So, in a stunning demonstration of lack of reading comprehension, some rando left me a comment on one of the posts this week. It had a million (highly insane) links, give or take, so of course, it wasn’t approved. Besides, I think it was a first comment, so it was pending anyway.

In the post I mentioned I don’t think it will be as bad here as it will be in Europe. In the context it was obvious what I meant is that I don’t (at this point. More idiotic lockdowns or whatever these crazy people come up with next) envision us having actual starvation in the US.

The reasons for this are obvious: look, we are a continent-wide nation and also have some of the most productive farms in the world. In fact we can feed ourselves and most of the world. The fact that international trade has stalled and international charity is difficult in the middle of the aristo-imposed covidiocy doesn’t affect our food supply.  Food distribution might be something else, but Americans are actually contrary to various rumors the most generous people on Earth. Also, the most adaptable.

Most of us have been making arrangements to ensure we don’t starve (we really don’t expect much of government) and those who haven’t will probably still be taken care of.

Anyway, the first shock of this comment was the fact this person was disputing that America was better off (in the matter of feeding everyone) than Europe, because “no one accepts American bonds as collateral, not even for overnight loans.”

Uh, besides the fact that I know this is bullshit (yes, okay, our monetary system is jacked up. So is most of the world right now. And we lost less to covidiocy than… oh, Germany) because if it weren’t — if the world really stopped keeping dollars as world-currency — we’d already have collapsed completely as far as monetary value, the idea that he was disputing food or lack thereof with monetary system was almost awe-inspiring stupidity.

He then went on to reassure me even the poorest EU countries had access to cheap loans.  What? Are these people such complete nincompoops and children that they don’t understand the concept of “things money can’t buy”?  As in, if there isn’t enough food to go around, I don’t care what you’re offering for food. There isn’t any to buy.

Apparently the AOC school of economics now not only thinks you can print money indefinitely without affecting the value of money, but that money itself is food.  Government is like onto the Lord himself, able to pour Mana down onto them. In fact no one needs to toil. Things will just rain down on them.

Which probably would still have gotten approved (I know how much you guys love chewtoys) except for the very last paragraph about how he/she/it had a friend being taken care of by some sort of socialist national health boondoggle who “would have died inn the US, since she’s unemployed and doesn’t have insurance.”

I’m sick and tired of this article of faith on the part of various Europeans. We keep telling them it has happened to no one EVER in the US. In fact, most of our ICU beds etc. are taken up by people who not only can’t pay, but who aren’t even citizens or even legal residents of this country. In fact, a great part of why healthcare is so expensive in the US is that we treat anyone who crawls over the border, no matter what medieval diseases they’re carrying.

At one time, when my then nom the blog (took her out in the woods, shot her in the head. She was threatening to take over. Never name a thing) was on some site, I think Free Republic, we discovered that a bunch of Europeans commenting believed this, and we started yannking their legs.  I think we were all the way up to “live in a cardboard box, in the middle of the highway, drink a cup of cold poison, polish the dirt” before they started SUSPECTING we were pulling their legs.

It’s not their only bit of insanity, mind you.  A good number of them — despite the fact that their own mental health policy has saddled them with the same issue — believe our homeless are homeless because there are no jobs, and no charity organization will look after them. Instead of mentally ill people who resist or are refused treatment, criminals, and people with substance abuse problems. (Or some overlap of all three.)

And we won’t even get into the fact they believe our crime is much, much worse than theirs.  For that I blame Hollywood, mostly, because I remember believing the same. it was still a surreal experience to sit in a Portuguese shop whose windows had medieval-thickness iron bars, in a country where even nice houses in good areas have bars on windows and tall walls, and have the shopkeeper tell me — back then living in Colorado Springs, downtown, and often forgetting to lock my car or my front door, and more than once accidentally leaving my purse in the car for a couple of days, with no untoward incident — that America seemed like a lovely country, but she didn’t want to live with that much crime.

But those at least are not part of government propaganda. The health care thing is. I’ve caught programs while I’m visiting about how bad healthcare is in the US and how, without nationalized health, they’d be left to die, like in America.

Now, I have been watching Foyle’s war, and the last season they crawl up an ideological hole and die there.  The first episode is about how much NHS was needed, and how people were just left to die if they didn’t have money, and–

I have no idea. England right after the war was a strange place, and I can’t say I’m proficient.  Maybe it was true.

But I know what they say about the US and all my hackles rose.  Besides, I know that in Portugal in the 60s for those not covered by Universal health (long story) healthcare was expensive as heck. My parents often say that they could have built another house, twice as large, for the money they spent taking care of my various ailments and pulling me through childhood. I believe them, though most of the “being rushed to the hospital to be given oxygen” was before the age of 6 and therefore fuzzy.  However my parents who were more or less broke, were never turned away at the hospital (save that I was denied incubator space, which honestly I think it’s because I could have messed their statistics.)

I know they sometimes went into debt, and paid it off, but were never turned away.

So I have serious doubts about the heartlessness of pre NHS British hospitals. I mean, it’s possible, the past being another country and all, but at this point I’m not even sure we could find out if it was true. Because all sources have pretty much been corrupted.

But still, you might ask why a program in the 20tens (I don’t remember the exact time) needs to harp on how much NHS was needed, how bad things were before.  And why the continuous barrage of “if you were in the US you’d be dead,” even though it’s not in any way shape or form true. AND why they feel the need to come to OUR blogs and tell us that, as though, you know, if we were dropping like flies we wouldn’t know it?

The answer is simple, and what I shouted at the TV “at last pre-NHS no one actively prevented you getting treatment, if you could get the money.”

I.e. the more their system circles the drain, the more they feel the need to invent “how bad it was before stories.”

But our reasons to oppose a universal payer system are very simple. Besides the obvious throttling of innovation, besides all other issues, there is ALWAYS the main problem (which has infected some of the US system since Obamacare.)

If you’re not paying your own way, you’re not an asset, you’re a liability.

I.e. in the US if you come in even without money, if you agree to pay for treatment, you’re an asset. Eventually, you’ll pay (over three years, completely broke us paid 20k for first son’s delivery bill.) They will do what they can to take care of you because, ultimately, you’re taking care of them. The doctors are not slaves. They’re being paid for their work. It might be delayed, but they’re being paid.

OTOH when you are part of an universal system, you become “one more liability.”  “Sure we can save this person with marginal health, but they’ll just get sick again and cost us more money. I say we put them in the (what was it?) Liverpool (?) pathway. Humane death for them, no more trouble for us.”

Now for those idiots who want free housing, free college, free everything: the same inexorable logic applies to all of it.

When you are reliant on society to provide everything you need, you’re a liability to society.  You are going to be evaluated in terms of what you cost versus what you can give.

Imagine that, if you will.  How much can you give back in terms of creating houses or degrees or whatever for others, as you age?  And if you’re just receiving from everyone, why should they give you the best/keep you around?

Honestly, it’s easier to believe that tasty, tasty Euros will feed the Europeans through the winter ahead than to believe that society is going to love you and look after you in every possible way through a useless (or merely expensive) lifetime.

The reason socialism/communism always kills, either slow (no births, euthanasia, etc) or fast (the mass graves of communist dictatorships) is that in the end humans become ciphers in an endless accounting book.

And beyond those who love us and whom we love, all of are, after all, a lot less trouble and expense when dead.

So the all caring state ultimately makes sure each of its subjects gets to the grave fast enough not to cost too much.

And that is what the “free shit” brigade here and in Europe should think about.
Not that they will, since they don’t know history. And thus, as Heinlein pointed out, have neither past nor future.

417 thoughts on “Liabilities

  1. I wrote a post here about the “Exorbitant Privilege” that the dollar as reserve currency gives the US. This person knows nothing about money.

    Europeans are often clueless. I remember one of my cousins giving me BS about how the EEC as was Had kept the peace in Europe since the war. I countered that V Corps US Army probably had more to do with it than the EEC.

    1. Europeans are often clueless.

      I learned a few weeks ago that European countries do not have free trade within their own borders (and I don’t mean in the sense of regulation of the market not being free trade).

      So yes; the average European pretty much has to be a drooling idiot who would compare unfavorably to the worst inbred hillbillies this country ever produced.

      1. The average European is misinformed & maleducated – as are many Americans. That’s curable, unlike idiocy. Underestimating people can be risky…

        1. I don’t underestimate them, I take advantage of their credulity. I’m a banker after all. 😉

      2. As Clarissa Dickson Wright once said. There are 66 words in the Lord’s Prayer and 3065 words in the EU regulation on the importation of duck eggs.

        Poor Europe, they’ve lost their way. I can only hope that we don’t completely follow.

            1. Bureaucrats gonna bureaucrat. Regulations is what they do. It’s not funny though. There’s a thing in India called the “Permit Raj” Everything needs a permit and only the bureaucrat can give it to you. Indians as much as possible do it illegally since it’s impossible to do it legally. It’s not often mentioned but the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal had more to do with the permit raj making things impossible as anything else.

                1. The late (sadness) Jerry Pournelle’s “Iron Law of Bureaucracy”: In any bureaucratic organization there are two kinds of individuals, those dedicated to the goals of the organization and those dedicated to the organization itself. The Iron Law states that eventually the second kind will end up taking charge, writing the procedures, and controlling promotions within the organization.

                  I have argued here and there that for all its flaws the old “spoils system” by sweeping from top to bottom “reset” the progress toward the Iron Law’s final state thus making the established professional bureaucracy we have now worse.

                  1. I knew a lot of the first type of bureaucrat when I worked for the Army Materiel Command. We al, got very, very frustrated.

                  2. *pondering*

                    The US system might actually hack that, some. Because the organization is the goal, for a lot of it– yeah, it can be corrupted, but most of what it’s corrupted with is illegal, dysfunctional, or both.

                    But with the American system, you do keep getting influxes of idealistic new blood that are dedicated to the over-all System, which is also the original goal of the organization, rather than “local system power” which is usually what it’s been corrupted to. (Sometimes very, very local. Like, single person….)

                    That’s usually what a situation is when folks try to insist that “everybody does it”– not everybody does, not even most people do, but they want to escape criticism. So even when the Left attacks a republican for something sex related, it’s usually on the grounds of being a hypocrite (even if they never said anything about it), rather than what they actually did.

                  3. This is why there should be term limits for government employees (10 years, military and possibly law enforcement exempt) and all changes to the CFR require the approval of both houses of Congress.

                  4. The spoils system also made the performance of any agency accountable to the political leadership — their continuing in their jobs depended on their patron’s reelection, their patron’s reelection depended on their doing their jobs well.

                    Yes, the system had its flaws and was subject to abuse. Now, let’s discuss Ms Lerner, Mr. Comey, Ms Page and Mr. Strozk.

                2. Yes, I’ve noted this a time or two in the comments over at Ace’s blog in response to other comments. I’ve also compared our own beauracracy with that of Imperial China’s, and the reputation of the latter to more or less continue doing its own thing regardless of who was actually sitting on the throne.

              1. P. J. O’Rourke wrote somewhere about a permit desk manned by three persons. The desk was at the head of a huge clamorous mob, and the Bureaucrats were “doing nothing, and that slowly.”

                1. Meh. When you are swamped it becomes difficult to believe that improving your processing speed will improve your situation: it just means you will work harder and get no further ahead. The problem remains that you are bailing water with a teacup while it is pouring in by the gallon.

                  What that situation obviously calls for is a Permit Desk to apply for a permit. This desk (arbitrarily preliminarily set for ten clerks, two supervisors and a manager, to be adjusted once workload is properly assessed) will provide invaluable pre-screening services, determining who is eligible fr a permit and what type of permit is appropriate. Each applicant’s request for a permit form would be carefully reviewed and all errors and omissions addressed to avoid creating delays at the Permit Desk.

                  All costs for this to be covered by modest permit application fees, of course.

                  If this fails to eliminate the problem it could prove necessary to establish a bureau to vet requests for applications for permits, but we remain confident that, in time and provided sufficient funding, the backlog at the Permit Desk can be alleviated.

                  1. Fast forward 10 years and the Permit Application Desk is inundated to the point that management is bringing in a consultant to evaluate the workflow and recommend improvements (a desk to screen applications to apply for a permit) while the Permit Desk is where the short-timers and incompetent workers are transferred since nothing happens there and it’s impossible to screw up.

                    Government agencies aren’t uniquely susceptible to bureausclerosis, but the private sector can shed the companies where it has advanced to the terminal stage, something the public sector is loath to do.

                1. Is there a summary? Don’;t feel like sitting through ANY TV shows anymore.
                  It’s NOT just web-induced impatience. It’s the FREEDOM from TV for over a decade now.
                  Hell, I don’t even watch the stuff Amazon Prime says I can have for the taking.
                  When I go to places with TV, I realize just how good a decision I made in 2009 to bail on the whole damned lot.

                  1. I just wanted to link to that one bit where they showed the “plan,” but I couldn’t find a clip for just that so I used a timestamp. I probably should have mentioned that.

                    You don’t need to know anything about the rest of the episode to get the joke, but if you care the episode is called “Apocalypse Not.” Here’s the summary from Infogalactic:

                    “While everyone in the city goes underground for a disaster preparedness drill, an oblivious Duckman thinks he’s the last man alive and wreaks havoc — until he finds a beautiful, deaf gymnast and falls for her. The trapped city folk, meanwhile, begin to turn on each other during their attempted escape back to the surface.”

                    1. The WordPress video-embedding system makes timestamps disappear, unfortunately. So it’s necessary to mention them below the youtube URL if you want people to start the video at a certain point.

              1. If one really wants to drive the bureaucratic drones crazy, put “feed the poor”.

            1. Animal welfare, actually.


              While the story is great for grabbing attention, it’s not that extreme of a requirement for the animal welfare folks to say “you use animals in your business, what are your plans to deal with them if there’s a hurricane headed to town?”

              I don’t think a federal agency should be involved in animal welfare, though, except for where it touches on what boils down to “stupid stuff in state A can’t hurt folks in state B,” basically disease and pest stuff. I’d error on the side of all food animals that can get USDA certified*.


              Once you decide that there is a federal role in general animal welfare…..

              * I think I’ve ranted before that I want FDA/USDA/etc certifications to be optional for things that don’t hit other people. 99% of places will require it anyways, but it guts the power from folks like the “let’s save the horses by outlawing killing them– gosh, why are there horses being dumped? We’ll track the owners down! Wait, why are their MAIMED horses being dumped?!?” Head=> desk.

              1. Agree completely, especially regarding animal welfare.
                Another place OSHA, EPA, and USDA all get in the act is pesticide usage. Now an applicator or a farmer has to have a binder full of rules and regs specifying what percentage strength, when, where, and how any and all materials are applied to the crop (or livestock) in question. They can be required to submit in triplicate, reiterating the safety measures put in place for their employees, up to and including the wearing of suits and respirators that could stand in as MOPP gear, exactly when they are going to start the application and are not allowed to deviate from that time by more then 30 min. IF (when) there is any wind of more than 5 mph, they must stop application immediately and have to do the whole rigamarole again. Contrast this with the average homeowner that is out on a nice breezy day spraying an herbicide on the weeds in the cracks in his driveway, soaking the weeds to make them die faster, wearing shorts, sandals, and using the sprayer with his bare hands.
                It makes me tear my hair out.

                1. Don’t do that; you have a finite amount of hair and the government has an infinite supply of stupidity.

              2. Or like my favorite U.S. Senator from my state, (NOT!) Al Franken: ‘Let’s outlaw the slaughter of horses for food!’ Followed about a year later by, ‘Let’s outlaw the shipment of horses to Canada to be slaughtered for food!’ Followed by an increase in the shipments of horses to Canada certified to be slaughtered strictly to be turned into horse hides and glue.

        1. I have two reactions to stuff about number of words in regulations:

          More words mean that there’s more variables to nail down. That’s one.

          The second is: “how much do people try to rip the spirit to shreds while following the letter” is a variable, both in preventing it and gaming the regulations in order to commit it.

        2. I remember a picture showing the Icelandic constitution, the American one (with amendments and the Declaration thrown in) and the EU one on a table. The size difference explained everything.

          1. The US constitution also starts We the People. The EU: His Majesty the King of the Belgians The table of contents of the EU constitution is as long as the entire US constitution and the full document, in English, is 484 pages long.

            My copy of the Justinian’s Corpus Juris Civilis, which was the whole of the Roman Law, is not far off from that and even with modern commentary came in at only 800. All of Blackstone, which lays out the whole of the common law, is about the same.

            Wordy laws and regulations benefit the bureaucrats who write them and the people who can afford lawyers to find holes in them. Everyone else is exposed to arbitrary enforcement. Chapter 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations, it covers banking, takes up 18 inches of shelf space on quarto paper with 10 point type. We’re I to include the interpretations, I could fill a room.

            1. The bureaucratic mindset is to try to completely cover every possibility. Generally, to every rule, someone says, ” it what if–?” and the agency modifies the rule. This happens over and over, until the rule is so complex it can’t be enforced.

      3. Especially when you consider the strong possibility that the ‘dumb hillbilly’ stereotype was created by the government during the depression to justify pulling hillbilly families into town where their children could be indoctrinated.

