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Old 08-22-2019, 06:57 AM
 
629 posts, read 161,453 times
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Move to Finland. Or, does Finland have income and wealth requirements to move there? Cuba would be a good fit.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:15 AM
 
629 posts, read 161,453 times
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By the way, Healthcare is not a right, simply a product like everything else consumers buy.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Southern Highlands
1,421 posts, read 902,424 times
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Quote:
You are disputing happiness, correct? Overall, the Nordic countries blow away the United States in overall happiness. They do it year after year.



https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegw.../#1d394b6d23fa

This is behind a paywall. OMG! You actually pay for the LA Times!
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:52 AM
 
2,540 posts, read 657,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orca17 View Post
Despite the Trumpians' insistence otherwise, there is a middle ground. I am not in favor of a totalitarian state, which we are headed headlong toward with the current administration.
I guess I need to get my vision checked, as I just don't see the connection between the current administration and a totalitarian state that you describe.

Of course, there has been a trend away from a limited government as specified in the US Constitution towards an ever-more-powerful one, but this trend is a long-term one and has nothing to do with the current administration.

One measure, although imperfect, is to look at the Executive Orders signed by US Presidents over the past 30 years. Wikipedia has a list. A simple count of Executive Orders isn't a good measure; you have to look at the actual content of each order, as some orders actually reduce government power rather than increase it. Other actions are not an expansion of power. Some seem to be little more than a press release. Some actions are indeed indication of a President explicitly going around Congress' wishes -- those are suspect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...rge_H._W._Bush
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...y_Bill_Clinton
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...George_W._Bush
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...y_Barack_Obama
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...y_Donald_Trump

I think there is clear evidence of executive overreach among all the above Presidents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orca17 View Post
...not everybody who is against the border wall (a ridiculously expensive engineering nightmare that would take decades to complete, and which could easily be defeated by inexpensive drones for delivering drugs) is in favor of open borders.
You make some fair points. Still, there is a reason that China long ago built The Great Wall https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Wall_of_China.

  • Still, our border IS being flooded and overrun.
  • Our allocated resources are insufficient to deal with this tidal wave.
  • Our systems and approaches are engineered to deal with a small number of uncoordinated crimes (illegal immigration) rather than to deal with an organized invasion.

The Democratic majority in Congress has weaponized illegal immigration.

The Democratic Congress explicitly denied the resources required to address the problem. The current Democratic majority does not want to solve the problem. Rather than reduce human suffering, they want Photo Ops where Occasional-Cortex and her ilk can appear with pre-arranged photographers to capture well-practiced, full-TV-makeuped Congresstwits criticizing the President for the human suffering in overcrowded detention centers while voting against providing more resources to alleviate the overcrowding in the first place.

Extreme Progressive Democratic operatives are instrumental in this human tidal wave. Progressive operatives -- US citizens ! -- are deployed in Central America to foment, guide and advise the impoverished to form massive surges to overrun the US border, hoping every one of those future-illegal-aliens will one day gain the right to vote in the USA, and reliably vote for progressive democrats. This is just one more in the long-standing tradition of elected politicians choosing their voters rather than the other way around, albeit with the long view in mind. At the same time, Central Americans and Mexicans who dream of coming to the USA have been educated that there is a high likelihood of success - for every migrant caught there are perhaps a dozen who get through.

What do we do? I'm not smart enough to have a proposed solution. Perhaps you do.

I suspect part of this is based on - surprise - Rational Expectations. We need to change the Rational Expectations of would-be illegal immigrants such that they weigh the risks & uncertainties, costs & potential benefits in their minds and decide to stay put rather than attempt to cross our border. This is probably some combination of US policy attempting to improve conditions in their home countries coupled with a change in our immigration ENFORCEMENT system.

Just as we now recognize that terrorism sponsored by foreign actors is not a law enforcement problem and hence should not be handled in US Courts, it is time to recognize that organized tidal waves engineered to overrun our and swamp our border protection system should not be treated as if it were an individual, unorganized violation of US law and hence should not be handled by the US Justice System. Just as there are organized mass overruns of the US border, so also should there be mass returns of foreign nationals to their home countries where those people can follow a legal process to come to the USA if that is their desire.

