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Old 02-27-2016, 09:06 PM   #841
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A fucking brain surgeon said the words "health care is not a right" in all fucking seriousness.

I mean, I just do not get it. Of everything, that seems borderline evil to me and I can't believe there are people who would support that. What the fuck do they do if they get sick? Masturbate to the bald eagle and pray they get better?

Fuck, even Trump showed he's a better human being than all of them on this issue (bar Kasich). He was like "I'm not going to leave someone to die in the street." And then Cruz took that as an opportunity to abuse him and the crowd went wild. Am I fucking insane? What the ever-loving fuck is wrong with America?!
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:37 PM   #842
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What the fuck do they do if they get sick?
Simple. They just don't go to the hospital. Even when they really need to. Because by going to the hospital, all that'll do is rack up their bills even further, and they don't want to put that burden on their family.

Like I said, this particular issue pisses me off SO much-I've mentioned in the past the situation with my dad that we went through in 2009/2010, and I seriously wish like hell I could take all the idiot Republican candidates who are so deeply against universal healthcare back in time and show them what my family had to go through and deal with back then. I'd LOVE to see them try and tell my family then that healthcare "isn't a right" after that.

The part that kills me the most about this? These politicians who are SO deeply against government healthcare work for the fucking federal government and are therefore getting the very sort of healthcare they don't think we average citizens deserve (it's kind of like with the Social Security issue. I sure hope the politicians who always harp on about getting rid of that aren't going to sit there and collect THEIR own precious Social Security when they hit that age, 'cause otherwise...)!

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Fuck, even Trump showed he's a better human being than all of them on this issue (bar Kasich). He was like "I'm not going to leave someone to die in the street." And then Cruz took that as an opportunity to abuse him and the crowd went wild. Am I fucking insane? What the ever-loving fuck is wrong with America?!
Wasn't there a political debate back in 2011 where this issue was being discussed, and a moderator asked the Republican candidates if they'd let someone die if they didn't have decent healthcare, and the audience cheered at that, too? Sadly, this is nothing new. They've got theirs, so who cares about anyone else? If someone can't afford healthcare, in their eyes, they're just "not working hard enough" or they're "lazy moochers who want nothing but handouts".

It's complete and total, flat out insulting as hell, bullshit, and one of the many, many, MANY reasons I am staying the hell away from voting for a Republican candidate.
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:56 PM   #843
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I think it's an extreme manifestation of a sort of frontier ethos 'I got mine', 'every man for himself', total independence, each citizen a sort of frigging quasi-independent statelet. It's the complete denial of and antithesis of society (except maybe at the most basic, immediate level of family and close associates).

It is, in short, a hyper-steroidised endgame to the old classic liberal/libertarian vision of 'freedom to'. 'Freedom from' (want, hunger, sickness, illiteracy) don't even enter into it.
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:24 PM   #844
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Neither does the plumage.
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:31 PM   #845
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I agree - basic education is a right, higher education is not. Health care really should be.

None of those are actually rights, as per our constitution. You know, like, free speech is a right. Basic education is something we've set up, but it's not guaranteed to you as a citizen. Virtually, it's a right.

I think that these things should all be rights. We sort of have to make them rights first. Legally. Constitutional protections.

And that's inclusive of higher education. If a nation is willing to educate its people, it is capable of systematically solving so many more of its problems.
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:57 PM   #846
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Just a question that hopefully doesn't offend anyone...but here goes; is free tuition a basic human right?
Whether or not it's a right, there are good arguments both ways regarding free higher education tuition. On the side for making it free, a society enjoys an economic boost through a highly educated workforce. If the economic gain is higher than the cost of providing the tuition, it makes sense to subsidise it to encourage as many as possible to study and generate further economic growth. There is also another aspect, that undertaking higher education in the short term is a cost to the student. I don't mean in the sense of fees and charges, but that for the duration of their higher education, they will be earning less (often much less) than their peers who go directly into the workforce, and may not reach the same income level for some years after graduation. Hence there is a case that if a highly educated workforce is beneficial to a society, it should support those people who choose to forego immediate economic gain.

On the other hand, in the long run those who earn a university degree enjoy considerable private gains. I don't know the current statistics, but I recall old Australian figures that suggested, in the course of a person's working life, an individual with a university education will earn roughly $1 million more than a person without (so about $20k more per year). Hence they should pay for - or at least make a contribution to the cost of - this education. Higher education is also something more commonly pursued by the middle and upper classes than the working classes, which has made some labour movements sceptical of free tertiary education. They ask whether it really delivers the gains for the poorest groups that it purports to. Australia had free uni for about 15 years across the 1970s-80s and in theory it was meant to open up the system to working class people but in practice those who benefited most were mature-age middle class people.

And then there's the wider question of whether it is even desirable to encourage wider and wider participation in higher education through schemes such as free tuition. This gets to the heart of bigger issues about what universities should teach, whether they should offer purely vocational courses, etc. I think the horse has bolted on this one; higher education is now such a large industry that as much as many people may lament "you shouldn't need a degree to get a career in X", not much is going to change.

