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What are you thoughts on this?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Steve_Kow, Feb 28, 2004.

  1. Steve_Kow

    Steve_Kow Banned

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    What are you thoughts on this?

    link


    Paying $100 a month for health insurance doesn't seem unreasonable to me, and what's wrong with the supermarkets wanting to keep wages at a level where they can remain competitive? It wouldn't do the workers much good if the store goes out of bussiness...
     
  2. SelfBaisResistor

    SelfBaisResistor IncGamers Member

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    I know somewhat what these grocery store workers are going through. The school district that I work for is looking into making us pay for our health care benefits that we gave up raises for in previous contracts. They would propose no wage increase and if they did it would be the equivalent of what we would pay for in healthcare. Now the second option doesn't sound bad, but we don't get taxed on health care benefits, but we would get taxed on the extra income we make to cover for it. This would mean less money in our pockets and even worse no compensation for inflation. In the grocery workers case it would be even harder since most grocery store employees make less than an 2nd year teacher as in my case.
     
  3. Geeno

    Geeno IncGamers Member

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    Work for my district, get your full health and an extra 2.1k every year.
     
  4. zodiac66

    zodiac66 IncGamers Member

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    Lets see..last year I made a bit under 20 grand. I pay $160.00 a month in health insurance, pre-tax. Oh, and the time that I am laid off, I pay quite a bit more.

    Sorry, but I have no sympathy for people who get health care for nothing or next to nothing and then are forced to pay a very small premium.

    With insurance, last year my medical bills were 1/6 of my wages. That was my out of pocket expenses and didn't include my premiums.

    Don't whine an complain if you actually have to pay something for your health care, co-pays or prescriptions. As I said, no sympathy here.
     
  5. LunarSolaris

    LunarSolaris IncGamers Member

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    One of the main problems that I have with these types of deals is that we have millions upon millions of "service" jobs that have to be done in our society that need to be done none the less, and people that end up being stuck in them and not being able to make a living. So... take a cashier that makes maybe $10 or $11 bucks an hour... which translates to about $1600 a month prior to taxes... after taxes becomes somewhere around $1350 or $1300.

    Out of that take away $500 for rent (mind you this is VERY conservative rent, and probably based on having a roommate), then take out the $100 needed to pay for health insurance, another $40 a month in medical bills on average considering doctors visit co-pays, etc., take out $250 for food, another $75 for utliities, another $40 for phone (assuming that this person only makes minimal long distance calls to relatives, etc.), another $60 or so for car insurance, another $200 for a modest car payment (unless you prefer that this person drive an old beater, which only further hits home my point about the "working poor"), another $75 for asundries (soap, hygiene stuff, clothing allowance), $60 a month for gas (assuming a commute with a reasonable gas mileage vehicle), another $50 for car maintenance (average), $75 for entertainment (this could include a meager allotment for cable TV or the internet and perhaps going out to a movie or two per month).

    So... let's whip out our handy budget calculator....

    Hmmmm.... total bills come to (uh oh) $1450. Looks like we need to trim the buget.

    I guess our cashier can eat Top Ramen a few more times per month and cut the food down to $150. That balances it to zero assuming a lucky tax break. Also, we can take that luxury car payment away from our individual, but will likely increase our monthly maintenance to about $80 or so on average (assuming a $300 repair every 4 months or so).

    I could go on, but I won't. The point is that this buget doesn't even include being able to save money for retirement, put anything away for savings, or be able to do anything other than live from paycheck to paycheck. And... it also doesn't include having kids in the picture (which increase the costs dramatically). So... taking it all into account, how in the hell do people live on it? I don't think they do at all... and meanwhile the grocery store looks to rake in millions upon millions in profits even while maintaining a "competitive" edge.

    Lunar, you say.... if these people want to earn more, then they just simply need to work harder and obtain better training and move onto better paying jobs. Yeah, this works in theory, but the reality of our world isn't that peachy. There are only so many "higher end" jobs to offer, meaning even if everybody went to school to train themselves (which also isn't feasible), that there wouldn't be enough jobs to support the base of supposedly trained individuals. Also, the principle of "credential inflation" comes into play - meaning that if everyone has a bachelors degree, then a bachelors degree isn't nearly as valuable, ergo, jobs requiring bachelors degrees aren't nearly as highly paid anymore.

    This also doesn't take away from the absolute reality that there are millions upon millions of service jobs that still need to be performed by people. These jobs have to be filled... and there just aren't opportunities for a great many people to "move up" in a career track. Society isn't geared to allow that (at least not westernized societies - particularly the U.S.).

    So... not to pick on you Steve, but I guess I can't see it as a good compromise when I see thousands and thousands of workers get screwed by a system designed to screw the working poor. Go an ask what the salaries are for the top execs of these grocery store conglomerates make, and I'll even have less sympathy for the companies. Our societal structure makes me want to vomit at times - and like cattle... we continue to go along with it - we accept the status quo.

    So... thousands of impoverished workers finally got their backs broken by the grocery store chain. To me this only proves again that the people holding all the money and the cards yet again get to dictate how the rest of the world should live.

    (sorry for the rant folks, this is a hot button for me when it comes to social issues - particularly poverty. And Steve, I truly do not intend to target you - you are only the bearer of the news. I get angry at the situation and system that perpetuates the rich taking advantage of the poor.)
     
