Jelchs's Liked Comments

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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To play devil’s advocate, those same innovations and inventions that increase productivity also give us free time and allow machines to perform dangerous jobs that were once done by humans. While a new technology sounds the death knell for one industry it also opens up careers that were never before imagined. Web designers, programmers, cybersecurity experts, computer help desk personnel, etc., these professions and numerous others were either numerically insignificant or didn’t exist before the internet.

While I appreciate your desire to look after every member of a society, I quail at any suggestion that the government force the population to change or begin taking the assets that one group has worked so hard for and giving them to another group.
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There was never any reference to market's that would, "fairly distribute pay based on the value that the service brings to society", in any of the economics courses I took. Instead we focused on the how supply and demand determined the market price. Would you mind being more specific on which ideas from socialism you would like our society to implement? Thank you.

It seems that you assume that people who work in stadiums are underpaid, I'm not sure I would agree with you. It takes little skill to hawk hot dogs and beer, make correct change, take tickets, etc., and people in those positions can be easily replaced by others without the need of extended periods of training or practice if the perform poorly, quit, or decide to work elsewhere. For these reasons, society places little value on their jobs and pays them accordingly. In comparison, the skills of athletes are hard to replicate, many of them have been working for years, if not decades, on their abilities and have natural talents that the rest of us do not. If a star quarterback, point guard, pitcher goes down to injury, retires, or moves to another team it is difficult, if not impossible, to find someone that can fill their shoes. And even if a replacement of similar talent is found, it takes time before the rest of the team can get comfortable with the new leader if they ever do. The supply of these individuals is exceedingly low and the demand for them extremely high so teams are willing to shell out exorbitant amounts to acquire and keep them. Let's also not forget that these players put their bodies at risk, career-ending and life-threatening injuries are, to a certain extent, part of the game. They, like workers in other dangerous professions, deserve 'hazardous duty' pay to take this into account. Also, efficiency in economics deals with maximizing the production of goods and services, not the distribution of income. I would respectfully remind you that many of the star athletes who make million-dollar salaries were once among the poorest of the poor, I sincerely doubt they wish to benefit themselves at the expense of those in a situation they once endured.
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Hi Miss Cellania, I hadn't considered debtors buying back their own debt. To some degree, many lenders are willing to work with debtors on this by lowering interest or sometimes accepting a partial payment, though nothing on the scale of 28:1 such as when they sell the debt to investors. One problem I can see with the suggestion is that most people would not pay their original debts. They would just wait until the institution they owed was willing to accept pennies on the dollar. When that started happening, institutions would stop lending to people unless their credit scores were extremely high or require some form of collateral. This would harm the least credit worthy, as defined by their FICO score, members of our society by forcing them to use other methods to get access to cash, such as loan sharks.

My reference to people being upset was due to the second sentence of your article, I interpreted the tone as it was immoral for an investor to expect someone to pay their debts.

By the way, thank you for this and the many other articles your share on Neatorama. It’s always a pleasure to learn something new about the world or see something I’m familiar with in a different light.
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Bully for Occupy Wall Street but I'm not sure why people are upset that banks and financial traders expect debtors to pay back their loans with interest. When you get a loan, you agree to the terms listed by that institution, which include interest. If that institution transfers ownership of the debt, it doesn't absolve you of the debt or the interest, and you now owe the investor who bought your debt. So long as they use legal methods, they are not doing anything wrong by asking you to repay that debt.
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Profile for Jelchs

  • Member Since 2012/08/04



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