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Thread: World's Happiest Places

  1. #31
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    Re: World's Happiest Places

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    .....and letting people slip through the cracks in rich, developed nations like the United States or the nations in Western Europe, is unnecessary.

    It's when the middle class starts to dwindle due to lack of redistribution that you start to experience nation-wide revolutions.
    I am constantly fascinated by farcical arguments like this where NO facts are available to support them.

    First off, there is no one slipping through the healthcare crack in the US. It is even MANDATORY that health clinics and hospitals give ILLEGAL aliens care if they come in and here in California, have to provide someone who can interpret Spanish.

    Secondly, the notion that it is the Governments job to confiscate someone else's hard earned wealth and RE-DISTRIBUTE it is a Communistic notion that can only be expressed by those who have been bullschitted by the educational system and their Governments that this is the most efficient way of caring for the poor.

    Its stunning to me that anyone with a Jr. College level education can even think that Government is the answer and that it is okay to STEAL from someone and give it to someone else.

    The EU and Canada are suffering from the weight of their own largess and finding it harder and harder to support their Socialist programs. Canadians have to wait some times over a month just to see a doctor for something as simple as acid reflux; yet here in this country we can get that same care today.

    The nation’s families and PEOPLE have always done a much better job caring for themelves and making decision for themselves with MORE choice, and with competition, competitive prices than any other form of Government in the world. We just need Government to do TWO things to enable us to prosper; (1) defend the nation from its enemies; and (2) administer its laws. Everything else is nothing more than wasteful pandering to ignorant voters who think they can get something for nothing and create a dependent class of citizens who suckle off the Government teat at others expense and hard work.

  2. #32
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    Re: World's Happiest Places

    Quote Originally Posted by Orius View Post
    PeteEU, I agree with some of what you said, probably because I am Canadian. I believe the health of the public is largely dependent upon redistribution of wealth.
    Some what agree. Problem is the comment "redistribution of wealth". It has been missused by certain people to the extreme, that we today could argue that anything the government does is redistribution of wealth.. military, even the job of the President. Like it or not, redistribution of wealth has been going on since the dawn of time. Kings took taxes from nobles to feed themselves and their families.. that is redistribution of wealth. Today's version is far more fair than it ever was during the last 6000 years, and has contributed to the economic, educational and social boom of every western society.

    That said, it should be done at moderate levels.
    Of course. Extreme levels is communism, and no one likes that.

    Some European countries have an extremely high tax rate and some of them, such as Germany, have social systems that are gradually collapsing due to the retirement of the baby boomers.
    Factually wrong. The tax rate on income in Germany is not much higher than that of the US or Canada. In fact the income tax in most European countries is in some cases lower than in the US. The top tax rate in Germany on income is about 45%, where as it is 35% in the US and 40% in France. Most European countries have a top tax rate of around 40%, and yet provide UHC and other services. I do not deny that certain countries including my own of Denmark have a top marginal tax of near 60%, but we are only talking about 20% of the population being hit by this tax on any income over 64k dollars.. and that is after a bunch of deductibles for private pensions and so on. I also do not deny that on top of the income tax we all have value added tax to deal with, so the over all tax burden is higher yes, but it is not "extreme" for a huge majority of the population, especially when you have to consider that they do not have to pay or think of healthcare insurance or paying for their children's schools and so on. I would almost wager that if you add the healthcare costs for the same coverage as Europeans, then Americans would be paying near the same over all if not more.

    As for the "collapsing" system in Germany and in other countries...... you should check the source of such comments. They are often far right politicians and economists who either are American, live in America or have links to the American right. It is the same group who keep claiming that Europe will be Muslim in 50 years.

    Now I dont deny there is a problem, anyone can see that, but that problem is one of all civilized western countries. Our elders live longer and longer and we will have a big bunch of them due to baby boom generation... even Canada and the US will be effected by this.

    In those situations, less of a dependency upon government and substitution with some private institutions could offset a lot of the pressure.
    I disagree fully and whole hearted. It does not matter one bit if it is private or government institutions that provide these services. The only difference is that in a system that is solely dependant on the private sector you will have mass poverty among elders.. I guess that is one way of keeping down the elder population.. just let them die off because they cant eat, have a home or get medical care.

