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Economic Slavery and the Cost of Medicines

Discussion in 'Financial Cents' started by UncleMorgan, May 20, 2016.

  1. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Economic slavery takes many forms. It isn't always just about keeping people at the lowest possible wage to keep them in poverty and easy to control. It's also about restricting vital resources. Overprice something people MUST have and you can reduce them to poverty, even if they are "wealthy" with the fruits of a lifetime of hard work and careful savings.

    It doesn't matter if it's food, water, gasoline, or life-saving medications. It's all part of the same process.

    Elderly man kills wife because he couldn’t afford her meds

    Notice the statistics at the bottom of this article. Those are the costs to the average person. A few are much worse off, and a few are still a little too healthy. But eventually the trap will close on everyone, if they don't die first.
  2. John Grit

    John Grit Monkey

    My insurance pays a fortune for my chemo. If there was no such thing as health insurance and programs like Medicare, etc, the free market would limit the price of healthcare, including drugs. You can only charge what people can pay. This would probably also limit research and many of those expensive drugs wouldn't exist, along with PET scan machines and many other medical advances. If the expensive drug she needed had never been invented, she might have died anyway and her husband not had to murder her to save money. It's a double-edged sword. We can have cheap healthcare, just go back to Civil War level medicine. But a lot of people would die who would have lived with today's expensive healthcare services. If there is no brake of some kind, in the near future not even the power of taxation will generate enough funds to cover the cost. Countries that have tried socialism are broke and trying to back away from it. But if there are restraints on further increases in the cost of healthcare we can expect fewer breakthroughs and cures in the medical field. There is no easy answer.

    A good example of government pouring money into a system and causing a massive distortion of the market is college tuition. Student loans now add up to $1.5 trillion. This is many times the entire yearly federal budget of the early 1980s. The result has been a drastic increase in tuition fees. If they could only charge what people could afford - painfully afford in this case - tuition costs wouldn't be anywhere near what they are now. Some socialist countries subsidize electricity to the point it's very cheap for the people. This results in people not bothering to conserve. They leave everything on all the time and crank up the air conditioner. When governments distort free markets or do not allow a free market at all there are many prices to pay. Healthcare costs are high because of the deep pockets of insurance companies and the government's ability to take wealth from taxpayers by force. If people had to pay for their own healthcare it would be much cheaper, but it wouldn't be what we think of today as modern medicine. Anyone who thinks they have a perfect answer to the problem is mistaken.
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  3. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey++

    I have first-hand experience with social medicine in numerous countries having spent 20+ years throughout them (Europe) and even have had operations performed under them. I cannot understand where Americans get all horror stories about social medicine. We are the ONLY first world country that does NOT take care of its citizens with some sort of social medicine. We get a HUGE military instead to keep all the international corporations happy, toss our money to other countries to buy their cooperation or obedience, and the let the Elites waste the rest as they do so well. There is no other way to try and control costs and if there were do you not think all those others countries would have tried it? Or, do you sincerely believe the USA does things so much better like controlling costs? Besides, at least the people of those countries get something for their tax money and what do we get? A lot of promises and no action. The World Health Organization rated the USA as 48th and we whined and cried and threatened until the rating was improved to 38th...I am not sure where the USA stands now and don't care.

    Having returned stateside about a year ago from a third-world area where health care doesn't exist (~15 years of witch doctors and wives' tales) - well - I was very pleased to see real doctors but that went downhill real fast my first visit and continues its nose dive. Why? I had to get a prescription for medicine I require which is another annoyance - one cannot purchase ANYTHING in this damn country without a prescription and a $200 doctor visit. Why is that? Anyway, the doctor was in fear of being sued due to the medication I take so because its needs to be monitored constant, it's cheap but one must monitor it - not a big deal. I monitor it. But, he had all his patients change to a medicine that requires none...which costs a lot more, probably 10X more. Okay, whatever, insurance pays for it, right... That was one incident, the first one, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. They next was when I found out how much the SAME bottle of pills cost me here there I was purchasing overseas! We are being screwed to the wall and we continue to lap up the government's and the drug companies propaganda.

    And, what is this nonsense that the Drug companies will not produce new medicines if we were socialize? Look, most those countries are international anyway - meaning - they reside and operated in countries that have social medicine. Are we the ONLY country that is doing Research and Development for new drugs? As far as I know some of the biggest breakthroughs in the past years have come from England and France... both with social medicine programs.

