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Old 11-24-2014, 06:46 PM   #21 (permalink)
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How were things in the 1950s when a lot of items were made in the US ? Have things really improved ? Do people really have more money than they did back then ?
If enough Joe Smoes buy a paint sprayer and do it themselves, the paint contractor goes out of business.

I buy everything cheap ( except this damned overpriced Apple ) - so most likely stuff made overseas.

I'm a hypocrite, yes.

I still see a problem though, and i wish there was a solution.
Actually we aren't more wealthy, by most standards ALL people across the world have become poorer as population has gone up but not poorer in the traditional way.

How is wealth measured?

1. Land and "real" non-trinket style possessions. Most people across the world have ended up with smaller footprints, while houses in the US have increased in size the land they sit upon generally has not.
a) Another measure of wealth is how much income goes toward owning a plot or a home, by that measure 3 years hard labor to the king in the middle ages was a better deal than most houses today.

2. Freedom of movement - a wash from 1950 to today but certain areas are much worse and actually true mobility among americans has gone down in strange ways among certain people. (around here they keep taking the buses away so there is zero public transport)

3. Small possessions - this has "improved" in QTY over the years, we are swimming in things and this is where we are wrong, we should not have this crap.
a) In the old days people all over the world had less stuff, stuff was smaller and more of it was made by themselves or locally. The positive of this was that much less waste was tolerated, things were more valuable, were kept and used and rebuilt. Nothing was disposable, everything would be repurposed and re-used until it was scrap which would usually again get re-used for some other purpose.

4. Last but also least is real income - the mode of real income has gone up on paper across the world, food is generally more available than it was many years ago and starvation has been reduced worldwide. Sadly this is a mixed bag and doesn't actually mean we are better off,
we have traded our health, environment, certain freedoms for having things and having the appearance of money to then have certain necessities become dramatically more expensive and items that should be priceless like the environment mostly become more universally damaged, though again locally some areas are better but many others are much worse. Human/animal waste has been substituted with "other" more permanent types of waste in many areas of the world.
Poverty with a few durable lifelong valuables has been substituted for poverty with less mobility, industrial pollution, degraded environment less ability to "live" off the land and high levels of a different type of work hour than traditional.

Is having more stuff but a more crowded degraded environment, with some massive waste land zones, poor but more plentiful foods but less access to traditional food, more wealthy?

I don't know but it is what we have.

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Old 11-25-2014, 01:06 PM   #22 (permalink)
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RE: Land:

In monetary terms, given the huge difference in land prices between urban areas and extra-urban areas... a lot of poor, landless people in the cities out here in the third world actually do make enough every year to buy land in rural areas.

They don't, because rural land is worthless. Farming on a small scale does not bring you enough money to afford the trappings of modern life, or the ability to afford modern health care and other amenities.

-

Shocking to you, those images may be... but guess what? Our governments relocate those urban poor back to the provinces... give them plots of land to till and hoe... and within a year, they're back in the city, picking through garbage, living in shanties and begging on the streets.

Why?

Because picking trash for recycling pays much more money than harvesting rice. And it pays faster, too.

Because they don't want to live the idyllic lifestyle of loincloth-clad rainforest tribesmen who die in their twenties and thirties.

And because they've been there, done that, and, as bad as life on the urban fringe may be, their alternatives are much worse.

-

This is NOT to say that their living situation is anywhere close to ideal or even acceptable.

This is to say that they find themselves in this niche of human ecology simply because this horrible environment can actually support life, so people migrate to it to live.

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The original designation of "worlds"

1st world - developed capitalist countries
2nd world - developed communist (socialist) countries
3rd world - undeveloped countries no matter what form their government is.
Developed socialist country? Well, that does accurately describe the United States, right?

Last edited by niky; 11-25-2014 at 01:14 PM..
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:06 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Only in the minds of the right-wing news commentators. No truly socialist country would tolerate what passes for medical care in the United States.

And while the media consider the United States a 'democracy', it actually started out as a Union, until the schism in the 1860s. Or a Constitutional Republic.

As for rag picking, it's important work. The local electronics recycler is overwhelmed, and they have to rely on work-release from the local jail for their 'volunteers'.
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:06 PM   #24 (permalink)
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No truly socialist country would tolerate what passes for medical care in the United States.
I don't know about that. Seems that a good many rulers of such countries seek medical care in the US when they're seriously ill. And for some reason the foreign medical workers who catch the Ebola virus get flown to the US, instead of being treated in the countries they were working in.

I think what you're complaining about is not the quality of available medical care, but the fact that (at least sometimes) you can't use the government to force other people to pay for what you want.
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:38 PM   #25 (permalink)
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It was more an observation than a complaint.

An observation about the quality of available care, and how it skews along the same curve as wealth. The one percent will eventually become a different sub-species, longer lived, more intelligent (one would hope) and with hot-swappable spare organs.

From your perspective you see the hand of the government. From mine it's the energy wasted by the layer of insurance between the provider and recipient.
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:06 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
It was more an observation than a complaint.