        It sounds,weird, but I ran into the assertion in the Washington City Paper, a source not know for criticizing the progressive Left State. They were writing, in specific, about the government burning out the hillbillies who lived in what is now the Skyline Drive,Park.

        1. Actually quite a bit before the Depression. In the late teens, the National Park Service suggested to Congress a national park in the Appalachians, closer to the bulk f the average American family than the western parks, and Congress jumped on it. The idea was that a state would volunteer to provide the land, probably by buying out some timberlands (mostly logged over) to avoid eminent domain and what not. The government of Virginia volunteered, but one of their senators had a beautiful but populated ridgeline in mind for what became Shenandoah National Park. A lot of small farmers, some tenant farmers, eked out a living up there, and they were convinced to support Skyline Drive because it would increase their access to markets, not knowing the state government was going to force them out and turn over their land to the Feds. After that all got approved, then the social scientists and newsmen moved in to create a stereotype to help justify their eviction. The story’s actually well-told at the park’s website and their physical museum, along with the other big blot on the park’s history, which involved a decade-long foot-dragging regarding living up to “equal” in “separate but equal.”

          1. Ah, I had forgotten those details. I find it interesting that the ‘dumb hillbilly’ stereotype persists, but in parallel with another stereotype of “hillbilly so unsophisticated that he’s damned hard to fool”.

          2. Hans Schantz’s book “The Hidden Truth” tells that story in passing. One of the protagonist’s many motivations is that his grandfather was forcibly moved off his ancestral farm and out of the soon-to-be-park, without any real compensation. And was moved again, off his newly built farm, out of the Oak Ridge area to make way for the Manhattan Project, again with no real compensation. And the second move broke him.

            Don’t want to drop a link because I’m not certain of the rules on promotion here, but it’s available on Kindle. It’s a good read, very “Human Wave”. The protagonist is a high school student, and IMHO it’s a great YA story.

            1. I checked the FAQ, there’s nothing listed.

              General rule is don’t be a jerk– since it’s not even your book, pretty sure the standard if-there’s-an-amazon-affiliate-code-make-sure-it’s-for-this-blog rule of thumb would apply, especially since you don’t do it often.

              I know I link (fangirl over) a lot of stuff that I think people will like, and I don’t remember any complaints…..

        2. The overall treatment of Appalachia’s Scots-Irish settlers is replete with such invidious stereotyping., much of which is o display via CSPAN’s “Reel America” series, preserving and presenting newsreel and official government-produced “documentaries” depicting the “benefits” of government programs.

          Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

          1. WTF??? That should be a three minute documentary on the TVA.

            Try this “documentary” on the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps.

          2. Ah-ha! That was pulled from one of YouTube’s lists of programs, a series of Reel America propaganda films.

            This is the correct link. Note the contrasting “Before and After” images of the “simple mountain folk” before electricity and the smartly dressed, well-coiffed sophisticates after receiving the bounty bestowed by the TVA.

            1. There’s not much difference between a treadle-powered sewing machine and an electric, unless you’re going to be using it for hours on end. A sewing machine just doesn’t need that much power.

              On the other hand (well, both of them) I can tell you that milking a cow without automation purely sucks. Takes forever, and your arms are dead from the elbows down before she’s finally empty. If you did that every day, for a few dozen cows, you’d wind up with Popeye arms and a grip that could crush a bowling ball. Still not worth it. Milking cows WITH machines sucked more than bad enough for me.

              1. It seems to me I have read about several Major League baseball pitchers who’ve turned the grip & forearm strength developed milking cows in Latin American boyhoods into multiple-million dollar careers, so for some folk it is worth it.

                Although I ‘spect many would claim there’s other, better ways to build that strength.

              2. Milking one or two cows by hand isn’t all that bad once you’ve built up a bit of arm strength (Gibson farm). And a lot cheaper than the cot of acquiring and maintaining ‘automatic’ milking equipment. As you say, though, when it runs into the dozens of animals (like our neighbors the Lofgrens), automatic is the only way to fly (and helping made Bob some pocket money in the long ago). Also, in regard to the stove thing, The other Lofgrens (Elmer & Ida, retired, not Carl and Mary the dairy farmers, apparently not relations) always cooked on a wood stove. For their 50th wedding anniversary, the kids bought them a propane stove for convenience. Once the propane ran out, that stove became a convenient pot & pan rack. Propane costs money, dontcha know, and the fuel for the woodstove was located in the treeline at the back of the farm (helping with which was another source of pocket money for Bob).

  2. EMTALA was enacted in 1986, under that utterly diabolical Republican Reagan, which required all emergency treatment to be offered regardless of ability to pay. For three and a half decades now if you go the the ER with an actual emergency you will be treated, regardless of if you have insurance, or any money.

    Gollygeewillerackers, we are a miserable, horrible country. /s

    1. Been there. Done that. Took 7 years or so to pay off (Gastroenteritis) “Can you pay $150 and we get the doctor in here immediately, or do we need to take 15 more minutes for a social worker to fill paperwork out with you?” I had the $150, and even paid for my own prescriptions.
      The Doc’s bill was separate and he got paid first.
      The rest of the bill took the time and consolidation to get paid off.

    2. Actually, if you go the the ER with anything, you will be treated. Including poison ivy, insect bites, diaper rashes – all of which I see regularly in the ER. The unintended consequences of EMTALA were that people who didn’t pay, just use the ER as a clinic. Most people, when they say they lack access to healthcare, mean they lack access to FREE healthcare, without understanding that TANSTAAFL applies to healthcare too.

      1. When I took the Accounting For Non-Profits and Government Agencies course I was gob-smacked at the practices employed in Health Care accounting. Instead of tracking the costs associated with “free” health care provided and writing it off in an orderly manner they are required to pretend there are NO such costs. Instead they “determine” costs by estimating a) the amount of costs associated with a specific area then b) dividing that into what they expect to be able to collect from those services. This essentially means that if they expect a service to generate costs of, say, $1 million and to only get paid by half the beneficiaries, they assign charges at twice the per capita level.

        Naturally, some disparity between what they expect services to cost and what they actually collect will occur. Multiply this by all of the various services possible in a hospital (staffing, testing, cleaning, maintenance, training, pharmaceuticals, administration, equipment, processing, insurance discounts, etc. and you begin to understand not only why medical bills get so complicated and opaque but why people undergoing identical procedures can face quite different bills.

        1. Accounting For Non-Profits and Government Agencies

          Government Agencies –

          Then you’d love

          California, Washington, Oregon, and Federal Auditors did. Difference of spending a day or two, or a week …

          When I retired, they were expanding into the Reservation System, and last few years, additional states. Prior owner didn’t like to fly which limited the company expansion. New manager & new owners don’t have that limitation.

      2. The latest thing hospitals are doing is putting in a Doc-in-the-box care clinic basically as the front door to the ED, so the sniffles and VD and other minor ailments get diverted off into the not-bleeding-out clinic, while the actual emergent patients get waved on through.

        One of those good ideas that make you go “doh!” When you see it implemented so successfully.

        1. There is a question of how legal that is. EMTALA says you have to have a full evaluation and stabilized before you can be sent out of the ER. Many ERs are reluctant to open themselves up to legal challenge. So they put in Fast Tracks, for the people that don’t need ERs, which encourages them to come in, since it’s easy.

  3. I’m an English NHS patient. According to the idiots you’ve been hearing I died when I had prostate cancer in m6 60s because I wasn’t worth the expense of treatment. Oh wait – I’m 80 on Sunday this week so there’s something wrong with their logic. Since my 60s I’ve had a major heart attack with my heart stopping twice, and an emergency operation a month ago, I think I must still be alive.

    1. Congratulations on having a Social Credit Score high enough. Not everyone makes the cut.

        1. And Alfie Evans had the lobbying and financial support of Everton FC, one of the oldest and most respected (but sadly horribly mediocre these days) top tier English football clubs trying to help get treatment approved by the NHS.

          It should be noted that this kind of government decision making is already occurring in the US with regard to the CCP Virus, as several states, including IIRC Pennsylvania, are now prioritizing treatment for hospitalized patients based not on greatest medical need but based on whether one belongs to a “historically oppressed” group; i.e. treatment decisions are following the oppression Olympics model of “who is most oppressed”

          Government run healthcare would take this ideological poison and impose it nationally for all medical care, not just the CCP Virus. This of course is an intended result for the Democrats pushing for such national government run healthcare.

    2. My youngest son was born on the NHS. They do certain things very well, particularly infant wellness care. They do that better than the US does. I did have private insurance though so if anything non routine happened I could get that handled. Also, we lived in Sussex and had done well in the post code lottery.

      On the other hand, my aunt broke her leg on a Saturday and had to wait until the Monday for the specialist to come to work.

      The problem with the NHS isn’t the treatment you get it’s the time you have to wait to get it, especially if you live in the North.

      I recently had an MRI, I waited two weeks for an appointment since they had them in my local clinic. How many MRI machines has the UK? Around six per million. Turkey has more than that. Ireland has 15 and the US has 38.

      As for the rationing by “worth”. That they’re talking about it in the NHS is fact. That that psychopath Zeke Emmanuel is talking about it for the US is also fact. That that’s exactly what happened in NYC nursing homes Is not yet fact but well founded supposition. it’s the bureaucrats creed. If you can come up with a gameable rationing system, the bureaucrat’s power increases.

      I’m glad you’ve made it. I have aunts in Britain in their 80’s and they’re very happy with the level of care. The doctors and nurses are as good there as anywhere but the NHS being world class is a myth.

      1. They do certain things very well, particularly infant wellness care.

        I…question that. When I was stationed in England (early 80’s) I saw a doctor being interviewed on one of the BBC channels. The subject was SIDS (as it was called then). The doctor was claiming that it was caused by maternal neglect if not outright abuse (what some would call Manchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy). This “theory” was decades out of date and yet was current in the British NHS.

        1. Wellness care has almost nothing to do with doctors. Our experience was excellent. The nurses come to your house and there’s regular follow ups.

          Dentistry now, shudder. We always came back to the US since the only options there were drill or pull.

        2. Sadly, ‘decades out of date but still locally current’ is a HUMAN problem, not an NHS problem. The top medical minds concluded that the Jihad against salt was misguided more than a decade ago. Maybe two. I still run into it.

          Not that NHS is wonderful. I feel that everything I need to know about NHS is summed up by the fact that Giles, who was a lifelong Socialist, was already mocking its shortcomings in the mid 1950’s.

      2. Yeah. We routinely find Portugal uses meds with significant issues that have been retired in the US since the fifties. But they’re cheap.
        What people forget is that most other countries got socialized medicine as the SCIENCE took a leap: insulin, anti-biotics, lots of basic things were suddenly available, cheap and made people better.
        If it had continued that way and we had star-trek level care, NHS might work. IT’s minimal work, cheap materials, and bam you’re better.
        BUT that’s not the real world.

        1. They also got socialized medicine because their own countries were not paying the cost of it; essentially their healthcare systems are heavily subsidized by us here in the USA, because the enormous costs of developing new drugs and medical equipment is born by US patients and taxpayers, as the companies that develop drugs and equipment must hike the prices they charge in the US to cover the losses imposed by the below cost prices that government run health systems in Europe require them to accept.

          It is not only NATO where countries like Germany and France have been stiffing the USA for decades.

      3. Um… I think your MRI numbers are missing zeroes. Every mid-sized US city has several hospitals with MRI machines, and there is a guy who is starting an MRI off-site franchise business. My mom had two MRIs (maybe three?) within the last year, and my dad had one.

        1. They are not sure how many MRI machines we have. Between 7000 and 10,000.

          Every year, there are almost 40 million MRI scans performed in the US. Very common test. They keep the machines in hospitals running all night.

          1. Per million of population. I thought I had made that clear. The US has 6 times as many MRI per capita as the UK and ireland has more than twice as many. I’m a paddy so I made sure to include Ireland.

          2. *gleefully* Oh, it’s even better, not only do we have over 25 per million folks, but that probably doesn’t include the ones that are in freaking simi-trucks so they can do office visits!

            Definitely doesn’t include the ones in vet offices, either.

            Had one of the truck-based ones that is for humans go past a few weeks ago, nearly went off the road doing a double take. So COOL!

              1. And an MRI machine is an MRI machine. They don’t care what you run through ’em, or what they’re ‘supposed’ to be used for.

                1. I wouldn’t recommend trying to run an elephant through a human MRI, though.

                  Trust. Me.

        2. I live roughly an hour away from the Texas Medical Center, which has a considerable number of MRI machines, and there are standalone diagnostic centers within two or three miles of my house. In fact, I wound up taking my son to the TMC for his last couple of MRI’s because they wanted functional MRI’s and they don’t really do that anywhere locally except the TMC.

          For my MRI, I walked into a local strip-center place.

      4. Of course, in some circumstances it doesn’t matter how good the quality of the healthcare is if the wait time to access it is longer than you have.

    3. To be blunt, “I survived” is a poor, indeed fallacious, argument. The plural of anecdote is not data (and certainly the singular is not). What you’re engaging in is “Survivorship bias” where one points to the ones that survived to “prove” that something is okay but the ones that don’t survive aren’t there to point to.

      A classic example is a study of damage to aircraft in World War Two. Folk would look at returning planes and see where most of the hits were to figure out where to best armor the aircraft. Someone however realized that the places to armor were those with no bullet holes. Those areas were as likely to be hit by gunfire as any place else only planes hit there didn’t come back.

      You survived? Great for you. (No sarcasm.) Doesn’t mean that the system is good. There’s a reason I referenced Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard.

      1. Alfie Evans, I know about. Charlie Gard… I’m going to wait until later to search for info about, because it’s late in this timezone and I’m about to go to bed, but if I search for info now I’m pretty sure the Red Curtain of Rage is going to descend. And if I let the RCR descend, I won’t fall asleep until 3:00 AM. Been there, done that before. (Which is also why I’m not letting myself think *too* hard about the Alfie Evans case right now).

        Oh, and about Alfie Evans… this illustrates another difference between America and the UK. Because the NHS bureaucrat who refused to permit Alfie from being flown to Italy for experimental treatment that might, maybe, have saved his life… never for one second feared for his own life in the process. Whereas here in America, if someone is condemning your kid to death by denying you the chance to even try to save their life, never mind that the chance of saving their life is small, to at least try… Well, let’s just say that there are a lot of Americans who would act in such circumstances. Different people would have different boundaries on what sorts of actions they would consider, but for many Americans, the “shoot, shovel and shut up” option would not necessarily be ruled out if their kid’s life was at stake.

        1. > NHS bureaucrat who refused to permit Alfie from being flown to Italy for

          “Denied a citizen of an EU member the right to travel to another EU country.”

          Doesn’t matter what reason they used.

        1. Tons of the children of the poor are killed int he womb, and that too is a consequence of Socialism. I’m in favor of legal abortion (within limits, as with most things) but the political Pro-Choice movement is looking more and more like a eugenics project, and that bother me.

          1. Of course it looks like a eugenics project, because that’s what Margaret Sanger was going for. Planned Parenthood just this summer decided to “cancel” her during the BLM antics, as if they just found this out.

            1. I think they’re afraid that their behavior in the Kermit Gosnell case (said behavior being pretty appalling) will show them for what they really are; a bloated tick fastened to the Urban Poor.

              Come to that, I’m waiting for more Gosnell style abattoirs to be uncovered. The ‘we can do no wrong, anyone who opposes us is deranged’ attitude of the Pro-Choice lobby strikes me as making that a near certainty. They really should have made a big show of cleaning house when Gosnell’s little Grand Guignol got exposed.

          2. Compare and contrast the behavior of abortion supporters (e.g., Planned Parenthood workers, as seen in the Project Veritas undercover videos) with the behavior of abortion opponents (e.g., the March for Life people). Based purely on their behavior, which group seems more likely to be holding the moral high ground?

            This exercise works for other causes too. For example, compare and contrast the behavior of the Tea Party movement (who left their rally locations cleaner after they left than when they arrived) to the behavior of the Occupy Wall Street movement (I know OWS isn’t currently active in a big way, but neither is the Tea Party movement, and I’m trying to pick contemporaneous examples). Based purely on their behavior, which one do you think was morally right?

            Jesus said, “By their fruits you will know them.” He was specifically referring to teachers, and how you could judge whether a teacher was good (morally, that is) by whether the people they taught turned into good people. But the principle works on other things too, such as political movements. Abortion is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being, which is evil — so it’s no surprise that its supporters, by and large, display evil behaviors. Not all of them are evil, don’t get me wrong: many of them have been deceived into thinking they’re supporting something good. But there are enough truly evil people among them that the movement as a whole displays evil behaviors.

            1. It’s not so much Evil behavior (though there’s plenty of that) as it is entitled behavior, as opposed to responsible behavior. We’ve seen it before, in Prohibition. The leaders of the Anti-Saloon League KNEW they were in the right, and so were caught off guard when one of their number said that industrial alcohol should be poisoned because the people drinking it deserved to die…and it went over badly.

              The Left has been telling themselves lies about how popular various Protests of the ‘60’s (and later) were, and they KNOW they are on the side of Right…so they don’t consider how unpopular riots are going to make them. Planned Parenthood KNOWS that killing lots of poor brown fetuses is The Right Thing, and so keeping a ghoul like Gosnell operating was more important than following the Law or even basic decency. And they said so. And now they are appalled that it doesn’t play in Peoria.

