Jelchs's Comments

Feeling safe in a neighborhood is not necessarily the same thing as being safe in a neighborhood. If local governments were to spend the money to clean up gang territory or other less savory areas it would give people a false sense of security in those regions. Not to mention the fact that the government would go broke trying to keep up with all the trash and graffiti.
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That’s a really good question that I hadn’t considered.

One reason is that citizens of a wealthy country will choose to spend more on health care. Of the countries in the Amount Paid for Childbirth graph, only the Netherlands and Switzerland have a GDP per capita similar to that of the U.S. Per data from 2010, the Dutch pay 9% more than we do per person every year for health care. Swiss citizens buy their own insurance rather than having the government or employers do so. I think that’s an important factor in keeping costs low. Here in the U.S., if we have insurance, most of don’t know or care how much our health costs are because someone else is covering the bill. If it was our money, as consumers we would make insurers and providers be more competitive and account for every penny. In Switzerland all packages require you to pay a portion of the costs to prevent wasteful procedures and the Swiss have the option of about 100 different insurance companies that offer different prices and services. Here we are limited to whatever insurance providers are licensed in our state or region.

We pay our doctors about twice as much more per person than Australia, Canada, France, Germany, or the UK. Cutting doctor reimbursement in the U.S. by over 20% is one of the ways in which the Affordable Healthcare Act plans to save money. The downside of that is medicine would become a much less attractive profession and we could run into doctor shortages. The UK solved that problem by bringing in foreign doctors. Their problem now, doctors who speak English so poorly they are a danger to their patients.

Something I would like to point out is that the report chose one health plan, either public or private, for the data in the graphs for every country except the U.S. For us they used they calculated averages from nearly a hundred different health plans. Some of the foreign plans aren’t even representative of the entire country. The information for Canada is from, “public sector prices for the province of Nova Scotia.” Each province or territory in Canada has a different health care system. Nova Scotia is a great province, but the with the second lowest GDP per capita of any province or territory in Canada I’d assume its health care costs are much lower than the rest of the country. That would be roughly equivalent to using the figures for Idaho to represent the entire U.S. Given the limited information for other countries and the seemingly cherry-picked regions, the numbers are highly suspect.

We could learn from other countries, but we need to do so with our eyes open. Unfortunately, there aren’t many unbiased sources of information out there on this topic.
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What the New York Times fails to mention is that doctors in the U.S. go to efforts their foreign counterparts don't to save premature babies that would be declared stillborn in other countries. The percentage of preterm babies born in the U.S. is 65% higher than in the U.K. and about double the rates in Finland and Greece. Sometimes our doctors are unsuccessful in saving these children, which leads to the inflated infant mortality rate, even if they do succeed, the expenses associated with these saving these children will raise the average cost of a childbirth in our country. Is there room to improve the system and cut costs, of course, but who would rather live in a country where they give up on children than one where they fight to save them?
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Thank you, I do enjoy the Journal, love that Urban Gardener. You are either a fan as well, and have a subscription, or found the link in at another site and decided to use the WSJ link instead of the one from the site that referenced the article because the link you sent requires an account to access.

By saying they, “avoid paying their share of taxes”, I’m assuming you mean companies and individuals who use legal tax breaks to lower the amount of taxes they pay. Using that definition, every business and nearly every person who pays income taxes in America would be guilty. Regardless, I’ve already stated in this thread that I think that many tax loopholes should be closed. What I wonder is how you can bemoan large corporations not paying what you consider they owe in taxes while only a couple of days ago arguing for that very idea by wishing for, “…a taxation system that penalizes offshoring jobs, and rewards companies that develop real jobs here”.
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I don’t consider the .01% to be the only people in a country who are wealthy. I do consider people who have more savings than 88% of the rest of the citizens of their country to be wealthy; I’m sure the 88% feel the same way.

