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Old 06-26-2011, 10:32 PM   #181
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Then how shall we define rights?
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:06 PM   #182
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So you feel a person with no insurance has a right to walk into a hospital; get lab work, physician care, medications and possibly a room and meals--for free? And that is paid for by others or provided pro bono? If he is turned away can he sue for having his right to health care violated?

i think everyone has the right to health insurance, regardless of ability to pay. health care is absolutely a need, everyone will at some point use health care, you will not have much choice in determining what kind of health care you wish to receive because you do not choose what illness or injury befalls you. it is not a commodity. when i lived in Europe, i got sick several times. i went to a doctor, was seen almost immediately, spent ample time speaking with the physician, was given a prescription, and then had that reimbursed. i think everyone needs that kind of coverage. i don't think that health is a luxury only for the wealthy. poor people don't choose to get cancer, get hit by cars, get brain tumors.



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I recognize the constitutional power of governments to levy taxes. But for traditional, constitutional roles. Not income redistribution for example.
what is income redistribution?




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And which political party has been in charge of most urban governments for decades? See below answer.



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No. The stats showing the number of black children living in a two adult family for the years prior to 1960 and the number today certainly makes for a strong argument.

and this is to do with teacher's unions?


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What he doesn't, what liberals are in denial about and can't say, is that too many fathers are missing because the government has stepped in to assume their role as provider and popular culture now provides the role models. You may not admit a cause and effect but there is no denying the ensuing negative social pathologies.
so ... a father walks out thinking, "my kids don't need me because the government will cut the babymomma a check?"

you have to admit that the causes of crime and broken black families since 1960 are far, far more complicated than any sort of welfare program. i lived in the thick of DC gentrification for 4 years and have spent almost 8 years down here in a minority-majority city. the problems of the urban black underclass has very little to do with welfare and teacher's unions than it does with an entrenched history of poverty due to racist housing codes of the earlier part of the 20th century, as well as the influx of drugs and especially crack in the 1980s, and the quick money to be made from the selling of said drugs. and that's just the tip of the iceberg. it can be argued that teacher's unions and welfare may not help in the way that they should, or maybe even exacerbate certain problems, but to identify them as the cause seems really inaccurate.

that said, is it also not true that there is a strong, robust, succeeding black middle class that started growing after the 1960s, and especially into the 1990s? can i attribute that to the helping hand that welfare gave some people so they could go back to school and get degrees and get jobs? can we thank some of their unionized teachers?

and if i could be possibly horrible sounding, but based on observed, anecdotal experience, i'd say that there's an enormous lack of parenting skills in the inner city. some of the stuff i see shocks me. i feel like so many kids would do so much better if their parents were to take a simple (likely government funded) parenting class that would teach them to teach their children basic conflict resolution skills and techniques for delaying gratification. teachers can't do it all.

but that's just my little observation. i can't back it up with any empirical evidence.


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Thanks for the discussion by the way. I really think most Americans have the best intentions when these programs are introduced. It's the hostility to admit failure or even subjectively review these programs that frustrates me. And when there is such an acknowledgement the only acceptable answer seems to be... they aren't working because we haven't spent enough money!! That and "Why do hate poor people?" of course.

i appreciate the discussion as well, but the earlier comment about hating poor people (or, just other people) has more to do with the lack of social contract we seem to feel with one another in this country as compared to others. i don't think people want to be poor, or even consciously choose to be poor, and i think things like health care and education are the basic building blocks of opportunity and liberty.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:03 AM   #183
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This, friends, is the kind of discussion that needs to be had in this country.

Unfortunately it's not the sort of talk that makes one rich.

And sadly, a lot of people would be bored to death with it anyway.