              The Tea Party, the Second Amendment activists, and the anti-lockdown protesters, OTOH, understand that being Righteous Isn’t enough; you have to get along with the neighbors. Indeed, it’s your responsibility to do so, in so far as they will let you.

              The Fascist Left wants to Rule, feels ENTITLED to Rule, and considers those who disagree with them The Enemy. So they act like barbarians.

              1. It’s not so much Evil behavior (though there’s plenty of that) as it is entitled behavior, as opposed to responsible behavior.

                The specific lie of abortion is that the procreative act has no relation to procreation.

                That you are entitled to no child that you do not will to have, even if you acted to create them.

                Of course they act entitled.

    4. Also, keep in mind that the size of the United States is unusual.

      If the CIA world fact book is trustworthy, US is number 3 in population size, at 330 million. First sorta European country is Russia, at 9 and 140 million. Germany, France and the UK are around 20 and sixty to eighty million. You may have zero idea how much difference that scale makes in inherent bureaucratic dysfunction at the Federal/national level.

      Physical size also matters. The US is around ten billion square kilometers. Germany, UK, and France are all fractions of a billion square kilometers.

      The Mexican border area also has interesting stats where healthcare is concerned.

      Beyond that, you are apparently still lucid, and possibly could contact and pay for legal representation.

      Sarah didn’t really cover the psychological experience of the bureaucrat. Everything is good while there is enough funding for all the services. The bureaucrat may initially think that this can continue forever. However, the more decisions are made under large scale national bureaucracies, the more they lack information due to distance from the problems. If enough of the economy is administered by national bureaucracy, or large scale corporations protected by regulatory barriers to entry, the money for national bureaucracies will run out. What happens then when you are a national health bureaucrat in that event? Well, your physically healthy, but mentally ill and unable to care for themselves types are a really attractive target for savings.

      In absence of socialism, every person is a net worth producer, when aggregated. Because government per unit costs are not fixed, and someone is funding the transactions that get people fed. If it is not the extremely young and the extremely old, what business is that of yours?

      When the government starts paying for individual services, as a taxpayer I have an interest in costs. Giving /me/ a stake in the affairs of very many people is not a good idea. The information I have about them is very little, and I have a tendency to be depressed/realistic enough to doubt my own cost-effectiveness. For example, I think the intellectual basis of the US Education major is on an unsound foundation. My preferred remedy goes between simply getting government out of the business of funding primary and secondary education and additionally executing the Education majors depending on my mood. (Which tends to vary depending with whether I think that the primary and secondary school teachers have all signed on to excusing the pedophiles or not.)

      I look at the number of drug addicts wandering around in the US, causing trouble, and conclude killing them all is the single most attractive reason to want a Federal bureaucracy that can choose medical services for every American individual. If there was no Federal government funding for medical services at all, there would still be private charities and local jurisdictions putting in the effort to keep the scum alive.

      1. Up here say at Sault St. Marie you see Canadian plates in clinic and hospital parking lots.
        Even Jon Stewart quipped “If the USA goes with Canadian style Healthcare, where will we Candians go for better healthcare?” I knew a girl in Cornwall who changed jobs in part due to the new place offering to pay for private health services instead of relying on the NHS. She was also celebrating they did dental as well. She had just had some work done and paid out of pocket because “I need to fix the tooth while I still have it.” instead of going to an NHS dentist.

        1. Every time I’ve gone to Niagara Falls or to visit my son at Niagara University I’ve noted the billboards advertising MRI and other imaging services on a walk in basis targeted at Canadians- going so far as to say they accept Canadian currency. Never seen signs on the other side of the border advertising any health services to Americans. But yet, most Canadians think they have better healthcare…

          1. I got flabbergasted once when a Canuckistani mentioned he had to pay some fee or other to get his treatment or appointment, because while he was in college he wasn’t working, so they charged him. I still don’t get how it worked but it sounded very bean counters taking over instead of actual healthcare.
            Still not sure what was up or if he was out of character and yanking a leg or two.

      2. To give myself a perspective I’m familiar with when reading books set in the UK I discovered that the state of MN is roughly the same size in area, slightly longer but narrower. London to Liverpool is ~178 miles and London to Glasgow is ~345 miles. By comparison, Minneapolis to Duluth is ~137 miles, and Minneapolis to Fargo is ~234 miles. In other words, it’s a day trip.

        1. “How big is Germany/Wisconsin?” “About the size, roughly, of Wisconsin/Germany.”

          Or: I can drive 12+ hours…. and go from the middle of of very southern MN, to SD, up through ND, and after 12+ hours… I get to Winnipeg – if the weather is good. OR.. I can go from SOUTHERN MN to Huntsville, AL… that’s a good 16+ hour drive – best NOT done in one shot (guess how I know).

          1. Phil Hanson (former NFL player for Buffalo Bills and NDSU graduate) was going to drive out to Missoula for a game around the time NDSU announced it’s move to D-I from D-II. After finding out it’s 816 miles he decided to fly instead. “That’s almost as far as going to Buffalo (916 miles).”

            1. I usually crossed Texas at the Panhandle. Texas seemed a lot smaller when most of the trip was through Oklahoma… and Oklahoma wasn’t infected with insane sideways red lights and strange traffic laws like Texas.

            2. The American West is a vast expanse of open land. You need to budget several days to drive across, even if you’re not visiting any attractions on the way. When we drove to Spokane in 2015, we had three intermediate stops on the way out, and four on the way back (mostly because we were leaving Spokane immediately after loading out, and only going to Missoula, rather than staying an additional night in the expensive but crappy Spokane hotel and leaving in the morning)

              1. From Des Moines to either San Diego or Seattle is (very roughly) 24 hours of driving, assuming no traffic, no construction, and no stops.

                More realistically, four days if you have kids, less than 600 miles to the tank, or someone with a bladder below titanium.

                1. The cats and I take three days to drive from Bremerton to Colorado Springs. If I’m TDY to San Diego for Thanksgiving we’ll do the drive in…three days.

                    1. I’d like to. I’m flying out this year, racing a snowstorm from Laramie wasn’t my idea of a good time, so I’ll have to see what my transportation situation looks like.

                  1. I used to make the Little Rock to Colorado Springs run fairly regularly. 1,060 miles on the odometer, LR->Amarillo->Raton->Springs. Usually took around 18 hours nonstop, though I got a motel room in Amarillo most of the time when I was on the bike.

                    That would take me from London, clipping Belgium and Holland, all the way across Germany, and somewhere in Poland near the border to Ukraine. And that would be about a third of the way across the mainland United States, depending on the route.

              2. Cannonball runs are totally a credible counter argument. For sure. 🙂

          2. Arrive in Texas at El Paso, leave at Texarkana. That my friends is one LONG drive.
            When I was a child Tempe Arizona to Atlanta, Texas to Pikeville, Kentucky every other year to visit relatives.
            Mom’s were in Atlanta and Dad’s in Pikeville. Drove straight through them switching off and sleeping while the other drove. Only way we could afford it.

            1. I know that El Paso to Port Arthur (Louisiana) is about 800 miles because the mile marker signs on I-10 near where I live are in the 740’s. That’s about as far as I drove home from Iowa to Columbus (OH) in graduate school. About half the time I did it in one shot because I knew I had a bed waiting for me no matter when I got there. The other half, I chose to be normal. Or rather, I stopped in Normal, Illinois.

              One of these days I’d like to drive the Alaska Highway. I hear it’s pretty up there.

              1. Parts of it are *very* pretty. I didn’t drive it, but I flew it, (well, *mostly following it, the birds were IFR (I Follow roads) certified. twice (once each way) by helicopter. Just watch out for the resort between Tok and Delta Junction where they’ll send out kids on ATVs to shut down the highway for a bit so the incoming (or outgoing) small plane can land (or take off).

                1. I would prefer to fly it, myself, but right now my finances won’t permit. I’m hoping to dig myself out of the hole I find myself in, so maybe one day we’ll see.

          3. I’ve been doing Atlanta to State College, PA in one day this summer (and back, obviously).

            It takes about 12 hours with one gas stop and usually 2-3 rest room breaks. I’m okay after, but I suspect it is close to the limit. The last hour or so starts to wear on me.

            1. 15 h 6 min (1024.7 mi) via I-5 S*, one trip (Corvallis, OR to Lemon Grove, CA), 18 h 59 min (1141.9 mi) via I-5 S, US-395 S (Longview, WA to Lemon Grove, CA)

              Hubby did the first regularly when in college. We did it once (well from Bend) for our honeymoon (free housing at SIL, we were in college or I was anyway). Latter we retried the Honeymoon trip. Hubby believed in driving straight through stopping for gas, and pit stops, only; plus we hit LA on I-5, at the wrong time, adding at least 2 hours to the trip. Guess which new bride got sick because of the drive … Every single time he tries trips that long, for 42 years (almost) from the first trip, it still happens. The last time we went that far south, we flew to LA (from Eugene), Disney, then took a day trip to San Diego to meet SIL & her kids (Zoo & Shamu/SeaWorld). No way was I driving that far with a 4 year old. Now our long trips, even from Eugene to Yellowstone, or Eugene, to Banff via US Glacier NP, are broken up into multiple days. That is the “Too” portion. Drives home are suppose to be, but if we hit the Oregon border without stopping for the night, we ain’t stopping until we get home (like a horse headed to the barn). It is a long way across Oregon to home, from any of the borders, some worse than others. Note, I do little of the driving. If the trailer is involved, I do none of the driving.

              1. I love that drive!

                …yes, it was a VERY tough drive, we did one two-day death drive from Seattle-blob to Coronado where I actually had Elf drive for a few hours*, but man I miss it…..

                * vehicle wasn’t made for him, but I was passing out.

                1. I almost drove I5 completely a couple of times. But my first time was all by my lone self. Audio books were my friend and I took three days to do it. If I were completionist, I suppose I ought to have added a loop to each of the borders, but I didn’t really see the point. 🙂

                  1. I live in the middle of Indiana.
                    My youngest son goes to camp every summer in the Minnesota boundary waters.
                    850 miles one way.
                    We used to drive him and pick him up two weeks later.
                    The drive to Minnesota was done in one day (starting at 6:00 AM and arriving at around 10:00 PM).
                    The drive back? Always two days.
                    Driving through Wisconsin is very long (8 hours) and VERY dull.

                2. Last summer we drove Eugene to Kalispell (overnight), next day over Highway to the Sun Glaciar NP, then on to Banff. When we went home to goal was Jasper, to just east of Vancouver, cross the border, & stop for the night. Complete drive home to Eugene down I-5. Then we realized that we’d starting north of Seattle, on Monday morning … nope. We were on the road 19 hours!!!! Two hours of it was 30 miles on the last stretch of Hwy 1 west, & crossing the border Sunday night. Even the dog was exhausted and all she had to do was sleep, keep an nose on me, & beg for stops. I got to drive through Seattle, granted 9 PM Sunday night, no tie ups. Keeping track of which lane I needed to be in to stay south on I-5 was nerve racking. I mean, in Eugene, where I learned to drive, it is Left or Right Lane. Not 3rd from left, now move one lane to right, now move two lanes to left, now take this exit, stay in left lane …. wait what I’m on I-5, what’s this exit C***? Lasted till the rest area just north of Kelso, south of the Tuttle River I-5; 3 hours driving. Only driving I did the entire trip. We did not take the truck/trailer this trip. I. Can. Not. Tolerate. Long. Extended. Drives.

                1. Kinda figured, but was a bit surprised to be so far off. Perhaps it was that when I learned the analogy it might have been less inaccurate for the comparison of Wisconsin and West Germany, but I can see that still having some non-trivial error.

              1. I mean, seriously, New York State is half the size of the entire combined UK, including North Ireland. I know New York is really big for a state, back east, but jeeze!

                1. I know New York is really big for a state, back east, but jeeze!

                  Annnnnddddd, NY state is small for a US state, compared to anything not in the NE corner. No comparison to the states west of the Mississippi, or down south.

                  What’s the saying. In Europe a 200 miles is a long way, crossing into another country (usually). United States 200 miles won’t get you out of most states, let alone out of the country. Europe 200 years is a blink in the history of the country. United States 200 years is most of our history.

                  I know there is a quote that is more brief. But don’t know it off the top.

                    1. One of my friends is an anthropologist studying the mutation of a particular Mexican folk tale. Maybe the variations on this sort of saying to be the basis of a good PhD thesis for somebody.

              1. Oooh, but it would be cool to do a (state) is (#% or #times) the size of (name origin location).

                So (New York) is 520 times the size of York County, England.

          4. At one point in my career, I was driving from Chicago to Dallas or Dallas to Chicago on a semi-regular basis, maybe once a year. 14 and a half hours according to Google Maps. Usually did it in two days: leave around 10 AM to not get caught in rush hour first day, find a motel somewhere south of St Louis. Two days of 8-9 hours of driving including stops for gas, etc.

            One year I did it in a single day. Woke up at 5:00 AM and couldn’t fall back asleep, said, “Hey, the car’s already packed, might as well start now, that way I dodge rush hour.” By the time I was starting to hit the outskirts of the DFW metro area, it was only 8:00 PM or so, so I called up my Dallas-area friend and said, “Hey, you know how I was going to crash at your place tomorrow? Would your spare room be open tonight?” It was, so I saved the motel stop that time — but on further consideration, would NOT want to do that again.

            Then two years ago, we did a big massive “visit everyone we know in the US in six months” trip, with a four-month-old (at start of trip) baby in the car with us. Drove no more than four hours each day, with I think ONE single day where we had a 6-hour drive. Generally we would start out at 10 AM, with the baby falling asleep in the car after nursing. Baby wakes up, usually about noon, stop to nurse him and find a fast-food place*. After lunch when we set out again it would be about 2 PM: drive another two hours while baby naps, nurse him when he wakes up around 4 PM, and then drive the last few miles to our next friend’s house (usually by this point it was 20-30 minutes) while baby is still willing to sit still in the car seat. Usually this worked out and by the time he wanted to be held and was crying, we were pretty much there and could get him out. But no way am I ever going to do that 14 hours of driving in a single day again: by the time the kids are grown and out of the house, my wife and I will be too old to want to do that. (Plus, now we have friends who live right on the Chicago-Dallas route, that we would absolutely HAVE to stop and spend the night with.)

            * We like Moe’s when we’re in the northeast, PDQ when we’re in the southeast (new discovery for us this trip), Culver’s in the midwest, and Chik-Fil-A almost anywhere, though I have to admit PDQ has them beat on taste. And I developed a taste for Taco Bell’s bean burritos back when I was a poor college student.

              1. It’s a fast-food chain that mostly does chicken: chicken tenders, sandwiches, and so on. The name apparently stands for “People Devoted to Quality”:

                A quick Google Maps search suggests that they have locations in NC, SC and FL, but no other states that I could see. But they’ve only been around since 2009 and Google Maps found me 33 locations (and there’s probably more since GMaps stops showing locations past a certain number). So they’re doing quite well and expanding, so perhaps they might come to Tennessee at some point. I can certainly vouch for their food being delicious.

                1. There used to be PDQ’s in Texas, at least around Houston. I can recall locations in Houston and The Woodlands. However, the PDQ Web site knows nothing about them, so they may have closed permanently.

              2. PDQ Bach is a little known 18th Century composer, and widely regarded as the black sheep of the Bach family.

      3. On the size thing –

        The Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area in Southern California – composed of four counties, iirc – is almost as big as the entire country of Hungary.

        1. The Cincinnati metropolitan area is about five times larger than Luxembourg, and with about three times the population, or about one quarter of Denmark in size.

          1. And a lot of our urban areas include an astonishing amount of open country. Last year, we drove up to Milwaukee via Chicago, and we went through huge areas of undeveloped land in Waukegan. Back in the 1980’s when my dad was working for the USDA Soil Conservation Service office in Joliet, he was dealing with farmers in southern Cook County, sometimes in bits and patches of unincorporated land, but often part of one or another of the south suburbs.

    5. The flip side to that is that, in general, the people who don’t make it aren’t generally here to talk about it. So, ultimately you have to look at patterns and statistics to get a gauge on things.

      And then there are things like this:
      where you can directly trace cause and effect, and the direct impacts of mandating specialties by bureaucracy…

    6. Classic, I love the arguments of this nature, (my FIL uses these all the time, “I did not see any protests the last time I was in Minneapolis, it’s perfectly safe to vacation there.”). I am happy you have had good coverage under NHS, but that is not always the case. It is well documented (if you will look for the studies) that at the end of the budget year discretionary treatments are delayed do to the annual budget being expended for those categories already. Take some time and look at big picture, not just your personal anecdotal evidence.

  4. It’s weird how small the world has gotten so small because of the Internet and technology, but because of political spin, lies, petty power grabs, and BS, people still know so little about what is actually happening in their OWN countries, let alone in other countries. What people believe has as much to do with what flavor of (political, religious, personal) Koolaid they are drinking as it does with reality. Note, this means everyone, me included. Even being aware of the problem only helps a little, because information from any source is always tainted by the person who gathered that information whether they intend to or not.

