Currently, there is an extremely urgent need for PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), ventilators, and health resources by all 50 states. However, the governors of all 50 states are having to compete with each other and FEMA to bid on these necessities to mitigate the spread of the virus to others and among front line health care personnel. It has been expressed as bidding on ebay for 50 states and FEMA.
But isn't that the way capitalism is supposed to work? It based on free market enterprise. But wouldn't it be better if FEMA did the purchasing at one set price and then distributed the equipment to the states on an as needed basis based on models and projected forecast? That is how socialism works and in this case it would not only be more cost effective; it would also be more efficient.
But, no, we cannot talk about that dreaded "S" word.....
Yes and no. Capitalism depends on more than simply highest price; companies are well known, for instance, to deal again with other companies that have done well for them in the past even if a slightly higher cost.
Similarly, you're assuming that it is reasonable for FEMA to be the only entity allowed to purchase these items, setting the price as they wish without regard to value or cost of production. You're also assuming that they will distribute those items according to greatest need without regard to politics. Both are unreasonable - this has been noted many times in socialistic/communistic countries, where production and distribution utterly failed because government held all the puppet strings and dictated production quantities, prices and sales.
In real life, the best is likely what it always is; a mix of both. Companies set prices based on competition as well as their own costs, FEMA buys what it can at those (varying) prices and the rest goes to those that want it badly enough to pay extra.
Government is almost never more efficient in either production rates or price controls over private industry.
"In real life, the best is likely what it always is; a mix of both. Companies set prices based on competition as well as their own costs, FEMA buys what it can at those (varying) prices and the rest goes to those that want it badly enough to pay extra."
So what you are saying is that companies and FEMA can set their own prices based on supply and demand from the 50 states competing with FEMA. Isn't that just pure capitalism?
And as far as government goes in a financial crisis, doesn't the government always bail out Wall Street and its cohorts by creating more money. Isn't that socialism? The only capitalism part of that is that the people that created the crisis always get their bonuses via the claw back policies that are part of the bailout money.
Trump, right now has created a 2T bailout by printing more money. Is that socialism or capitalism?
Not sure what you're trying to say except that because government took the only steps it knows to keep a working economy it should become as socialistic as possible. I don't follow the logic here if there is a known, better way.
Then you claim that because Congress wrote and passed a spending bill, with 100% bipartisan agreement, that it is Trump that created a bailout. Are you setting up to blame the president for the deficit spending that Congress demanded?
Wilderness: I'm not sure congress demanded the spending, it was Trump who asked for the 2T. And right now he is asking for another 2T for infrastructure improvements. That will be 4T added to the national debt of 23.6T Talk about big government spending!!
LOL Congress wrote the bill and congress voted for it with, I think, but one "nay" vote between the two houses. They also indicated then that there would most likely be additional bills along the same line.
But it's all Trump's fault because you don't think it's a good idea. Are you sure you want to take that road?
Now that's a reasonable answer if there is one. I'm proud of you, Wilderness!
This thought sounds good if we lived in an ideal world. But we don't.
I have heard the news of states competing with each other to buy what they need from Cuomo's briefings, but couldn't the same results be achieved if the states decided not to compete in the market and allow FEMA to be the nation's purchase agent?
All it would take is state cooperation to do this, and either way, FEMA still ends up being the distributor, (with all those associated problems).
Who is going to tell the 50 governors that they should not compete for their supplies and further who is going to enforce it? The central command and purchasing should come from the top of the federal government, not the states. But Trump appointed Peter Navaro as head of the Defense Production Act. He has no experience running that type of operation. His previous job was advisor to Trump on the China tariffs program. In fact, it was his idea to levy the tariffs on China.
As you said, in an ideal world, that would work. But we don't live in ideal world where the president and his staff are competent in organizing and battling this virus. Trump is still partly in campaign mode and still can't grasp the gravity of the crisis. This is evident by his remarks about how he feels someone is stealing the masks and other equipment and his self aggrandizing. In one way I feel sorry for him. He can't help himself, it's how he is wired. And his task force is incompetent as well because he replaced all his competent people with incompetent people who are loyal to him.
Cuomo could do it, but he is busy fighting his own battles. Trump says he is the war time president, then he should act like one and be the Commander and Chief of fighting this virus enemy. The only people he has on his staff who are competent are Dr. Fauci and Dr. Brix. Trump and his so called task force are letting the states and their front line soldiers flounder on the battle field.
