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Old 06-09-2002, 10:00 PM   #1
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The American Freedom

In the Amnesty International topic, syntethic plaid (I think) says that "Americans have more rights than any where else".

I orient this discussion with sarcasm saying that it's true : here, I don't have the right to pay to see a doctor and I don't have the right to have a weapon at my house...

What Americans enjoys more ? What freedom do they have more than where I live... than France, than England ???

To me, unless someone can englighten me (or convince me), this rethoric of "Americans have more freedom than ANY where else" is still an historical relica that made more sense after the American Revolution than on june 9th 2002, the day I posted that topic.

Anyways, cheers and don't start to bash (you don't have the right to do so).
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Old 06-09-2002, 10:11 PM   #2
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Well like i said in the original thread I didn't get very far in the boring AI article.

I'm not sure what your intent is here either.

I am not familiar with your health care system or your gun laws/issues.

I do know that we here have freedom of choice in both, freedom to choose which doctor we want and freedom to chose gun ownership. Many people hold this in high regards.
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Old 06-09-2002, 10:15 PM   #3
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Well, for one thing we don't have to pay GST.
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Old 06-09-2002, 11:11 PM   #4
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Is American Freedom have everything to do with economics and dollards instead of human rights ????
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Old 06-10-2002, 12:06 AM   #5
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Wow, at least one person here has absolutely no sense of humor.

I just thought it was fair to point out that the taxes used to support Canada's health insurance system (and other government services) take their toll on the national economy. It's up to you to decide if it's worth it.

And I do believe that you do have the right to pay to see a doctor--don't many Canadians have private health insurance to supplement the government's health insurance?
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Old 06-10-2002, 06:58 AM   #6
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Well I don't know what is GST, so...

It was more of a question than a "I want it serious" stuff...

Well, some Canadians have private health insurance, I guess, but that is for what the free health-care system dosen't pay, mostly "secondary" products. Free Health-Care, in my province, supplies primary needs (aka what you really need to be in good health, not "deluxe" stuff). We have a free-drugs system too, wich is costing more than it should because of the high prices though...

You see, I don't believe you should have the right to pay to see a doctor.. that would made another interesting discussion.

Cheers
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Old 06-10-2002, 09:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Holy John

You see, I don't believe you should have the right to pay to see a doctor.. that would made another interesting discussion.
So you believe there should be free health care for everyone (as there currently is in the UK, and I think Canada? As well as many European countries) and people shouldn't be able to pay for healthcare outside of that system?

It is an interesting question. I think it also leads into a discussion about the cost of training doctors and whether if a doctor is educated free of charge (ie pays no tuition fees to his/her university) then should they then be required to work in the national health service for a number of years? And does allowing wealthy people to pay for private healthcare risk creating a 'two-tier' system where the rich can afford high-quality healthcare, while the rest of society suffer from a loss of funding for the national health service?
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Old 06-10-2002, 09:31 AM   #8
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I for one am glad that if I get cancer or some other horrible disease my family won't have to pay a mint for treatment.
I think thats worth the "worsening" of our national economy (which is not a real affect anyways)

If there is separate health care in canada for the elite I don't believe it has lessened the quality of the "average" persons healthcare.
The reason why Preston Manning was so deplored, in fact, was because he proposed, or apparently proposed, that they install a "two-teir" system all over canada.
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Old 06-10-2002, 12:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Basstrap
I for one am glad that if I get cancer or some other horrible disease my family won't have to pay a mint for treatment.
I think thats worth the "worsening" of our national economy (which is not a real affect anyways)

If there is separate health care in canada for the elite I don't believe it has lessened the quality of the "average" persons healthcare.
The reason why Preston Manning was so deplored, in fact, was because he proposed, or apparently proposed, that they install a "two-teir" system all over canada.
My mother was disgnosed and went through 2 long years of cancer treatment, VON visitations, hospital stays, home healthcare. Both parents were retired at the time living on measly government pension and what little RRSP income they had. All I have to say is thank god we live in Canada as the entire expense was covered - otherwise I don't think my mother would have had the luxury of 2 years. I don't know what it's like anywhere else but that's one thing that is good about living in Canada - when you're sick and you need healthcare - you will receive it and you won't be delegated to the gutter just because of social standing or income. As far as that goes there is only one-tier healthcare in Canada - and that is healthcare for all those who need it.
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Old 06-10-2002, 06:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Holy John
Is American Freedom have everything to do with economics and dollards instead of human rights ????
of course it does, don't forget bombs either
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Old 06-10-2002, 06:42 PM   #11
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The question of whether Americans enjoy more freedom than anybody else comes down to how you define rights. In other words, do people have a right to bear arms? A right to speak freely? A right to health care? As necessary as health care may be, I honestly do not believe people have a right to it, as such. My reason is simple: the government has to steal from someone else to provide someone health care.

(The same applies to food and shelter, and I'm a bit surprised that more people don't claim a right to those items in addition to health care.)

Look at it this way: I have the right to speak freely, and I can exercise that right at the expense of no one else. Certainly it may cost money to get others to listen, to publish my essays and air my commentaries, but that is part of the reason I don't have the right to be heard, only the right to speak. If I had the right to be heard, the government would have to buy airtime (by taxing others) or seize the means of broadcasting outright (which is also theft).

Likewise, I have the right to own property, but I don't have the right to property itself. Property rights mean that I can buy a castle, and if I own that castle, I can do pretty much whatever I want to it. Property rights do guarantee me a castle. If they did, the government would have to steal the funds to build me a castle or steal somebody else's castle.

(Certainly, it takes some amount of money to ensure that these rights are not being trampled on by others. But taxes spent to ensure that property rights are respected and taxes spent to give people castles are CLEARLY two different things.)