    We can only do our best to try to understand.

  5. There is of course another contributing factor, human nature.
    In their fictional perfect socialist/communist society everyone has equal access to their most abundant resources: food, medicine, education, and so on. Yet in every such society ever formed some people still seek power. Now part of that is simply that a certain type of individual has a burning need to control others, but it also stems from the natural desire to protect your own. With a position of power you can ensure that your family, your close associates, and those you might want to curry favor with get first dibs on those plentiful resources. And again with human nature, the nicest stuff goes first, and even in the best of times stuff runs out before desire to possess it does. Humans are driven not only by needs but by wants, and the two often have little to do with each other.

    1. The system exists to *do* things. The main power of a bureaucrat is to direct the system *not* to do things.

    2. MiG Pilot by Viktor Belenko, but really any story from a member of a communist discovering America, tends to have a section(s) dealing with abundance of materials and services in the US available to everyone. Sometimes you can see them working out the disparities between favored groups in supposedly equal communist regime and realizing that everyone really isn’t treated equally. All animals are equal, some are more equal than others.

      1. One of my favorite books, and I’ve referenced it several times here.

        Lieutenant Belenko took a degree in aerospace engineering, a wife and two kids, and is still around at age 73. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is not…

        A common thread, not all, but probably at least half of the Soviets who defected to the West, wasn’t ideology or religion, it was because some apparatchik shat on them one last time and broke the camel’s back.

      2. Interestingly enough, the author of Inside the Aquarium state showed the mirror negative of that. His bosses in the GRE told them that a lot of the defectors would commit suicide or turn themselves aback over when they discovers that *everyone* in the US had a nice car and the pool in their back yard, and that having those didn’t mean you were big and powerful and were able to lord it over others.

        Of course, he ended up defecting after the GRE required him to betray one to many friends and he just couldn’t live with it any more….

            1. No, that would be a Grue. Gru is the main character in the ‘Despicable Me’ movies.

              1. Now I want to put a scene into a text-adventure game where you’ve been shrunk to the size of a grape, and have somehow gotten into a fridge to hide from the villain. Fridge door closes, light goes out, warning message prints: “It is very dark here. You are likely to be eaten by a Gru.” If player doesn’t manage to get out of the fridge within a few turns, describe fridge door opening, bald-headed man with long nose reaching in for a snack (without looking at what he’s grabbing), groping around, almost grabbing the player. Then if the player *still* doesn’t manage to get out even when the fridge door was open for a couple of turns, hand grabs the player, lifts to large mouth… “You have suffered a Grusome fate. Do you wish to UNDO the last turn, RESTART, or RESTORE a saved game?”

                1. >> “You have suffered a Grusome fate”

                  Hey, guess what kind of fish I found while hiding in that fridge! *thwack*

        1. Do we have any data other than the word of someone who has an incentive to talk about bad outcomes stemming from defecting to support that hypothesis? I’d like to know what the truth is.

      3. I visited the USSR in 1981 for a Baylor in Russia class.
        Stores that only accepted hard currency, no Rubles were accepted. Mountains of stuff, filled to the brim.
        Russian stores – Sometime almost empty with bare shelves. Some products but not much. But they took Rubles.
        Old joke Russian gets in line asks person in front what line is for. Then decides if he stays.
        In Moscow – People buying Red Boots behind a table on the Second floor, no store, of the Gum Department Store (Really a mall) You paid at one end of the table one of clerks got a box of Red Boots from the stack behind the table and handed it to the buyer. The Buyers would then hold the boots strongly to their chest so nobody could take them, and the Buyers would wander around trying to trade for the size that they needed. No thought was given to the size when the clerks got the boots and gave them to the buyers. They had bought a pair of Red Boots and that was what they were given. I just turned away in silence.

        A butcher shop had some smoked sausage (that was all they had) I got in line to buy some and got an education. Once I got to the counter and could actually see the sausage I asked for a kilo. I was surprised when the clerk didn’t get a kilo for me but wrote on a paper gave it to me and told me to go and pay. I stood in another line to pay and after that I was given another paper and told to see the other clerk. I got in another line. The clerk was slow and took his time after all what were WE going to do leave. I finally got to the counter and gave the clerk my paper. She got some sausage out of the cooler, weighed out a kilo and gave it to me. I didn’t really get to see the sausage she was wrapping. These were all lines of 20 people or more and this took time. None of the clerks were rushed all took their time. They were there until the sausage ran out.
        The sausage I got was something like the sausage I saw but not the same. Nobody said a word about it, it just was how it is. So So sausage shared with some others.
        Once Russians saw western TV shows the USSR was doomed.

    3. The problem with communism/socialism is that there is still work that needs to be done, and only a small percentage of people who will do that work without prompting of some form. When the number of freeloaders overwhelms a system, someone who can get them to do things becomes popular, and in those systems, that’s a really big power vacuum. And that’s when the Strong Man steps in.

      (Also note that a really good example of how “freeloading” does not have to include money is “group projects.” Use that example and even most indoctrinated types say “oh yeah…”)

    4. That isn’t limited to socialist/communist arguments though.

      Take healthcare. I do get annoyed when people say centralized government systems ration, but ours doesn’t.

      All systems “ration”, that is allocate resources based on some criteria. The US’s criteria is:
      1. Have a job which produces enough economic value to support pre-paid healthcare under certain conditions.
      2. Have a lot of cash.
      3. Be a preferred client of the government (covers Medicare and gov’t employees and kinda, sorta Medicaid).

      #1 and part of #2 (gov’t employees mostly) are why single payer is a hard sell. Those who aren’t any of those 3 will improve, #2 never gets hurt, but people in #1 and #3 know the resources needed to give 100% of the population care at level X will come from their current Y > X level of care. Because it is tied to a job either directly (#1 and gov’t employess part of #3) or indirectly (a lifetime of payroll taxes for the rest of #3) people see taking resources for their care to give to others as theft.

      Not without reason.

      I am willing to respect that other cultures might consider different values than some rough measure of economic activity in the current or past are the right ones to allocate. Hell, I’d prefer ours was much more directly tied to economics, ie that evil free market. I think there is object evidence it is more efficient.

      However, I will accept that some people value things more than efficiency even if that means less access for all.

      1. The important thing about rationing according to ability to pay is that it tends, in the long term, to brig down prices for everybody.

        Do not make me have to write a wall o’text explaining that.

      2. I know “ration” gets used to mean “is not unlimited,” but it’s supposed to be about assigning a share, rather than describing a natural division of a supply. Two different ways to deal with supply not meeting demand.

        #2 is not correct– we definitely didn’t have a lot of cash when Princess got here, by c-section. Had private insurance but it only lowered the percentage.

        Because the medical care was required for the two of us to survive, even if they’d known we’d walk out the door and vanish, we’d have been treated. Know that, because the nurses were very excited– I was the first baby they’d had in the nursery wing that wasn’t going to do a maternity version of chew’n’screw.

        In November.

  6. Frankly, my family left Europe as refugees just looking for a job. Some arrived in the 1700s, some in the 1800s, and the rest in the 1900s. Europe was never a place of compassion for poor people. It isn’t now.

    America, on the other hand, offered a bit of freedom from aristocratic land owners who held serfs in bondage to increase their wealth.

    Those who dislike America can just get their tailfeathers together and get out.

    1. Every time the usual useful idiots start claiming that socialist countries like Venezuela and Cuba are wonderful and that Cuban healthcare is far better than ours, I always ask, “if that were true, how come tens of thousands of people risk their lives to flee Cuba in makeshift boats and rafts to come to the USA, but no-one is trying to do the same to flee the USA to go to Cuba”.

      1. “if that were true, how come tens of thousands of people risk their lives to flee Cuba in makeshift boats and rafts to come to the USA, but no-one is trying to do the same to flee the USA to go to Cuba”.

        How many of the “If Trump wins we’re moving to *Canada*, wherever” tantrum throwers, moved out of the US, anywhere?

        *Canada* – granted a number of them found out that Canada didn’t want them. Some, Canada didn’t want them back, which I thought rather rude of Canada, but can’t blame them.

  7. The reasons for this are obvious: look, we are a continent-wide nation and also have some of the most productive farms in the world.

    I’ll simply note that the US exports more food than the next two nations (and about a third of the next one down) combined.

    When the shortages hit, it’s the exports that will take it in the chops first. If not, if our own people are going to be starved so that we can continue to make exports, then lampposts will soon be festooned with new decorations. That’s a prediction, not a threat.

    1. During the Cold War the Soviet Union’s agricultural planning was so efficient they had to import wheat and other staples from… the USA.

      Probably very few Soviets ever knew,, but we we made a point of mentioning it to other nations…

      1. When I move to Louisiana in ’84, a knew a few people who worked the grain elevators. a LOT of it went to the CCCP. the next biggest was African relief, then to other places.

        1. An awful lot of US wheat went to USSR from port of Houston. During some breakdown in relations freight cars full of wheat just sat there eventually ptoviding Houston with several generations of really big rats.

      2. Probably very few Soviets ever knew,, but we we made a point of mentioning it to other nations…

        Mentioning it to other nations … Heck yes. It was shout from the roof top, printed it, whatever to get the word out, that the USSR couldn’t feed it’s people without wheat from the US. That the US was so rich in food resources it could afford to give their enemy means to build up their own people, for a price. I’m sure BBC America broadcast it.

  8. I’d say lets give the “free stuff” brigade exactly what they want, good and hard.
    You want free housing?
    OK, here you go, you get a 10×10 space, a shower/toilet combo (like RVs have,) and a bed. You get a mini-fridge, a 1 burner stove, and that’s it.
    Free food? Sure, you get the equivalent of the food bars from “Last Centurion” and water.
    Free healthcare? Sure thing, presuming the Dr decides to come in to work for free today.
    Free education / college? Same thing as the healthcare, by the way, class materials are not included or provided.

    Oh, that’s not what you wanted, you thought you’d be getting a nice 2000sqft house, a car, and a *QUALITY* education?

    Well, there’s places hiring but you’re going to have to start in the trenches.

      1. Well, I was trying to avoid a comparison with a prison, but my thought process on this was to build the “housing” in the style of a prison, just the inmate can open their door and the doors to the outside at will.

          1. I can already hear the comparisons to a certain regime from the 1940s…

            Hmm. Go “prison-style” building, skip the in-room shower-toilet and kitchen. The benefit being, you can go up rather than out like barracks would need (yes, I’m mentally picturing old-school one floor barracks,) so you get a nice density of population.

            MegaCity One? You want to be one of the do-nothings, fine, here’s a lovely giant building that short of a nuke you won’t be able to damage, here’s your 10×10 living space, have a nice day. Also, seeing as you feel the PD are horrific butchers along with everyone else in this building, the PD stop right outside the main entry.
            Oh, that much nicer looking building over there, the one we use the inside for the pictures in the brochures? Yeah, they like the PD, report anyone committing a crime and such, so the PD have patrols inside 24×7, it’s a nice place.

            1. Documentary footage of joyous workers celebrating the pleasures of free housing in the People’s Republic of Soviet Russia, circa 1940.

              Or something like that.

      2. Actually communal bathrooms and what they have dubbed “micro-living spaces” are exactly what the left wants to mandate in the name of “saving the Earth”; they are touting apartment buildings that are literally small rooms stacked one on top of the other, but with much less tech than the basically closet sized units in The Fifth Element:

        Of course the nomenklature that runs their green new hell will have palaces.

        1. There’s a time and place for tiny rooms, such as hotels in airports where travellers with a four-hour layover might not want to shell out $200 for a full-fledged hotel room, but would gladly shell out $30-50 for a tiny little room with a cot and a door that locks. I’m constantly surprised that nobody’s doing those in international airports that get a lot of people who’ve just come off an overnight flight across the Pacific. I’d love to have something like that available sometimes.

          But as for living in such a tiny space, day in and day out, NO thank you!

    1. > You want free housing? OK, here you go,

      Actually, I would not be entirely opposed to some such system. Barracks, common mess and toilets, 3000 calories a day, cable TV and one-size-fits-none coveralls. Times got hard and you need a net? Out of town and too cheap for a motel? Spousal abuse? You want to drop out of society and vegetate? No problem, just show up. We don’t even need your name. Don’t cause any trouble, and you can stay forever if you want.

      Not Hilton accomodations, but a fair portion of our military lives like that.

      It would be cheaper than the current Welfare system by at least an order of magnitude.

      1. I’ve always thought this would be sensible. A level beyond which you could not fall. Food, clothing, shelter, healthcare. Nutritionally sound, but not good. Usable clothes, that look like sacks. Barracks housing with showers and toilets. Charity hospitals. Any citizen can access it if they like, no means testing.
        If you want to go get government eggs, or an outfit to garden in, fine. Anything else, go get it if you want it. And that’s it for “welfare”. There is always charity, and the American people are very charitable.

        1. You’ve essentially described the council house estates in the UK/Ireland. Along with the dole, child benefit, and the NHS.

        2. “A level beyond which you could not fall.”

          Frankly, I’ve been poor. This sounds to me like an excellent idea. I would add basic Internet, either in the individual apartments, or (more likely) in an Internet café sort of place. Have a place for down-on-their-luck people can go and live, that gives them an address, and some stability. That’s the important thing. Many years ago I had a friend who became homeless. Just one thing after another and he found himself sleeping on the roof of the apartment building his mother lived in. 1) Yes, his situation was largely his own damn fault. 2) No, his mother wouldn’t take him in, and I couldn’t blame her (actually it was mostly because her lesbian lover wouldn’t allow it… but there were plenty of reasons besides that, so still no blame from me.) Once he dried out, woke up, and realized what a shirt storm he’d made of things, he was stuck. He couldn’t get a job without an address and a phone, and he couldn’t afford an address, let alone a phone (cell phones weren’t really a thing back then… at least not if you weren’t well-off) without a paycheck coming in. Yea, me and a couple other friends ended up rescuing him and getting him back on his feet, but not everyone has friends like us. A place like we’re talking about would provide that address, and people use the internet for everything these days, so that would give someone down on their luck a way to get a job and get back on their feet..

          1. A place like we’re talking about would provide that address …

            And any potential employer would glance at that address and say, “Oh, you live there. Thanks for applying.”

            Still better than the alternatives, however, and some potential employers would glance at the address and think, “This person is reallllly motivated to work hard and get out of that [rat]hole. I’ll try him.”

      2. Such a setup would require a lot of expensive security to prevent thugs from taking advantage. Otherwise it’s just a smaller crab bucket.

        Nobody has so little that some asshole doesn’t want to take it.

        1. Limerick, Ireland the third largest city in the republic, was essentially held for ransom for a period of years by four brothers. Search on Wayne Dundon, Southhill, and Moyross. Yes, that is the Angela’s Ashes town and don’t get me started on that except to say his mother always had money for cigarettes but not enough to feed her kids.

          if you ever go to Ireland, stay away from any place named after Irish patriots.

      3. The problem is still the one that we have today – namely, what do you do with those who are homeless because of mental illness or addiction?

        1. If you are not blinded by ideology, you place them in care, and watch the caregivers to prevent abuses. On addicts, you change the law so that somebody with an addiction can get reasonably pure drugs, at a fair market price, and don’t label them Felons (effectively ruining any chance they might have to climb out of their hole) unless they actually harm someone.

          1. Given that the problem with most addicts is that they harm others so that they can continue to feed their addiction, I’m not really sure that your idea about not designating them as felons will help all that much.

            1. The thought would be to eliminate the pressure to harm others by making the drug of choice either free or very cheap. Sort of assisted slow suicide.

            2. Theodore Dalrymple observed that most of the drug addicts were already settled on a lifestyle revolving about harming others long before they started to take drugs.

    2. The angering thing is not that they will be mad if everyone gets that. They will be mad that they get that. In fact, they’re are more than happy to give you that and tell you to shut up and be grateful.

      But for people who think they are Inner Party members (when most are Outer Party), what the proletariat gets is unacceptable. Most will be bought off by the Outer Party rations, though.

  9. Americans are actually contrary to various rumors the most generous people on Earth

    Americans tend to give with a whole heart. They tend to balk at being forced. People tend to confuse the latter with an unwillingness to do the former.

    1. The US tends to actually deliver what they promise. There always seems to be competitive pledging in the wake of a disaster with the European states pledging masses of aid that never seems to show up. the Clinton foundation must have learned from the French.

      Also, like hospitals, only governmental aid is ever mentioned. Americans are very, very charitable. The Europeans, not so much.

      It’s all so much BS. If you really want to screw with a European, ask him what country has the highest proportion of tax paid by “the rich” and which one has the lowest portion paid by “the poor”. Then ask him why the richest country in Europe would only be a median US state based on per capital income.

      The luckiest thing in my life is my mother getting on PanAm and coming to America where she met my father. I know, I know, but still, being born in America is winning the life lottery. After that it’s up to you what you do with the proceeds.

      1. I recall the aftermath of the Indonesian Tsunami. Much was made of the paucity of the pledges made by the American Government…until some wiseacre pointed out – loudly – that private American citizens had donated more money than all the governments in the world had pledged.

        Cue crickets chirping as that story goes down the memory hole.

