Esj and medical plan

By RosalieM Latest Reply 2015-12-18 04:33:48 -0600
Started 2015-01-25 06:45:15 -0600

Let me put Esj long posts to rest here with some good old fashioned truth. First let me say I am not rich and have never reached middle class status. My late husband was a maintenance man in an insurance company. we raised 4 children on under $40,000 max year. That was the highest income we ever had. We could not afford to send the kids to college, so none of them went. Because of my age, 76 years old, I have seen the pattern of what happens to society under various circumstances, from to the great depression to today. From WW 2, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. This is what I learned. Human nature will always take the easiest route to any goal. Not the best one but the easiest. An example is a bad high carb processed food diet is easier than a healthy low carb diet. Along the way some people wise up. That is what we diabetics on this site are doing. We are wising up because we have a challenge. Our health is threatened.
Now Esj, bless his soul, is for the poor people and against the rich. That would seem admirable,
however, way more very poor people are so poor because they are irresponsible. He wants to take from the rich and give to the poor in this case, health care. Now there are poor people who, like myself, grew up in the depression and during WW2, and have become responsible because we faced a challenge. We had no choice so we disciplined ourselves because our survival required it. This generation created the wealth of the 50's 60's… Now fast forward to today. The irresponsible poor today are given more and more to become irresponsible with and Esj's plan would give them eve more …This does not help the irresponsible poor and it causes their numbers to grow because of human nature. It always takes the easy road unless challenged as we were in the depression. Health care is the subject here. The irresponsible poor gain as they get free health care. They pay nothing. The responsible poor who are struggling to raise them selves up, like myself and many on this board, have to pay the bill for the irresponsible poor.
It is on our backs the burden is placed. We may have no choice but to join the irresponsible poor
because we have to survive. Responsibility needs to be rewarded not driven down. Nick has it right. Responsibility pays off in better health and less cost. Not every poor person is irresponsible.
Some because of their misfortune at birth etc need to be cared for. I want to care for them with
generosity and dignity. The growing irresponsible poor are robbing the truly needy as well.
There is only so much of the medical care pie available. We need to share it in a responsible way.
That is the last I will have to say on this matter.

10 replies

ANABELHELMICK 2015-12-18 04:33:48 -0600 Report

I love it! Excellent article. I recently had to fill out a form and spent an enormous amount of time trying to find an appropriate I am sure at least once in your life you had to fill out a form. I use a simple service for forms filling. It definitely makes my life easier!

RosalieM 2015-01-25 11:13:55 -0600 Report

Your Jewish reference below says "the highest form is to give a gift, loan or partnership that will result in the recipient supporting himself instead of living off others"

We can't make massive laws like health care that rewards everyone
equally and does not judge whether the recipients are deserving or taking advantage of the system. This kind of system will collapse as it is unsustainable.
Paul was inspired to say we have a duty to "Open your mouth and judge rightly"
It doesn't say don't judge at all, judge rightly!

Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2015-01-25 11:12:15 -0600 Report

oh sweet lord in heaven…we have switched from him/her politically preaching to him religiously preaching as if we need HIM to give us all moral guidance…I guess Now everyone else will see why this guy pisses me off…

esjesjesj 2015-01-25 09:36:41 -0600 Report

Let me introduce to you what is called the Jewish eight levels of giving. As the Wikipedia article says, it's more of a religious obligation for living a faithful life.

That I took a look at quotes Jesus supposedly said about judging and there are so many wonderful ones. The one that applies to our conversation best however come from Proverbs 31:9

Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy

I do love your story of growing up. It's the same thing I heard my father and grandfather, one who built the family and another who grew up in that family in the depression. My father was kind, charitable but he was also racist, misogynist and he made up stories to justify something this head about poor people. For example, it wasn't until one Reagan started talking about the welfare queen (a thoroughly disproven myth) did he start talking about all the poor people with Cadillacs he saw at food distribution centers (he had the contract to deliver USDA food products to various places in our town.) I worked for him, I went to the sites, I saw nothing like that. I saw poor people hungry afraid, ashamed of even having to ask for help.

This is when I started questioning the validity of the concept of the "truly poor/needy" in other, quite frankly racist judging's of people in need. I said racist because in my family the truly needy worthy poor white people they came to church and took our scraps and leftover clothes and were grateful for it. Whereas the poor black people who kept to themselves were obviously lazy, drug users and engaging in other types of sinning.