My comment was a request for you to explain your statements, not to delve into your feelings. You tend to advance a position and immediately retreat to try another tactic when I refute what you say.
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If it is so ridiculous a comparison, then why has the percentage of Americans who have given up their citizenship as Igor Sikorsky did increased dramatically since 2008? A vast majority of these people are concerned with taxes and FATCA. Why, if not for uncertainty around Obamacare, are so many businesses cutting back on hours for employees and refusing to go over the 50-employee threshold? It’s funny that you mention the Scandinavian countries; all of them have lower corporate tax rates than the U.S., Norway (28%), Finland (26%), Denmark (25%), Sweden (22%), and Iceland (20%). According to the Heritage Foundation, most of these countries rank higher than the U.S. in business freedom, monetary freedom, investment freedom, fiscal freedom, property freedom and freedom from corruption, making them closer than the U.S. to the laissez-faire economy you demonized earlier. As for the poor not being left behind, much of that is due to having small immigrant populations. Most countries with high levels of immigration also have high levels of poverty. In, Sweden, the one country that has a foreign-born percentage of its population comparable to the U.S., immigrant children accounted for 65% of all the poor. And let’s not forget that Norway is the largest oil producer and exporter in Western Europe, all of that oil money goes a long way toward paying for socialism. Despite being so happy, every Scandinavian country has a higher suicide rate than the U.S.

All taxes seize assets. Socialism is inextricably tied to seizing the assets from some and giving them to others. Socialism’s problem is that they eventually run out of other people’s money.

12% of Americans have saved more than $250,000, I think it’s fairly accurate to state that having saved $500,000 would qualify one as being considered wealthy. With regard to taxes, my argument isn’t that one shouldn’t pay one’s fair share, but that they already do.

In future responses, I ask that you explain why you feel a certain way rather than just making a comment and dismissing my words so that I can better understand what you mean.
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Your statements are factually inaccurate. The U.S. federal corporate tax rate is 35%, and has never been over 70%. For 2012, the combined, local, state, and federal rate was 39.2 %, the highest in the world of any OECD country. As for when has lowering the corporate tax rate worked, please see my earlier comment regarding Canada.

We must have different definitions of a laissez-faire economy, mine is that businesses and consumers are free from government restrictions, subsidies, and taxes, the only regulations being those to protect business rights. This would mean that there would be no Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Dodd-Frank Act, EPA, FTC, SEC, FDA, TARP, trade sanctions, etc., all of the former are either relatively new or have gained more power in recent years. I enjoy discussions, but please focus on facts rather than attempting to attack my credibility by claiming I’m ignorant of recent economic changes.
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Taxes that corporations pay when doing business in the U.S. along with labor union contracts are a major cause of outsourcing. Rather than adding yet another tax and hiring additional IRS workers to oversee that tax, why don’t we cut corporate tax rates to a level that is competitive with the rest of the world? This would prevent much of the potential future outsourcing, allow companies to bring back to the U.S. billions that have been parked in overseas banks, and encourage other companies to invest and build here. The widened tax base and the taxation of funds as they were transferred from foreign banks to the U.S. would more than make up for the loss from lowering the rate. At the same time, this would remove some of the deadweight loss from the taxes in place and prevent additional deadweight loss from the new tax and subsidy you suggest. Canada did this and their tax revenues as a percent of GDP remained nearly the same due to an increase in taxable income. The government has a horrible record of backing companies in an effort to promote growth in certain industries; this has often led to the massive defaults you mentioned in your earlier comment. And with respect, I do not believe the entirety, or even a majority, of our current economic woes can be pinned on outsourcing.
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Wealth is already redistributed via income taxes, inheritance taxes, and transfer payments. The Soviet Union is a perfect example of what happens with an unhealthy amount of redistribution, those who could ‘vote with their feet’ left, such as Igor Sikorsky, those who were tied to the land, such as the kulaks, limited their production because the government would confiscate the excess. And while roads, policemen, firemen, teachers, etc. help the wealthy on their paths, they were paid in no small part by the wealthy for those services in the form of taxes.

69% of people who have more than $500,000 to invest earned most of their money by working. It hardly seems fair to imply that every rich person uses government-backed loans, even if that were the case, should it be illegal for the rich to have this option? The rich do take full advantage of the tax system, so do I, so does everyone else. That doesn’t mean I don’t think that government-backed loans and tax loopholes should be severely curtailed, I just don’t fault those who take advantage of every legal resource they have available.

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” — Thomas Jefferson
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Profile for Jelchs

  • Member Since 2012/08/04



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