    Like it or not when you have a solely private system, it is up to the individual to be part of said system.. fine, but when said person refuses out of spite, stupidity or lack of financial ability, then you have a situation where these people (and there will be many) will fall through the cracks and bang we are back in the dark ages concerning this. This reason, mass poverty among the elder population, is why we have social security and other similar systems in the west... we have done a private system and it did not work. I read once that during the depression 40%+ of the retired population were living under the poverty line... that is disgraceful by any standard.

    I don't think it's as simple as saying social welfare does or doesn't contribute to poverty. It really depends on which person you are talking about. There are definitely abuses of the system but there are also those who are genuinely in need, and letting people slip through the cracks in rich, developed nations like the United States or the nations in Western Europe, is unnecessary.
    Of course there is abuse of the system, it cant be avoided. We are human. Look at our own politicians milking the political system to its fullest to gain financial gain.. We have British politicians getting the state to pay for fixing up houses which are then sold for a profit for the politician, and we have American politicians getting millions and millions in campaign contributions from "interest" groups and then are shocked that their political views suddenly line up behind said "interest" groups? Or we have in my own little neck of the woods, local politicians involved in a mulit billion euro fraud over decades, or back home in Denmark, a minister forced out because she was "lucky" enough to get a 8 bedroom apartment subsidised by the Danish state.. Corruption is all over the place and we expect that there is non by normal people? come on hehe.. But the goal has to be to make rules so transparent and accountable that fraud is at it minimum.

    It's when the middle class starts to dwindle due to lack of redistribution that you start to experience nation-wide revolutions.
    No. It is when the majority of the population is hit by economic hard times, that is when you experience nation-wide revolutions. The only time you can avoid that is to keep the population dumb and deeply fearful of something.... they did that for 4000+ years with denying the masses an education, kept 50% of the population as property and drove the fear of god into everyone.

    In modern terms though, if the average income of the middle class is stagnant or god forbid declining, then you got problems. That is what has been happening in the US for the last decade or so...
    PeteEU

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    Re: World's Happiest Places

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    I see the total opposite.

    If anything, out right capitalism like the American version has prolonged poverty among certain aspects of society (racial, geographical) for many many many years and decades as they have "dropped through the cracks en mass". Yes it has expanded the overall economic situation of the country, no doubt about that, but it has also left quite a few "behind" with very little hope or drive to improve their life style. This is clearly seen in the income inequality numbers when comparing most European countries and the US.

    Now capitalism has been around since the dawn of time basicly and it has not irradicated poverty in anyway.. in fact I would claim it has expanded and prolonged it for centuries and centuries because it was not only profitable but politically advantageous in having masses of poor uneducated masses to rule over.

    It is only after "socialism" showed its ugly head that poverty has been slowly reduced in the west over years, basicly because of the fear of loosing power by the "capitalists" forced the old guard to change their attitudes to people and hence their attitude to society as a whole. Things like a fair wage, abolishing slavery, banning child exploitation and basic education for the masses and so on, all done due the threat of the socialist menace.... dont think for a second that any capitalist would give up such things voluntarily... it after all hurts the bottom line.

    Now lets not get into another cluster**** over defining poverty because it is a relative term compared to the overall population and is hard to compare the US and EU as they have different measurements of poverty.
    Capitalism has only been around since the end of feudalism.

    And you are focusing on the "poor" in Europe and the US. There is many people who are poorer then others, but when I say poor, I mean people in third world countries.

    It is specifically the slower economic growth in Europe that is reducing the money that will end up in poor countries.



    Do you wonder why a country like Singapore had a strandard of living the same as many South American countries a mear 50 years ago and now is doing so much better? The answer is capitalism. Capitalism brought Singapore out of poverty and helped increase their standard of living.


    Don't worry, I really support free education, unemployment insurance ect, but I realize that we need to keep welfare low so we can export more capital to poor nations. Also, civil rights are different from economic issues. I am talking about the future anyway, not which ideology made helpful changes in the past.


    It is hard to define poverty, but I can tell you that on the world stage, there are almost no "poor" in the US. And by that I mean very few people in the US have as low a standard of living as most people in third world countries.

    Therefore, I place my priorities with helping people in the world, instead of immedietly increasing the standard of living of the poor in America.
    Last edited by nerv14; 05-11-09 at 12:42 PM.