Today we engage frequently in the same type of judging except it's not as common to blame it on skin color but on the kind of food you shove in your face. Even that phrase I just choose, "shove in your face" implies sloth and greediness, two of some people's favorite deadly sins. Personally I prefer lust. It's a lot more fun…

I went through a periosd in my life when I was near homeless. Combination of illness, divorce, bankruptcy and foreclosure. Even when I had very little of my own, I would still give a quarter, $.50, a dollar if someone was begging because it might make their life a little better. In food pantries I had to listen to people making comments about people coming in wearing good quality work close and driving new cars. The reality is the people with the good close a new cars are looking just as scared if not more so than the other people. The reason they wore what they did and drove what they did was because that's all they had left. It made no sense to sell them off because they would only get pennies on the dollar (as I found out when I tried to sell my furniture) and at least they had a reliable car to drive to job interviews and good clothing for interviewing in.

Oh there was so much judging both internal and external from various people I met. The internal judging kept people from moving forward. The external judging made them question their decisions, good rational jobhunting decisions which also hampered them.

The most common judging in this world usually takes the form of "why don't they just get any job". The answers multi fold but the three most important are: most employers don't want you to take time off to look for another job, they want to get their work done, a lower paying job significantly decreases your salary when you reenter the field you are in, and many times you are worse off in a lower paying job because you no longer have health insurance that you were getting at a subsidized rate when you are unemployed.

Very long-term unemployment support paid off in two ways. Every dollar spent on unemployment generated $1.6 of economic activity. So even if people were working, there was still some growth for business and it would stop economic retraction. The second is it allowed the vast majority of people that back into the workplace as salaries near what they were making before. The current skinflint approach is having the side effect of increasing the number of disability claims in the older working population because they've are tired of being judged as being unsuitable and not on their abilities.

Your stories of doing "right things", being responsible are great. They are true but only so far. The reason people did much much better in the 50s and 60s is because they had unions. Because the tax code encouraged the extremely well off (i.e. 10% or even 1%) to use their money in different ways which benefited everyone. Many people in upper echelons of management practiced "stakeholder capitalism" which assumes the benefits of a corporation should be bestowed upon all of the stakeholders, employees, community, in addition to shareholders.

It is no coincidence that economic growth for the middle class has slowed to a crawl with the loss of unions, ability for companies to underfund pension plan or even eliminate pension plans, and the reduction in higher income bracket taxes.

I converted to Buddhism from Christianity many years ago for reasons that are not important here. I remember asking one teacher about meditation practice about why it is so hard to keep going and what you do when you find yourself stopping. I was told that's hard because you are seeing yourself judging others every moment of the day and once you are aware of that, shame interrupts and takes over your thinking because now you're judging yourself. The hardest thing he ever asked me to do was to let go of judging myself. Which is what I asked about stopping. He said then you start again. No judging you just start again. For what it's worth, my current weak spots on judging our corporations and libertarians. Both bad in math, both not acting in the best interests of the vast majority of the people.

With poor people, I don't care how they got there I don't care what the troubles are. You help them. You give him the tools to make the right choices (healthcare, birth control, ability to say no to bad choices, safe living space. If they fail, if they fall back, then you start over. You do it as many times as you can over and over. You keep shaping the environment to give them room to make better choices. Most importantly, you eliminate the barriers in their environment that keeps them from making better choices.

One such barrier is law enforcement policies which rewards law enforcement for convictions over accurate determination of guilt or innocence. This policy leads to significant numbers of minority men in jail which leads to a lack of stable family formation, a lack of suitable partners for minority women especially those who been to college. In turn leads to a lower level of economic mobility and restarts the cycle again with children growing up in environments where being in jail is seen as a right of manhood. you can break the cycle starting with heavily subsidized birth control especially for younger potential parents, letting jail be a place of rehabilitation and encouraging people to practice highest level of Tzedakah charity by taking the people who have paid their debt to society into their lives and help them become productive excepted citizens and not isolate them into a ghetto and judge them as being less worthy.

And if you think that they should have not committed the crime in the first place, try googling plea-bargaining abuse. You be amazed how much of our justice system is actually a reward system for furthering political aims of prosecutors.

So yeah, I advocate for the poor,, I point out mythology and offer alternatives that seem to be based in fact as far as I can research. I do not defend the rich because I will never be rich, because 99.9% of us will never be rich no matter what lies we are told by people in power.

RosalieM 2015-01-25 10:06:20 -0600 Report

Esj Let scripture speak!
2 Thess 3:10 The Apostle Paul "For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work then he is not to eat either. Verse 11: For we hear that some among are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.
Verse 14: If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he may be put to shame." Verse 15: Yet do not regard him as an enemy but admonish him as a brother. Sounds like righteous judgment to me!

esjesjesj 2015-01-25 10:38:44 -0600 Report

Righteous judgment is up for interpretation. To me it means not to judge with fanatical zeal but to judge with an eye to maximum benefit/minimal harm i.e. what is right, egalitarian, and fair. In my eye, the quotes you've given are harsh, judgmental and so typical of the Christians I grew up with. I.e. speak a kind word but show the poor the back of their hand.