Sadly, it is useful to note essentially every current candidate for the Democratic nomination for president is either in favor of open borders or effectively so with a little window dressing. Of course, they are all pandering to the far left wing of their party in an attempt to gain traction, and they may well be lying (they are politicians, after all), but if we take them at their word, none of them wish to, you know, actually stop illegals from coming into the USA. Not a single one of them.

Yes, the Democratic majority in Congress has weaponized illegal immigration.

Last edited by RationalExpectations; 08-22-2019 at 10:29 AM..
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:26 AM
 
2,540 posts, read 657,086 times
Reputation: 4407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie the heartbreaker View Post
Bernie Sanders, who I support, has never wanted us to be like Venezuela. We want the Nordic model which is a free market economy...
You are not alone. Indeed, nearly half of millennials say they prefer socialism to capitalism. “My policies most closely resemble what we see in the U.K., in Norway, in Finland, in Sweden,” AOC told TV's 60 Minutes. Yet Sweden’s experiment with socialist policies was disastrous, and its economic success in recent decades is a result of market-based reforms.

Until the mid-20th century, Sweden pursued highly competitive market-based policies. By 1970 Sweden achieved the world’s fourth-highest per capita income. Then increasingly progressive and radical Social Democratic governments raised taxes, spending and regulation much more than any other Western European country. Economic performance sputtered. By the early 1990s, Sweden’s per capita income ranking had dropped from 4th to 14th. Economic growth from 1970 to the early 1990s was roughly 1 percentage point lower than in Europe and 2 points lower than in the U.S.

Before its socialist experiment, Sweden had a smaller government sector than the U.S. By the early 1990s, government spending and transfer payments ballooned to 70% of gross domestic product, and debt had increased to 80% of GDP. Between 1966 and 1974, Sweden lost some 400,000 private jobs—proportionate to the USA hypothetically losing 16.7 million jobs in today’s U.S.

Read the above paragraph again. Sixteen point seven MILLION jobs.

In 1991 a market-oriented government came to power in Sweden and undertook far-reaching reforms. Policy makers have privatized parts of the health-care system, introduced for-profit schools along with school vouchers, and REDUCED welfare benefits. Since 1997, government ministries that propose new spending plans have been required to find offsetting cuts in their budgets. As a result, public debt has declined from 80% of GDP in the early 1990s to 41% today.

To increase incentives to work, Sweden REDUCED unemployment benefits and introduced an earned-income tax credit in 2007. The electricity and transportation industries were deregulated in the 1990s, and even the Swedish postal system was opened up to competition in 1993. The corporate tax rate was cut from its 2009 level of 28% to 22% today, and is scheduled to decline to 20.4% in 2021.

This policy mix has earned Sweden a Heritage Foundation ranking as the 15th freest economy in the world. The U.S. is 18th. And it’s paid off. Since 1995, Swedish economic growth has exceeded that of its European Union peers by about 1 point a year. Sweden is now richer than all of the major EU countries and is within 15% of U.S. per capita GDP. While Sweden still has a larger government than the U.S., its tax code is flatter. The progressivity of the U.S. tax code distorts incentives, as even the most progressive of left-wing economists agree. These distortions would become even larger under the tax-increase proposals of democratic socialists like Occasional-Cortex and the current field of would-be nominees for the Democratic presidential ticket.

There is an example for the U.S. here, but the lesson isn’t what most Millenials think.

Last edited by RationalExpectations; 08-22-2019 at 11:02 AM..
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:40 AM
 
2,540 posts, read 657,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie the heartbreaker View Post
"But Finland’s 130-year-old health care system does have a lot going for it. Not only is the vast majority of the population — 88% — happy with the system, its virtually free care for all means that no Finn has ever been in the red because of medical costs alone (though that doesn’t mean there aren’t complaints)."


"The “Nordic model” consists of strong welfare states funded by relatively high levels of taxation, which enable governments to provide high-quality education and health care for all"


"Then there is the quality of the system, in terms of patient care outcomes. Finland is one of the five countries with the lowest maternal mortality rates, and Finns have longer life expectancy than Americans. Finland also comes out among the top countries in the world for access to health care."