Okay, Mike. I tossed in my two cents, but I see it didn't cover the admission charge.
You obviously have a point to make, so have at it.
I'm not sure about FEMA as the purchaser, GA. We saw those FEMA trailers sitting idly in my state while people went homeless during Hurricane Katrina. Then we heard about those people getting sick from living in the ones that were distributed to the "lucky" recipients. I'm not a socialist, but there is a socialist component to capitalism that actually works. It's called "cooperatives", and they work very well. A bunch of business people (capitalists) get together and form a cooperative such as grocery stores and people in rural electric cooperatives. Combined they have the purchasing power to buy in bulk that the individual business does not have. Then they pass the savings on to the consumer. Why could the hospitals not form cooperatives instead of leaving it up to Big Brother FEMA to blunder through it? I realize there is a time element involved, but I believe they could use the urgency to expedite the purchases. They could form regional or statewide cooperatives which should be much more efficient than FEMA has proven to be in the past.
That is a good point mixBejabbers, another way for the states to cooperate instead of competing.
Miz Bejabbers: I agree with you, cooperatives are a good way to go. But having medical supply companies have the states vie for the highest bidder is not the way to go. And then having Trump come in with the highest bid does not not help.
If you watched the task force presentation today, they announced FEMA has 500,000, 15 minute testers from Abbot Labs. But they don't know how to get them to the users who need them. That tells me there is a disconnect between the states and the federal government possibly caused by bureaucratic log jam.
"That tells me there is a disconnect between the states and the federal government possibly caused by bureaucratic log jam."
Or that they are idiots at FEMA. Google is your friend; find the 10 largest hospitals in each state and send each one 1,000 tests. Every hospital receiving them will need them, and UPS or FEDEX can deliver them. If perchance a hospital in Montana or Alaska gets more than they need, why surely they will share with a more needy facility.
Now you've got it. Yes, they are idiots at FEMA. I suggested hospital cooperatives not government cooperatives. Please read my answer to PP73 so I won't repeat it here.
MizBejabbers: I read your comment again and you did say hospital cooperatives. This is the sentence that I misunderstood: "They could form regional or statewide cooperatives which should be much more efficient than FEMA has proven to be in the past."
In Cuomo's presentation today, he did say that he is re-organizing New York's public and private hospitals into one cooperative without regional boundaries. In fact they are moving some patients from up state to down state to make to make the care more efficient.
I think my suggestion was misunderstood by a couple of people. I didn't suggest states forming a cooperative, I suggested hospitals forming a cooperative. I think anytime you get a government or governments involved there will be graft, greed and a bunch of shifty hands in the mix.
I didn't watch the presentation today, but it sounds like FEMA is up to its same incompetence it showed at the trailer fiasco during Katrina. I don't think FEMA can be trusted to organize a one-car funeral.
Yeah Cuomo sure made a show about how awful it was that they didn't have enough Ventilators, went on and on about how the President should do something.
Cuomo the next day responded to a comment from Trump on Twitter that there were thousands of ventilators in New York not being used. "Yes, they're in a stockpile because that's where they are supposed to be, because we don't need them yet," Cuomo said. "We need them for the apex, the apex isn't here, so we're gathering them in a stockpile."
Darn... if only Capitalism hadn't gotten in the way of getting them those ventilators.
As for the masks, gloves, etc... it would be easy to gather them up, except that they have been rerouted to China for months now. While China lied to the world that they had this under control, they were buying up all the stockpiles or medical supplies (including masks and gloves) they could get their hands on.
I'm sure that might have been newsworthy and noticed, if our brilliant politicians in the House weren't making it the top news story everyday with their impeachment efforts, distracting the nation from everything else.
And then blasting the President for restricting all travel from China... that racist pig, its all his fault... well, him and Capitalism.
If it wasn't for Capitalism we could be like China!
China... where they harvest organs from political prisoners.
China... where they kill doctors that tried to warn the world of this virus.
China... Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that funeral homes in Wuhan have disposed of at least 42,000 corpses. It also cited social media posts by some city residents all saying Wuhan funeral homes are "handing out 3,500 urns every day." At this rate, "42,000 urns would be given out".
China's "official" figure for total deaths resulting from the disease is only 3,305.
