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Old 09-15-2012, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,472,880 times
Reputation: 17560

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejlorge View Post
Hi there, Submariner! Thanks for the welcome. Where are you from originally in Ca? (I was born in Long Beach but have also lived in LAguna Beach, Santa Barbara, LA, San Luis Obispo and SF.)
San Joaquin Valley of California. I grew up mostly on a farm outside of Modesto. Attended college in Fresno. I have siblings who stayed to farm there in that valley.



Quote:
... A few thoughts:

1) You sound like a cat who has lived many lives! I read some of your posts in other threads talking about the jet-stream in CA vs ME and you said that you made your living on the seas, I guess you were refering to your job in the Navy(?)
I had a career as a sailor, 70's, 80's, 90's and into '01 before I was put out on pension. [I got out in the 80's, we attended college, we had a dairy, and I worked tossing pizza dough. We saw that our life was very hand-to-mouth, so I went back into the Navy]

Technically I am now in a Navy Reserve component. I subject to recall if the Navy wanted me back at some point.



Quote:
... Also, as a side note, I have a theory; at all the open air markets we go to here in France, I find that the Fruit/Veg vendors are consistently the most cheerful and happy... Am I right?

Butchers, can also be pretty friendly, (although I don't eat much meat.)
I can see that.

I certainly prefer the lifestyle of fruits/veggies/livestock and selling at market, over other work environments.

In many cases, US farmers must hold jobs in the city to support their farming habits. Farming may be an expensive hobby to them. A 40-hour/week job with farming as a side-line; or worse 2 or 3 part-time jobs with farming as side-line. That was what my father did. In my observations of American farm-life on the East Coast and West Coast, it seems that the majority of US farm families can only exist by working in town also.

I got out of the Navy, part of the way through my career; we tried farming. We starved. I went back into the Navy to finish out my career and to try it again with a pension to help support us. My pension is not much. In most places we have lived, my pension would not be enough to support us. But Maine is different.

In Maine my pension is enough. I believe that in Maine we see the highest percentages of farmers who are able to survive by farming, without need to have jobs in town.

The economics are different overseas. I think it is more likely in France to see people who can support themselves from working a 4-acre field of veggies; as compared to most of the US. The economics of Maine are about the best in the US in terms of small organic farmers being able to survive just by farming.

The result is that you do see Fruit/Veg/meat vendors who are cheerful and happy.



Quote:
... 2) I think that is very good adivce to just apply to schools all over Maine, then I can always transition to the Portland area (where we really want to be).

3) I have a question for you: You have lived in Scotland, so you know how horribly dismal and grey winters can be here (I'm in Lille which gets the same weather as Brussels).
In Scotland, we had an upstairs bedroom where one day I setup a video camera to film the day in time-lapse mode [1 second of video per every minute]. When I left for work it was yet dark, and when I returned it was dark again.

Looking down on the 'Loch' [a bay] ships had flood lights on and workers were doing their chores as usual.

As the sun came up, birds were singing, it looked like a wonderful day. But on the horizon was a black line, and with each passing minute it marched closer toward the Loch.

Then suddenly there was hail beating the window. Black clouds had blocked out the sun, it was dark again.
Waves were crashing over the pier, in front of our house was a stone wall and it was taking waves of sea water hitting it and shooting up in the air, the brightest lights were again the flood lights.

The next scene the storm was fading.

Then clear sky again with bright sun, you could hear the birds, a bright beautiful day once again, but a new black line was visible on the horizon.

That VHS tape shows seventeen storms that blew through in that one day.

That was the weather of Holy Loch Scotland.



Quote:
... And you come from CA so you know what a sunny winter is. So how difficult are the winters in Maine? I don't mean the cold, so much as the GREY. The grey winters here kill me! But my feeling is Maine is cold but often sunny... Is this true??
The usual pattern I experience is: we get a storm once a week, followed by 5 or 6 days of clear sunny skies. Then the next storm, followed by more days of clear and sunny.

Once a blanket of white is on the ground, it gets bright. Glare from the snow makes it very bright. I wear brazing goggles outside. It is commonly too bright for me otherwise.

We have not gotten into sledding, yet. We see others who love sledding. It looks like fun. I suspect that for some people winter is much more of an outdoors play season than summer is.

Grey? No.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Aix-en-Provence, France
104 posts, read 213,082 times
Reputation: 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
San Joaquin Valley of California. I grew up mostly on a farm outside of Modesto. Attended college in Fresno. I have siblings who stayed to farm there in that valley.



I certainly prefer the lifestyle of fruits/veggies/livestock and selling at market, over other work environments.


The result is that you do see Fruit/Veg/meat vendors who are cheerful and happy.

Grey? No.
I should have qualified that statement: I have found the Fruit/Veg vendors are the happiest of ANYONE at the market, including the shoppers. I always walk away scratching my head, thinking "Did I choose the wrong career?"

Also, it's funny that you should respond now, because (thanks to your advice of looking stateside) I just found a potential post in Lewiston at Bates College.