Nevertheless, I'm glad it's taking place here.
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Old 06-27-2011, 12:17 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post
So you feel a person with no insurance has a right to walk into a hospital; get lab work, physician care, medications and possibly a room and meals--for free? And that is paid for by others or provided pro bono? If he is turned away can he sue for having his right to health care violated? That is what I mean by indentured servitude. One person forces another person to serve him. The exercise of true rights, such as those in our Constitution or natural rights, do not diminish those held by another.
This already happens right now. Those that are uninsured the hospital must treat anyway and the cost gets passed along to us in the form of higher insurance premiums. Do you prefer this form of indentured servitude? And let me reframe your scenario. A person arrives in the emergency room with an accidental and life-threatening injury and has no insurance. Are you suggesting that the doctors first ascertain his ability to pay and refuse to treat him--let him die--if he is uninsured? Do doctors routinely provide elective medical procedures at no charge? Or when medical personnnel treat someone without regard to cost is it because the person's life and health are at stake and they are bound by something called the Hippocratic Oath?




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No. The stats showing the number of black children living in a two adult family for the years prior to 1960 and the number today certainly makes for a strong argument.
The issues in the African-American community are complicated, and as Irvine said I think it is drastically oversimplifying the situation to suggest that government welfare is at the root of these issues. It's really a whole seperate subject and a thorny one because not all the answers are politically correct ones, at least in my opinion. The divide between the black middle class and the urban community is definitely an issue. Those that could get out, did,with the end of segregation. It's difficult. But I don't see welfare or government services as a core issue here.

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Thanks for the discussion by the way. I really think most Americans have the best intentions when these programs are introduced. It's the hostility to admit failure or even subjectively review these programs that frustrates me. And when there is such an acknowledgement the only acceptable answer seems to be... they aren't working because we haven't spent enough money!! That and "Why do hate poor people?" of course.
I would agree with you that many of these programs have not been as effective as might have been hoped. I'm not as convinced as Irvine that government welfare programs are directly responsible for African-Americans moving into the middle class. Now affirmative action? That's a different story, and a different debate!
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:53 PM   #185
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the problems of the urban black underclass has very little to do with welfare and teacher's unions than it does with an entrenched history of poverty due to racist housing codes of the earlier part of the 20th century, as well as the influx of drugs and especially crack in the 1980s, and the quick money to be made from the selling of said drugs. and that's just the tip of the iceberg. it can be argued that teacher's unions and welfare may not help in the way that they should, or maybe even exacerbate certain problems, but to identify them as the cause seems really inaccurate.
Also, the "War on Poverty" policies were instituted in the first place largely because these trends were already apparent--black unemployment was higher in the mid-60s than it had been in the mid-50s, increases in black incomes relative to white incomes were stagnating, black unemployment rates were no longer in parallel with black welfare dependency rates, and divorce and out-of-wedlock birthrates in the black community were shooting up (see: Moynihan Report). It goes without saying those policies were not a resounding success, and yes there are substantive arguments to be made that they often exacerbated existing problems, but they certainly didn't create the very situations they were designed to address.
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and if i could be possibly horrible sounding, but based on observed, anecdotal experience, i'd say that there's an enormous lack of parenting skills in the inner city. some of the stuff i see shocks me. i feel like so many kids would do so much better if their parents were to take a simple (likely government funded) parenting class that would teach them to teach their children basic conflict resolution skills and techniques for delaying gratification. teachers can't do it all.
I'd be inclined to say you see similar problems among the rural underclass (black and white), thinking here of growing up in the Deep South--lack of a longterm vision for the family, self-destructive preoccupation with short-lived and/or risky gratifications and "distinctions," passive attitude towards education, lack of civic awareness, and I think maybe also a kind of overly sex-segregated social world where the notion of men and women as partners and players on the same team is not really taken seriously. And the public schools in areas with high incidences of these problems do tend to reinforce them--by which I mean not teachers but peers: even if your own family has its act relatively together, socially you do tend to get backed up against the wall by peers whose families don't.