Matthew 7:1-5 I think covers up pretty good foundation for making judgments. It speaks to how we are flawed, we have our own flaws that keep us from making good judgments of others and that until we can deal with the fact that these impediments never go away we should minimize our judging

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

Admittedly is clumsily worded but it's very close to Buddhist doctrine on judging.

But while we are at it, I found some more great words to live by from the the Bible.

Deuteronomy 25:11-1: If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

Exodus 21: 7-8 "When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again."

(This one shows a great way to feed the poor and may be the foundation of Jonathan Swift's modest proposal

(II Kings 6:28-29)
"And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son…"

Gives new meaning to when a female relative says to a baby "oh you're just so cute I could eat you up"

Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2015-01-25 08:55:10 -0600 Report

It is my firm belief that I live in the greatest country in this world…but I shake my head at what we are becoming as a nation. There will always be a subset of people that we as a nation must morally provide for…Orphans, the elderly, widows who always depended on their husbands and then find them selves alone…the handicapped and the disabled…we are the greatest nation because anyone can attain whatever they chose to…I do not hate the poor…I grew up poor…my mother raised 6 kids by herself and we had nothing..but she also raised us with the knowledge that we would not have anything in our lives unless we worked for it…My mother raised us with the help of foodstamps, but everytime she sent us to the store would remind us she expected us to all give back because society was caring for us…not a one of her 6 kids have taken a dollar in help from the government and all are self sufficient. My oldest brother is an attorney and does pro-bono work..I have volunteered in court on many occasions to be an escort for victims of domestic violence.who were afraid to be in the same room as their abuser..I have brothers that volunteer in homeless shelters and soup kitchens..and we all give monetarily in some way to those less fortunate, even if all we can afford to give is $100 sometimes..I thank God for my mother everyday…she was abandoned with 5 young children and pregnant with a 6th…but she was the best mother any person could ever have…she taught us to give and not to take…She taught us to work for what we wanted..If every person had a mother like mine..there would be no reason to have such expansive and intrusive government programs..there would only be a need to help those who can not help themselves, which is something we must all do..

esjesjesj 2015-01-25 10:03:58 -0600 Report

I'm glad to hear you volunteer and I believe that volunteering is a fundamental part of one's spiritual/ethical development especially if one can incorporate the mindful, not judging approach of Buddhism and some parts of Christianity[1]. But lets apply little math and logic to this example .

US is currently 67.4 which means, starting with a 203 million person working population, we have 136 million people in need. How many man hours do we need to spend on people in need to make sure they have food, healthcare, safe place to live, education etc.? I'm guessing we are going to need support people somewhere in the ballpark of 10% of the people in need or 13 million people. Assuming everyone volunteers four hours a week, we will need 40/4 * 13 ,mil or 130 million volunteers helping out those in need. So half of our working force would need to volunteer to help out those in need in order to replace the labor portion of our social safety net. But then we have things like food and clothing and other necessities of life. Again if you look at the rough numbers here, it looks like we could get that covered if every single working family adopted someone in need living with them, feeding them, clothe them, making sure they get their education, medical care, etc.

Just think. Everyone would be required to have at least one stranger living in their house that they are responsible for. I wonder what happens with a divorce? Do they argue for custody or because women usually end up getting the shit end the financial stick does the woman become the "stranger in the house" with some other couple.

Personally I find this kind of plan unworkable. You can argue with the actual numbers and such but the fact remains that the amount of volunteer effort required to replace government services is not going to happen in our society.

Instead I would suggest simplifying current social safety with universal basic income where everybody and I mean everybody gets a baseline allotment of money (something like $15,000 per person) is recovered through a progressive tax scheme. This model, volunteers can then focus their efforts on helping people learn how to make better choices. The people that come to the volunteers for counseling should be allowed to break leases and financial contracts for things like cars, apartments, and cell phone etc. if there is a cheaper option that gives the same quality of service. For example, if if a person is trapped in the lease and has to drive 100 miles every day to get to work but they can get an apartment within walking distance, that person should be able to break that lease and move to the new location without penalty. If they have an expensive cell phone plan, terminate the plan pick up one of those pay-as-you-go services. There are other such contracts that people get into that make sense if you're rich not so much if you're poor but to get out of them puts even further behind the eight ball so you don't do anything i.e. a bad decision but the best one that's available to you.

[1] although some Christians of the most judging people I know

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