    And, God help you if you need to have an operation performed in this country. The costs, even with insurance, could ruin you. A fellow expatriate friend of mine were discussing a business venture where we would contract operations outside the country providing everything from transport to/from, personal English speaking 24 hours nurse, first class facilities with first class physicians and it would still be cheaper than here. India, Philippines are a couple places with good facilities.

    And, what happens if tragedy strikes? My first month back I met an old truck driver that had to sell his home of 26 years to pay medical bills because he had fallen ill...that was the same time my country, USA, gave $48M in foreign aid to a country that kick the Americans out. Or, what happens if your young daughter has heart trouble or is in a car accident? My country can give $70B a year in Foreign Aid but can't help a old man because he is a US citizen. BAH! And, at least half that foreign aid goes astray into the hands of the elites of these countries.

    And, what about lack of doctors in this country? Germany doesn't have this problem. Why is that? I will let you answer that yourselves...but here are some hints AMA (among others), medical school costs, and government stupidity.

    I had a hernia operation performed in the Netherlands and knee surgery in Germany and the care was as good or better than I could get (or afford! :) ) in the USA. And, let's NOT get into Dental care!!!!

    Okay, I have ranted enough but I have seen this stuff first hand in many countries - we are being screwed, plain and simple. So, to sum it up, in the words from that great old western 'The Outlaw Josie Wells' - "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining."
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  4. John Grit

    John Grit Monkey

    So you don't have health insurance? The cost is less than many Americans pay each month for a car! My health insurance has paid out at least a quarter million in the last year and a half. My cost has been a few thousand. I don't see how you can get better than that!

    As for America's military, under JFK it was 41% of the budget. Under Obama it's about 21%. Under Reagan, Bush, and then Clinton, it was 15%. Most of the federal budget goes to social programs and interest on a national debt that was caused by spending on social programs, not the military, which by the way, stopped Russia from taking over ALL of those wonderful socialist countries in Europe that have pygmy, worthless militaries that are not capable of protecting those countries. They rely on free protection from the US so they can spend all their revenue on socialism. If not for the US military, those countries wouldn't exist as they do today!

    As for medical research, those socialist countries leech off of research paid for by the US.

    The fact is the lower 50% of American tax filers pay zero federal taxes but suck up most of the federal budget. The lower 70% pay in less than the federal government spends on them each year, long before they retire. It takes a household income of about $100,000 before you become a positive taxpayer. How are they getting ripped off? It's those who earn above $100,000 a year who are being robbed. In the UK even the poor must pay a tax just to watch TV.

    The real national debt of the UK equals the Wiemar Republic's. Germany will not exist in a few decades. It will be an African Muslim nation. Germans cannot afford to have children, a common problem in Socialist countries. So they are importing people from cultures that hate them. People with IQs much lower than theirs. People who will be on welfare all their lives.

    I have been on chemo since late 2014. Now I'm on chemo pills that cost just under $10,000 a month and will be on them the rest of my life. My cost? $10 a month. Sorry, but I'm not going to join the pity party.
    mysterymet and HK_User like this.
  5. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey++

    @John Grit

    Before I answer your questions and get into my rebuttal, I want to say that I am really happy that the current system is taking care of you - honestly - but some are not so lucky. Also, the $48M in Foreign Aid that I spoke of that was given to a corrupt country it could of paid your and the poor old truck driver medical bills of which I spoke...actually, that is a good example of my point.

    "So you don't have health insurance?"
    I don't have a choice. It's the law. I pay a car payment a month for my health insurance as you stated, plus 94 other taxes if I recall correctly a different thread on the monkey tree. My question is why do I have to pay a car payment for medical when I have already paid taxes? My question is why the tablets cost less abroad than stateside? Why are our other monies are not being well spent and some monies given away (and I don't care if it is even a pittance) to countries that are not our friends and never will be? And, let's not forget good old basic elite corruption. I am not into socialism but in this regard I think we need to relook our medical system, a hard look.