  6. Anakha1

    Anakha1 Banned

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    *is glad he lives in Canada and doesn't have to pay squat for health insurance*
     
  7. Geeno

    Geeno IncGamers Member

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    You dont physically pay for it.
     
  8. Suicidal Zebra

    Suicidal Zebra IncGamers Member

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    ditto, except for the Canada part ;).
     
  9. Steve_Kow

    Steve_Kow Banned

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    Except in taxes. Unless in Canada the Drs and Nurses work for free, the buildings are free, and the equipment and medicine is free.
     
  10. zodiac66

    zodiac66 IncGamers Member

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    Sorry, but you do physically pay for it. It comes out of your wages. I have a family of 3..my employer pays close to 600 dollars a month in insurance rates. This translates to lower wages, fewer vacation days and no retirement. Yes, I do pay for it.
     
  11. Anakha1

    Anakha1 Banned

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    Taxes are cheaper than $100,000 surgery.
     
  12. Plum

    Plum IncGamers Member

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    Yeah, but the good news is that one doesn't have to mortgage the house when a liver transplant or heart surgery or whatnot is needed.

    On the note of the actual topic- A rise from zero dollars in payments to 60-100 is a fairly hefty increase in a low income job. I doubt that the workers feel that there's much of an option though, as most probably require that source of income to maintain themselves and their families.
     
  13. Steve_Kow

    Steve_Kow Banned

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    Actually no. The surgery (let's generalize a bit here) costs the same in the U.S and in Canada. So where does the money come from? The community, so your friends and neighbors pitch in to pay for your surgery and you say "Wow! That was cheap!", but then next week it's your turn to pitch in for someone else's surgery. And the week after that someone broke a leg and you have to throw down some more money, this isn't such a bad deal for those who need alot of medical care and don't mind putting a burden on their community, but for those who are healthy it must get pretty tiresome having to 'pitch in' everytime someone needs a surgery.

    So basically, instead of a one-time expense, you pay for it over time. And the people who never needed or got that expensive surgery pay the same tab over their lifetimes as people who did. How can that be fair?
     
  14. Plum

    Plum IncGamers Member

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    In the US, medical services are, in many cases, part of a private industry. In Canada, it's a government-regulated service. The government typically doesn't turn extra revenue on the services it provides, because it is funded by the taxpayers. Therefore, the costs of medical services will cover the procedures and pay for the workers involved. In the case of private industry, the money-making initiative is a foremost concern. The costs will involve the procedure, wages, and put that extra bit of money in some people's pockets that is known as 'profit'. As such, it seems highly unlikely that government health services will cost the same amount that privatized healthcare does.
     
  15. Anakha1

    Anakha1 Banned

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    That's what we call looking out for each other. Canada is a socialist democracy, which means we accept the responsibility of taking care of individuals. Most Canadians don't consider people who need surgery a "burden" on the community because we know that next week we could be in the same position. In my opinion your attitude is pretty damned selfish. I'm not "pitching in" every time someone needs surgery, and I'm not bitter because I happen to be healthy. I don't throw down money everytime someone hurts themselves. I pay the same every month and I'm paying the same taxes as everyone else. We don't leave the sick and the injured unattended because they can't afford to pay. Doing that would be ultimately unfair. Our system is a hell of a lot more fair because everyone gets the same treatment regardless of social class.
     
  16. Steve_Kow

    Steve_Kow Banned

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    edit: In responce to Plum
    But in a privatized system, where there is competion there is a drive towards efficiency and good service that the socialized system doesn't produce. I can choose from any number of Drs and hospitables in my area, and I'll pick the one that fits my needs (cost effectiveness and quality of care) the best.

    That's the reason why services such as FedEx and UPS can out-compete the United States Postal service. Competition isn't such a bad thing.

    edit2:

    Anakha, that's fine. Since I'm not Canadian, I have no quarrel with Canadian domestic policy, quite frankly it isn't any of my bussiness. However, I don't think you should delude yourself into thinking that you get free medical care or that it is even cheaper, surely someone foots the bill.

    edit3: Keep this in mind too! I've never heard of a goverment program without expensive bureacracy! *Zing!*
     
  17. Plum

    Plum IncGamers Member

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    I read a few statements, and it seems that the US has the most expensive healthcare system in the world. In Canada, the per capita spending is almost half of that of the US.

    If one judges based on the WHO's ranking system in the "World Health Report", the US doesn't fare so well against Canada either. This is some information on the WHO's paper, if you're interested. Here is a piece on the whole subject. The table for healthcare costs is on page three (it's fairly easy to verify through a search, if you want to).

    Competition is alluring in theory, but in some cases it doesn't seem to operate as most would hope. I'm of the opinion that in services which require certain specific qualifications on the part of the service provider, the idea of competition lowering prices is faulty. Some relevant examples would be the industries of healthcare or pharmaceuticals.
     
  18. Steve_Kow

    Steve_Kow Banned

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    A socialized system is better for the poor, that much is pretty obvious. A system that would give an entitlement to groupA while making groupB pay for it will make groupA happy everytime.
     
  19. Geeno

    Geeno IncGamers Member

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    I was talking to anahka, zodiac. He doesnt physically pay for it but he still pays it.
     
  20. swami

    swami Banned

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    NHS owns all :thumbsup:
     

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