So we'll see...
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:21 AM
 
1,360 posts, read 1,855,527 times
Reputation: 1244
Quote:
Originally Posted by 221B View Post
As far as purchasing one's own medical insurance; I recently did yet another price comparison of CA vs ME. We currently buy our own coverage, and the same approximate policy with about the same deductible and coverage limits costs 140% more in Maine compared to California. For example, a very modest policy with high annual deductibles for two in CA runs $300/month, compared to about $720/month in Maine.
Could that be because CA has a larger population to purchase and join the pool of insureds? or are doctors and other healthcare workers in CA willing to accept smaller salaries?
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:27 AM
 
1,360 posts, read 1,855,527 times
Reputation: 1244
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordSquidworth View Post
Mainers don't like to admit how reliant they are on the state. We're one of the most welfare dependent states.



Think we're still a year or two from opening the borders. I could be wrong, but last I checked Maine had laws restricted crossing the borders for health insurance, so there's a bit of a cartel going. It's planned to remove those restrictions in 2013 or 2014.



It's the failure of public schooling.



To the Op...

If you're bringing your kids to Maine for cultural experiences... Coming from France your probably better off looking elsewhere. Portland and surrounding area might be okay, but visit first. I've found small towns in other states with more culture than the whole state.
LordSquidworth or should I say LordCalamari... if you have so few compliments for Maine why don't you move? Maine has plenty of Maine culture, but it doesn't seem to be what you're looking for/want/or expect.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Out West
20,595 posts, read 15,415,894 times
Reputation: 24156
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejlorge View Post
Actually this is just a play on semantics, not the real issue. When I said "free" I mean it's covered as a taxpaying citizen.

Think of it like this, mainebrokerman, do you consider public schools free?

Forgive me if I get a bit uppity, but this topic often comes up with folks from home and inevitably the "nothing is free" argument comes up, as if people who use socialized medicine are leeching off the system, when it's no different from any other social service such as schools, libraries, police forcem etc.
Hi ejlorge! I wish you the best of luck in your moving endeavors! If you do decide on Maine, I think you will like it. Portland would be great for the kids as there is much to do down there.

As for healthcare...here's my issue with it: I want to be responsible for my own, not pay for someone else. If I want to help someone, I want to have the freedom to choose when and how much I give to charity to help someone, I don't want it forced on me by the government. That's what I have an issue with.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:58 AM
 
5,049 posts, read 3,327,862 times
Reputation: 4863
Quote:
Originally Posted by mainegrl2011 View Post
LordSquidworth or should I say LordCalamari... if you have so few compliments for Maine why don't you move? Maine has plenty of Maine culture, but it doesn't seem to be what you're looking for/want/or expect.
Maine culture being a proliferation of trailers, closed minded people stuck living in the past, a dying young population?

I probably will leave. One more year of school then I can make my escape. Took the express route in college, many of the high school friends who have graduated have already left the state for work anyways. Lack of work combined with relatively high taxes to support an obeis population and high level of welfare isn't very inviting for young people these days.

Luckily I've found slight sanctuary in Portland for a bit. But even down here it pales in comparison to other parts of the world.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,472,880 times
Reputation: 17560
Quote:
Originally Posted by mainegrl2011 View Post
Could that be because CA has a larger population to purchase and join the pool of insureds? or are doctors and other healthcare workers in CA willing to accept smaller salaries?
I have heard that theory before many times. I have a hard time buying it.

In a group of 100,000 people; 'X' percentage will need surgery this year, 'Y' percentage will get the flu this year, 'Z' percentage will have traumas [broken bones, car wrecks, tree fell on them, gun shot wounds, etc]. So the 'pool' of insurance customers will pay for the needs of those who need it.

Now expand the group from 100,000 people, to 1,000,000 people. The argument is that these percentages will suddenly drop. But unless the people you added are completely without healthcare needs, the theory is bunk.

'X' percentage will be 'X' percentage regardless of the size of the pool. The size of the pool is not going to change what percentage of people need surgery. You might see differences if you started with a pool of 10 people, and compared it to a pool of 100,000. Odds are good that nobody in your pool of 10 will ever get brain cancer. But once you get to 100,000 people or larger, you will like see the percentages level out. The 'X' percentage of your pool, will be the 'X' percentage of the entire society.

Or so I believe.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Aix-en-Provence, France
104 posts, read 213,082 times
Reputation: 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Three Wolves In Snow View Post
Hi ejlorge! I wish you the best of luck in your moving endeavors! If you do decide on Maine, I think you will like it. Portland would be great for the kids as there is much to do down there.

As for healthcare...here's my issue with it: I want to be responsible for my own, not pay for someone else. If I want to help someone, I want to have the freedom to choose when and how much I give to charity to help someone, I don't want it forced on me by the government. That's what I have an issue with.
Hi there, TWIS, thanks for the welcome!

Yes, Portland/Sothern Maine is definitely IT for us... It's just a matter of time and opportunity. you're right, Portland seems to have the perfect combination of City/Sea/Nature and a Healthy Environment to bring kids up. Plus, I like the simple, no-nonsense vibe NE in general (but Maine in particular) seems to have.