An observation about the quality of available care, and how it skews along the same curve as wealth. The one percent will eventually become a different sub-species, longer lived, more intelligent (one would hope) and with hot-swappable spare organs.

From your perspective you see the hand of the government. From mine it's the energy wasted by the layer of insurance between the provider and recipient.
A doctor used to be a guy that lived down the street, you knew him and he would make house visits and you could afford it.

Now he doesn't have the time to do proper diagnosis and is part of a network.

From effectiveness, yes we have hospitals that are respected around the world but we also have others that are terrible, statistics like infant mortality, disease rates and most any other metric shows we are worse than even places like Cuba.

The mortality rate from various procedures is all over the map depending on what hospital you walk into.

For example where my father went heart surgery had about a 20% mortality rate, literally down the street that hospital is around double that rate.

This is why if we want to have the "Healthcare System That Nixon Built" we need to perhaps have ratings and start rolling back some of the liability shelters and using other methods to motivate (sort of like japan where if you aren't cured you don't pay) Also hospitals that don't do many procedures of a certain type should not be doing those procedures at all, you need experience and have to make a method to deal with areas where there is none.

Right now our system pushes a large volume of unnecessary crap while we have large black holes in care in certain areas of the country.

Quite a worthless system compared to other parts of the world "where your healthcare experience is if anything more predictable"
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:01 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
I don't know about that. Seems that a good many rulers of such countries seek medical care in the US when they're seriously ill. And for some reason the foreign medical workers who catch the Ebola virus get flown to the US, instead of being treated in the countries they were working in.

I think what you're complaining about is not the quality of available medical care, but the fact that (at least sometimes) you can't use the government to force other people to pay for what you want.
A stunt is not a system.

You're pointing out that we had the Apollo program and the Space Shuttle and using them to support the position that the US has a great transportation system. Putting a man on the moon doesn't help someone who can barely afford bus fare, just like a research hospital working on an ebola vaccine doesn't help children living a block away from it.

And how much medical research is entirely privately funded?
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:18 PM   #28 (permalink)
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...just like a research hospital working on an ebola vaccine doesn't help children living a block away from it.
Why doesn't it? Unless you're absolutely certain that the Ebola virus is going to politely stay in Africa.

As to the rest, that's a question of economic philosophy, not quality of medical care. But I could note that there are really two distinct kinds of medicine. There's what you probably think of as medicine, treating individual patients who are sick or injured. Then there's the whole spectrum of public health, the goal of which is to keep people from needing medical care in the first place. Developing vaccines, whether for Ebola, polio, or measles, reducing smoking, figuring out what actually causes illnesses, etc. Cost-effective, available to the public either free or at little cost, if they choose to use it.


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And how much medical research is entirely privately funded?
Hard to say exactly about entirely, since many projects receive a mix of public & private funding. But per Google, something like 60% is private.
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Public research spending in the United States climbed to $51.4 billion in 2010, and accounted for about 41 percent of the country's total research spending. (U.S. Medical Research Spending Drops While Asia Makes Gains - US News )
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:28 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Why doesn't it? Unless you're absolutely certain that the Ebola virus is going to politely stay in Africa.
Ebola is a mixed bag to say the least and is definately overblown, many people are plain immune to it and the focus on prevention is being lost over trying to treat.
Africa is a hotbed for Ebola due to diet and lack of standard practice treatment, likewise the US could become a hotbed for the same reason, diabetics for example are 10x more likely to contract and die than someone who is otherwise healthy without other medical issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
As to the rest, that's a question of economic philosophy, not quality of medical care. But I could note that there are really two distinct kinds of medicine. There's what you probably think of as medicine, treating individual patients who are sick or injured. Then there's the whole spectrum of public health, the goal of which is to keep people from needing medical care in the first place. Developing vaccines, whether for Ebola, polio, or measles, reducing smoking, figuring out what actually causes illnesses, etc. Cost-effective, available to the public either free or at little cost, if they choose to use it.
The US exceeds at fixing broken bones or doing a heart surgery but we fail and are almost dead last in prevention and treatment of symptoms. Our medical system seems to be paralised and incapable of treating the most simplistic of lifelong conditions that lead to death, such as heart disease, diabetes and immune conditions (from allergies) such as crohns.

They push drugs at conditions that are at best degenerative with treatment as opposed to telling the hard truth and focusing on lifestyle changes, but we as a country want to do things that kill us and our medical system seems to be behind the curve at least 20 years on diet (save a couple pockets). Causing improper information to get passed out as gospal.

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Hard to say exactly about entirely, since many projects receive a mix of public & private funding. But per Google, something like 60% is private.
Be carefull how you read that data, many private loans are publicly guaranteed but technically lended "privately"
With default rates as high as 40% on these loans and most hospitals being tax exempt in most areas one can only guess on the true public burden.
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:18 PM   #30 (permalink)
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As to the rest, that's a question of economic philosophy, not quality of medical care.
Medical care that's available to visiting heads of state but isn't available to the people who live in the same city doesn't count as being available. That's not an economic philosophy question, it's a question of what is representative of the system.

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