          1. The first thing an aircraft carrier does when they go to a disaster zone? Water desalinization. Apparently they have a massive capability to do that, far in excess of their own needs, precisely so they have that available for disaster relief.

            1. They also tend to supply emergency power. the Nukes are very good at generating while parked.
              They also have very well set up hospitals.

            2. They have to produce a lot of distilled water to do air ops. I wasn’t surface nukes, but I knew some. They will all tell you that catapults are hell on steam demand (and really screw up water chemistry…you’re constantly adjusting).

            3. Hundreds of thousands of gallons per day. Most of that is needed to feed the steam plant, but if they aren’t launching planes (and cut back on the showers) they can supply a heck of a lot of drinking water. I believe it was the Boxing Day tsunami response where I saw the picture of the manifold running down the flight deck so they could fill water bottles and put them right in the helos.

          2. You know, I heard that the Indian Navy and the Australian Navy was there, too. Of course, only the USA has those really cool nuclear aircraft carriers, but there was a lot of work to do.

        1. And the money showed up. KofC poured masses of money into Haiti and the US troops were everywhere. The rest of the money seems never to have shown up.

          This issue infuriates me.

              1. The UN has two functions these days; 1) enrich the UN bureaucrats and 2) provide cover and support for those who wish to enact another genocide of Jews.

                1. You forgot: 3) Support the Tranzis* and prop up their failed socialist economies by looting the still partially-capitalist economies that haven’t failed yet. Not do anything to FIX the failed socialist economies, just prop them up.
                  *Trans-National Socialists. Fascists, in all but name.

        2. Nobody knows how many people actually died in that tsunami. A whole lot more than the official numbers. But- most of the dead, in words from the movie Falling Down were “Not Economically Viable”. Their birth was never recorded by any government functionary, nor was their life, nor death. They were born, existed, and died, without affecting the world at large. When the World Trade Center was taken down by MUSLIM terrorists, the entire world economy contracted. From wikipedia, 2793 people died. Tsunami deaths? Official total about 227,898. Didn’t even cause a blip in the world economy.

          1. “When the World Trade Center was taken down by MUSLIM terrorists, the entire world economy contracted.” I submit that the operative part of that sentence may be “terrorists” rather than “World Trade Center”. Let’s say for a minute that the WTC towers had been destroyed by a tragic accident, say a fire breaking out in both towers due to someone’s negligence with flammable chemical storage (why flammable chemicals would be stored in the WTC towers, I don’t know, but just go with it for now) which then softened the steel beams enough to cause a collapse, rather than by a deliberate terrorist attack. Our nation’s response would have been very different. For one thing, we would not have shut down flights for weeks, causing all kinds of economic disruption (airlines were the first industry to suffer massive 9/11-related losses, I believe). For another, we would not have gone to war against Afghanistan with all of the damage that a war does to a country’s economy. (Those who think a war helps the economy are suffering from the broken window fallacy.) The dot-com bubble would probably have burst anyway — I remember wondering in 1999 how long the dot-com bubble was going to last — but bubbles bursting tend to start with a triggering event, so it’s possible that the bubble would have lasted another year or two before finding a different triggering event.

            But my point is that the fact that this was a deliberate terrorist attack caused America to have very different reactions than what we would have done if it was a natural disaster, or even an accident due to someone’s negligence. And those reactions, I submit, were the primary drivers of the economic contraction in America (which then caused the economic contraction elsewhere: “If America sneezes, the world catches a cold.”)

            1. To be more specific, the bursting of the dot-com bubble is what caused the worldwide economic contraction, and the dot-com bubble burst in 2001 because of America’s reactions to the terrorist attacks, not because the nearly 3,000 victims were particularly rich. Had 9/11 not happened, the dot-com bubble would still have burst, maybe in 2002 or 2003, and there would have been an economic contraction anyway.

            2. ugh… i can bring in someone who can tell you how the dotcom bubble burst happened before 9/11… in fact, he may be reading anyway and just rarely comments…

      2. the Queensryche song Empire has a section deriding US federal spending priorities.

        In fiscal year 1986 to ’87, local, state and federal governments spent a combined total of 16.6 billion dollars on law enforcement. Federal law enforcement expenditures ranked last in absolute dollars and accounted for only 6% of all federal spending. By way of comparison, the federal government spent 24 million more on space exploration, and 43 times more on national defense and international relations, than law enforcement

        Even as a dumbarse teenager still full of leftist ideas it was immediately obvious to me that this was nothing more than propaganda. The states and even moreso the local entitites are in charge of most law enforcement, not the feds. And two of the actual things the Constitution says the feds are supposed to do is national defense and international relations.

        1. The US spends about as much on education as it does on the military, the difference is that the military spending is all federal, so a reporter only has to look in one place. Most of the education spending is state and local so reporting on that would require effort and a dedication to the truth.

        2. Three Fe(de)ral crimes specified in the Constitution: Treason, Piracy, & Counterfeiting. Also offenses against the ‘Laws of War’ for those in miitary service, but that doesn’t hold against the general population.

    2. The pastor just spoke about something similar this weekend. One of the Baptist churches he attended had a very strict ‘no fundraising’ policy regarding the church and associated organizations/events. This caused much anxiety to the choir leader who wanted the choir members to all have matching robes when attending events but was stymied from raising money. The loudest, most adamant church elder against fundraising was also the first to pull her aside and donated the largest amount of money to the cause of getting the choir robes.

    3. Likewise, Americans cheerfully cooperate. We just resent being bossed about by overlords. And as with generosity vs being forced to give, people tend to confuse the latter with an unwillingness to do the former.

      1. Why call the gov’t and wait for them to come and maybe not do it right or well when you can do it, right here, right now, and correctly.

      2. It’s a matter of boundaries.

        Folks who feel entitled to your stuff don’t tend to have a very good grasp on what you really can spare, after all.

  10. Might be a good time to check credit. Bank informed Thur that thy responded to a hard credit check from the US small bus admin. Sssms we applied for a loan–we didn’t. Took this long wading thru cronavirus messages to finally reach human at the gov. They inform there has recently been (another) humongous data breech but they don’t yet know where. With the virus hoopla they are going nuts.

    1. Between the Office of Personnel Management and Equifax breaches, there can’t be much left for the script kiddies and PLA Unit 61398.

    2. Happened back in April. Unless you had applied the breech shouldn’t have anything to do with you.

      1. According to the gov THIS breech happened last week. Got them pulling employees back to work from virus absentee and have involved OIG. They appear to be in turmoil right now. Swamped with calls, took us days to reach them ad the cedit bureaus the same

        1. Did they tell you where it is? Full disclosure, my interest is professional and I haven’t heard about this.

          1. What is driving them bonkers is that they don’t know where. Just suddenly up to their eyeballs in complaints indicative of a really big breech. Appears somebody applied for SBA loan using wife’s credit and there a lot more were that came from

            1. Thank you. As I said, my interest is professional and I’ve begun to enquirer. This was very useful for me to know.

              1. If it’s not a breach of professional ethics, can you let us know what you find? And what (if anything) ordinary mortals need to know or do about it?

                1. I will if I can. it might be in the press before I get to it. Where I work is rather sclerotic.

                2. I can tell you in any case what you can do. Watch your credit bureau report and know your rights. There are subscription services or, if you’ve been part of a breach, the firm will pay for access. Do it. The best ones will send you a message when there’s activity on your bureau or you can look at it from time to time. If you’d didn’t do the action reported, call the bank. If they give you the run around complain to CFPB or OCC or your local bank regulator. If you’re a small business, there’s a small business bureau. Do the same thing. Make sure the bank fixes the credit bureau.

                  Always read your statement and understand the difference in liability between a credit card and a debit card. I never use a debit card.

                  At least once a year check to see if any liens have been put on your property and challenge them if they’re not right.

                  As TRX notes, all your data has been leaked by someone and you have to look after yourself. The only thing I would quibble with him about is calling the OPM thing a breach. They gave the Chinese consulting firm root access to the database. They didn’t breach it, they just took what they were given.

                  1. Just the score services aren’t enough. The first sign of a breach is usually an Inquiry and your score probably won’t change much. A bunch of inquiries might change it but one not so much.

  11. I have no idea. England right after the war was a strange place, and I can’t say I’m proficient.

    Die in the streets? That I don’t know. I do know a huge reason the NHS was able to get passed was many Brits saw a doctor for the first time in their lives upon being drafted into the army during the war. They were demobilized and were about to lose the only medical care they had known.

    That was never the general case in the US. That difference alone explains how the UK got government controlled medical care and we mostly didn’t.

    1. And them along came antibiotics (discovered in the UK, mass production methods discovered in the US) and that plus the NHS did miracles. To be honest, I’d give a lot of credit to antibiotics and individual physicians rather than a new bureaucracy.

      1. I’m not assigning credit for the change in UK health outcomes, just the social factors leading to the NHS that the US lacked, mainly government, via the military, being the first and only place a vast part of the population saw a doctor.

        I can see how that would imprint hard on a culture and give the NHS sainted status.

    2. The Great Influenza wasn’t just in the USA. The Brits got hammered worse than we did per capita, and they’d had proportionally higher losses during the war, and all those troops were coming home – it took years, for some of them – bringing the newest, nastiest bugs shithole countries had to offer. Add poor sanitation, borderline malnutrition, and shortages of things like coal for heating, and the light at the end of the tunnel wasn’t the rosy dawn.

      They National Health made good sense; the potential savings in lost labor would be much greater than the cost of the system. And in fact it did work out that way, spectacularly so.

      But you have to remember that “healthcare” consisted of open wards, X-rays, sulfa drugs, the new “penicillin” stuff, and some fairly simple surgical procedures. That was the technology of the 1940s, and it was cheap.

      Then came the inevitable bureaucratic bloat, and then new and expensive commercial medicine. And then it all got complicated… and the NHS *can’t* cut its bureaucratic overhead, so it’s left with cutting costs or limiting service. And when Parliament *does* give them more money, most of it vanishes into the pockets of those who decide how that money is spent.

      It’s not the NHS per se, it’s just how organizations work.

      see also: American public schools and NASA

      1. Forgot to bridge between the example of WWI and looking at something similar happening after WWII; I need caffeine.

        1. Of course as terrible as major wars are they in general are responsible for major advances in weapon technology, medical treatments (trauma in particular), and generally the economies of the winners ( as war production morphs to consumer goods.

      2. Like I said, I wasn’t discussing outcomes or anything, just the cultural reason that, to my understanding, lead to the NHS.

        1. Your point is solid, and dovetails with another; the British (and Europeans in general), were conditioned to accept Edicts From On High. They might grumble about it, but it was The Way Things Are. The Elites, OTOH, were anxious that any grumbling did not ferment into concrete action….such as Revolution or mass immigration.

          Americans were, by and large, descended from people who had had enough of Edicts From On High. As I’ve written before, the American Progressive Left expected the American Worker to just fall in line the way his European counterparts mostly did, and were rudely shocked when he said, “F- this, I’m getting a house in Levittown.”.

          It isn’t QUITE fair to say, as P. J. O’Rourke has, that all the smart people in Europe hit the beaches at Ellis Island…but it’s sometimes tempting.

            1. If so, they’ve completely overlooked the fact that the American Working Man rolled the f-ck over the troublemakers of WWI, and then went home and told the eager Socialist parasites to go piss up a rope and stand under it while it dried.

              I fail to see anything for the Fascist Left in that. Of course, they are writing a script that (as usual) has the Masses reacting the way they need the Masses to react without any examination of how likely that might be.

                1. What the never heard of encompasses volumes. The one thing they are well endowed with is ignorance.

                  1. That’s the “ignorance is strength” part of the leftist control of the education system.

            2. Then they are fools (I know, water is also wet) because the US didn’t reach that in WW2. Yes, we rationed, but nothing like the rest of the world.

              To push the US to that point will destroy much of the rest of the world.

                1. I fear they will learn different this winter when they discover that the US doesn’t have extra this year. That I fear is what is happening if President Trump wins in November. If he doesn’t they are going to learn what happens when we are brought down. They are going to cushion our fall, because they will be there faster & harder. Until we bail ourselves out, they are SOL.

          1. My uncle the merchant sailor visited Ireland many times. Note- my grandmother, his mother, was born of two immigrants fresh off the boat from Ireland.His explanation for the sorry status of Ireland was simple. All the smart Irish became priests, the smart and/or industrious emigrated to America. Leaving the dumb and lazy behind to reproduce….

            That may be an explanation for a lot or Europe.

  12. Re: Care in the US the Devil is in the details. Yes they will stabilize you if you go into an emergency room and are at Death’s door. They will also discharge you are soon as you are not in immediate danger before you add a death to their hospital stats. If you have a long term problem such as cancer that isn’t going to kill you this week they aren’t going to address that. So the argument you can go to any hospital and be treated is disingenuous. They’ll stabilize you and say come back in a year when you are almost dead and we’ll treat you again when you are in mortal danger the last week of your life. I’m sure that meets all the government rules but it doesn’t seem that compassionate to someone who could have had decades of life by being treated properly.

    1. True, but as we are hearing and reading, the same happens in countries with National Health, they just pretend that it doesn’t. You have Cancer? I’ll put you on a waiting list for treatment. Six months and it will be too late? Tough.

      If a rich, completely benevolent State existed we might be able to give every person the best possible treatment. As matters stand, having the State in charge just means that you can’t even get prompter treatment than you are allotted if some kindly stranger gives you the cost of treatment. Once the bureaucracy has spoken, that’s it.

      1. precisely this. medicine is a scarce good. In the US we apportion it based on money and in Europe on time … and money … don’t let them kid you. Also, we can’t discount the free clinics and the doctors who work pro bono with people who can’t pay.

        Also, don’t forget just how poor the UK was/is compared to the US and how bad it was before the war. The best way to improve health care access is to get rich and the best way to get rich is to get rid of the bureaucrats who prevent the getting and keeping of wealth.

        1. Not to mention ego at least with the British NHS. How many small children is it now with non standard illnesses who’s parents were forbidden from seeking treatment outside the country? Or even allowing them to be brought home to pass surrounded by their families?
          Don’t get me wrong, NHS does pretty well with standard health issues as long at treatment is not time critical. What they seem to fumble is expensive, unusual, or cutting edge treatment in fairly rare cases. Unless of course you happen to be one of the elites.

          1. I think this is true. the arrogance of a petit official with a bit of power is terrible to behold.

          2. But that is exactly what you’d expect. A large, central, bureaucratic system will do well, might even excel, at well defined, non-time critical known issues. Yes, it will have political issues, in terms of denying and such, but that core of long established and well known practices can be done well (just expect them to be 20+ years behind on best practices if they are fluid).

            The problem is such a system cannot function well with new things, either illness or treatments. Given medicine’s rate of change, such a system controlling everything is an invite for everyone to get left behind.

            Now, some people prefer nothing be allowed until everyone can have it. The problem is that bleeding edge to leading edge to standard path cannot be bypassed. If you deny treatment to a few at the bleeding edge (pick a criteria, I just mean allowing it period) you’ll never get leading edge much less standards that you can give to everyone.

    2. I’ve previously linked a NYT writer who wrote about being on vacation in London and his wife had a stroke.
      NHS emergency care (did okay, but he was unimpressed with their equipment) having to buy cleaning goods himself to clean the room she was in, being told to get into a private care place if at all possible, ASAP, and getting her to one, alone in a room for a change, then once she was able, flying to the US, her checking into (Cedar Sinai?) hospital. She again had to share a two bed room in part due to the neurologist (a top guy in the nation) preferring a block of rooms all shared, and his wife’s room mate was a homeless lady, without any insurance, or ability to pay and getting the same doctor and same therapy as his wife. Yes, some places will have admins who want you out asap, for mostly the wrong reasons, but it is still better to be here than most other places on this planet when it goes pear shaped.

    3. Depends where. Though yes, Obamacare has made emergency rooms fairly useless by restricting them to immediate.
      BUT Mackey, that’s patently not true. Denver Health in Denver is crammed with long-term care of mostly illegal foreigners who don’t pay a dime, for instance.
      And we’ve had friends who were unemployed get top of the line treatment for cancer.
      Not saying we’re perfect. There’s way too much socialism in our healthcare. But the solution is NOT more socialism.

      1. I’m not sure illegals are a good example to use here. Illegal immigrants are of a higher social and legal class which exempts them from most laws and costs.

        It is like saying “the Nobility get good care without paying for it!”.

    4. Most hospitals aren’t really set up for “emergency room to long term admission and care.” Cancer treatment, unless it’s “we need to deal with this RIGHT NOW or you’ll die right here”, usually involves a significant number of follow up diagnostics, tests, and discussion of treatment options. Those are function of the long term nature of the diagnosis and treatment, not symptomatic of payment issues constraining care. Most people are going to be sent home to plan the treatment regimen. It has nothing to do with the presence or absence of healthcare coverage.

    5. US cancer survival rates have been either at the top or nearly at the top compared to other countries for a few decades now.

