A few of the words below come from pasting parts of an answer to someone. The following paragraphs, I hope, help to illustrate my premise.
A rich person has an obvious reason to NOT worry about rising taxes, huge debt-loads and deficits, nor about paying for their health care, for example. The reason is that the rich have a huge “cushion” of money, stock, property, and assets.
The “cushion” of assets equates with them having a mindset of minimal or zero worry compared to the average middle class American individual. As you know, the typical middle class and poor individuals, very often have trouble to make ends meets, let alone to build up a very large savings account, similarly to what the rich build up.
A FEW SPECIFIC EXAMPLES OF HOW A RICH CONGRESS MEMBER MIGHT OR WOULD LEGISLATE DIFFERENTLY THAN A MIDDLE CLASS CONGRESS MEMBER
When a congress person has stock (some receiving huge dividends) in the Health Insurance Industry; plus they are lobbied by employees of the Health industry; and they receive large or huge campaign directly from the Health Care Insurance and Health Industry, a high number in congress will see no need to make health care affordable for the middle class and poor. Add to this predicament, the many pure, die-hard capitalist Americans who see the way it is as the only way, then you have a bias in this country that wants to leave things as they are. There are a good number of Americans, who apparently, believe that a tiny bit of regulation in the Health Care Industry, will result in negative results either for them, or for the whole country. I don’t really understand their fears. I do understand what they say and how the describe the possible consequences.
What has happened in other countries who have instituted universal care, would be some evidence of what would happen here. Those countries’ health care systems did not fall apart. Yes, there are problems. Problems are part and parcel of life and society.
There are many other examples that can illustrate this. Some rich people like the charter schools. They have even invented the “for profit schools” using and abusing tax payers’ dollars. That is unacceptable. Tax payers dollars SHOULD NEVER GO TOWARD MAKING individuals rich.
I know it does happen. The huge corporation of GE had, at one time, for some amount of years paid zero or little taxes. They are not the only company who has had favorable treatment.
The for profit charter schools are a sham. Some or many have been proven to fake enrollment and also test scores, on a regular basis, I believe. Even the not for profit charter schools can be shams. Some want to teach religion on the tax payer dollar but not be accountable when it comes to test scores, enrollments, and showing progress by students. Public schools have many problems but the teachers and principals make an honest effort to provide a good education.
Public School teachers are under a great deal of pressure to adhere to the standards and curriculum. A teacher teaching a language class, say for example Spanish, they cannot bring religion into the classroom. It is prohibited by our constitution and by the interpretation of past Supreme Court Justices. A teacher teaching history or geography is allowed to touch on and elaborate on religions around the worlds and in our country. They, of course, cannot attempt to convert students to any religion.
It may be likely that Congress people allowed the charter system in because some of them saw it as a way for certain people they knew and liked to get rich with. I really do not believe that they thought our public schools were in such a shambles that the charters would be the best way to help remedy it. But, it might have been. I do not know.
The other reason is the “tea party” coalition which has forced their agenda on the rest of the country, although they are a minority among us. Tea party people wish to evangelize on the tax payer’s dollar. It is cheaper for them, that way. They can suck in a poor African-American, Latino-American, or white student that is not doing so well in the public schools and then have a chance to convert them to “conservatism” maybe for the rest of their life.
I am not saying that a properly run Charter school is bad, in my opinion. If the students’ educations are doing better or equivalently, in charter schools, that would be very good. If they, have some Christian or other Religion teaching along with the classes, if that is one focus of the particular school, that would not be a bad thing at all. If their test scores are not in line with Public Schools, then there would be evidence of detriment or non-comparison.
I used to work in group homes. Even, those people who started group homes with the help of state or community agencies (tax dollars) – – the majority did not go into it, to become wealthy. They make a living and work hard. If they have more than one group home, yes their income can be more. There will be fraud in every business, but when I worked in that area, I never heard of fraud committed by the Group Home Owner/Managers, in my state nor in my county.
SOME BASIC ANALYSES OF OTHER COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD
There are now about 61 nations in the world that have some kind of Universal Health Care System. The USA is included in the list to due to the Affordable Care Act. The number of countries in the world as of 2018 is 193.
That means that 31.6 per cent of the countries in the world have some form of universal care. The 193 does include The Holy See (Rome) and Palestine.
“Usually some costs are borne by the patient at the time of consumption but the bulk of costs come from a combination of compulsory insurance and tax revenues. Some programs are paid for entirely out of tax revenues. In others tax revenues are used either to fund insurance for the very poor or for those needing long term chronic care. In some cases, government involvement also includes directly managing the health care system, but many countries use mixed public-private systems to deliver universal health care.”