It seems pretty clear that health care does have SOME level of expense. (Even if it's overpriced now, it would always have SOME pricetag involved.) So, providing healthcare to Paul requires taxing Peter or seizing drugs that his company manufactures.

Thus, you do not have a RIGHT to health care.

Given that definition, I would think it's fairly self-evident that America enjoys more freedoms than almost any country on earth. There may be tiny, minor exceptions; and, fact is, Russia recently adopted a flat tax, making their tax system far less restrictive than ours. But the fact remains:

We enjoy more political, economic, and religious freedoms than any major nation on Earth. Next to our system of republicanism (lower-case "r"), only pure democracy is more politcally free, and no major nation practices anything close to a democracy. Capitalism is THE expression of economic freedom; it is the only "-ism" that simply states how things are. Even the socialism of Canada and Europe is very restrictive compared to the current condition of the U.S. (which, admittedly and regretably, has drifted from the ideals of the Founding Fathers). Finally, we practice religious pluralism. Certainly, most of the civilized world has followed suit (leaving behind previous efforts of collaboration between church and state). So the U.S. and Europe may be equally free in religious terms; we still enjoy more freedoms in other areas, thus we are more free in an absolute sense.
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Old 06-10-2002, 07:38 PM   #12
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We here in Canada have pretty much all of what you have just said. And I think that its fine to, how did you put it..."steal" from others if it means we can have a free health care.

And I hardly call it stealing.
At least the canadian government doesn't let the elite class thrive near so much as it does in the US. The unequal distribution of goods is painfully poignant.
I'd like to see a lorenz curve from each of these countries!!

And by the way. Canada is by no means a socialist country! Democracy thrives here every-bit as much as it does in the US.

I'm probably just getting over-heated and irrational here.
I just get sick of hearing how the Americans are the leaders of the free world
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Old 06-10-2002, 08:08 PM   #13
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Freedom is a very hard thing to define. Many people may consider freedom as the right to have a gun. That made sense 200 years ago, but with over 10,000 Americans murdered by firearms every year, one has to ask does ones(civilians) rights to bear arms infringe up on my right to live in a safe and secure environment. I was in Ireland recently in January and had no fear of walking through downtown Dublin, Galway,or Cork in the middle of the night by myself. Naturally because of this, there is a sense of safety and security there that allows one to be more free in their actions because they are free from the danger and fear of violent attack with a deadly weapon. This is a freedom that one does not have in the USA.
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Old 06-10-2002, 09:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Basstrap
We here in Canada have pretty much all of what you have just said. And I think that its fine to, how did you put it..."steal" from others if it means we can have a free health care.

And I hardly call it stealing.
What else would you call a tax? A donation that you HAVE to pay or risk a heavy prison sentence? A bill for the services you receive, even when your bill has nothing to do with the amount of services you're provided (with notable exceptions like toll roads)?

Certainly, taxation isn't precisely theft, since we elect those who pass the tax code. (And certainly, some amount of taxation is necessary.) But the fact remains: taxes are closer to outright theft than anything else.

Quote:
At least the canadian government doesn't let the elite class thrive near so much as it does in the US. The unequal distribution of goods is painfully poignant.
I'd like to see a lorenz curve from each of these countries!!
I don't think "distribution" is the right term, since wealth isn't distributed: IT'S EARNED.

At any rate, equally telling is your admission that the U.S. government allows an upper class; it doesn't enforce an upper class the way nobles in medieval Europe did.

But let's say, for an instance, that a naturally occurring upper class IS a bad thing, to the point that we tax them HEAVILY. First, luxury goods are no longer bought, and the middle class and lower class families that depend on the yachting industry suffer. Second, investment all but vanishes, since it is generally the wealthy who can most afford to invest. Finally, all incentives to become wealthy disappear, resulting in lower productivity.

And at what point does somebody have too much money? When they have more than you personally? When they have more than the median or average income? When there's even ONE person with less money? Taken to its natural conclusion, you get Communism, and the Soviet Union was not known for its economic prosperity.

Quote:
And by the way. Canada is by no means a socialist country! Democracy thrives here every-bit as much as it does in the US.

I'm probably just getting over-heated and irrational here.
I just get sick of hearing how the Americans are the leaders of the free world
I believe you're confusing political and economic systems. A democracy is a political system in which all citizens vote on laws. Socialism is an economic system where decisions are made by the government. It's possible to have both simultaneously.

(As an aside, neither Canada nor the United States are technically democracies. They are republics, in which citizens elect lawmakers.)

In fact, I believe most of the West has both a republican form of government and a socialist economy, including the U.S. (though it is less socialist than most).

Either way, the resentment toward the U.S. is understandable. However, like Spain and England before it, the U.S. is the leader of the Western world; to deny the fact is to deny reality.


STING2:

There is, I believe, no positive correlation between the legalization of guns and crime rates. In fact, I believe the opposite is true; criminals become bold when it's likely the next victim is unarmed.

Not only 200 years ago, but 50 years ago, guns were prevalent with no corresponding crime. And Washington, D.C. has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country - AND some of the highest murder rates.

(I certainly wouldn't feel as safe there as I would in Dublin, Galway, or Cork.)

So, I believe the increased crime rates stem from something else: an erosion in the culture and a lax criminial justice system, most likely. Disarming law-abiding citizens will not help either.

In fact, I feel safer knowing that law-abiding citizens have can legally defend themselves with lethal force.

If you have the time, I recommend reading this article, which imagines a world without guns.
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Old 06-11-2002, 02:38 AM   #15
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There have been times of late when ive wished Australia had more clearly legislated press freedom.

Ive gotta say I dont like the American welfare/healthcare system. In Australia private healthcare is encouraged, but its not the only form of care available. I dont think John Q is a particularly good movie but it does raise a good question about American healthcare...
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