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I agree - basic education is a right, higher education is not.
I'm not sure about this, partly for reasons connected to my last paragraph above. If access to most professions (and, indeed, some trades) is now dependent on a university education when even forty years ago it was not, has university become so significant that it should be seen as a central part of education rather than an optional extra? Remember, a hundred years ago a similar view was taken about secondary school; most people left school by their early or mid-teens, with only the wealthy, academically gifted, highly motivated, and fortunate completing a secondary education. Many did not need one; if you were going to be a shearer or a potter or a blacksmith or whatever, you didn't need to stay in school, you needed to learn hands-on. Gradually secondary education came to be seen as just as essential as primary education. Is tertiary education now coming to occupy a similar importance?

---

As a final thought on university funding, I think Australia's HECS system is a very elegant response. The government funds courses, but students are expected to make a contribution to the cost - they can either pay it up front and receive a discount, or defer payment until they receive the private gains that accrue from a university education, defined in this case as earning the average wage or above. The deferred cost is a loan that is indexed to inflation but on which no interest is charged, and repayment occurs through the tax system. So if you go to uni and never see any financial gain from it, you basically got your course for free.
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Old 02-27-2016, 11:04 PM   #847
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I think it's an extreme manifestation of a sort of frontier ethos 'I got mine', 'every man for himself', total independence, each citizen a sort of frigging quasi-independent statelet.
I find it interesting that both America and the Australasian colonies were experiencing rapid frontier expansion at the same time yet developed very different cultures. At both fringes, of course, individuals had to be highly self-sufficient, but in a broader sense in the Australasian colonies there was an expectation the government would provide a wide range of public works and other services to promote economic and social growth. This isn't to say the US frontier didn't have a level of public encouragement, but it was usually undertaken in conjunction with private enterprise, e.g. the state granting land to railways that would in turn promote settlement of the area and accrue profits from the traffic, as opposed to the Australasian colonies building the railways themselves to open the land.

I suppose part of the explanation for this is that the eastern US states were already well developed, while the Australasian colonies were young and small and lacked the necessary private capital. There were, in some colonies, attempts to provide these services privately, but these were rarely successful and passed quickly into public hands. So America developed a sort of ethos of total independence driven by private investment and wealth, while Australia and New Zealand developed a cultural expectation that there would be a broader sphere of government participation.
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Old 02-27-2016, 11:21 PM   #848
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I find it interesting that both America and the Australasian colonies were experiencing rapid frontier expansion at the same time yet developed very different cultures. At both fringes, of course, individuals had to be highly self-sufficient, but in a broader sense in the Australasian colonies there was an expectation the government would provide a wide range of public works and other services to promote economic and social growth. This isn't to say the US frontier didn't have a level of public encouragement, but it was usually undertaken in conjunction with private enterprise, e.g. the state granting land to railways that would in turn promote settlement of the area and accrue profits from the traffic, as opposed to the Australasian colonies building the railways themselves to open the land.

I suppose part of the explanation for this is that the eastern US states were already well developed, while the Australasian colonies were young and small and lacked the necessary private capital. There were, in some colonies, attempts to provide these services privately, but these were rarely successful and passed quickly into public hands. So America developed a sort of ethos of total independence driven by private investment and wealth, while Australia and New Zealand developed a cultural expectation that there would be a broader sphere of government participation.
I think there were probably all sorts of differences, starting with the very different groups of people who began the (white) American project in the east, way back when. They were, most of them, on the run from something back in Europe. Ok, not all of them. Though I read a very interesting essay once that traced a straight line between the protestant Scots-Irish and Jerry Falwell and that whole conservative culture. People go on about the Founders and 1776 and all that, but I think the fundamental culture must be traced back to the formative centuries prior to that.

Australia was a project of the nineteenth century British empire. Also, I dunno, small population base, a much less bountiful or amenable country once you get out of the eastern coast watershed... it doesn't really lend itself to a nation of independent private entepreneurs, each for himself.
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:07 AM   #849
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Though I read a very interesting essay once that traced a straight line between the protestant Scots-Irish and Jerry Falwell and that whole conservative culture.
I'd be interested in reading that, because surely there are parallels down here too. Look at Otago, founded by highly religious Scots, some of them almost theocratic in nature (especially Thomas Burns, cousin of Robert).

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it doesn't really lend itself to a nation of independent private entepreneurs, each for himself.
Though its frontier sure lent itself to independent murderous racist pastoralists...!
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:08 AM   #850
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Don't reply to my Monty Python reference then, cunt.
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:52 AM   #851
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I'd be interested in reading that, because surely there are parallels down here too. Look at Otago, founded by highly religious Scots, some of them almost theocratic in nature (especially Thomas Burns, cousin of Robert).
It was a blog, long defunct, by that Billmon fellow (think that was the nom de plume) who was active in the Bush years with his 'Whiskey Jar' site. Might still exist in archived form somewhere.



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Though its frontier sure lent itself to independent murderous racist pastoralists...!

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Old 02-28-2016, 12:53 AM   #852
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Don't reply to my Monty Python reference then, cunt.
I actually had no idea what you were talking about, or even who you were talking to... but then the penny dropped. Very good!
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Old 02-28-2016, 01:42 AM   #853
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Neither does the plumage.
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Old 02-28-2016, 01:51 AM   #854
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Old 02-28-2016, 01:55 AM   #855
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If we just revamp our bullshit higher education system, free tuition wouldn't be as big a deal

How would you revamp it?


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