German, British, Canadian, Danish, and other legislators, around the world, apparently, think more reasonably than American legislators. In some of these countries, the health insurance component has been removed from their equations to pay for dispensing medical care and or for prescriptions. Of course, there is health insurance available for people who wish to buy it from private companies. The rich and very rich can afford to pay out-of pocket or to buy very excellent insurance plans.
I venture to surmise that smarter rich people do understand that not using the heavy taxation system to help the middle class or the poor, may lead to severe destabilization of their life as rich people. Smarter rich people would recognize that treating the peasants and the workers as rugs to step on, is not a good thing. Treating the peasants (poor and middle classes), who want to unionize in order to better their lives and wages, as “pure” pests that can be ticked off their shoulders, is a strategy that may backfire on those rich people. Actions such as decimating the Taft-Hartley Act, the passing of right to work laws and other actions by the Supreme Court will not really be good for the long-term of any society, let alone the USA.
People must give and take to live side by side. Taking and taking is a prime way to be hated.
Those 61 western modern and less modern nations that have some form of Universal Care, also have an abundance of rich people in power, in parliaments, republics, semi-socialist democracies, democracies, and in other forms of government.. Perhaps they have a vision that their American counterparts, often do not have.
The entire world has the rich in power. That is how they keep the coins rolling their way. LOL.
Yes, it is extremely true that the Democrats talk the walk and have great speeches about fairness, backing up union organization, and many egalitarian values. Accomplishments are there but “where is the beef?” like the old Burger King commercial ran for several years.
Following through on the talk may not be apparent to very many.
I am not a great cynic. In fact, I am just the opposite of most cynics. There are some Americans, a very few, I believe, that see this country balkanizing into different sections within 20-30 years because of income inequality, horrible plagues, disunity among the people, and due to other potential reasons. I admit to having communication with only one. He/she stated that he/she reads a lot and that there are a number of people like him/her who see little or no hope in this country’s future.
I was flabbergasted at his/her words. I rather believe that global warming may kill us first. The recent warnings by climatologists is that we have to, make changes, within the next 50 years to make to help alleviate the further damaging to our atmosphere, oceans, and rainforests.
I see that this country, is flowering and pinning huge boutonnieres and corsages on the chests of the rich. It is called income inequality that looks like a straight upward curve for the few but half-pennies for most of the rest of us. It is not funny.
On May 18, 2018, the Supreme Court struck a huge mallet on workers’ rights. The ruling was made that “workers may not band together to challenge violations of federal labor laws.” Workers who have signed arbitration agreements cannot bring class-action suits forward.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the dissenting opinion: “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the four dissenters, called the majority opinion “egregiously wrong.” She said the 1925 arbitration law came well before federal labor laws and should not cover these “arm-twisted,” “take-it-or-leave it” provisions that employers are now insisting on.” She also stated that a typical Ernst & Young employee (one of the employer plaintiffs in the lawsuit) would likely have to spend $200,000 to recover only about $1,900 in overtime pay, without a class-action suit ability.
The Supreme Court we have at the present time is not looking after the little guy. The Supreme Court is in “protection mode” for BIG BUSINESS.
**We must decide to do something about it. **
Many work a 32-40 hour work week or a 50-60 or more hours work week (many careers, automotive supervisors and factory workers); service workers; and people holding 2-3 jobs. Some of the rich put in hard-working hours, efforts and many do have imaginative visions for business. Getting richer quicker is part of their plan. Appointing supreme court justices to pass right to work, to slash the labor and union-organizing laws are part of the rich peoples’ plan. Getting republican governors to pass right to work laws is a prime way to keep their lifestyle and the income inequality rising.
Other rich people (the old money) just need to have the money to open 10 fast food franchises and they can become so much richer. That is not an imaginative endeavor. It is a cookie-cutter business. The cashiers, janitors and managers that they hire will be paid the lowest at the same time to keep the business afloat, successful and very profitable. If they pay a manager, someone a great deal of salary, they will expect a workaholic to do the job on salary with no overtime. The law allows that. Have you ever met a middle class workaholic? They are not too common, based on my experience.
The goal of a business person with a pure business mind, is high profit. Robots are so popular because with robots the profit can be increased. The owner pays computer specialists to repair the robots for about $40 to $60 per hour, from what I have been told. I am sure this hourly wage varies around our country.
