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Socialism/Communism is a political or economic theory

  1. Jun 30, 2004 #1
    With all the debate recently for amending the United States Constitution in favor of recognizing marriage as a union between a man and woman, perhaps a more appropriate amendment should guarantee each citizen of the United States the right to food, clothing, shelter and medical care. Poverty is defined as the condition of being poor or lacking the necessary means of support to live or meet needs. Today we read of enormous corporate tax breaks, outsourcing of jobs overseas and outrageous salaries "earned" by athletes/entertainers. More recently came the revelation of the $200 billion dollars spent by the U.S. on the war in Iraq. In the meantime, the number of those in poverty continues to increase. The Old Testament of the Bible often makes references to the promised land flowing with milk and honey. All one has to do in this country is take a trip to the grocery story or department store and bear witness to the fact that if anywhere was close to exhibiting the characteristics of "the promised land", this country is it. Yet somehow we are still unable to meet the four basic needs every citizen has. Some would argue that this proposal is an extension of Socialism/Communism. Nothing could be further from the truth. Socialism/Communism is a political or economic theory in which community members own all property, resources, and the means of production, and control the distribution of goods. No one is suggesting the replacement of Capitalism; an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned, and prices are chiefly determined by open competition in a free market. What is being suggested is that in this land of surplus "milk and honey", there is absolutely no reason why the four basic needs of every U.S. citizen cannot be met. Some would argue that food stamps, thrift stores, public housing and medicaid already meet these needs but in the words of President John F. Kennedy, "this country is divided between those who have never had it so good and those who know we can do better". I think we can do better. Resolved, it shall be the right of every United States citizen (in order to further guarantee the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) to receive food, clothing, shelter and medical care that is adequate to meet their basic needs.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2004 #2
    I started filling out individual responses to all of this, but the fact is in a general response:
    This is all already met for those under 18.
    Medical care is still available to ALL , regardless of age.

    Once a person has had 18 years to develop, why do I still owe them?

    We guarantee life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness.
    Giving medical care, as we already do, freedom to make choices (more taken away by forcing me to do give my stuff away to a bloated government systems - the only way to ditribute a 'RIGHT', as you call it) already does this..

    My question is - how do you propose to do this? Why do I owe anyone over 18 a full safety net that is greater than the one we already have? People in this country are spoiled. Our definition of poor is greatly skewed, and to act as if we should be forced to give more, is sickening.
    Start taking away from programs that we already have to give to these people. Take away college tuition, and other 'middle class' commodities, and let's see how many people are all for this when it hits them, instead of relying on the top 1% to fund the social dreaming.
  4. Jun 30, 2004 #3
    Do you realize what happens when people get everything they need without having to work for it?
  5. Jun 30, 2004 #4
    The NDP offerred a lot of this in Canada (B.C.). In fact, welfare was so good that a lot of people chose not to work, as it was easier relying on welfare as opposed to working at a minimum pay job.

    They have earned it. At least, that's what the successful billionaires that pay them believe.

    They are the best at what they do, therefore they deserve the best pay in their industry.

    The medical care system in the US is pretty crappy. No offense, but it is.

    Like I mentioned before - they rely on welfare, and the working middle-class is forced to pay for all of this.
  6. Jun 30, 2004 #5
    Absolute lies. The access to said healthcare may be 'crappy' in your opinon, but the system itself is top notch. We have the shortest average wait times in the world. And I'm sure you aren't going to somehow tell me that our doctors aren't trained well enough, or our equipment is outdated.
    Basic medical care is given to anyone, BY LAW, to stablize them and get them back out of the hospital. Taxpayers and/or the hospital commonly foot said bills.
    You're in Canada - tried to get an MRI lately? I hope you are in a lucky area.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2004
  7. Jun 30, 2004 #6


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    This is factually inaccurate. The stats you need are HERE A quick pass through shows that there were 38 million in 1994 and just under 33 million in 2001. Thats a decrease in both the total number and the rate.

    Welfare should be available for those truly in need, but I agree with the others: handouts to people who screwed up or aren't trying is a very bad thing.
  8. Jun 30, 2004 #7
    Many U.S citizens think the Canadian health care system is something the United States should adopt. At least you don't have to be worried about being insured.