    6. The devil is always in the details. If you are uninsured, you can still make doctors’ appointments. You can get your care while running up a tab. Make minimum payments, and no one will deny you care. You can discharge that tab by declaring bankruptcy, which means your healthcare provider doesn’t get paid. There are compassionate care opportunities at the hospital. Pharmaceutical companies have “compassionate care” waivers. The social worker will sign you up for Medicaid if you are uninsured. Charities exist to cover healthcare. It’s a tangle, but it is done all the time. A lot of the problem is people don’t ask, because of the story that no one will treat you.
      And the discharge “before you add a death to their hospital stats”. Please. Who do you think regulates the hospitals, and keeps the stats? If the government wasn’t pushing stats that aren’t appropriate, the hospitals wouldn’t do it. So you think government needs more power over it? How does that work exactly?

      1. Their solution is ALWAYS more government meddling. The worse the situation gets, the more we need Big Government to ‘fix’ it, and the more rigid and centralized the authority has to be.

        All your claims that Big Government CAUSED the problems in the first place only demonstrate your ignorance.

      2. Never said Gubbamint needs more power to fix it. Just said it was a problem. If it is people not knowing how to navigate the system I can accept that. The terminally stupid need an advocate I guess.

      3. Make minimum payments, and no one will deny you care.

        If you have a big bill, they’ll even call you up to make sure you don’t need to re-organize down to a lower amount– especially if they just had the fiscal year turn over, so the amount they can write-off renewed.

        Sacred Heart called us at least twice to make sure we didn’t want to just state we were having trouble paying and they’d write off a chunk of the Princess’ bill, once after I called up to adjust the payment down some, and once out of the blue because we HAD paid regularly.

        1. Wife went into ER at hospital due to EMTs not liking her response at the house. First dr to check on her was an oncology spec because of ridiculous white/red cell ratio. From ER she went directly to ICU and moved between ICU and CCU for the next two weeks until the last of the 24 drs/specialists who saw her figured out(accidentally) what was going on. And at that point it was too late to do anything except move her to hospice.
          Total bill was over $375,000. Medicare paid some of it; private insurance paid some of it(IIRC total paid amounted to about 10%). I paid about $4k to the various drs, but never saw a bill for any balance due from the hospital.
          And FWIT worth had roughly the same thing happen to me billing-wise from two different hospitals about 3 years later after a botched appendectomy. Total billing was about $150K from each of the two hospitals of which I think about 10% was covered by Medicare and private insurance.

            1. Thanks. It was a very weird deal from start to ending. To the point of asking med-malprac-lawyer friend to take a look at the medical record(it was 258 pages).. He said to him it looked like they had done all they could do so I let it drop and moved on.
              I was told by one of the docs involved that the case would likely be written up for publication in a med journal due to uniqueness.

              1. Heaven save us from stuff that “never happens.”

                Warning, chatter ahead. Not missing anything if you skip, this is how I try to make folks feel better. It’s just wry smile/dark humor chatter.

                A family friend developed scoliosis– five years into the Navy, after she was engaged to another sailor.

                So for the last 15 or so years, every single new (Navy) doctor has HAD to either prove she doesn’t have it (when it’s right there) or that she’s always had it (even though she had x-rays before and during her service that show it wasn’t there.) or they just assume it isn’t there. Which is how she was diagnosed as gluten intolerant. As best we can tell, the guy diagnosed EVERYBODY who came in and he thought was attention seeking as unable to eat wheat…..

                Which made the next doctor even more sure she was making the spine thing up, and it took like eight years before another doctor with the opposite chip on his shoulder assumed she had self-diagnosed, and ACTUALLY LOOKED AT THE RECORDS, and noticed there was no record of an allergy test.

                She isn’t even sensitive to gluten. -.- And the guy apparently made some kind of “no, really, call me” note on her records and she hasn’t had to argue with a doctor that yes, her spine REALLY HAS done that thing they check little kids for at school, and it did it when she was 24, NOT 14. Now that she has some help with the pain so she can move, she’s shed a lot of weight, too. Wasn’t ever huge, but….

    7. I’m sure that meets all the government rules but it doesn’t seem that compassionate to someone who could have had decades of life by being treated properly.

      But Liverpool Pathway– or simply the family holding down the elderly but otherwise healthy woman as she is lethally injected– is?

      Because the options aren’t “everybody gets the ultimate treatment” and “we save your life and discharge you.”

      They are “we save your life, and there are a ton of programs to get help if you have cancer* or something,” and “we will decide what treatment you get, and consider killing you either actively or passively as treatment.”

      * I’ve mentioned before that at no point in my childhood did we not qualify for free lunch, to the point that I quit eating at school because they kept automatically signing us up for it. My mom’s cancer was paid for privately, insurance and out of pocket. The other dozen or so people that we know who got cancer all used programs, and paid far less than she did– several of them are rich to the tune of owning a house in Seattle and in a resort town.

    8. That has not been my experience. My experience with emergency rooms, even when I had no insurance, was that they would stabilize and treat, and then give a referral to someone to get care for the underlying condition. If you needed to be hospitalized, they would put you in a bed in some hospital.

      An emergency room is not set up to treat, well, anything beyond stabilization and initial diagnosis. Treatment beyond what is necessary for stabilization or beyond what is time-critical always happens elsewhere. Complaining that an emergency room is going to stabilize you and send you elsewhere is like complaining that your Formula-1 car won’t carry a lot of luggage. Of course not, you fool. That’s not what it’s for.

  13. The infant mortality rate argument factors into this larger discussion as well. The US is often lambasted as having an infant mortality rate lower than some African countries. The devil is in the details indeed. In the US every live birth is counted as such, whether preemie or on time. In most other countries, births are not counted as live until the preemie infant reaches what would have been the 9 month gestation mark. That means that a 2 month preemie who dies before reaching scheduled delivery date is not counted because they didn’t reach full gestation. If they reach it and die a week later, they count. Preemies who die before 9 months simply fall out of the count…for statistical purposes, they were never born.

    1. Of course, if you REALLY want to set the cat amongst the pigeons, you can bring up what effect counting abortions would have on the stats. Then duck. Planned Un-Parenthood has NO sense of humor.

    2. read years ago, no idea if it’s true or what the attribution is, that in France it’s not considered a live birth until the nurse notes is. So if the newborn is screaming coming out, but isn’t breathing by the time the nurse gets to chart it, no live birth.

    3. And any movement after birth is included as “evidence of life.” Even if their lungs still have fluid in them. (showing they kid didn’t breath enough to remove the fluid)

      Searchengine was not much help– kept giving me stuff about pregnancy, not France– but I finally stumbled over the most likely dodge for France.

      Highest stillbirth rate in Europe. About one in a hundred pregnancies. For comparison, the US has about one in 160 pregnancies.

      The freaky thing– per the auto-translate of the linked French information?

      The only reason they started counting is so that people could get permission to bury their lost child.
      If he was at least 22 weeks gestation. Before that, it was a shadow-number.

  14. Ugh, Mrs.Hoyt — now I feel the urge to apologize for having suggested “Foyle’s War” in an earlier thread. Or was that at Chicago Boyz? It’s been a couple of years since I watched the series, but I don’t doubt that it had some ideological absurdities to go along with the entertaining parts. After more than a half-century of sampling the delightful *cough* wares of Hollyweird, The Beeb, and locations elsewhere in the world (Japan and France in particular) I’ve long since developed a cast-iron stomach for the inevitable sloppy, lazy absurdities. I’ll frequently yell at the screen, stop the playback and mutter angrily to myself about illogical or even cartoonish plots or the apparent lack of basic research, but if I watched only the very best of productions with few or no infuriating stupidities, I’d have run out years ago after perhaps 300—400 movies and series, and even those would have had their share of small, mildly irritating bloopers and minor mindless ideological propaganda points from the living-in-Mom’s-basement-with-no-job crowd.

    Can’t be helped. Beyond a certain level of native intelligence, the bright cells in your head will twitch violently at stupidity. Any stupidity, no matter how small. By definition, fully half the general population is dumber than the low bar that qualifies as “average,” and the grinning mandarins of Hollyweird do want to make money. Thus, almost inveterate pandering to the lowest common denominator. The genre of “superhero” flicks especially comes to mind. -_-

    After so many years of determinedly ignoring rank stupidity and gaping plot holes in a desire to be moderately or at least minimally amused, I almost don’t notice the logical inconsistencies and general chaos. Almost! I slogged through two entire seasons of “The Unit” before the cartoonish, sometimes outright ridiculous plots blew a fuse somewhere amongst my neurons. I did manage to make it all the way through “Ponyo” because that impossibly cute beginning barely coasted my tolerance through the astonishingly nonsensical, New-Agey ending. “Blue Bloods” remains mildly enjoyable as long as I mentally screen out the ideological jabs inserted by leftist screenwriters. And so on. -_-

    Oh, well. Back to the current post. I’ve seriously wondered myself at what point, exactly, the financial system will collapse even in the uber-rich United States of America after reckless printing of money to cover “free” health care and “free” stimulus checks and “free” college loan forgiveness and “free” everything crashes beyond a hidden breaking point. Who was it that said there’s a great deal of ruin in a country? The communists and socialists seem extremely determined to make us all learn just how much ruin there’s left. With so much artificially stoked hatred between ideological camps and a nation swimming in firearms and the ammunition to go with them, the outcome promises to be way too interesting for comfort to anyone but future historians. :/

    1. No. I’d watched it before. It’s great until the last two seasons when they crawl up their own ideological ass. I just didn’t remember that.
      But all British Mystery series are becoming like that. I can take minor bullshit in fiction. I grew up in Europe. But lately they’ve gone the extra mile. The last five years or so….

      1. According to Wiki, the original run of Foyle’s War ended with the episode “All Clear”, back in 2007. It was brought back by popular demand (ITV, not BBC 🙂 ), and it looks like the leftward tilt happened in the last three seasons. (The last season aired in 2015.) Seems like “it doesn’t matter if we roll left; we have these guaranteed seasons”.

        1. Every time I make a purchase at the pet store I kick in a couple bucks to their charity. I figure people can make their own decisions but domestic animals don’t have that option. I’ll even occasionally hand out some spare cash to the guys at the intersection with the signs. Yes, I know they’re more likely than not either “professional beggars” pulling down a comfortable living or someone intending to spend on booze or drugs but, in the end, it’s not about who they are as about who I am. I’ve kicked into people’s gofundmes and other things when I thought it was worthy even though I’m having a tough time with some of my own issues.

          It’s being held at gunpoint saying you will give. That’s not charity. It’s robbery.

          1. It’s worse than robbery — it’s robbery by proxy. It’s practiced by what Ayn Rand called the double parasites, those living off the needy and the productive alike.

        2. The Special was up to the job for half a century before the Magnum swaggered onto the scene. Commonly loaded just a tick below .45 ACP specs. Not that reloaders limited themselves to that… once they went down the Elmer Keith path, they hadn’t made their bones until they’d blown off a topstrap or split a cylinder.

            1. First time in AK was chasing forest fires around Denali. At the time, the .454 Casull was ‘The Most Powerful Handgun in the World’. Every man-jack in the fire camp had one, except Bob who was sporting his S&W Mod. 28 Highway Patrolman .357 Magnum 6-inch barrelled revolver. When anyone scoffed along the lines of, ‘What are ya gonna do, throw that at the Bruin?’, my retort that I didn’t have to run faster than the bear, I just had to run faster than the scoffer was not met with much amusement . . .

      1. Which is precisely why the Democrats are so eager to ban private ownership of guns and ultimately confiscate those already in private hands;. They make it far more difficult for them to achieve their ultimate goal-Oceania.

    2. An annoying nit, I think that you meant the “highest common denominator” not the “lowest common denominator”. The lowest common denominator is always 1. A common, but annoying, mistake.

      1. That’s the point, actually. That is correct. The lowest common denominator denotes the lowest class or group being discussed. What is NOT correct is the statement that half the people fall below average in intellect. That would be the median. That is indeed a very common error, and extremely annoying.

        1. The median is actually one of the three types of “average” in math, according to my old high school statistics book. The mean (sum of all values divided by the number of subjects), like a batting average in baseball. The mode (the most common value in the list). And the median (the middle point of the list, half the values larger, half the values smaller).

          1. I know. It is not the same thing as average, however, and the average could in fact be higher than the median value, which is why people saying that half of people are below average drives me bugnuts. It could be more than half. It could be less. It is rarely exactly half.

            1. Measures of Central Tendency. the first moment.Measures of Central Tendency. The first moment.

          2. I’m always leery of required curriculum in schools, because the Left has used the idea to ruinous effect, but if I had to pick ONE book to make required reading in every high school in the land it would be HOW TO LIE WITH STATISTICS.

            1. Yes, and for post schooling Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Statistical Consequences of Fat Tails. he was giving it away don’t know if he still is. Very technical but worth working through. I wish he’d stop getting into fights with people he should be allied with but you have to take the man you got and not the one you wish for.

      2. You’re thinking greatest common factor. Least common denominator is used when adding fractions. For instance 1/2 + 1/3. To add them you need to get them into the same terms so you find the least common denominator, in this case “6”. So you have 1/2 + 1/3 = 3/6 + 2/6 = (3+2)/6 = 5/6.

        Greatest common factor is used when reducing fractions to their lowest term: 8/24, for instance, both the 8 and the 24 have 8 as the greatest number that both can be divided by so 8/24 can be reduced by dividing numerator and denominator by 8: 8/24 = (8/8)/(24/8) = 1/3.

        People often confuse these two different concepts.

    3. Technically, Ponyo is pagan, not New Age. Miyazaki is pretty darned Shinto. So yeah, appeasing gods/monsters and purifying things is how you solve problems; it was just set a fairy tale format.

  15. The US will be last unless it surrenders, but yes. It was the ruin of the currency that broke Rome and the reckless politicians who ruined the currency for their own gain. to the best of our knowledge, Rome had been a functioning free market until the ruin of the currency ended that and put all the power in the hands of government officials who alone had access to the gold coinage. History doesn’t repeat, but it does tend to rhyme.

  16. In US you either have money to pay or insurance, or you go bankrupt or you die.

    I don’t know why you present such a rosy picture when everyone knows is not true.

    One of many many threads you can read. Or watch Michael’s Moore doc where one ex I remember is the young girl who died being moved from one hospital to another until one that her insurance covered.

    I don’t know why you think people don’t pay for NHS, you pay with every pay check. People on benefits don’t but the gov helps them while trying to get them back to work (if they are not disabled) by offering free job trainings, at some point I believe mandatory, asking them to prove every month that they applied and went to interviews etc. The system could be made better of course. Few years ago one law was passed that only 2 children per family will get benefits in the idea that if people who work have to think hard if to have the 3rd child so should people on benefits.

    There always room for improvement.

    Nobody wants free everything, and again it’s not free. You in US also have “free” fire departments, police, roads, schools etc that you pay for. In this day and age people in Europe, even Russia and don’t know about China, consider it a human right to have universal healthcare. And it hasn’t come to be a liability as you think.

    It can take like 2 months sometimes to get a non life threatening operation, depending on what city you are. But if it’s an emergency you get treatment very fast. The Covid situation has made it harder but the system is open again even for non urgent operations, has been for a while.

    As for food, if the virus is not kept under control, meat plants and others will close or operate under reduced capacity aka food shortage. Which has already happened in USA but not in UK. Haven’t heard anything either from Europe. it doesn’t matter if UK produces less food (don’t know) if the virus is kept under control there and same in Europe then there’ll be no food shortage.

    ATM US is in bad state with the virus.

    Sometimes we have a tendency to present our side/party/country in best light but right now it will do more good to be aware of the pitfalls. I’m left and felt the same (and also en emigrant to UK 10years now) but now I’m fighting against the “no debate cancel culture” which is left fascism and against the erasure of women and women’s sex based rights (women having no right to privacy based on a male saying the words I’m a woman, no fair sports etc). We are a lot of women on the left here fighting by organising, suing etc

    All the world is watching America collapse, financially America is the one printing the most money, the money printed here in UK are still correlated with economy’s growth. The reason why American bonds are not accepted by anyone anymore as collateral for loans even short ones or that Russia and China are getting rid of their dollars and many other things happening that Americans are not aware of is that too much dollars have been printed without future growth justification. When it will be that 1 more dollar printed has 0% growth behind it or when Russia and China can trade without any dollar involvement, both in the cards too happen soon, then American dollars will be just pieces of paper. Europe is following this but at some way behind while USA is tipped to fall any time.

    If you know now and can make sure you can sustain yourselves and your family when that happens then hopefully it will pay off the hurt of hearing these news. It will be a long winter. Probably for all of us.

      Are you insane?
      I’ve been broke and with no insurance and no, I’m not dead. In fact, we didn’t have insurance till our mid thirties. It’s not unusual.
      I think perhaps my guys want to investigate the sources of your insanity.
      I have neither the time nor the interest.
      Another socialist!

    2. I mean, show me where socialism CAN improve things. (Pounds finger on temple.)
      And FYI, yes, I know people in Nordic countries. Mostly they control the news.

    3. Oh, also you seem to be unaware of Medicaid, which is EASILY at the level of the NHS.
      Rosy picture compared to what? The socialist hells. I guess we are. But we’re going more and more socialist, which taints things.
      Well, maybe this is the big reset.

      1. They’re ALWAYS unaware of Medicaid. And apparently unaware of paying things off over time, or partial payments, or the fact that bankruptcy isn’t forever.