  4. #34
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    Re: World's Happiest Places

    This is only slightly off topic, but I think about it often and wonder if it might have some impact on "national happiness."

    My folks have a friend that was born and raised in Sweden. He lived there until about 20 years ago, then moved to the US. I don't know the specifics of it, but the man (and others just like him) gets some kind of lifetime income from Sweden - not a disability thing, just money for being a (former) citizen. He's in his 70s now and will continue getting money from the Swedish government until he dies.

    Now, I can't speak for everyone, but if I got a monthly check from the government just for having been born here, I'd be pretty happy too. Wouldn't you?

  5. #35
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    Re: World's Happiest Places

    Quote Originally Posted by nerv14 View Post
    Capitalism has only been around since the end of feudalism.
    Disagree. Feudalism is capitalism light. Only real difference between feudalism and capitalism is more inclusion of the masses. They still strive for the same thing, the acquirement of wealth and power and if they can prevent others in getting it, then they will do so. Nobles did that by keeping people dumb and driving the fear of god in the, today's capitalist use poverty to keep people in their place. No difference.

    And you are focusing on the "poor" in Europe and the US. There is many people who are poorer then others, but when I say poor, I mean people in third world countries.
    Okay, but the whole discussion was about OECD "happiness" and no 3rd world country is in the OECD.

    It is specifically the slower economic growth in Europe that is reducing the money that will end up in poor countries.
    Yes and no. It is the economic growth of the 1st world that is putting money in the poor countries. However saying that, there are many other factors that keep these countries poor, usually political instability. It is ironic that the reason many poor countries are poor, is lack of transparency and accountability among the political and economic elite plus the political instability that comes from that.

    Do you wonder why a country like Singapore had a strandard of living the same as many South American countries a mear 50 years ago and now is doing so much better? The answer is capitalism. Capitalism brought Singapore out of poverty and helped increase their standard of living.
    Not exactly factual and a bad example to be honest. Singapore's standard of living is high due to a dictatorship that forced through reforms for the majority and did not like normal dictators syphon off that much for themselves. While the standard of living in Singapore has gone up considerably, there are minorities that live in relative poverty there. You could say the same for Japan btw, however even here "capitalism" has been diluted by ancient political and social aspects, so even here capitalism cant be given the whole reason for the economic prosperity. The only place I would claim that capitalism has had an impact is in the US, and even here the economic benefits of capitalism it self have not given a financial gain for all.. aka the income inequality.

    It is hard to define poverty, but I can tell you that on the world stage, there are almost no "poor" in the US. And by that I mean very few people in the US have as low a standard of living as most people in third world countries.
    No it aint hard to define poverty. Agreeing on a definition is another matter and comparing between countries is a whole other matter. Poverty in my opinion should always be taken in context to what you are comparing. If you are comparing poverty in the US then yes there are people who are poor. Now if you compare these people to say people in Darfur, then financially no they are not poor, but you still find people in the US and Europe that go to bed hungry because they can not afford food. That is poverty too.

    Therefore, I place my priorities with helping people in the world, instead of immedietly increasing the standard of living of the poor in America.
    Whole other discussion
    PeteEU

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    Re: World's Happiest Places

    Quote Originally Posted by dclxvinoise View Post
    Something tells me that some of the people in this thread wouldn't be acting so arrogant and angry if the US had been listed.
    Why is it that if someone believes a poll like this is obvious BS crapola, they are automatically arrogant and angry in your view? Do you ever get tired of such hyperbolic bloviating?

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    Re: World's Happiest Places

    Quote Originally Posted by Glinda View Post
    This is only slightly off topic, but I think about it often and wonder if it might have some impact on "national happiness."

    My folks have a friend that was born and raised in Sweden. He lived there until about 20 years ago, then moved to the US. I don't know the specifics of it, but the man (and others just like him) gets some kind of lifetime income from Sweden - not a disability thing, just money for being a (former) citizen. He's in his 70s now and will continue getting money from the Swedish government until he dies.

