for a number of years yet. And the cost? Of this how much your Government would pay ( all I hope ) would be interesting
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Re: Gaslighting

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I understand what you're saying Dave, but you also have to understand that the Trump's party (the former GOP) isn't going away for loooooong time [0]. It will be a force to reckon with for decades to come, and the GOP has no interest in single payer.

I'm for single payer too, but this nation needs a plan B, I've already accepted the fact that l'll be at least 65 years old before single payer comes to the younger generations, but in the meantime we need something workable in place today... now.

Don't forget about us pesky "moderates", the 1/3 of the voter population that actually decide elections (1/3 will vote blue no matter what, 1/3 votes red no matter what, then there is the final third... those are the ones you have to convince.

[0] I firmly believe Donald Trump will be the Republicans "F.D.R.", meaning he will leave a legacy (for better or worse) that the GOP will calibrate itself to long after his death.
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