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  1. #91
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Can you address these statements, not from an idealogical standpoint, but from a practical standpoint? How does it look on the ground, etc...

    I know this thread is about healthcare, but I just read something interesting today, that the education level of an individual's parents play a significant role in his or her academic success in the United States (and some other countries, I think they mentioned Germany and Poland), while in other countries, the individual's academic success was not statistically linked to the parents' education level to as high a degree.
    Not only that, but maintaining one's health* is necessary for academic success, as well as for holding down a job to support your family. Health care expenses/debt are also a significant factor in home foreclosures, personal bankruptcy, and other financial hardship for people who otherwise would have no trouble remaining self-sufficient. The issues are therefore not unrelated.

    * As an example, to the extent that health, for kids, includes being adequately fed, this has motivated WIC, food stamps, reduced cost school lunch, and school breakfast. Take just the breakfast program. Studies show students who eat breakfast perform significantly better. Our choices include: (1) provide breakfast at school; (2) get families to provide it at home; or (3) tolerate substantial segments of the school population going without through no fault of their own (they're kids, after all). We can argue about the merits of (1) and (2), but the one that is truly unacceptable is (3). That, of course, is what happens by people who are process-oriented rather than goal-oriented, and put short-term gains first; and that is what I mean about effectiveness.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  2. #92
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    In regards to the broader questions here I think what really matters is whether there's an environment of equal oppurtunity to the extent that it's possible for someone to make a better life for themselves than their parents had and in turn invest in their kids so that they can have a better life. In the past this was possible in the U.S. merely through hard work and wise choices privilege could be gained by each successive generation. Now things are looking a little bleaker for everyone.

    Still over the long haul I look back and can appreciate the gain in privilege my family has seen. Both of my grandparents were very poor. One set lived in government housing their whole lives and the other grew up on poor farms in WV and even though my granddad strarted making a blue collar salary they still only lived in houses without indoor plumbing until my mom was about 13. Neither of my parents had college degrees, but my father was smart and took an entry-level job at an early computer company and taught himself how to become a software engineer. I now have a very significant amount of education and more opportunity than my grandparents could dream even taking into consideration my current job situation and the recession.
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  3. #93
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    I'm not a political or economic guru by any stretch of the imagination. My problem with ObamaCare is that it will be difficult to afford at first. It could drive the cost of health services down, but it's now mandatory to be insured, so why wouldn't the market stay expensive for a while? I don't know if we can afford that stress right now. I don't disagree with it completely, I'm pretty democratic, I would rather take care of everyone than each for their own mentality.

    I think this kind of forced change makes me nervous and I don't know what kind of repercussions we'll have from making those kinds of sacrifices. The government shutdown seems like an interesting topic of conversation and hard on people who work for the government, but then we may help more people in the long run, I can't tell.
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  4. #94
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    Rebelling against Obama is almost as stupid as obedience. In either case you let yourself be defined by what he tells you to do.

  5. #95
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    I know approval for Obamacare is generally pretty low. Are there any numbers that compare the opinion of Obamacare vs. the opinion of the current health care system? I can't help but to think that despite American's disapproving Obamacare, they disapprove of the current system even more, which is why Republicans largely failed with their "repeal Obamacare" platform in 2012.

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    I know approval for Obamacare is generally pretty low. Are there any numbers that compare the opinion of Obamacare vs. the opinion of the current health care system? I can't help but to think that despite American's disapproving Obamacare, they disapprove of the current system even more, which is why Republicans largely failed with their "repeal Obamacare" platform in 2012.
    Yes, a large majority are dissatisfied with the current healthcare system.

    When Obama's first inauguration was met with "I know he's the antichrist" statements (yes, this is a firsthand account of Texas mentality) you really can't expect any initiative by his party to be met with much warmth.

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    You probably think Cinderella's stepmother was perfectly fair when she told Cinderella, "Of course you may go to the ball; as long as you get all your work done, and can find something suitable to wear." This is what "opportunity" looks like for too many people, especially children/young people. Oftentimes the government needs not so much to give something to people, as to take something away, such as the obstacle of crime and gang violence that @Usehername referenced. Most such strategies are actually more cost-effective in the long term than doing nothing, but people, even government (politicians seeking reelection) are too readily satisfied with short-term gain.
    And what government policy can reasonably effect change in these areas?

    Has the govt in the past been able to do anything about these obstacles?


    Do you think we should go back to hardcore tough on crime policing in underpriviledged neighborhoods?

    On what grounds do you think the government will be able to make a meaningful dent in gang culture?

  8. #98
    reflecting pool Typh0n's Avatar
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    With respect to the talk about equal oppurtinity I agree with those who say that while it exists, it does not guarantee equal status. Equal oppurtunity and equal status are two different things. Not everyone takes advantage of the system to their best benefit. This is unfortunate but it is true and I feel the American system is theoretically still the best in the world to guarantee equal oppurtunity. Its just that unfortunately many people - especially young people - dont always make the right decisions which is something they realize later on in life. The choices we make, dictate the lives we lead.(Shakespeare)

  9. #99
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorWizard View Post
    Rebelling against Obama is almost as stupid as obedience. In either case you let yourself be defined by what he tells you to do.
    React to the policies, not the person. Otherwise the presidency just becomes a personality cult.

    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    I know approval for Obamacare is generally pretty low. Are there any numbers that compare the opinion of Obamacare vs. the opinion of the current health care system? I can't help but to think that despite American's disapproving Obamacare, they disapprove of the current system even more, which is why Republicans largely failed with their "repeal Obamacare" platform in 2012.
    I suspect you are correct. I often hear people complain about the ACA, then in the same discussion, complain about the existing system. Most people just resist change, and prefer the "devil they know", not realizing that the unfamiliar option might well turn out to be far from the devil if they give it a chance. The one data point we have is that many western nations have implemented single-payer systems that work well and are reasonably liked by their citizens, especially in comparison with the U.S. system.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    And what government policy can reasonably effect change in these areas?

    Has the govt in the past been able to do anything about these obstacles?

    Do you think we should go back to hardcore tough on crime policing in underpriviledged neighborhoods?

    On what grounds do you think the government will be able to make a meaningful dent in gang culture?
    Do you think we should refuse to address serious problems, just because they will be very difficult to tackle? Might as well stop looking for a cure for cancer while we are at it, and stop going after drug traffickers and terrorist organizations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typh0n View Post
    With respect to the talk about equal oppurtinity I agree with those who say that while it exists, it does not guarantee equal status. Equal oppurtunity and equal status are two different things. Not everyone takes advantage of the system to their best benefit. This is unfortunate but it is true and I feel the American system is theoretically still the best in the world to guarantee equal oppurtunity. Its just that unfortunately many people - especially young people - dont always make the right decisions which is something they realize later on in life. The choices we make, dictate the lives we lead.(Shakespeare)
    Not at all. "Accidents" of birth still count for far too much, even in the U.S., largely due to the significant gap between theory and practice. Opportunity is nowhere near equal, notwithstanding the even greater inequality in many other parts of the world.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  10. #100
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    And what government policy can reasonably effect change in these areas?

    Has the govt in the past been able to do anything about these obstacles?


    Do you think we should go back to hardcore tough on crime policing in underpriviledged neighborhoods?

    On what grounds do you think the government will be able to make a meaningful dent in gang culture?
    I have nothing to say about crime in particular, but in regards to creating better opportunity, an enormous number of things effect this. Education, health care and infrastructure are biggies that come to mind. What access to people have to these services? How affordable are these services? It's a matter of reducing the investment people must put into merely maintaining themselves (cover health care), and increasing their ability to participate (give people education).

    The government can provide these things.
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