Monday, March 17, 2008

Just Because I’m Going to Wait Until October to Talk Politics…

As everyone knows by now, Gates of Vienna has a dearth of political posts. And so it will stay until after the conventions.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t read what others are saying. No, not what the politicians are saying; I mean what issues the thinking public discusses.

For an excellent example of the genre, see this Winds of Change post. It starts with Geraldine Ferraro and then goes on to an in-depth discussion of the details in this campaign, including a cogent discussion of race and gender politics - a discussion which, were it to be broached at Gates of Vienna would have us charged as racist and sexist. Yet there is nothing said there that isn’t realistic and thoughtful.

As voters, we can’t change anything on a massive scale. But the devil is in the details. The Winds of Change post - and especially the long thread of comments - gives us those particulars, plus new ways to think about them.

There is an excellent comparison about the candidates' plans for individual taxation,done by commenter Robohobo.

Both Americans and Europeans will be interested in what voters have to say, because - among many other issues - these commenters are comparing the health plans in Europe with what might come about here in the U.S.

I will continue to say that we can be effective only at the margins, but sometimes that is enough.

By the way, one of them gives Denmark top billing in its provision of health care for Danish citizens. It figures.

Shoulda known…

[post ends here]


Mikael said...

Two Danish soldiers were killed today by a suicide-attack in Afghanistan along with four other NATO-troopers. More here

Mikael said...

Ok, back on topic.

The Danish public health care certainly leaves a lot to be desired, but are you aware that public expenditure per capita is around twice as much in the US as it is in Denmark?

Afonso Henriques said...

Well, what scares m the most is not if Obama will won the presidency but weather we will become a viable candidate to win it within 4, 8, 12 of 20 years...

mikej said...


I don't doubt your statement that U.S. health care expenditures per capita are about twice the European figures, but can you cite a source?

I don't doubt you because, here in America, we operate under a system that combines all the worst features of capitalism and communism. The government pays for some people's health care, but pays the health care providers pretty much whatever they want. The government won't pay a discriminatory rate, so the providers can't gouge the government without gouging the rest of us.

The obvious remedy is either to revert to a free market (my preference) or to establish a European-style national health service. None of our surviving presidential candidates is proposing either.

I disagree with Dymphna's statement that voters can only be effective at the margins. I believe that we Americans are getting exactly the sort of government that a majority of our electorate deserves, God help us! Most American voters think that Uncle Sugar can and will create wealth out of thin air and give it to them. Obviously, the government can create as much fiat money as it pleases, but, as we'll soon learn, that's not the same as creating wealth.

Unknown said...

O.K. Baron;

You can wait till October to speak of politics, but;

From the U.K...

Bang goes the London Mega-Mosque then...

Goodbye Red Ken......

The speed of Nu Liebors outright collapse has been utterly staggering.

Dhimmi bishops - Denial of a say on the E.U. Superstate - Outright Islamic appeasement - BBC lackies.

The tipping point has been reached, but not by the Ummah.

But by the true Brits themselves....

Mikael said...

@ Gringo_malo

There's a link here, (2007) but I'll have to admit, I did not take into account the degree of private health insurance in the US. The table describes the sum of public and private expenditure. (In Europe most health care is public)

US: 6096 $ PC (per capita)
Denmark: 2780 $ PC

(Another table from OECD is here (from 2005 in PDF.) It's clear that the US spends more tax-money PC than any European country, save for Luxembourg and Norway.

The US leads by far followed by Luxembourg(??) (Apparently a pretty frail people. Must be a side effect from whitewashing all that money. Soap allergies, perhaps?)

A quick glance at the table shows that the rest of Western Europe is pretty much spending the same on health, some 3000 dollars PC, give or take.

The average Joe in America is charged way more on public and private health-care than any other country in the world. Probably because the system offers better treatment.

As a comparison, The Congo spends a whopping 15 bucks per capita. Not a place you want to be sick in.

Sodra Djavul said...

Please wait to discuss the candidates until the convention, but no longer.

Obama is doing everything in his power to bill himself as the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln (and my opinion of Lincoln is mixed to say the least).

Like it or not, short of arming ourselves and running riot through the streets, elections ARE our only means of resistance.

We should discuss this in more meaningful detail, despite the eventual smears, in order to avert what everyone fears will happen to Europe: armed conflict.

I know it's distasteful, but it needs to be discussed.

- Sodra