I don't know that "a simple parenting class" is likely to achieve much though.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:52 PM   #186
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I don't know that "a simple parenting class" is likely to achieve much though.


i think if some parents were given basic education on nutrition, first aid, and some method for basic conflict resolution, more kids would show up at school with the ability to learn.

i certainly am not invited into anyone's homes, nor am i remotely qualified as a social worker or whatever, but as someone listening in passing on the street or the bust or the metro, what shocks me most are the threats of violence for various infractions that come out of the mouths of such parents that might actually be well intended. do you really think it's effective to tell a three year old to shut the hell up or else you'll punch them in the mouth and really give them something to cry about? do you really think that yelling "shut the hell up" even more loudly is going to do it either? i think it comes from a very basic lack of parenting skills that have been inherited from generation to generation and some sort of education might go a long way.

clearly, i'm only offering anecdotes. but the threats of violence intertwined into public parental reprimands of children barely out of diapers still shocks me. i don't think it's a lack of love, either.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:11 PM   #187
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So you feel a person with no insurance has a right to walk into a hospital; get lab work, physician care, medications and possibly a room and meals--for free?
Well, why not?

You have just described the British National Health Service, which survived 20years of right wing Thatcherite governance and, although imperfect, is still more or less still intact.


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L Overall life
expectancy Male Female
20 United Kingdom 79.4 77.2 81.6
36 United States 78.3 75.6 80.8
List of countries by life expectancy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:25 PM   #188
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the problems of the urban black underclass has very little to do with welfare and teacher's unions than it does with an entrenched history of poverty due to racist housing codes of the earlier part of the 20th century, as well as the influx of drugs and especially crack in the 1980s, and the quick money to be made from the selling of said drugs. and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
What many Americans don't realise is that the set of problems seen in black urban communities in the US - hard drugs, unemployment, lack of education, welfare dependence, poor diet & nutrition, etc - are also seen in inner city communities in many European cities - Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester and others - except that the welfare-dependent underclasses in those cities are 95% white!

You have a point in relation to the drugs, but, to be honest, and I don't mean to be rude, blaming racist housing codes from 100 years ago isn't really going to cut it in my book. Because, if racism is the issue here, I'd like someone to explain to me the existence of the white Irish, white English or white Scottish urban underclass. Welfare dependence is in the mix here somewhere, it can't just be dismissed as a factor.
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:48 PM   #189
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What many Americans don't realise is that the set of problems seen in black urban communities in the US - hard drugs, unemployment, lack of education, welfare dependence, poor diet & nutrition, etc - are also seen in inner city communities in many European cities - Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester and others - except that the welfare-dependent underclasses in those cities are 95% white!

You have a point in relation to the drugs, but, to be honest, and I don't mean to be rude, blaming racist housing codes from 100 years ago isn't really going to cut it in my book. Because, if racism is the issue here, I'd like someone to explain to me the existence of the white Irish, white English or white Scottish urban underclass. Welfare dependence is in the mix here somewhere, it can't just be dismissed as a factor.
Isn't it also fair to say that the problems in these big cities are larger than their local elected governments' jurisdiction?

Many cities receive education funding and tax revenue from a state pool. Is it divided fairly?
Services for the poor, disabled, homeless, mentally ill, etc. are more efficiently placed in large cities. Is it possible that these people in need are not the most mobile of citizens?
What is voter turn-out in large cities versus suburbs or rural areas? Are people in large cities properly and/or adequately represented? On a local level? On a state level? On a national level?

Fair questions to ask before any sort of "big cities plus liberal representation equals social failure" assumptions.
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Old 06-27-2011, 08:16 PM   #190
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What many Americans don't realise is that the set of problems seen in black urban communities in the US - hard drugs, unemployment, lack of education, welfare dependence, poor diet & nutrition, etc - are also seen in inner city communities in many European cities - Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester and others - except that the welfare-dependent underclasses in those cities are 95% white!