    "As for America's military...Under Obama it's about 21%."
    Yeah, and it is going to go up. It has to because a lot of ground equipment has to be replaced, it's worn out. Look, I am pro-military. I am ex-military. And, I certainly trust them more than I trust our government. I have spent a life time supporting the military and government agencies, little over 38 years. For example, we have 11 carriers (maybe 10 now until Gerald Ford is launched) and all the support ships and aircraft for those carriers. I read somewhere recently we have a navy that could not only fight the entire rest of the world's navy but - win. Whether that is true or not - well - who can say, certainly not me, but it does make one ask the question...why? Who else has carrier groups? Well China has one now and Russia has got one also...France has got 1...I think the UK is building 2. So...?

    'The U.S. spends close to what the entire rest of the world spends in defense...$711 billion. Per year. The next closest is China at $143 billion.' So, we have this wonderfully huge military (and $711B is huge, right?) and we use it how, exactly? We use it in wars in countries without clear objections or reasons...

    Vietnam comes to mind and I truly thought we learned something there but...no. Saudi terrorists attack New York and we attack Iraq. Iraq? Yeah, they got WMDs. They do? Errrr...no they don't. Okay, they don't but we did get Saddam. Great! We can leave now? Errr...not yet. So, we go into Afghanistan telling the country to give us the Osama Ben Laden and they didn't even know he was there. And, even if they did know, being a Muslim country, it would have been next to impossible to give him up to a threatening Christian country. Kinda like asking the Japanese to surrender the emperor in WW2 - not going to happen. Glad they figured that out or else I probably wouldn't be here. I think the emperor figured it out after the second nuke.

    But let's not squabble about the military because - well - I like having them around even though I feel they are ill used for purposes other than they were intended (like political and good old market share) and mostly because you are right the entitlement programs are what are killing us. I can't and won't argue with this because it is true and I didn't mention it in my tirade because - well - it's well known and I had blown enough wind.

    "Germany will not exist in a few decades. It will be an African Muslim nation."
    I spent fourteen (14) years in Germany and I have faith they will still be there. Yes, their growth rate was/is negative (not sure about now). And, one could say the same about America, right? I mean, Latino growth rate in some states is through the roof, huge percentage are illegals, and there is a major movement to return a portion of the states back to Mexico. So... But, Americans, like Germans, would not go quietly into that good night. I know they won't and the Germans will not either.

    I am really sorry about your illness, John, and, I am really happy to hear you are getting the care you need. And, no one wants or expects you to join a 'pity party' - this forum is for adults to converse, exchange ideas and debate and we do it fairly well. My point is...my point is this country is unbelievably rich. It has been mismanaged and misused and continues to be so. They spend $711B on a military and misuse it. They spend more than they take in revenues and pass on the debt to the future. They buy elections with entitlement programs and 'free stuff.' Then, the normal citizenry get scraps and told, by law, we have to give up a monthly car payment for healthcare...but let's not call that a tax. So, yeah, someone is telling me it's raining but it sure does stink like pee.
  6. John Grit

    John Grit Monkey

    I do not expect healthcare to be free anymore than I expect my food or anything else to be free or paid for by others. Health insurance is a business contract like any other. I signed, Blue Cross signed. They agreed to do things and I agreed to pay so much a month. Until Obamcare, we both had a choice to sign that contract or not. Now we're basically both forced by law to sign. But socialized healthcare is force, the force of government. If I voted for the government to rob taxpayers to pay for my healthcare I would be committing armed robbery by proxy through the vote. The only part of the relationship I have with Blue Cross the government has any business being involved in is to make sure they do not commit fraud or go back on the commitments they agreed to when we both signed the contract.

    As for where do people get those horror stories of socialized medicine, they come from from UK and Canadian newspapers for the most part.

    The cost of the war on poverty would pay the official national debt off and leave trillions in the bank. But the real national debt is $230 trillion in unfunded promises of free healthcare and retirement that cannot be funded because it's impossible to tax our economy enough to steal that much from the few who work. We now have over 90 million Americans who do not work at all.

    I have always argued for the US to stop protecting the Socialist countries with our military. Let them pay for their stupidity of buying votes with leech programs instead of having viable military protection. Alas, the powers that be have determined it's cheaper and safer to protect the fools in Europe, Japan, Australia, etc. As for Germany still "being there," yes, but it will NOT be Germany! It will be a black African Muslim country, not the Germany of a few decades ago. The immigration numbers show this to be unstoppable at this late date, and the German government doesn't seem to even want to stop it. Venezuela now and Argentina a few years back, are good examples of a socialized country and how they fail. The UK also is doomed for the same reasons. The most popular male baby name in London is Muhammad. London has a Muslim mayor. Muslims routinely march in the street and chant they are going to kill all non Muslims in the UK. I don't have any problem with any religion, but it's insane to import people who hate you and your way of life. Socialist countries in Europe are committing suicide. But then socialism is national suicide.
  7. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Lets not get personal... I send good Mojo out for free....