People who care about people will say that pollution is bad for all humans and those corporations who pour “poison gunk” into our rivers or our land, — that they cannot do it. The corporations who kill should not have a free ride. The tobacco industry was taught somewhat of a lesson after many years of them getting rich by addicting people to their products. They hid the lung cancer and thought it was perfectly OK. Today, the vaping is repeating some of the same action. Tobacco executives are involved with vaping and with the new marijuana businesses.
Taking care of our earth should be thought of by reasonable thinkers as the only way for future generations to survive. If you only care about yourself and this generation surviving, then it is not a world-wide human goal. I believe that the majority of humans on earth care about our environment. Most of us are so busy making a living, it is not something they think about very much. Anthropologists have studied this, in the aspect of humans caring about each other. It has been concluded in a multitude of studies that “cooperation” is our major attribute, not aggression.
THE NAYSAYERS’ ARGUMENTS RE: SOME THINGS THAT MAY BE GOOD FOR MOST MIDDLE CLASS PEOPLE (UNIVERSAL CARE)
There are arguments that not having a capitalistic health care system will result in a dire reduction in innovation of research and medical cures, medicines, etc. The evidence, they say is that the US leads the world in this area. Well, the rest of the world needs to put aside money for this even while they have a tax system providing nationalized care.
I see this argument that the US is the main nation doing this job for health as an excuse. If the current system is making these owners, health insurance people, share holders millionaires, multi-millionaires, billionaires, and multi-billionaires, then what is the difference of making 1/2 million or one million. Even with universal care, there are good scientists who do not seek this work only for the hugest pay-days.
The pertinent question is: why can’t the richest and most prosperous country in the world not be able to afford universal care? If less rich countries can manage such a system, why can’t we?
The affordable care act is on extremely weak footing, mainly because the health insurance component is still present, from my prospective and from many others’ prospective.
The republicans want the old way, pre-ACA. The Democrats want ACA or another version of Universal Care. Trump made a campaign promise that he would give the American people the best health insurance to replace ACA. Instead, as soon as he took office, he pushed with a “HEAVE and a “HO” in the “dark of the night” (as the democrats are calling it now) – – passed the TAX Reform of 2016, which gave real estate developers an even bigger tax break.
Another excuse the middle class American makes is that our tax system cannot afford Universal care. They say we cannot pay more taxes, blah, blah, blah in order to pay for it. Revisions and modifications will have to be made just like Canada or England did it to accomplish. Granted, it is not a perfect system. In Canada they have a lot of trouble with people going to the doctor too often for the littlest things. One commenter on this Blog who lives in Canada told me that his friend or someone wanted a top rated heart pace-maker. Canada would only pay for a lessor model. He called it a two or three tier system.
Well, a two tier system is better than almost zero affordability. Let the richer fly or drive around and get the best. Let the regular folks, at least have some care and not have to die as often, because they cannot afford their diabetes medication.
This is happening in the USA, now. Some people have full-blown diabetes, needing expensive insulin. Some Americans who cannot afford the cost, split up the doses and end up dying at younger ages, because the insulin level is not high enough to regulate their glucose. I believe that I saw this on NBC National news about 4-8 months ago, early Spring of 2018.
The underlying excuse is that so many Americans love the get rich scheme. Those pharmacy salespeople who travel around hawking drugs to physicians, while they are earning a one or a few hundred thousand a year, is not acceptable in a reasonable society. The physicians forget their Hippocratic oath.
Big Pharma sales people with probably just a bachelors degree can make more money than some physicians.
Isn’t there something wrong when someone who went to school for so long, endured 12-16 hour internship shifts for a period of a minimum of 11 years can make less money than a pharmaceutical salesperson? The fact that medicine is newly on the market does not mean that is better. It has been found, at times that those trials of new drugs do not always discover the problems. I do not wish to generalize. Yes, some or many new drugs have the possibility to help.
The salespeople are trained and nurtured by big Pharma CEO’s to sell more and more, even if a certain percentage of those drugs are bad and harmful. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has a hand in this, too.
The most I ever made in one year was about $47,000 or $48,000. I never received a step increase due to my advanced degree. That probably happened because it took me so long to write my masters thesis. I had no help from my major professor and he apologized to me on the day that two or three professors read and discussed it and consequently decided if I should receive my 12 hours of credit for that thesis. I was working fulltime for about 2 1/2 years, I think, when I finished that dang thesis, about 100 pages.
