The Hazing Thread - introduce yourself *here*

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Re: The Hazing Thread - introduce yourself *here*

Postby JohnDeere630 » June 28th, 2014, 2:38 am

2/3 of your income in taxes? Yikes! And people here in the US think they are taxed.... :lol:

I don't know much about Scandinavia, so I won't throw any stones at them, but if that is true, it does lend credence to the belief that socialism does indeed cost a lot of other people's money....

@Nadir, I am not being snarky, nor mean any disrespect, but Cuba is hardly a ringing endorsement for whatever system they have, which I thought was communism. I am quite unsure of the practical differences between socialism and communism, so you may very well be correct. I remember a year or so back, there was some glitch in the banking system either there(Cuba) or here, and the money that family members living in the US was sending to relatives in Cuba was fouled up for some time....it just about brought the Cuban economy to it's knees, if I recall. Sorry, I can't find any links to back that up; I just remember there was a big stink about it.

The reason I am even interested in all this is that I am at the point in my life where I am re-examining many of my assumptions. We are taught that capitalism is "good", and communism and socialism is "bad", but nothing is simple, nor black and white. When one, for a moment, sets aside their bedrock assumptions and looks at things with an unbiased (as much as possible) viewpoint, it is quite frightening. I'm not sure what to do about it...I doubt I can do anything about it personally, but I am having long dinner-time discussions with my sons about this and other things. I want them to try to cast off the blinders of society's dogma and open their eyes. Who knows, maybe they can make a difference....

Sorry to ramble on...... :oops: Carry on!
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Re: The Hazing Thread - introduce yourself *here*

Postby Randicus Draco Albus » June 28th, 2014, 3:03 am

Cuba is a bad example to use for or against any system. The country's economy has been crippled by an American enforced embargo for fifty years. Unless things have changed in the last ten years, the newest cars in Cuba were made in the early '60s. No social-political-economic system can thrive under an economic embargo, unless the country is totally self-sufficient.
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Re: The Hazing Thread - introduce yourself *here*

Postby JohnDeere630 » June 28th, 2014, 5:34 am

Randicus Draco Albus wrote:Cuba is a bad example to use for or against any system. The country's economy has been crippled by an American enforced embargo for fifty years. Unless things have changed in the last ten years, the newest cars in Cuba were made in the early '60s. No social-political-economic system can thrive under an economic embargo, unless the country is totally self-sufficient.


Point taken...
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Re: The Hazing Thread - introduce yourself *here*

Postby cynwulf » June 28th, 2014, 12:20 pm

Cuba is also the subject of intense US and western propaganda. If Castro puts a foot wrong, it's on Fox news within the hour and they rush to interview ex patriot Cubans living in the US - who's opinions are actually largely irrelevant. (just like the US would not like the opinions of some ex patriot "traitor" living in e.g. Russia who was slagging off the regime).

Venezuela has been treated much the same. The last elections there were portrayed as a farce by the US administration in a hope to boost support for their man and further their campaign of destablisation. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... -democracy

In fact if you really want to get into it, the US has been interfering in Latin America for most of the last century up until the present day. Backing and holding up dictators and supporting coups to oust democratically elected leaders. Here in Europe, while far from perfect, we have less trouble with damning our governments and leaders, but the same trouble in ousting them and replacing them with something better. But in the US the realisation that the government might have acted less than saintly, if not downright immorally, can be hard for the people as a whole to swallow. It is in fact the US where one would expect the government to be held to account more severely and for the people to protect their freedoms more rigourously than here in Europe where we have for the most part suffered hundreds of years of oppression which have conditioned the people to accept an elite - i.e. a monarchy - who rule over them and retain special privileges.
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Re: The Hazing Thread - introduce yourself *here*

Postby FretfulMother » June 28th, 2014, 9:22 pm

Randicus Draco Albus wrote:Cuba is a bad example to use for or against any system. The country's economy has been crippled by an American enforced embargo for fifty years. Unless things have changed in the last ten years, the newest cars in Cuba were made in the early '60s. No social-political-economic system can thrive under an economic embargo, unless the country is totally self-sufficient.

And still they are able to offer general healthcare to it's population. Something impossible in the most powerful capitalistic system.

A link i can't find: the speech Castro held in front of the UN, quite some years ago. The whole world stood up and gave standing ovations for more than a few secs. I myself don't know that much about Cuba, i probably wouldn't like it there (cause i like it nowhere), but i sure don't believe the propaganda i am told in the public news here (and if i had to choose i would rather go there than in one of the other countries close to it).

The actual president of Urugay ("the poorest president") is an interesting man, it seems. But as far i understand Urugay is a capitalistic system.

-
But, like cynwulf said and i already said too: It is not easy to think about the sense or nonsense of a socialist or communist system as long the free world threats them instantly (either via war or via CIA actions, see Chile). This is not the "war on terror" but the "terror of war".

btw: i am not that big a fan of socialists or communists, mainly due to their quasi-religious views about work. That doesn't mean i won't a) attack the capitalistic system or b) defend the socialist ideas against common misbelieves (but i ain't got that much hope in socialism as long they don't get rid of their "lower middle class" or "petty bourgeois" - in German Biedermeier- ideas. What they want looks a lot like a huge - and totally hopeless - working camp).
I am rather a "fan" of "negative dialectic" which, in the most wrong form, assumes that now and here you can't make any proposal how to do it better or how it would be better. You can only show and think what is wrong with the actual situation, and, in negative, can see how a "right" world would _not look like (People say that ain't enough. They want to do something. They want a recipe). Opposed to "work" as the main idea they think of "art" as the main idea or goal.
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Re: The Hazing Thread - introduce yourself *here*

Postby FretfulMother » June 28th, 2014, 9:26 pm

Speaking of work (and taxes and the reason to go working):
ca 25 % of the working people of Germany (ca 40 million altogether, so ca 10 million people) don't earn as much or less than the poverty level. If they earn less they go work and get welfare too.
People seem to have more reasons to go to work than simply money (My guess is that they are bored).