Isn't this exactly my point? Their healthcare system is far better than ours. Not only their healthcare, their whole country is far better than ours. Finland is #1 when it comes to happiness. All of the Nordic countries score higher than the United States. I guess the quote below is what you are looking for.


"Way back in 2013, the international Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development was already warning that Finland was lagging behind many other OECD countries in having high rates of unmet needs. At the time, more than 4% of Finnish people reported unmet medical needs due to cost, travel distance or waiting lists — a proportion significantly higher than in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands."


So Finland is the worst of the Nordic countries when it comes to healthcare at 4% reporting unmet needs. In the United States, 13.7% do not even have insurance. Then you have all the people who have insurance who cannot afford the deductibles. Thank you for the article which shows that the Nordic countries have a far better healthcare system than ours. I really appreciate it.
Perhaps you missed the very end of the article:
“People outside of Finland tend to see only the good sides of the system,” says [Finnish policy analyst Heikki] Hiilamo.

“Normally, we show people the sunny side of the street, but there is a dark side of the street. And health care is on the dark side, and for many years we have had a problem.”
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:54 AM
 
2,540 posts, read 657,086 times
Reputation: 4407
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBMW View Post
Not to mention the middle class also. The tax system was always designed to collect as much as possible from the middle class. Why? It's easier.
Untrue, of course. Politicians talk about taxing "millionaires & billionaires" but extend tax increases down to the middle class because that's where the money is. It is well documented that the US Government could confiscate ALL the income and all the wealth of the US Top 1% which would only fund the US Government for a relatively short time -- much less than one year at which time the government would then again need to tax the middle class because - surprise, surprise - that's where the money is.



With the TCJA, the good news is most people got a tax cut. My personal income taxes went up, but most people had reductions.



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Old 08-22-2019, 10:57 AM
 
629 posts, read 161,453 times
Reputation: 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by RationalExpectations View Post
You are not alone. Indeed, nearly half of millennials say they prefer socialism to capitalism. “My policies most closely resemble what we see in the U.K., in Norway, in Finland, in Sweden,” AOC told TV's 60 Minutes. Yet Sweden’s experiment with socialist policies was disastrous, and its economic success in recent decades is a result of market-based reforms.

Until the mid-20th century, Sweden pursued highly competitive market-based policies. By 1970 Sweden achieved the world’s fourth-highest per capita income. Then increasingly progressive and radical Social Democratic governments raised taxes, spending and regulation much more than any other Western European country. Economic performance sputtered. By the early 1990s, Sweden’s per capita income ranking had dropped from 4th to 14th. Economic growth from 1970 to the early 1990s was roughly 1 percentage point lower than in Europe and 2 points lower than in the U.S.

Before its socialist experiment, Sweden had a smaller government sector than the U.S. By the early 1990s, government spending and transfer payments ballooned to 70% of gross domestic product, and debt had increased to 80% of GDP. Between 1966 and 1974, Sweden lost some 400,000 private jobs—proportionate to the USA hypothetically losing 16.7 million jobs in today’s U.S. Sixteen point seven MILLION jobs.


In 1991 a market-oriented government came to power in Sweden and undertook far-reaching reforms. Policy makers have privatized parts of the health-care system, introduced for-profit schools along with school vouchers, and REDUCED welfare benefits. Since 1997, government ministries that propose new spending plans have been required to find offsetting cuts in their budgets. As a result, public debt has declined from 80% of GDP in the early 1990s to 41% today.

To increase incentives to work, Sweden REDUCED unemployment benefits and introduced an earned-income tax credit in 2007. The electricity and transportation industries were deregulated in the 1990s, and even the Swedish postal system was opened up to competition in 1993. The corporate tax rate was cut from its 2009 level of 28% to 22% today, and is scheduled to decline to 20.4% in 2021.

This policy mix has earned Sweden a Heritage Foundation ranking as the 15th freest economy in the world. The U.S. is 18th. And it’s paid off. Since 1995, Swedish economic growth has exceeded that of its European Union peers by about 1 point a year. Sweden is now richer than all of the major EU countries and is within 15% of U.S. per capita GDP. While Sweden still has a larger government than the U.S., its tax code is flatter. The progressivity of the U.S. tax code distorts incentives, as even the most progressive of left-wing economists agree. These distortions would become even larger under the tax-increase proposals of democratic socialists like Occasional-Cortex and the current field of would-be nominees for the Democratic presidential ticket.