Neither of my parents raised us, siblings, to value money highly. We were a close family. We were raised with a work ethic. My dad was a veteran of 2 wars and two military branches. My mom was in a military reserve branch. My mom loves high fashion but she grew up poor and is a bargain shopper. She met my dad after he had went to college on the GI bill. My dad also grew up poor, maybe not quite as poor as my mom. I was raised middle class. I remain middle class.
If the owners in the Health Industry cannot see it to reduce their pay scales, then perhaps this country could end up with less innovation or slower innovation. The health of the nation is paramount to making a few so rich, so that they have 5 swimming pools in their homes and 7 homes around the world. Of course, preventing plagues, and making workable flu shots, and so much more can still proceed in a modified way, based on our lop-sided system. It is possible, we will have more sickness and less positive break-throughs in medicine.
By the way, a plague does not see how much your net worth is. The rich people will die in a plague just as much as the poor, I would say.
There is always a balanced way to accomplish something, anything. The phrase is Moderation is the best policy, is it not? I have always been an optimist.
One cannot blame that result (less innovation by scientists) just on the capitalist system. One cannot say that the unaltered capitalist system of medicine and health care is the only way to accomplish medium, high or higher quality health care. Yes, the capitalist system does engender the desire to be rich and does “encourage innovation” per Pettinger. Lesser or lower rich incentives probably will not cut off the innovation. That is my thought or extrapolation, based on what has happened in other countries. Not all doctors and scientists will work only for the highest pay.
One of the main reasons, as I see it, why have so many foreign doctors working in the US, is because they love more money that they earn here, compared to their own country. We have to stop being the rich people helper. Maybe if the medical schools lowered the standards a little, we could have many more American-born doctors. I have been told that there is a shortage of medical schools which leads to the shortage of doctors.
If any government sees the need to pass laws or amendments insuring a small amount or medium amount of regulation of these huge health companies, including hospitals and surgeon’s salaries, then that may be what is needed. The removal of the health insurance greed will have to cut out with a knife, IMO (In My Opinion). They have had all of all of the past 50 years and more to reduce their salaries at the top however, they chose not to.
Even some or many of the sales people working for Anthem are driving Mercedes Benzes and BMW’s. That is a crock. I just told a white lie. I do know that at least one drove a BMW. It was witnessed by someone I know. This sales person or their c0-worker, for several years, had the employees “hood-winked” by telling them they would not receive their health coverage cards for a few weeks or several weeks, even though the subtraction out of their paychecks would happen immediately. The employees were told to tell the providers the phone number of Anthem, in order to prove that they had coverage. The person who witnessed the BMW, spoke up and told her/him “no way,” that Anthem/BC must send the cards immediately. Other employees chimed in. They (big business) think that taking advantage of people is A.O.K. They finally started mailing insurance cards out quicker, after it was demanded.
The head of Anthem/Blue Cross is in charge of a MONOPOLY that has not made one reasonable decision regarding their take-home pay and stock options that are nothing but outrageous. 66 million in one year (2014) while a good number of middle class individuals are paying approximately 1/8 to 1/2 of their salary or take home pay, to pay for health insurance. I just made up this range of fractions. I think they are close to the actual fractions, but I don’t vouch for that.
Some who work at very excellent companies, pay nothing for health insurance. It is a benefit that rewards the employee and helps the company to retain better employees.
People with ACA, Affordable Care Act health insurance, based on their incomes have more reasonable and sometimes little premiums to pay.
There are quite a few smaller employers who pay nothing or little towards their employees’ premiums. Automotive subcontractor factories tend to put heavy burdens on the employees. Many of these employees are earning regular overtime pay. Many of the supervisors do not earn overtime as they are in an excluded class, per law, to receive a salary, with no overtime for hours worked over 40 hours. Union automotive companies are just the opposite. Big 3 companies are the same. premiums are sometimes shared and not a huge burden for the employee.
Nowadays, it is a big burden all around, for too many middle class Americans. When I refer to middle class, I generally refer to a median pay of $60,000 per year. A couple with both making such a salary, may be closer to upper-middle class. Add children, who are so expensive, the “real” picture is not so simple. Four to six children could make a family almost in the poor class, I imagine, if they only have $60,000 coming into the household. The major factor is the cost of living of where they live. The other factor would be their spending habits, I suppose.