    Now, I can't speak for everyone, but if I got a monthly check from the government just for having been born here, I'd be pretty happy too. Wouldn't you?
    He is getting his pension and he earned it by working and living in Sweden for many years. He is most likely still a Swedish citizen too.
    PeteEU

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    Re: World's Happiest Places

    Quote Originally Posted by Truth Detector View Post
    Why is it that if someone believes a poll like this is obvious BS crapola, they are automatically arrogant and angry in your view? Do you ever get tired of such hyperbolic bloviating?
    How exactly is it crap? You've yet to show that.

    All you've done thus far is complain because you think that the study isn't relevant and that you don't think it is breaking news. Perhaps you should let the mods be the judge of that and instead of trying to derail the thread with your complaints, actually discuss it or keep your opinions to yourself.

    I know..I'm expecting too much.

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    Re: World's Happiest Places

    Quote Originally Posted by Truth Detector View Post
    Why is it that if someone believes a poll like this is obvious BS crapola, they are automatically arrogant and angry in your view? Do you ever get tired of such hyperbolic bloviating?
    Wow that is rich Just why is this poll "crapola"?

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    Re: World's Happiest Places

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    Disagree. Feudalism is capitalism light. Only real difference between feudalism and capitalism is more inclusion of the masses. They still strive for the same thing, the acquirement of wealth and power and if they can prevent others in getting it, then they will do so. Nobles did that by keeping people dumb and driving the fear of god in the, today's capitalist use poverty to keep people in their place. No difference.
    Feudalism; Nobles and Kings OWN all the land and force their serfs to work them and pay tribute to the Nobles and King.

    Capitalism; people of their own free will risk capital to start businesses and lure workers to work for them competing with wages and benefits. Also, anyone who can afford to can OWN their own land.

    Yeah Pete, they are so freaking similar. Do you ever read your own diatribes or just blather the forum with such abject BS thinking you make even a tiny bit of sense?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    The only place I would claim that capitalism has had an impact is in the US, and even here the economic benefits of capitalism it self have not given a financial gain for all.. aka the income inequality.
    Income of inequality is a BS Marxist argument; it is about as specious as the asinine claims that Asian countries like Taiwan, Japan along with European countries are not really driven by Capitalism.

    Income inequality is a FACT of life and the notion that having a Government that takes wealth from those who earn it to re-distribute it to those who do not as being a GOOD idea has NO historical facts to support it.

    Its about as asinine as any debate suggesting that Marxism works but it is just that it has never really been tried. The reason Socialist Marxism can’t work is that it is in denial about HUMAN nature. Capitalism is an acknowledgment of this through the desire of people to accumulate wealth, their willingness to take risk in a market that is fair, has a legal foundation and based on competition.

    One has to live in a world of naïve idealism to think that ANY other system will work better than the system that has made America the strongest and most powerful nation on earth. But not to worry, Democrats are desperately attempting to dismantle all that makes this a great nation and model it after the failures of Europe.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    No it aint hard to define poverty. Agreeing on a definition is another matter and comparing between countries is a whole other matter. Poverty in my opinion should always be taken in context to what you are comparing. If you are comparing poverty in the US then yes there are people who are poor. Now if you compare these people to say people in Darfur, then financially no they are not poor, but you still find people in the US and Europe that go to bed hungry because they can not afford food. That is poverty too.
    It is very difficult to define poverty because it can have so many different interpretations based on experience and locality.

    The concept of poverty is a creation of Governments who, intent on creating dependent classes of citizens, use the term in an effort to FOOL ignorant citizens into giving them power over them. This “war on poverty” Liberals have declared is farcical in that after spending TRILLIONS of tax payer dollars pandering to the poor and Liberal elite notions about how to do good, has gotten us NOTHING and not even put a dent in “poverty” as defined by Government.

    For the Liberal elite, it is so much easier and requires so little effort to actually care about the poor and delegate it off on their Government which then gives them a warm feeling and relieves them from actually caring.

    If you look at the nations that always appear at the top of this farcical “happiness” scale, they typically are small nations with tiny racially homogenous populations OR, larger nations with small populations and far greater resources than their nations need or use thus allowing them to promote a socialist agenda that gives the “perception” that every thing is good even if many in those nations will never own their own homes and live as wards of the State.

    The notion that such idiotic polls are evidence that Socialism works requires the willful suspension of disbelief.
    Last edited by Truth Detector; 05-11-09 at 01:32 PM.

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