    As a 50%+ veteran I'm fortunate enough to get my meds free...
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  8. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey++

    Okay, John, I see we are not going to agree on Health Care but let me point out those horror stories that get printed up in UK and Canadian papers are own by International Media. They print what they want you to read and how they want it read - as an author, you know what I mean.

    "We now have over 90 million Americans who do not work at all."
    That's about 30%. I think that is a bit high and agree with Trump it is probably more like 20-24% but what is certain is that the government stats are incorrect.

    "I have always argued for the US to stop protecting the Socialist countries with our military."
    You'll get no grief from me on this one. I have sat in too many meetings watching our fellow NATO partners come begging with hat in hand. They have boots but they never have Intel assets, transport, comms and logistics and always count on the US to provide them.

    "The immigration numbers show this to be unstoppable at this late date, and the German government doesn't seem to even want to stop it....The most popular male baby name in London is Muhammad. London has a Muslim mayor. Muslims routinely march in the street and chant they are going to kill all non Muslims in the UK."
    Yes, the demographics are changing but I really don't think you can count those two nations out yet if so then Southwest US is doom also, yes? I do think things are coming to a head in Europe as some of the countries are now pushing back, Austrian has closed its doors and read somewhere that Sweden and Denmark radically changed their immigration laws.

    "Socialist countries in Europe are committing suicide. But then socialism is national suicide."
    Again, no disagreement from me there. I am not a Socialist and don't advocate it but I do think Health Care is broken and we are the world's piggy bank for health care. I have only been back about a year but my Health Care is now costing 3X more than when I started, yet my health hasn't changed, and it is suppose to go up again next year - a lot. The ONLY positive I see in our current system is what you pointed out in that the US government is not involved (thank God!) except to mandate by law we pay for it which call it what you want but I see it as another tax. But, maybe that is enough... I need to give that more thought. The problem is cost control as not sure about your premium but as I pointed out I am paying a lot more now than when I started and already been informed to expect an increase next year.

    @Witch Doctor 01 Sorry, Doc! No offence meant! Heat of the moment and all that... :):) BTW I could use a large dose of good Mojo about now. LOL! :)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2016
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  9. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Mojo sent...
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    There's little doubt in my MT head that 90 million is correct if you include babes in arms and all kids under 18. Once again stats for the sake of stats to twist facts with.
  11. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey++

    Oh yeah, I can agree with that! But, then I think 30% is way too low if you considered infants, children, retired and invalid plus the work-eligible people that are out of work. I thought we were just speaking of the unemployment rate which I think only considers people who can work, right? Stats...yeah, my Stats Professor use to torture us to make them show what he wanted and said 'they can show anything you want them to show.'
  12. John Grit

    John Grit Monkey

    Over 50 million on Social Security alone. Over 40 million on food stamps, many of whom do not work at all, most of whom work only a few hours a week. Otherwise they wouldn't qualify because their income would be too high. That number of over 90 million is for ADULTS only. There are 78 million boomers retiring now. Unless almost all those on SS now die soon, there will be 100 million on SS. There are millions with no job living homeless or selling drugs or whatever, but they don't work.

    I haven't worked in ten years and was self-employed all my life before that. I'm sure I'm not alone. There are probably millions of Americans who retired young on their own money. One of my brothers retired at 48 on his own money. The Government would count us as not working along with those on leech programs.

    I have kept track of the federal budget for decades. All that time the IRS has reported each year 75% to 80% of the budget going to two things: interest on a national debt caused by spending on social programs. Social programs. Only 2% of the budget goes to run government agencies (not counting the 21% for the military, which is separate form the "civilian" government). Under Reagan about 5% more of the federal budget went to interest on the debt and social programs than now under Obama. This is because 6% more is going to defense and something like 7% less is going to a much larger national debt, thanks to lower interest rates. Then Obama has added to the size of government in other areas.

    That 92 million number is for ADULTS only. Who would count small children?

    BTW, over half of all households receive some kind wealth redistribution from the taxpayers.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2016
  13. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I have to think that anyone wanting to make statistics say something in particular would do so. I ain't checking the numbers because I don't care, and don't have any sources I would trust to quote.