Socialism... Communism... never seems to work out well for the average Joe, especially in times of crisis, Prove me wrong.
https://www.ibtimes.com/china-coronavir … al-2949925
I think if truth be known; the claims being made about China is an over exaggeration.
No one denies that the local Chinese Government in Hubei Province tried a cover up, and quite likely the deaths in the early stages from COVID-19 in Wuhan was higher than official recorded. However, after the National Chinese Government in Beijing got wind of the situation they pushed aside the local government and took matters into their own hands; which included informing the WHO and copying the COVID-19 DNA sequencing to all LABs around the world so that a vaccine can be developed post haste.
One of the facts, which gets overlooked by propaganda against China (as we know from the way the virus spreads in each country around the world) is that the number of virus deaths start off small and grow exponentially over time. Therefore, for the period of cover up the actual number of deaths in Hubei Province is likely to be closer to the Official figures than the bloated figures quoted in the propaganda e.g. the Official Figures better fit the statistical trends on the linear charts than the bloated figures in propaganda.
Part of the problems muddying the waters, and fuelling the propaganda is the war between the USA and China (Trade War, and war of words); further fuelled by the current campaign of the KGB of misinformation to further drive a wedge between China and America e.g. Russia’s attempt to thwart China’s continued desire to Westernise.
With respect to your link to the International Business Times, as supporting evidence to your claim; I would suggest a word of caution!
International Business Times ‘Content Quality’:-
• International Business Times has been accused by Google for excessive search engine optimization activity e.g. re-working and re-posting the same stories in the hope of getting better Google results.
• International Business Times have been criticised for Frequent Practice of ‘clickbait’ e.g. publishing articles that are deceptive, sensationalised or misleading with the express purpose of earning advertising revenue through hyperlink text or thumbnail links, and follow through links.
Although they themselves have been involved with some smear campaigns, International Business Times isn’t all bad; they have also joined forces with other News Media to combat ‘Fake News’.
So although the link you provide (as source evidence) for your statement isn’t a totally unreliable source neither can it (on its own) be trusted as totally reliable e.g. read with caution; and independently fact check the claims they make in their article.
This News Paper Article takes a more balanced and more realistic approach: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ … how-report
Also, don’t dump Socialism in with Communism when you make sweeping statements like “Socialism... Communism... never seems to work out well for the average Joe, especially in times of crisis”
For example: If I understand correctly, workers who have been furloughed in the USA, apart from a once off £1,200 pay out only get the equivalent to unemployment benefit?
Whereas in the UK, all employees who are furloughed during this crisis are being paid by the British Government 80% of their normal wages, so that even though they are not currently working, they do at least have an income near to what they would normally earn to pay the bills and buy food.
Also, the NHS, which is pure Socialism, is the National Pride of the British People:
• NHS Thank You Song https://youtu.be/_zwgncGG9t4?t=30
A fair counter.
Allow me to give some things for you to ponder.
First, the Trump Administration's decision to restrict/deny all travel to and from China. Which the WHO vehemently disapproved of at the time.
The decision to do so began on 27 January, and the complete ban was implemented on 30 January.
Next lets consider the economic situation the world was in, the fact that China's economy had been in a depression for over a year, Europe had been in negative interest rates for over a year, and that the Fed was giving out hundreds of billions of dollars to banks to maintain the necessary reserves for months going into this crisis.
COVID-19 has put the world in a "Fog of War" scenario. While we panic about the virus, while governments lock down the population world wide, there is a lot going on.
To understand the economic situation globally, let me refer you to this video:
Its a few years old, but that is what is good about it, Ray accurately explains the debt cycle, the once in a lifetime (once in a century), situation that was fast approaching and why.
We will have to wait and see where this leads, to fully understand the whys of it.
Interestingly enough, the Relief Act that Congress passed here in America had reference to a Digital Dollar and Digital Wallet in several different segments that was struck from initial versions... I find it interesting that the supposed initial drafts had mention of something that does not exist...yet.
Also look at the situation China was in, the depression was real, they had exhausted their means of keeping the economic engine running through debt and government spending, Hong Kong was in open revolt, and there were real fears that it would spread to provinces beyond.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing the CCP wouldn't do to maintain control, no amount of lives lost is to great, no amount of world disruption is to grave a scenario... the CCP will remain in power and in control at all costs. To deny this is to deny reality.