The good news is that you can join that army and will have to pay close to no taxes.
Assuming that is what Americans are asking for (that is how i understand them ... :-) ).
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Re: The Hazing Thread - introduce yourself *here*

Postby Randicus Draco Albus » June 29th, 2014, 2:10 am

FretfulMother wrote:And still they are able to offer general healthcare to it's population. Something impossible in the most powerful capitalistic system.

Now that is something I did not know. :shock:
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Re: The Hazing Thread - introduce yourself *here*

Postby FretfulMother » June 29th, 2014, 11:47 am

Randicus Draco Albus wrote:
FretfulMother wrote:And still they are able to offer general healthcare to it's population. Something impossible in the most powerful capitalistic system.

Now that is something I did not know. :shock:

There is a film by Michael Moore (whom i don't like simply cause i don't like him). I forgot the name of the film. He travels around the USA to find healthcare for people who suffer from chronical diseases, cause they helped to clean up the mess after 11.11. No help nowherre. Once being at Guantanamo anyway (as the news said healthcare is offered there, to the prisoners) he went to Cuba. There they get healthcare. Some so reliefed, after being ill for 10 years without any help, they start to cry.

Just like any other German i believe anything anti-american without further checking ....

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There was another docu in TV. It said that in Cuba there is more production of organic food (in percentage, of course) than in Germany (which, as far Europe is concerned, has quite some passion in producing organic food. Say the company "demeter").
I didn't check that neither.

In short i believe in anything which confirms what i believe that i know and don't believe anything which doesn't confirm it. To be able to stay sitting in my confortable rocking chair, ranting bout things i got no clue about, and not have to think too much. The capitalistic systems offers me that option, so i really got no reason to complain (and besides value-added taxes i don't even have to pay any taxes. Mainly for cigarettes, cause all of my food is from the welfare kitchen). Social isolation? I hate humans anyway. I sure live way better than 80 or 90 percent of the world population and way better than the 25 percent of working German people i spoke of above. Why do i complain? I got no idea. Probably cause i would complain anywhere, as a form of mental disease. Or, and that is another option, humans got more than just the basic or luxury needs. Let's call it sense. ---> each and every German complains loud and clear bout earning too little and having to pay taxes, etc. Though they sure can't complain (the middle class). They live pretty well and the work they do is hard to distinguish from vacation. They miss something different - let's call it sense - but are not able to see it. That is very sad. (Marx called the lack of sense alienation. Marcuse spoke of true and false needs, way later, of course. If someone - anyone - in the western world thinks he lacks more material goods, then he is straight nut).
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Re: The Hazing Thread - introduce yourself *here*

Postby Roel » July 6th, 2014, 6:25 pm

JohnDeere630 wrote:2/3 of your income in taxes? Yikes! And people here in the US think they are taxed.... :lol:


Which is still less than "we" had to pay up to the early nineties. In the Netherlands the income tax rate was 72% of every dollar earned over, say, $ 40k. The 40k is an estimate because we had the Dutch Guilder in those days.
In the early nineties this was diminished to 60% and in 2001 to 52%, for all income over about € 45k.

Yet, we have never been a real socialist country. Depending on the elections it can be social-democrat (also named "socialism light"), liberal, or christian-democrat. And always a coalition between two or more parties.

And even thought we seem to have high standards, complaining is what we Dutch seem to do all the time. A National Habit...
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Re: The Hazing Thread - introduce yourself *here*

Postby Lou » September 8th, 2014, 8:04 pm

FretfulMother wrote:There is a film by Michael Moore (whom i don't like simply cause i don't like him). I forgot the name of the film. He travels around the USA to find healthcare for people who suffer from chronical diseases, cause they helped to clean up the mess after 11.11. No help nowherre. Once being at Guantanamo anyway (as the news said healthcare is offered there, to the prisoners) he went to Cuba. There they get healthcare. Some so reliefed, after being ill for 10 years without any help, they start to cry.


Sicko – A Michael Moore Documentary
http://www.documentary24.com/sicko-a-mi ... tary--197/

"Sicko is a documentary film by Michael Moore. The film investigates the American health care system in 2007, focusing on its health insurance and pharmaceutical industry. The film compares the for-profit, non-universal U.S. system with the non-profit universal health care systems of Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Cuba.

According to the movie Sicko, almost fifty million Americans are uninsured and those who are covered with insurance are often victims of insurance company fraud and red tape. Interviews are conducted with people who thought they had adequate coverage but were denied care, as well as former employees of insurance companies who describe cost-cutting initiatives that encourage bonuses for insurance company physicians to deny medical treatments for policy holders.

In this documentary, the director / writer Michael Moore exposes the dysfunctional North American health care system, oriented to huge profits and not for their mission of saving lives. Further, Moore shows the corruption in the political system, with members of government and congress “bought” by the corporations and the situation of the average American citizens."
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