    To add, I've recently seen the untrusted figure of 360 million US residents. Using the above figure of 90 million (on assistance?) is only 25%, not 30%. YMMV, as always.

    Now John, your argument/statement implying that those on SS being "on the dole" I beg to differ. I earned it, and dot gov forced me to give it to dot gov to oversee how it is used (and wet its beak on the way thru) before I get it back. I am truly tired of people throwing SS into the entitlement bin for discussion; it does NOT belong there. That number of 50 million include those that are really entitled by the disability provisions? If you think so, you need more research. The fact that originally SS was supposed to be a trust fund, so to say, then was thrown into the general fund allowed it to be raided to the extent that it has contributed to the debt is accurate, and easily found true.
  14. John Grit

    John Grit Monkey

    As a business owner I paid 15% into SS and Medicare for decades, despite the fact I do not want it. I had no choice. Obviously retirees are not working and they are adults. Why would they not be counted as adults who do not work? There are ZERO Americans who are "entitled" to a dime of other Americans' money. I would agree that anyone who was wounded in combat does have a just cause to expect to be taken care of because he/she was sent to war by the government in the taxpayers' name. But all social programs are unconstitutional and had been ruled so until FDR threatened to destroy the SCOTUS after they ruled many times against his programs. For 100 years, it was well established that the federal government could only do what was mentioned in the enumerated powers. That was gradually turned on its head by many men, but mostly by Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt. After FDR, it has been assumed the government can do anything it wants as long as it's not specifically prohibited in the Constitution. That means we now have a totally unlimited federal government that can do anything it wants, even rob people who work to buy votes from those who do not. You cannot have a government that "takes care of you" and remain free at the same time. When federal power advances, liberty is forced to retreat. In order to have a government with the means to "take care of us" federal power had to be expanded way beyond the limits of the Constitution. Most of what the federal government does today is unconstitutional.

    The SS tax started out waaaaaay too low. The max tax was $30 a year. Most paid zero. The WWII generation paid in an average of $500 in their entire lives and got back as much as 1,000 times what they paid in. Their children, the boomers, found themselves paying more SS and Medicare tax in one day by the 1970s than their parents paid in from 1935 to 1970. That is not a trust fund. It is robbing your own children and grandchildren.

    Social Security tax has been ruled by the SCOTUS to be a tax the same as income tax and no one has any right to get it back anymore than they have a right to get back what they paid in income and other taxes. Congress can end SS, alter it, or whatever at any time. The way FDR got past the fact SS is 100% unconstitutional is by calling it a tax (sound familiar?) and the SCOTUS had ruled long ago the federal government has an almost unlimited power to tax. (This is not true but that was the ruling.) I realize this is emotional for some, but the federal government we were given by the Founders simply did not have the power to mix charity and state, and it still does not because the Constitution was never amended to allow any mixing of charity and state. If they had to get an amendment ratified just to ban booze and then to lift Prohibition, I would expect them to amend the Constitution before mixing charity and state. Don't you think? They needed an amendment to get their income tax but not SS? That makes zero sense.

    Here is what our Founders had so say about mixing charity and state.

    James Madison on the “general welfare” mentioned by many:

    "If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, everything, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress.... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America."

    James Madison - Wikiquote
    Madison on “general welfare:”
    “With respect to the words "general welfare," I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”

    If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will provide the general welfare, the govt. is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions.”

    “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence [social programs], the money of their constituents.”

    “The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.” Speech, House of Representatives, during the debate "On the Memorial of the Relief Committee of Baltimore, for the Relief of St. Domingo Refugees" (1794-01-10) [5]

    Jefferson: "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."

    "They are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare.... [G]iving a distinct and independent power to do any act they please which may be good for the Union, would render all the preceding and subsequent enumerations of power completely useless. It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please."
    -- Thomas Jefferson

    “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” – Letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816; The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, edited by Andrew A. Lipscomb and Albert Ellery Bergh, 20 vols. Washington: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1905

    “The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If “Thou shall not covet,” and “Thou shall not steal,” are not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.” – A Defence of the Constitutions of Government, 1787; The Works of John Adams, Edited by Charles Francis Adams; 10 vols. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1850–56. See also: Butterfield; Cappon; Warren-Adams Letters

    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
    -- French economist, statesman and author Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)
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