    Poor Americans less healthier than poor Canadians
  9. Jun 30, 2004 #8


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    Should working-class taxpayers have to buy Mike Tyson a house after he spent his tens of millions of prizefight dollars and got into debt and now finds himself homeless?
  10. Jun 30, 2004 #9
    Yep, if I were poor I would want it handed to me too. I love a study based on how people 'feel' about their system.
    However, the majority of Americans don't want your healthcare system, and as someone who has dealt with your system personally, I can tell that this American is as disgruntled with Socialized medicine as can be - I wanted it before being rung through it multiple times for a couple of years.

    And to save the bickering later- I've got a list a mile a long on how to improve our own healthcare system, but socializing isn't the answer (or our MRI's wouldn't have so many Canadians using them, among other things ). But again, your first point was that our system is pretty 'crappy' , and I still hold that it is not at all.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2004
  11. Jun 30, 2004 #10
    Of course!
  12. Jul 1, 2004 #11
    Joe seems to go from board to board leaving this same post. I've yet to see him return and respond to comments or questions.
  13. Jul 1, 2004 #12


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    I agree that poverty is one of the biggest societal problems, but the cure is not easy. Since none of the things you mention comes for free, everyone will either have to donate goods/services voluntarily or you'll have to force them to do so. Taxation is current kind of force we're subject to, so you would either have to reallocate funds (difficult) or raise taxes (no thanks).

    Even if industry/property/etc. is private owned, if you tax them enough so you can redistribute all the wealth, then it's essentially the same thing as a government-controlled economy.

    And, as mentioned, if you punish the successful (more tax) and reward the unsuccessful (welfare), then there's little motivation for an individual to strive to succeed or do more in life. You'll likely get a higher demand for welfare and less production at the top level that could be redistributed.

    I agree that some level of assistance is good, but I don't know where to draw that line.
  14. Jul 1, 2004 #13


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    These are all extreme solutions. We can have a mixed economy where SOME money is taxed from the well to do in order to provide SOME relief to the poor. Former Governer Tommy Thomson of Wisconsin introduced welfare reform in his state, which was weakly imitated by the Clinton administration nationally. Basically the idea was that welfare recipients had to get jobs, but those jobs probably wouldn't pay enough to support them (this was the main reason for welfare in the first place). So the government would subsidize these low-paying job holders, to bring their income up to minimum standards of living. This has two results; it breaks the cycle of subsidized idleness, an it is more palatable to the better off people who are paying for it. And it worked! Both in Wisconsin and in the federal program the statistics looked good. Then came the bushies. Thomson was stuck into the cabinet as a yes-man and it all went to hell.
  15. Jul 1, 2004 #14
    People who were extremely poor like Tupac Shakur, claim that the money from charities rarely reach the ghettos.
  16. Jul 1, 2004 #15


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    I haven't taken the time yet to read all the posts but the first one where Phat Monkey says

    1. You don't owe anyone in the first place, PM, civilization in its goal to harmonize and equalize has provided the impetus for a shared quality of life that (should) includes the best health care, provisioning, and shelter for all. Besides that, ethically we are called to the service of mankind to see what good we may do. Finally, spiritually since we are all siblings thru the Fatherhood of God then as we would have a family member cared for and about so should we for our worldwide family.

    2. What is your definition of poor, in America mine is if a single person has an income under $45,000 or a family's income is under $65,000 they are poor.

    3. Fact, the top 1% pays less as a proportion of their income than the bottom 50%(maybe even 80%).
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2004
  17. Jul 1, 2004 #16
    Then there are or were a lot of poor people.


  18. Jul 1, 2004 #17
    Holy crap, you've got to be kidding me. This is my point fully!
    You are aware that 45,000 is greater than the average and median american income, right?!!?
  19. Jul 1, 2004 #18

    jimmy p

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    That does seem like quite a fair amount to me... especially with prices in America... well compared to Britain anyway...
  20. Jul 1, 2004 #19


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    Dagenais, if that's what you call poor, then what do you call rich?
  21. Jul 1, 2004 #20
    Damn. If I had $45,000, I'd be livin' it up! That's several times my income.
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