So of course you're entitled to want your money to go where you want it to go. I get it. I use to be Libertarian myself, . And I totally agree that there are many areas where the government needs to back off... But health care is not one of them.

Living in a country that treats your health and wellbeing as a basic necessity of life has been a REAL eyeopener. Sure, everybody makes a bit less: doctors make less, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals make less, (and lawyers make less ) and my paycheck is a bit less. However, in the end, EVERYONE benefits from living in a more humane, stable society.

And yet, taxpayers in the US pay $700 BILLION(!) for defense but the government can't guarantee that you won't slip into oblivion should your health fail you.
Example: My uncle has worked his BUTT off in the health care field in Central California for 35 years.20 years ago his wife and three daughters were in their car and got hit by a train. Everyone was fine except for my aunt who had massive head injuries (she has not been the same since).

After years of litigation and lawyer fees, the court decided it wasn't Amtrak's fault after all. At the time he couldn't afford insurance so he lost big time. Last time I checked, he was STILL paying off the the medical bills. There is something fundamentally wrong about that.

Sure, you could argue he gambled and lost. But why should a person living in the richest nation in history(!) have to gamble with something as essential as his/her health?


In any case, never mind the ethics of it, from a purely selfish point of view the average citizen is STiLL paying too much. YOU PAY TWICE, in fact! First, you pay WAY too much to private insurance companies (who make money hand-over-fist),

AND secondly you pay for people who use the ER as their doctor's office (as I said in an earlier post).
They get sick, or an injury, and instead of treating it right away they wait for the problem to get much worse then go to the hospital, costing taxpayers X billions every year.

It's completely counterintuitive.

So yes, I see your point, you don't want to pay for other people. The thing is, you already are.

Last edited by ejlorge; 09-15-2012 at 11:09 AM..
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:47 PM
 
Location: MidCoast Maine
471 posts, read 601,067 times
Reputation: 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by mainegrl2011 View Post
Could that be because CA has a larger population to purchase and join the pool of insureds? or are doctors and other healthcare workers in CA willing to accept smaller salaries?
Good question. Health care is very expensive everywhere, but this is why it is so much more in Maine. Its about a 2 minute read, but it is worth taking the time to check it out:

Maine Seeks Escape from Its Own Obamacare-like Problems

Also, my sense is that because a fairly large portion of the population has "free" or "almost free" health coverage via their employers or the government, (subsidised by taxpayers or indebtedness), many aren't directly exposed to the true costs of their medical care. If most people were aware of the real costs, I believe swift change would occur as market forces took effect and consumers demanded fair pricing on their premiums and cost of care.
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Out West
20,595 posts, read 15,415,894 times
Reputation: 24156
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejlorge View Post
Hi there, TWIS, thanks for the welcome!

Yes, Portland/Sothern Maine is definitely IT for us... It's just a matter of time and opportunity. you're right, Portland seems to have the perfect combination of City/Sea/Nature and a Healthy Environment to bring kids up. Plus, I like the simple, no-nonsense vibe NE in general (but Maine in particular) seems to have.

So of course you're entitled to want your money to go where you want it to go. I get it. I use to be Libertarian myself, . And I totally agree that there are many areas where the government needs to back off... But health care is not one of them.

Living in a country that treats your health and wellbeing as a basic necessity of life has been a REAL eyeopener. Sure, everybody makes a bit less: doctors make less, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals make less, (and lawyers make less ) and my paycheck is a bit less. However, in the end, EVERYONE benefits from living in a more humane, stable society.

And yet, taxpayers in the US pay $700 BILLION(!) for defense but the government can't guarantee that you won't slip into oblivion should your health fail you.
Example: My uncle has worked his BUTT off in the health care field in Central California for 35 years.20 years ago his wife and three daughters were in their car and got hit by a train. Everyone was fine except for my aunt who had massive head injuries (she has not been the same since).

After years of litigation and lawyer fees, the court decided it wasn't Amtrak's fault after all. At the time he couldn't afford insurance so he lost big time. Last time I checked, he was STILL paying off the the medical bills. There is something fundamentally wrong about that.

Sure, you could argue he gambled and lost. But why should a person living in the richest nation in history(!) have to gamble with something as essential as his/her health?


In any case, never mind the ethics of it, from a purely selfish point of view the average citizen is STiLL paying too much. YOU PAY TWICE, in fact! First, you pay WAY too much to private insurance companies (who make money hand-over-fist),

AND secondly you pay for people who use the ER as their doctor's office (as I said in an earlier post).
They get sick, or an injury, and instead of treating it right away they wait for the problem to get much worse then go to the hospital, costing taxpayers X billions every year.

It's completely counterintuitive.

So yes, I see your point, you don't want to pay for other people. The thing is, you already are.
Fair enough. But if I'm paying twice for myself already, (if I choose to use health insurance...), that's one thing. What you're asking is that we pay for other people twice, by force.
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