There is an example for the U.S. here, but the lesson isn’t what most Millenials think.
And the majority of millenials also prefer to live in mommies basement. Help me, help me.
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Old 08-22-2019, 10:59 AM
 
629 posts, read 161,453 times
Reputation: 253
Violent crime is soaring in Sweden.
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:36 AM
 
2,540 posts, read 657,086 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OmegaSupreme View Post
It really isn't this time. I initially thought the same, but smarter people than me (Musk, et al) are saying jobs will be wiped out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBMW View Post
If that were going to happen, we'd be seeing it by now. We haven't.
Yes, we have.


120 years ago at the turn of the century, over 60% of the US population was directly involved in agriculture, farming, and ranching. Today, it is less than 4%.

Imagine that you could go back in time to 1900 & tell learned scholars, politicians, world leaders, journalists, futurists, and business leaders that in far-off 2019 less than 4% of the nation's population would be directly involved in agriculture.

Then imagine you asked them, "what do you think all the other people will do for a living in far-off 2019?"

Chances are none of those learned people would guess:
  • "network engineer,"
  • "geneticist,"
  • "web designer,"
  • "search engine optimization engineer,"
  • "industrial robot tech,"
  • "radiologist,"
  • "professional MMA fighter,"
  • "professional football player,"
  • "cinematographer,"
  • "sound engineer,"
  • "microprocessor architect,"
  • "telemarketer,"
  • "City-Data forum moderator",
  • "cryptocurrency miner",
  • "social media marketer",
  • "physical therapist",
  • "occupational therapist,"
  • "solid state physicist,"
  • "CPU architect,"
  • "mortgage broker,"

-- and the like.

We don't know what the future holds -- it is exceedingly difficult to forecast the future, but I seriously doubt either AI or automation are a serious threat.

How hard is it to forecast the future? Take the Great Manure Crisis of 1894.

Nineteenth-century cities depended on thousands of horses for their daily functioning. All transport, whether of goods or people, was drawn by horses. London in 1900 had 11,000 taxi cabs, all horse-powered. There were also several thousand buses, each of which required 12 horses per day, a total of more than 50,000 horses. There were countless carts, drays, and wagons, all horse-powered and all working constantly to deliver the goods needed by the rapidly growing population of what was then the largest city in the world. Similar figures exist for any great city of the time.

The problem of course was that all these horses produced huge amounts of manure. A horse will on average produce between 15 and 35 pounds of manure per day... In New York in 1900, the population of 100,000 horses produced 2.5 million pounds of horse manure per day, all of which had to be swept up and disposed of.

The problem did indeed seem intractable. The larger and richer that cities became, the more horses they needed to function. The more horses, the more manure. Futurists of 120 years ago estimated that in 50 years every street in London would be buried under nine feet of manure. Moreover, all these horses had to be stabled, which used up ever-larger areas of increasingly valuable land. And as the number of horses grew, ever-more land had to be devoted to producing hay to feed them (rather than producing food for people), and this had to be brought into cities and distributed—by horse-drawn vehicles.

It seemed that urban civilization was doomed.

In 1898 the first international urban-planning conference convened in New York; one of its goals was to figure out what to do about all the horse manure. The conference was abandoned after three days, instead of the scheduled ten, because none of the delegates could see any solution to the growing crisis posed by urban horses and their waste output.

Obviously, the trend that couldn't go on forever -- well, it didn't go on forever.

So when we collectively think about AI and robotics, we do know that by automating more tasks, it frees up people to find better ways to add value to society. In the late 1890s, many people were employed in the collection and removal of horse manure from the streets of major cities. Just two decades later, the total number of people employed doing that had cratered to a tiny fraction of peak manure-removal employment. All those unemployed manure-removal laborers didn't sit around and whine; they all found other ways to add value to society and thereby earn a living.

The future is brighter than it ever has been.
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