I do not know if you have spent time in Asia, but I have, they have a different mindset, how they perceive their society and government is different from the West, the emphasis in those nations is on the whole, where as in the West it is on the individual. The State above all else in Asia, in the West we are confused about if we want to even have Nation States and borders, and feel the need to continually change leadership on a regular basis. I would need to write a book to properly explain how down-to-the-roots different our civilizations are.
There is a great deal here at play, other than COVID-19. Time will eventually lift much of the "Fog of War" and we will get a better idea of what went on.
However this "Russia’s attempt to thwart China’s continued desire to Westernise" seems utterly off base. The CCP would never allow their nation to "westernize" its laughable to think that the nation that created the Social Credit system we will soon all be living with has been influenced away from "Westernizing" by Russia.
Russia is a backwater town compared to a Metropolitan center that is China. Russia sends them oil and gas, and China helps prop them up... not the other way around.
Ken; I shall start with your video.
Firstly (my background) I do have qualifications in macroeconomics, microeconomics and economic history at ‘A’ Level (essentially, just one step below Degree Level). Therefore, I do understand the economic situation globally.
Secondly, I watched the whole video carefully, and Ray Dalio presentation was faultless; he gave good sound Advice for Investors’ portfolios; and interestingly, he has confidence in China’s leadership in managing their economy, and feels that their capabilities are equal to any country in what needs to be done.
Further to what Ray Dalio said, that’s why in Britain, the Labour Government in 1997 made the Bank of England Independent to the British Government e.g. making the Bank of England responsible for monetary policy, so that monitory policy in the UK is made for economic reasons, and not political reasons; thus leaving British Governments to manage just Fiscal Policy for economic or political reasons.
Yep, Trump’s decision to ban all travel from China, and later from Europe, to slow the spread of COVID-19 was prudent; something a lot of countries were slow in implementing. So I don’t see any contention there.
Actually, China’s economy was NOT in depression (recession). Its economic growth had slowed to around 6% annual growth in 2019; which was still better than most countries around the world. And yes I know that interest rates in the USA and EU have been very low for some while.
As regards to China:-
Firstly, it was not in depression, just economic slowdown, but still in growth, at around 6%; and doing a lot better than most counties in the world, including the USA and Europe, who were also in economic slowdown (low growth), and much lower growth than China. But what you may not be aware of is that while the USA was having its Trade war with both China and the EU (dampening world economic growth); China and the EU were stepping up Trade with each other to both countries Economic benefit.
To this end, opening up the old silk-roads, which now extend all the way from China to London, has been a great economic benefit to both Europe and China.
China's New Silk Road London-Yiwu https://youtu.be/zMcBhN49LRo
Yep, we are fully aware of Hong Kong’s open revolt, and the CCP’s real fears that it could spread to other parts of China. Yep, we do know that (like Russia) China has a very poor humanitarian record; we haven’t forgotten the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, nor forgiven China for it. Yep, we know that China, just like other Regime’s around the world (including Russia) would stop at nothing to maintain control, and such Regimes don’t value individual rights as we do in the West.
But when it comes to Trade, we have to be pragmatic, just as the USA and Europe Trades with a number of countries around the world with poor humanitarian records, and turn a blind eye to what happens in those countries.
No I have not spent time in Asia, but my Australian cousins (who I keep in close contact with), do quit frequently visit the area; and now they are retired, spent two months holiday in Asia last year. Also, our close neighbours and friend (two doors away from us) are Chinese immigrants, so I’ve learnt a lot about China and its culture from our friends and relatives. So I do know that the Chinese Government’s philosophy (just like Russia’s) is on the Nation as a whole, rather than on Individual Rights.
Yes, economically, and to a large extent politically (overtly) Russia is a backwater town compared to a Metropolitan centre that is China; but that is of Russia’s choosing, because Russia does despise the West. And yes, China does have limited (but important) Trade with Russia, but then so does the EU. But that doesn’t stop Russia’s desire to destabilise the West; and taking advantage of COVID-19 Russia (KGB) have been active in the past month in a campaign of ‘Misinformation’ on Social Media. Russia’s main target has been the UK as they see it as the weakest country in the Western World, because of Brexit e.g. the one Westernised Country most as risk of destabilising politically and socially, and being ripe for (in their eyes) communist uprising. To further put pressure on the UK Russia have in the past few weeks posted 7 Russian Warships in British waters; all of which have to be shadowed by the Navy at a time when the British Forces are pre-occupied in providing their services in the fight against COVID-19 e.g. building hospitals, maintaining supply chains etc.