****Just recently, in October, 2018 I read in the news that the Affordable Care Act is showing improvements. Quite a few states have reductions in premiums; a smaller number of states had smaller increases compared to the past several years. Some did have increases in premiums. *********************************************************************************
A FEW FINAL CONCLUSIONS REGARDING THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE
Believing in helping your average fellow Country-people is absent in our congress, my fellow American. That is how I see it. We are behind the times, by many, many years. Canada instituted full doctor and hospital coverage in 1972. It was a long process, starting in 1916.
I do not see that the Democrats have accomplished enough over the years. The power structure of the Democrats is dominated by the rich just like the Republican Party. There is very little difference in that aspect. Dr. Domhoff states in his book “Who Rules America,” that he and other social scientific studies point to the fact that the party line is blurred by a two party system.
citation: Domhoff, G. William. Who Rules America? Power, Politics, and Social Change. [ed.] Emily Barrosse. 5. New York : McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2006. pp. 138-139 0-07-287625-5.
In other words, a government with only two parties, will tend to have very or extremely similar platforms and/or decision-making. The campaign promises are the essence of blurring, per my understanding of Dr. Domhoff’s points in his book.
He stresses that the history of our political system can be described as being in the clutches of the “different factions within the power elite.” The power elite are AKA, also known as, the rich. The factions would be in both parties.
I believe that the Republicans’ basic party line is a bait and switch con-game. They attract the poor, middle class, and some upper-middle class people that love the idea and future of lower taxes and smaller government.
I think, that most of the upper-middle class and the rich class know, with a conviction, inside of their heads, that the Republican Party is only for the rich.
However, the Republicans, do not lower the taxes enough and they just keep on promising to spend less. Nor, do they, decrease the size of the government. Except for President Trump, who has decimated the diplomatic core and given the Military everything they wanted. Good governing has to do with moderation. If we want and love peace, then slashing the diplomatic governmental employees is not a peace-loving action, I would contend.
Does South Korea have a US Ambassador yet? Yes, finally, after July 7, 2018, the slot was filled by President Trump. He is a retired general named Harris who was moved from his ambassadorship appointment in Australia. During some of the most tumultuous times between North Korea and the US, an ambassador was absent to lead diplomatic efforts. The one Asian-American Professor that almost was appointed by Trump, refused due to Trump’s stipulations that he (Trump) would take the lead in all negotiations, per the journalists’ reports.
According to a Forbes article, the author states that it is “his central point that so long as Republicans control at least one chamber in Congress, federal spending tends to be lower.” He notes that both parties are spenders. But this article is dated 2013. Now, under Trump and the House, spending is very high, although the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) has risen. The definition of GDP is the monetary value of all of the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period.
When the tax code is written by mostly rich individuals, what do you think will result from that? Even – when there are well-accomplished non-rich people working in congress, there will always be a tendency for the legal beagles (attorneys) and career business people in congress to have their “sway” over those less rich or non-rich people. The rich have the connections and have been elected more times, mostly based on their money and their love of power and desire to get richer, I think. Perhaps, I do exaggerate. There are a few to some moral congress people. Maybe, they are needles in a haystack.
Only with a higher proportion of middle class individuals, working in the highest offices, can some potential change occur. On the local level, the same is true. Some liberal, pro-labor people say that starting a third party should begin locally. My political agenda or persuasion is more middle of the road. I contend that the liberals and the middle of the roaders need to join together, lest the changes cannot or will not occur.
Our current system is a bank-roll of election. It is, too often, not an election of reasonably minded people. The nomination of candidates is all wrapped up about money. The few or some who are elected with more egalitarian or even semi-socialist platforms, (e.g. congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, only 28 years old, elected to the House on Nov. 6th, 2018) must conform, in many ways, to their party platform. If they write a bill that is totally off the Democratic platform, their fellow democrats and Democrat National Committee will likely ostracize them and they may never be elected or nominated again.
As an example, if Ocasio -Cortez were to write a purely socialist bill that states that all of the Pharmacy companies should be, taken over by the government; I very much doubt that would go over well, to say the least. If it arrived to a committee, it would likely get blasted to death, quicker than an atom bomb.
Many rich Democrats have a hand in Pharmacy, be it as shareholders or owners, or even as having relatives in the business, not to mention taking campaign donations from Big Pharma. I guess there may be a few who made a career as Pharmacists before being elected. Obviously, they would more than likely have a bias for keeping the Pharmacy business very strong and be against any regulation.
NOTE: I do not have universal care as one of my suggested platform points, because it is a huge issue. In addition, I think that it too premature to expect American society and congress to promote it at this time. I think that if this movement becomes a reality, a majority of the members can decide if they wish to place it on the platform.
10 November 2018