You have a point in relation to the drugs, but, to be honest, and I don't mean to be rude, blaming racist housing codes from 100 years ago isn't really going to cut it in my book. Because, if racism is the issue here, I'd like someone to explain to me the existence of the white Irish, white English or white Scottish urban underclass. Welfare dependence is in the mix here somewhere, it can't just be dismissed as a factor.


it's more the institutionalized discrimination of a class of people, however that class is defined. in the US, it became race since other distinctions -- religion, national origin -- were less of an issue here in the new world, and race is also much easier when dividing up a continent of immigrants. you'll see that, for example, much of what you describe replicated itself in the US amongst 19th century Irish immigrants in New York and Boston. certainly it's not the problem it was today, but there are Irish neighborhoods in Southie (south boston) that are as plagued with violence and crime as many African-American communities.

and racist housing codes were in place well into the 1960s.

i can't comment too much on the white underclasses in the UK and Ireland, though i have studied Irvine Welsh in depth, and this is something he writes about, specifically Leith in Edinburgh. it is way, way too much to get in here as i'm trying to leave work, but that seemed to have more to do with class/religion (often the same, right? distinctions, say between Hearts and Hibbs supporters?) and in a way that might mirror but isn't a perfect parallel with race.

such fascinating but dense and complex stuff. makes me want to study it again.
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:42 PM   #191
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S&P Will Slash U.S. Credit Rating if Debt Payment Is Missed
Elspeth Reeve 1:27 PM ET
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2011/06/sp-will-slash-us-credit-rating-if-debt-payment-missed/39416/

Standard & Poor's will drop the U.S.'s credit rating from its current triple-A to a D if the government misses its debt payment on August 4, Reuters' Walter Brandimarte reports. S&P's managing director John Chambers explained, "If the U.S. government misses a payment, it goes to D. ... That would happen right after August 4, when the bills mature, because they don't have a grace period." The company would downgrade Treasury bills unaffected by the blown deadline, but not as much.

The Treasury Department says that the federal debt ceiling must be raised by August 2. Two days later, the department must pay $30 billion in short-term debt. But negotiations between the White House and Congressional Republicans have broken down to the extent that some Democrats are debating whether to just declare the debt limit unconstitutional and ignore it.

Moody's has said it, too, would downgrade the U.S. if it defaults, though less severely.
Thanks, Boener!

Debt limit "debate" is so stupid. The money has already been spent...this is the equivalent of not paying your credit card bill after already having bought the flatscreen + leather living room set (or in this case, Iraq and Afghanistan).

Goes nicely with the Republican Congress' current plan of running the country into the ground and using it to try and win the 2012 election against Obams, though.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:37 PM   #192
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So you feel a person with no insurance has a right to walk into a hospital; get lab work, physician care, medications and possibly a room and meals--for free?
As maycocksean already brought up, your real beef is with EMTALA, which since 1986 has mandated that hospitals provide emergency medical treatment regardless of ability to pay.

You can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs. Yes, some poor people will have to die, but the increase in hospital profits transmutes indirectly through the aether, saving equal or greater lives further down the line.....somehow.....A bit of a gamble of an argument to make, but there you go.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:44 PM   #193
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Daily Beast, June 30
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Mark Halperin, the Time magazine columnist and MSNBC contributor, was assessing Obama’s performance at a news conference when he delivered this opinion Thursday morning on Morning Joe:

“I thought he was a dick yesterday.”

...Host Joe Scarborough was not pleased, saying: “Delay that. Delay that. What are you doing?” But the program has a new executive producer who didn’t react by hitting the seven-second delay button.

Now I would be a dick if I didn’t point out that Halperin quickly tried to make amends: “Joking aside, this is an absolute apology. I shouldn't have said it. I apologize to the president and the viewers who heard me say that.” But as more than one wit has pointed out, playing off the title of the best-seller co-authored by Halperin, that was a game changer. Two hours after Morning Joe went off the air, MSNBC suspended him.
I don't think this was so much Halperin's inner coarseness and intellectual shallowness revealing itself, as his pathetically overblown self-regard revealing itself.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:49 PM   #194
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Daily Beast, June 30

I don't think this was so much Halperin's inner coarseness and intellectual shallowness revealing itself, as his pathetically overblown self-regard revealing itself.
His book was a page-turner though.

Coarseness and disrespect aside, what about his press conference called for such a conclusion? I didn't note anything "dickish" about it.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:49 PM   #195
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Basically, that he openly criticized the GOP's negotiating tactics on the debt ceiling debate. Why that struck Halperin as an unprecedentedly dirty move justifying unprecedentedly vulgar language (for the media outlet in question), I have no idea.
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