However, the KGB have also focussed on the divisions between the USA and China, seeing it as a weakness that they can exploit to (in their eyes) further destabilise the West.
Russia sparks Royal Navy alert as Putin sends seven warships to British Channel and North Sea of the coast of Britain https://youtu.be/SzjFhUzMzJE
I disagree with this, China's stock market had lost more than half its value, its government did what ours is doing now, pumping trillions of dollars into buying stocks and propping up businesses.
They were trading food for oil and gas to Russia, and their citizens in return were eating lower quality food (rice made out of plastic, rotten rat meat put in stews) this was not occurring ten years ago when their economy was truly growing at double digits.
Numbers can be manipulated and falsified, if China says they were at 6% growth, good chance they weren't even at 1% over the last two years.
Just like the numbers of their sick and dead from Covid-19 can be falsified. What the actual truth is will remain unknown.
So we have to go by other factors, this article argues a similar point to your own in regards to where China is/was at:
https://www.investopedia.com/articles/i … ood-us.asp
Their Stock Market crashed in 2015, and again in 2018, and their Housing Market was filled with crumbling newly built apartment complexes and a glut of buildings no one was living in. They built complete cities that barely has any population at all. By 2019 they were on the precipice of complete economic failure.
This was being noted and projected as far back as 2016:
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this- … 2016-06-30
You can go much further back than this however, to see that China's eventual collapse was certain, its the nature of debt economics after all.
https://www.gold-eagle.com/article/chin … depression
China made the inevitable fall many times worse by doing everything to deny and delay it... and how do you hide this collapse when it finally can't be pushed back any more?
A pandemic perhaps, and what is to come in the months ahead.
I would say we are in the first inning, of what will be a nine inning game, the world has many months of hardship ahead of it.
On a completely different topic, it is interesting to see your perspective on Russia and how much of a threat you feel it to be.
I hadn't taken into consideration that this recent Russia phobia the media has been pushing since Trump's election might have some of its roots outside the US.
People here in the US don't realize how much the UK influences what occurs in our politics and media.
Helps make a little more sense about the incessant hysteria over Russia, while we all but ignore the real threat China.
Well the sky is blue, the birds are singing, and the temperature here in Bristol is 20c (68f): It’s early in the morning, and the first summery day in a week; so I’m back out in the garden to do the summer planting of the crops, and to enjoy the good weather while leisurely doing the other gardening (with the odd pint of beer, and perhaps a ploughman for lunch) in our back garden.
I was fortunate that I got most of my garden supplies just days before the lockdown (all Garden Centres in the UK are now closed). The only items I couldn’t get, because it was too early was the tomato plants; but I’ve got plenty of strawberry plants that have multiplied since last year; so I’ll just double my strawberry crop instead of growing tomatoes.
Therefore, given the change in the weather; I’ve flagged this and other emails to get back to them when I have a spare moment.
Just as a closing point Ken, with regards to your comments of China vs Russia, we had a similar debate a few years ago when we were discussing propaganda in the News Media.
At that time we had opposing views e.g. you didn’t see Russia as a threat, but in your eyes China is. And conversely, I know Russia is a threat to the UK (Europe) and the west, particularly the UK, as its prime target. Whereas in recent years China and Europe have built up a good Trading Relationship; not just with goods, but also in exchanging technology, and expertise as well e.g. China is now the world leader in solar panel technology ‘Research and Development. So quite naturally I do have a different perspective on China than you.
I’ll be back when I can………………………..
Yep Ken, I know we disagree over Russia and China; we’ve had similar debates in the past.
No one disputes that China’s economic growth has slowed; but it’s not a depression. All three links you provide are by right-wing American publications. And all three publications made predictions of doom and gloom in 2016 or earlier; none of which has come to pass.
The 2nd link is from 2016, and the 3rd link form 2004. The article in the 1st link did (at first glance) to be a recent publication e.g. dated 25th June 2019; but on close examination, the date stamp reads “Updated June 25, 2019”, not published. And on reading the text carefully, all the references to data are for 2015, not 2019.
Also, although from a macroeconomic aspect, the data as presented is in itself is sound; the Heading of the Article is Propaganda e.g. it clearly suggest that China is in Economic Collapse; whereas, the rest of the article, after the introduction only speculates that in 2015 China’s economy is in imminent risk of collapse.