        This sounds a lot like the initial person, talking about bonds and ridiculous statements of nonsense, like that China and Russia (both houses of cards even worse than the US), will soon be able to trade in a currency other than dollars. No clue what that currency would be, though.

        1. They’re always unaware of everything. They believe what they see on the news, which ain’t what is. Seriously, I’ve had more insane notions about the US told to me at parties, by people who should be able to know better, Than I can believe and it was told to me. I suspect our hostess, who also regularly deals with Europeans, has the same experience. The more educated they are the worse they tend to be unless they’ve spent a lot of time here.

          1. Can confirm about wacky notions of the USA even among Canadians.
            I met a person in the province of Newfoundland who was, truly, convinced that the USA was full of violence and crime. Evidence? He could see it on TV shows from the USA, and he wasn’t watching the news broadcasts.

            1. Maybe you should suggest to him watching Republic of Doyle set in his area. If you based your opinions on Newfoundland from that show- you’d never go near the place.

              1. Republic of Doyle was set and filmed in St. John’s, the very city this person lived in.

            2. I remember watching the first few episodes of ‘Justified’ and I was really wondering “Where are the bad guys getting all the machine guns, and how are they paying for all the ammo?”

              To my mind, the role of police comes to a screeching halt the moment the bad guys are pulling out rocket launchers and hand grenades. Seriously, call the Army already.

              That actually bugged me about the end of the Dark Knight Rises, too. From a symbolic standpoint, I get what they were going for, but from a practical standpoint, all I’m thinking is “Have you folks not heard of *beehive rounds?*”

              1. Ahhh.. the newer Hawaii Five Oh. WTH do the bad guys get all those fully automatic weapons from? They seem to appear in every episode. There appears to be serious effort to disguise the fact that machine guns are used in crimes in the US less than a dozen times per year.

                They’re far more common in Mexico with their much stricter (on paper) gun control laws and general overall lawlessness of society.

                1. Well, it doesn’t help that the writers don’t understand that all those AR-15s Americans are buying are NOT machine guns….

                  just believe me. they don’t.

          2. Even Americans tend to have direct knowledge of one to a few states. What we ‘know’ about the rest of the states is extrapolation, rumor/information gathering, statistics, and sources of Official Truth like school curricula, news media, and government documents.

            It is simply that a) mistakes of that sort from Americans tend to get hidden because they can pass for badly educated, unobservant, or thoughtless Americans b) you need an American with knowledge of the alien target state to identify that there is a problem. This last is difficult because a certain number of Americans native to that state are so trusting of Official Truth that they will have no more clue that it isn’t entirely correct that J. Random German, J. Random Spaniard, or J. Random Chinese.

            1. Even Americans sometimes have a lack of knowledge of THEIR OWN state. Recently walled a book written by a local (Minnesota) gal (former big town reporter, go figure) where one of the characters, a lawyer no less, stated that it was illegal to possess an unregistered gun. Uh, no.

    4. I’m sorry, I lived in the UK, and France and what you’re saying about healthcare is BS.

      As for money. You have no idea, quite literally no idea, what you’re talking about. I do this for a living and the US is the only, repeat, only guaranteed collateral in the world. Some keep German bonds and some keep UK bonds but even they’re backed by the US when push comes to shove. d’Estaing called it Exorbitant Privilege and indeed it is.

      This is not Merica ! F-ckyeah! On my part. this is, as we say in NYC, what is.

    5. You’ve been reading/watching too much leftist propaganda. I’d point out where you are wrong piece by piece, but I don’t have the time nor the crayons to explain it to you.

          1. Scary that there are people who think Michael Moore is an authoritative source

          1. To give him his due, he had a pretty good speech in ’16 on why Trump would win. Stopped clocks, and all that:

      1. Yeah, I was uninsured from age 50 until 65. There were two cataract procedures in there (surgical centers and doctors can make quite favorable terms when the payment is going to be immediate or pay-in-advance), and some sort-of-spendy medical tests. The latter, the hospital offered a 30% discount for payment within 30 days.

        FWIW, Medicare and/or the hospital screwed up on a mostly routine medical procedure (needed an unexpected biopsy; the Medicare algorithm barfed), but the hospital waited patiently the 6 months to unscrew the issue (Jan-July, with COVID staffing issues). If they wanted to be asses, they could have asked me to pay and have me try to straighten it out. Nope, they carried the bill until Medicare paid up. Not huge, but I had things I’d rather spend the $3000 on…

        So, am I bankrupt or am I dead?

        1. Don’t know about medical procedures. We’ve had insurance when we needed it. Been without it too when not willing to carry Cobra during layoff periods. We were young. Rolled the dice, won. OTOH our retirement per-medicare pharmacy sucks. It’s there, but it is really, really, annual low. To the point that we, well me now, use Costco “We don’t have insurance on pharmacy, policy.” Before hubby went on medicare, his 90 day supply, paying for ALL 4 medicines, was few dollars more than the insurance co-pay as 30-day supply. Which makes cash out of pocket VS making them bill the insurance 1/3 the cost. I’m only on eye drops for glaucoma. Until recently there was no such thing as 30 vs 90 day supply. My out of pocket for the eye drops = what co-pay would be with the insurance.

          1. I didn’t go with Medicare prescription, and so far it’s been OK. I’m sensitive to steroid eyedrops, (induces glaucoma) and both the non-steroid anti-inflammatory substitute and the glaucoma med* were $250 and $300 a bottle. Needed these after eye procedures. Had to refill the NSAID once until the post-op swelling settled down. Whee.

            My regular stuff is from Bi-Mart and they cancelled their own generic prescription plan in favor of the state group buy. 90 day supplies for these are running about $20 for each. One nice thing about them is if I get a prescription in Medford from the eye doc, I can refill it at home.

            (*) This was a bit of rent-seeking on the part of the manufacturer and a minor scandal, but nothing was changed. Take a moderately expensive med ($80), combine it with a cheaper (currently off market as sold by itself) med, wave hands and sell for $300. Didn’t take much to qualify, so $PROFIT! Unfortunately the doc felt that the combination was the best solution for my situation. Glad it was temporary, or I’d have paid the penalties to get on the Medicare Rx program.

            1. Hubby went immediately on Medicare Rx program when he turned 65. We have his union retiree insurance, which covers us both. His medicare part whatever & Rx, plus dental cleaning/xrays and eye exams/glasses. Me just medical, and (technically Rx), no dental, no eyes. Glaucoma comes under medical. $480/month (it’s been creeping up, it was $350, eight years ago). Not a horrible deductible and overall max co-pay (which went from $2200 to $5500 over the same eight years).

              We researched, when he was getting ready to go on medicare, for different extra medicare insurance. Could get $0/extra outlay, same out of pocket co-pay. The problem? If he dropped union insurance, I lost it too. I’m still not qualified for medicare. Cost of insurance for me? VS union rates then? Monthly cost 2x what we paid for both of us, deductible 25x, out of pocket 4x. Wouldn’t have needed the latter two, why would we pay double to get his free?

              1. Whrn I turned eligible for Medicare, I looked around, asked a bit, and got a Medigap from the regional Blue Cross. ‘Tain’t cheap, but barring a Medicare disqualify. Eye exams usually not covered, though the doc who handled my post-corneal visits convinced TPTB that it was a medically necessary procedure. (Unlike the doc who did the procedure; had to pay $50ish for the pre-op exam. Wasn’t worth fighting over.) The out-of-pocket was the meds; if my eyes weren’t steroid sensitive, it would have been pretty cheap.

                The prescription part of medicare really wants you to sign up immediately. If you delay, they wanted (might still) one to back-pay the premiums dating back to age 65. Big penalty, but I’ll take that chance.

                1. Don’t know. Just know part of hubby’s SS & part of *mom’s, “pays for” medicare. It is different based on the year you qualify. Mom’s is lower than hubby’s because she’s been on it for 12 years longer. Percentage increase is the same. I think if you have RX through another source, the medicare RX isn’t required. Both hubby & mom do. If you lose that RX coverage, there is no penalty for picking up the medicare RX version, as long as there is no or limited gap between loss & start. I think. Comes under can’t force double coverage, but can penalize for no coverage until you need it. Is how it was explained to us when we went looking for expertise. Ours is really lousy, but we have it.

                  * I do mom’s taxes (well I input it into Quicken). She hasn’t paid taxes since dad died over 11 years ago. Either state or federal. We did them this year too. She just didn’t file the taxes. Figured if one was to error this was the year to get away with it. She is waaaaaay under income for federal. State is closer, but short of a mistake, she hasn’t owed taxes. As in “that can’t be right – what did we miss?” before filing.

      2. I’ve carried my own insurance since I was 22. Right now I’m in a mutual assurance pool. I pay for basics out of pocket (annual physical, one prescription, glasses, teeth), so it’s really a sort of “run over by the bus” insurance.

    6. ….did you seriously just point at Sicko, which even the crazy lefties admit is, er, “problematic” in its relation to reality, as evidence of something?

      The one where he carefully informed the Cuban government he’d be showing up to a specific hospital, and when? And brought a couple of activists along to make a big show of invading a military detainment center?

      And still had, ahem, issues?

      Good heavens, why don’t you just link a bunch of anonymous sob stories?

      Oh, wait… you did…..

    7. Also:
      The “young girl” had a name.

      Mychelle Williams.

      She was 18 months old, it as a blood infection, and that was an illegal act on the part of the hospital. Malpractice, in fact.
      Mother got a huge award as a result, because that is what our system does when a person breaks the law and hurts someone, but can’t be charged criminally.

      But hey, that totally puts it far, far worse thank the totally legal system kidnapping a kid and neglecting him to death as health care!

    8. You do know that most of the people here are in the USA, right? You do know that an awful lot of us have lived in the USA without insurance, right? Why would we look on Quora or Reddit or wherever to see what it’s like when we have direct knowledge of what it’s like? My daughter was born in the USA in a hospital with complete care without the benefit of insurance, or a huge bankroll. Or, for that matter, bankruptcy. Our experience wasn’t all like that. Is that clear enough for you?

      As far as the choice of “death, money, insurance, or bankruptcy” goes, well, I want to speak up for bankruptcy. I’ve been through bankruptcy, not because of health care costs but because of ordinary business failure. I can tell you that getting into a situation where you have to declare bankruptcy is no fun, but the bankruptcy itself is astonishingly wonderful. At least it was for me.

      A while back, I heard Senator Warren talk about how horrible it was that the most common cause of bankruptcy in the United States was because of health care expenses. However, the horribleness of bankruptcy was just assumed, and not explained. To me, it sounded like the system was pretty functional where the creditors were functioning as a kind of health insurance provider and the bankruptcy was equivalent to filing a claim. It was kind of backwards, but if you’re young enough, needing that sort of thing is like winning the anti-lottery, and that’s the sort of extraordinary situation where stiffing all your creditors is at least understandable.

      Which leads me to my other point about that speech. You will never see anyone more opposed to bankruptcy than creditors, nearly all of which are large financial companies typically run by some very wealthy people. Ms. Warren’s position was, therefore, the policy preferred by those large moneyed corporations rather than people like me.

      Reading more into your message, you talk about a food shortage. There was always enough for me to eat even though I might not have had the ability to buy exactly what I wanted, but it turns out what I wanted was always available so shelves that had less stock than usual (but more stock than right before a hurricane) didn’t bother me. Does that qualify as a food shortage or not?

      The USA is in a bad state with the virus? Maybe, maybe not. We’re in a bad state due to the freaking panic about the virus. People with large megaphones are running around shouting that we’re all going to die because of COVID, but the statistics don’t bear that out. I wish more people would notice that everybody that they know who has ever had the virus has recovered, but I also wish for world peace. (Yes, I know that my experience is not universal. However, it is common enough that if everybody for which it was true would realize it, there would be a lot less running about with hair on fire.)

      America is not collapsing. Why would you think America is collapsing? What data are you basing that on? In the “all hands” meeting I was at this morning, it was pointed out that our customers anticipated supply-chain disruption so if we’d been able to fulfill the orders we had, we’d have had an awesome quarter followed by a so-so quarter, however the supply chain issues were already occurring before we had the orders in hand. Now, that’s just one company, and we’re a big company (so a minor part of the worldwide economy) but it’s at least a data point. I think that if they’d just let people do business again, everything would be fine.

      I don’t understand your point about people accepting US bonds as collateral for loans. I wasn’t aware that a lot of people used US bonds (federal? state? municipal? US based companies?) as collateral for loans. I’ve never tried to use a bond as collateral on a loan, although I’ve used other things. I do know that, while the US dollar won’t be the worldwide reserve currency forever, the US dollar isn’t in any danger of not being the world’s reserve currency, not because the US is particularly strong right now, but because most everybody else is particularly weak.

      Look, money is money because of a general belief that you will be able to trade it for what you want at some point. Do you really believe that people will stop taking dollars for oil or gold or diamonds or advanced electronics or whatever? What will they take instead? Rubles? Rials? Euros? Yuans?

      I don’t know what this winter will bring except cooler weather. Perhaps we will have shortages of food. I don’t know. I expect that if there are food shortages, what it will mean for me is that I’ll have to pay more for food. Less beef, pork, and chicken and more peanut butter and rice. That’s the sort of thing that Ms Hoyt was talking about. We grow much of the world’s food here and if we need it here, it’ll stay here.

      If you make it to here, I want to congratulate you on your persistence. I don’t think I would have been able to wade through all that.

      1. I wish more people would notice that everybody that they know who has ever had the virus has recovered, but I also wish for world peace. (Yes, I know that my experience is not universal. However, it is common enough that if everybody for which it was true would realize it, there would be a lot less running about with hair on fire.)

        I know (one second-hand) two people who’ve died who most likely had COVID-19.

        One died as a direct result of an odd pneumonia that hit after the guy who flew in through SeaTac tested positive, but before they realized there was community spread. So he “didn’t have COVID-19” and all elective care was canceled. If he had gotten care before it reached emergency room status– at least three times before his death nearly 6 months after he got sick– he would have recovered.

        The other was an elderly, retired government worker in a nursing home in New Jersey. His grand-daughter blocked me because I posted, on my page, an article like this:

        And was able to provide the official orders when yelled at.

        I hadn’t even known her grandfather was in long term care…..

        A cousin with long term illness tested positive, she’s early 20s at oldest, she’s fine. Husband’s co-worker tested positive, he’s fine, although he got the flu version. I think he’s in his 50s, might be 60s. Bunch of not-the-same-office co-workers tested positive during the July 4th “we have an excuse to lock everyone out it just HAPPENS to make us a very hard target” work from home thing, most didn’t even slow down on their distance work….

      2. You will never see anyone more opposed to bankruptcy than creditors, nearly all of which are large financial companies typically run by some very wealthy people.

        In spades.

        Haven’t been in bankruptcy myself. Don’t know if it’d be called bankruptcy or not, or just “Estate didn’t have enough money to go around. To bad. So sad. Tough luck.” Estate did go to probate judge. The only people who got paid more than pennies on the dollar, although the other creditors tried to stop that, but legally they didn’t have a leg or a toe nail to stand on. Probate law dominated.

        Order of asset distribution: All personal items, went to family. Not that there was anything worth anything & a lot went to the dump, recycled, or burned. Were able to save/keep Grandpa & Great-Grandmother’s art. Neither sold anything, so value, of all pieces, zip, nada, nothing, zero. To family, priceless. Not that family waited; alternatively we could have let creditors hire someone. They could have dealt with the dead mice, rats, & snakes. Anything of value was sold: Property, & an decrepit motorhome (don’t ask). Order of pay off – load on property, court costs & legal fees, funeral expenses, estate executor (minimum percentage), all at full cost. Everyone else, got what was left at pennies ($.10) per dollar owed.

        Does anyone realize how many creditors called mom (executor of letter) instead of the court or lawyer which they were required to by law directly, to try and get her & dad to pay? To the point where all their calls were screened. If one of us kids accidentally answered, we were to tell them to call the court or lawyer & hang up. My response was “Call the court or lawyer,” I don’t take direction well. “I’m taking down your name & number and adding it to the class action suit for elderly abuse. The number you are calling is for someone over 70. Is dealing with own dying spouse. Do. Not. Call. Again.” Calls tapered off. Either it worked, or they got tired. Yea, right, could have happened.

        Not medical expenses caused. Although hospital, nursing home, & hospice, I’m sure had their claims in, or maybe they just took what medicare provided. The medical episode triggered the house of cards to topple. They were 95. Rest of creditors were credit cards. Personally I didn’t think CC should have been paid squat. Their own dang fault. Grandparent’s credit rating had to be negative, it was so bad. They kept sending them CC’s. You know those checks that often come with new CC? Just use that to pay off outstanding prior ones. Then since those are paid off, & they send you those checks, use that to pay off the new one. Use net SS to pay mortgage. Golden. Until one of them passes away. But the other passed away two weeks later, the morning after the funeral of the other. They were 95.

        They NEVER lacked for anything to eat or needed medicines or other medical care. Neither did their animals, even if family & friends were the ones to pay for medical care & food for their cat & dog. Oops, I’m sorry. They were pet sitting for 24/7 for weeks for someone, just no one knew who.

  17. The Canadian healthcare system is so good that nurses can go on strike, shutting down a whole hospital for an extended period of time (as happened a couple decades back in one Canadian city where I lived for while).
    Also their health care is so good, and cheap, that the Premier of Newfoundland flew to the USA to have heart surgery, rather than stay in his own province, or even his own country.
    (see set of links:
    Yeah, medical treatment may be free, but at what cost?

  18. I think I’d have a damned hard TRYING to starve. Hell, there are book about how to FAST – and the problem is TEMPTATION, not “You have no choice.” Sure, I’ve aside a reserve for the coming Fall/Winter/Spring (what, Spring is when stuff PLANTED, not harvested!) but that’s to fill in gaps. It’s like a power supply capacitor, not a storage battery. What I see in the store(s) is wild and variable availability of this or that – but NOT utter absence. Even if it got.. say. 1000% worse… I might have to decide if I REALLY want to eat what is available (and SOMETHING WILL BE!) or deliberately fast for a while (the one time excess body fat is a plus..). And that does NOT consider the stuff I’ve sort of forgot about but keeps “forever.” My biggest issue with shortages and even rationing might just be the risk of (greater) obesity!

    I can’t eat credits or a credit score. Those boxes of various powders in the cupboard? The “tins” next to them? THOSE I can eat. Might not prefer such, but I can. And note: That is without ONE SINGLE VISIT to a “soup kitchen” or “food shelf” or any other charity. I suspect if even *appeared* gaunt (a bizarre dream, but I do wonder what it’d be like to be at least technically ‘underweight’ even if only for a very short time [hours, even!]… not sure I’ve been at a “normal” weight since infancy, really), I’d have multiple people directing me to this place or that for a meal. Sure, I might have to “endure” a sermon…. I’ve sat through sermons for less!

      1. Point. Or two points. I shall leave the tins themselves to any goats – if they are so inclined. Also, boxes themselves while providing much fiber, tend to lack in nutrition and flavor.

    1. I can’t eat credits or a credit score. Those boxes of various powders in the cupboard? The “tins” next to them? THOSE I can eat.


      My deep freezer is stuffed. About a year ago I started using “Keto Chow” as my morning breakfasts. In the past few months I’ve been buying extra. In an emergency I can fall back on it and the contents of my freezer. As things stand right now, I can go several months just on what I have in the house. If things get really</I. bad, that buys enough time for me to get other plans into play.

  19. Hey all. Set the ‘wayback to the Campain to End Puppy-Related Sadness. Remember when they told you that the idea of organized mobs helpful people were being organized to mob your comments section, Facebook, or Twitter feed was a tin-foil hat myth? No. the paid mobs are real. They just call them by other names.

    I just attended a professional training on “Bystander Intervention” that detailed exactly how to do just that. How to provide support for “your guy” (the target, in their language, the victim) as well as how to generate mass harassment positive reaction to the the “not your guy” (one taking aim, aka, harasser, oppressor). Included in the training: a link to Heartmob, an organized group of activists who will hit up your feed, etc. for you. Tactics include not merely sending supportive “you go girl” messages to and about the target, or “hey, I don’t think that’s great” messages to and about the one taking aim, but also how to document and report the one designated as the harasser to amenable authorities to get them punished.

    I’ve attended training from this group on how to de-escalate angry personal confrontations for work, and they’ve been solid, so I had high hopes this might be similar: No judgment, just how to respond constructively when you perceive someone getting clobbered unfairly (some may remember how I and why I de-lurked on this blog). Good Samaritan training, if you will: The internet version of that CPR stuff you take every 2 years. Initial definitions of harassment were common sense. And I did learn some useful things about what to do when someone you know has a mob hit put on them. For example: if you’re out there in the internets speaking truth to power, talk to your internet friends and find out whether they’ll have your back (Like you’d do for your neighbors) and how. Can they document what’s happening & store it so you don’t have to read the filth? Delegate? Take direct action? Distract and derail in the various feeds? Organize writing campaigns, online petitions, Etc.

    Unfortunately, the examples they gave included things like someone you knew back in high school responding to a rude internet joke about someone else you know of with “haha” that’s funny” by schooling him on why it’s wrong to be amused in public about the wrong kind of joke. It also included a pious claim never to harass the harassers, and the idea that it’s simply wrong that people trying to do journalism online were being driven off by mobs of people sending death-threats, threatening their employers, calling them awful names… and then went on to give positive examples of people driven off the ‘net by Good Bystanders who organized HeartMobs. And of course, quite a lot of the specific tactics they give only work if you’ve got privileged status on the internets, and don’t have to worry about losing your credit card, internet provider, and all social media access by reporting harassment. If you’re not connected to the mob, reporting a mob hit to the mob-owned police officer is rarely a good strategy.

    400 people from around the world attended. I have no idea how many did it honestly thinking they’d find a way to keep the Outrage Mob from taking out some poor kid who managed to offend the latest Person Experiencing Privilege (like getting mentioned in the wrong person’s timeline) and how many wanted to learn the latest in Anarchist Cookery, modern internet style. The full set of tactics can be read in the Online Harassment Field Manual. I know, right? It’s like there’s some rule in the books that the powers of the world have to tell us what they’re doing first.

  20. That attempted post sounds less a troll than a bot, so no chew toy there. I could list clews but why bother – You made the right call.

  21. Europeans tend to think the majority of Americans die from either gun shot wounds or lack of a social safety net. Or maybe both, as people bleeding out are stacked like firewood outside of hospitals that won’t treat them. /sarc

    Re crime, until very recently there were more homicides in London than NYC. Violent crime in America is still lower than it was during the 1970s and 1980s (though I fear that won’t be for much longer).

    There are disadvantages to every system but the worst of the U.S. system isn’t the money–it’s rare that someone actually has to fork out every nickel of a high medical bill–it’s where there is socialist/social democracy-style bureaucracy, whether it’s with the VA, Medicare, Medicaid, or your insurer. I have relatives who live outside of the U.S. who have taken advantage of the government system in one way or another. As a system, they are generally just fine for standard routine care of the young and/or relatively healthy. They suck for those with chronic and serious health issues and the disabled because they don’t want to pay for you for years or decades to come.

    Plus you got those wait times that make 7 hours in an American ER look like a breeze. I have an aunt in Spain who had to wait a year for foot surgery if she went with the government-run system, so she shelled out for a private doctor to get it sooner. My cousin’s mother in law in Panama had to wait a couple of weeks for “emergency heart surgery” because there were no doctors available. Once when I was visiting there about six years ago, I saw a news story with video of people in long lines. Was it for the DMV? No, it was to get the government-run “freebie” health care and prescriptions (you don’t have to wait if you roll into a pharmacy and pay for it yourself).

    1. It’s funny how the European hospital system collapsed under WuFlu but the US didn’t. Even NYC was the public hospitals and it never actually collapsed even there. Down south, they don’t seem to have even strained. Of course, if you read the times or watch TV, everything collapsed and Cuomo is a hero.

      The European health system collapses every year when flu hits and any year with a heat wave lasting more than a week or so. the speed and scal of collapse is directly proportional to the proportion of total health care provided by the state. They have a major heatwave now so watch and see.

      In re the NYC public hospitals, I remember Trump asking very early on about the PPE at Elmhurst Hospital and how much of it went “in the front door and out the back door.” None of our press heroes have asked about that, or the nursing homes, or anything else really.

      1. Can’t find the actual stats for New York; the projections say that they were expected to go almost 600 over on hospital beds…but that’s while the Comfort was sitting in the harbor, with 1000 beds available, and only used 20.

        And the non-COVID assigned doctors were sitting, screaming that they were doing nothing and didn’t like it.

          1. Pretty sure we had a similar situation here. They converted Cobo Hall (or whatever it got renamed to after the SJW mob screamed about Cobo having been a racist) over to emergency beds.

            Lets call it around 620K sqft of space set up as a hospital beds at significant cost.

            I’m pretty sure they didn’t use a one of those beds, except maybe for the people who were there setting up and the usual staffing to take naps and breaks on…

          2. The U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers set up another big field hospital outside Seattle. They took it down in June because not a single patient was ever sent to it.

          3. Let’s not forget the field hospital set up in Central Park by those intolerant hate-filled followers of Franklin Graham. At least the state if NY collected taxes on the wages paid those sanctimonious “Samaritans” even if those wages were paid in other states!

        1. There is an organization called SETRAC (the SouthEast Texas Regional Advisory Council) that is, apparently, an organization that of “providers, responders, and other healthcare related partners” in this general area. This organization has been keeping COVID statistics since early March and that data is available with pretty graphs about overall bed utilization and which portion is allocated to COVID patients and so forth.

          The URL was released by the media months ago, so I’m somewhat comfortable posting a link here.

          In summary, there are almost 20,000 ordinary hospital beds in this corner of the state, and at no point in the last five months has the hospital census of all patients reached higher than 11,202 with the COVID population reaching not quite 3,000 a couple of weeks ago. It also says that hospitals are required by federal law to have a 20% surge capacity. I did not know that, but I suspected something like it to be true, and what it means is that there is space for almost 24,000 general hospital patients in this geographical area. At no point did the COVID population here take more than about 12% of the beds that are possible, and the trend in the number of COVID patients being hospitalized has been downwards for about three weeks.

          Now, don’t get me wrong. 3000 general population patients is a lot, and 1100 ICU patients is a lot, too. However, we have never been anywhere near the capacity of the system to deal with this disease, at least in this part of the world.

    2. And the reason crime is skyrocketing in those Democratic Party run cities is precisely because they are emulating the socialist run European cities like London in their approach to crime, at least when they are not outright asserting that the crime is “justified” because such crime is simply “forced redistribution to rectify historic oppression”, which issomething expressly called for in Critical Race Theory

  22. I just saw a bit on the news about people in the aftermath of the East Coast storm asking why the government hasn’t cleared up all the thousands of fallen trees THE DAY AFTER THE STORM. They’re just going to wait, and complain, until Teh Authorities get around to doing it for them.

    Most places I’ve lived, there would be rednecks with axes and chainsaws just taking care of business, not whining and waiting on the government.

    Them Leftoids have done gone and gotten themselves all wussified. They not only can’t do anything for themselves, they don’t even THINK about doing anything for themselves. They have to be ‘taken care of’ like so many adult-sized babies.

    1. The town of Vilonia, Arkansas is in a rural area, but it straddles an important highway and two more intersect there. A few years ago a tornado went through and knocked down most of the trees along Highway 64(?) and blocked the road for most of a mile with mature, old-growth trees.

      I had the radio on in the shop, the DJ said the State Police had asked for volunteers with chainsaws to come help clear the highway, since the state’s big equipment was occupied with larger, more important tasks. About an hour later the DJ said the ASP was thanking the people who came to help, but they now had so many volunteers that they were getting in each others’ way, so thank you very much and please turn around and fo back home…

      That wasn’t anything as formal as the Cajun Navy, just some portion of people who happened to have the radio on at that particular time.

    2. In all fairness, NJ has so heavily regulated anything remotely related to contracting, that anyone helping to remove tree limbs and trees to clean up after the storm is likely to be fined and potentially criminally charged. In many cases, those who have workers have to deal with prevailing wage requirements (i.e. even if they are non-union they have to receive same pay and benefits as if they were union members).

      1. If somebody was thinking, they’d call ALL the lumber companies and tell them they can have the downed trees, cheap.

        If somebody was REALLY thinking, they’d have set up the tree salvage agreement BEFORE the storm hit.

  23. There are cases of people who “died of a treatable condition because they didn’t have insurance,” but a lot of times, if you look closer, what really lead to their not getting treatment was fear of financial disruption. In one case that sticks in my mind, the person was a freelancer who had a paid-off home, and not having a monthly rent or mortgage payment was a big part of how they were able to live on an intermittent income. They were so afraid of losing their home to medical expenses that they delayed getting their chest pain checked out until it was too late.

    This is not the same as being denied care due to lack of insurance. And it’s quite possible that, even if they did end up with a huge bill from their treatment, they would’ve been able to keep their home. I don’t know all the ins and outs of bankruptcy law, but I do know it’s intended to prevent perpetual destitution, not cause it. Especially Chapter 13, which is designed to enable people to recover from an overwhelming blow by reorganizing their debt while preserving at least some of their assets, which IIRC can enable a person to keep a home.

    And these days, most hospitals are willing to work with people on paying their bills, because that way they get something. If they drive the person into bankruptcy, it’s far more likely the hospital will get nothing at all. I’ve been paying several medical bills from 2019 a piece at a time, so I know it can be done.

    (BTW, we are starting to have supply line issues with medications. I just discovered that my monthly thyroid medicine renewal is being delayed because the pharmacy is out of stock. Thankfully I have several months’ supply stockpiled because an earlier prescription at another pharmacy was not canceled, so I’m not in immediate peril. But it’s certainly concerning when I consider that last year I was typically renewing it just a week or so before I ran out. If I’d still been doing like that this year, I could be in serious trouble if we had major disruptions).

    1. bankruptcy in most states does take your “living in” home.
      And I know a lot of people who are afraid to go to the doctor because they’re uninsured and htey heard the scare stories.
      Thyroid… Um…. I’ll call in the refill for mine a little early. I’ve been meaning to talk to my doctor about that, Stockpiling for disruptions, not a bad idea.

      1. Chapter 7 will take a home, unless you have basically no equity at all, and have been making the payments. But Chapter 7 is complete elimination of all debt, which pretty much requires the liquidation of assets other than a few protected categories like 401K plans and insurance settlements. Chapter 13 is supposed to cut debt down to a manageable level, and gives the option to affirm debts on a house or vehicle, or critical tools of one’s trade. But I’m not a lawyer, and while bankruptcy law is federal, there are provisions that vary by state.

        Good idea on talking to your doctor about arranging a stockpile against supply line disruptions. Walmart offers very low prices on standard 30 and 90 day prescriptions (one of my prescriptions is for a weird number, since my doctor has me taking two pills on certain days and one on others, so that prescription literally costs me more for a 30-day supply than the other prescription costs for a 90-day supply of the standard amount — something I need to discuss with my doctor when I see her in September).

        1. Walmart (and Target followed suit) used to have a list of meds for $4 for a month supply, antibiotics for free. The list covered most chronic conditions, not with the most up to date meds, but usually older meds that still worked fine for the vast majority of people. I used that list to pick a med for cholesterol for myself (no pharmacy coverage insurance then). What happened to that list? Obamacare outlawed it because everyone has pharmacy coverage now….

          1. Er… Walmart still has a list. I don’t know if it’s as extensive as it used to be, but it’s definitely there.

        2. As I understand it (ox could be wrong) this varies by state and one reason so many scammers are/were FL based was that FL protected the ‘primary residence’ (no matter how grandiose perhaps?) from such liquidations. Or if not bankruptcy, legal issues for restitution etc. But as said, ox could be wrong. Might have heard wrong, misunderstood, and it’s just plain been a while.

          1. Basically correct. If you have equity in your primary residence which you have owned for at least 1215 days, have applied for the homestead exemption, have lived in Florida for the last 730 days before filing, your primary residence is exempt (you get to keep it) unless it’s more than 160 acres, or more than 1/2 an acre within a Municipality.
            Federal rules and those of other States are more restrictive.

        3. The Chapter 7 Federal Exemption for primary residence equity is $22,795. Double that for married couples filing jointly. State exemptions are often higher. Texas is unlimited, Arizona $150,000. on the other hand New Jersey has no homestead exemption.

          The reason people lose their house in Ch 7 is that they are in arrears in the mortgage. it’s seldom that a chapter 7 trustee takes a property with a mortgage that is not past due. It creates a whole host of issues if they do.

          Chapter 13 is the way to go for medical debts unless the person or household will not be able to work for a long time. That sort of condition is why the provision was made in the law

          The sad thing is that once you fall behind on your mortgage the fees and all the rest will eat your equity anyway. Best to draw a line under it, cut your losses, and start over.

        4. My doctor has me taking different numbers of pills per day for one thing, but the strategy was to go ahead and write the new one before the old one was out — no screwy numbers to mess things up. Hopefully yours can do that too.

      2. Going to the doctor can be an open-ended expense. Labs, consults, and other expenses multiply the office visit price by several times, all billed behing your back. And then the doc might refuse to make a diagnosis unless you pay for an MRI or CAT scan. The standard papers you sign when you get an appointment usually contain a clause that they’ll bill you for anything they want without bothering to tell you ahead of time, and you agree to pay it.

        Your thyroid meds… ask your doc if he can get samples for you. The drug salesmen bring roller bags full of that stuff to them while they make their sales pitches.

    1. Talk about cutting off their nose to spite their face!

      Trump may not personally create much traffic, but the anti-Trump outrage twits have to represent a substantial piece of their business.

      1. PJM is reporting that the Twitter representative who announced the ban had been a Kamala Harris For Tyrant President campaign staffer.

        I knowwwwwwww, hard to believe …

    2. Umm… Didn’t a court rule that Trump’s twitter account is an official government channel? I wasn’t aware that they could ban him. Not legally, at least…

      1. His campaign account got banned for talking about Hydroxychloroquine, but the President’s account is still up and running.

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