However, none of the three articles you present makes the claim that you make that China’s citizens are now so poor that they have to result to eating lower quality food, such as rice made from plastic or rotten rat meat, nor that society has collapsed to the point that newly built apartment complexes are abandoned and crumbling, and new cities are not being populated. That kind of claim is very synonymous of propaganda and fake news.
I’m not saying China doesn’t have its problems, any economy where growth slows has problems; but a slowing in growth is not a recession. And even recessions are not fatal, unless they are deep e.g. 1930’s and 2008. Albeit a deep recession is something the whole world now faces (including China) because of COVID-19; but that is a separate issue.
With China transitioning from an Agricultural country to an Industrialised country, there are still rural parts of China where there is still poverty, but their cities are growing and thriving; very much a similar pattern Britain went through in the early part of the 19th century as it transitioned from an agricultural based economy to an Industrialised Nation.
FYI, in spite of the economic slowdown, China’s economy is thriving, they produce more solar panels than the whole of the rest of the world put together, and as such are the world leader in solar panel technologies; which has benefited which has benefited Britain and the rest of Europe as we make rapid progression away from fossil fuels to Renewable Energies. Also, Britain, the world leader in solar wind technologies have benefited by sharing our technologies and expertise with China (Export). Although since around 2012 Britain has been installing new solar wind turbines around its coast at around one new wind turbine per day; China as surpassed us by installing on average two new wind turbines per hour.
China is also a world leader in electric cars; the car of the future. So to suggest that their economy is in such a poor state that they have resulted to trading food for oil and gas, as if that is the only Trading they do is an exaggeration; and tantamount to propaganda. With the Silk Road now fully operational, linking London and the rest of Europe to China by train; there is a healthy Trade link between China, Europe and Britain that is beneficial to all. In fact, just yesterday 300 ventilators arrived in Britain (for the NHS) from China.
Your suggestion that the COVID-19 pandemic was a deliberate ploy by China as a way of hiding your allegations of China Economic collapse is nothing short of propaganda and the makings of ‘fake news’
And FYI, I am not being blinded by Chinese propaganda, or similar British Media propaganda (which you have hinted at in one of your recent posts in this forum). I do have insider information from our close neighbours (and close friends of ours) who are immigrants from China, and who themselves keep in close contact with their relatives back home; nipping across to China periodically to see their family.
Plus, we also get to see a lot of Chinese tourist in Britain, in fact we get far more tourists from China than we do from America; so although we haven’t visited China (albeit our Australian cousins has), we are getting to know and understand the Chinese people from the tourists that visit the UK.
Chinese tourists make new source of growth for UK: https://youtu.be/YMvC7xXyb_4
Your points about Solar Panels, leading technology, EVs, are accurate.
And so are mine:
China's Empty Cities:
China's Crumbling buildings:
China's plastic food (good for a laugh... but really not funny):
Strong alliance with Russia:
China's global reach:
Well damn Ken. I was glued to your documentary link, (this one: The new chinese world order - VPRO documentary - 2016 for its full 47 minutes.
It provided more than a few very provocative things to think about. Thanks.
Ken, I've told you about using Youtube to back-up your claims. Try using reputable sources, if you can find them, to support your opinions.
ROFL Randy’s First move is always shoot the messenger but Shoot the venue of the messenger? That’s a new one LOL
Did you look at any of the links Randy?
I saw two that might be sketchy but the others seemed reputable.
As regards your 5 points, China’s Empty Cities; China’s Crumbling Buildings; China’s Plastic Food; China’s Strong Alliance with Russia and China’s Global Reach: Having watched your videos I will take each point in turn as follows:-
#1: China’s Empty Cities: You only have to fact-check this phenomenon on Wikipedia to realise that the News Media have inadvertently misrepresented the facts; and quite understandably so when you understand the full situation.
The phenomenon of under-occupied developments in China (often referred to as ‘Ghost Cities’ by the News Media) was first observed in 2006. The problem with the News Media in the West has been that in its haste to report on developments in China, it has inadvertently resulted in ‘misinformed reporting’ because of a lack of understanding of the Chinese methodology.
Firstly, China’s large population guarantees an ongoing demand for housing; and commodity housing is considered a more secure way to store money (value in property).
Also the Chinese are not building to meet current demands like we would in the West; they work on a 20 year timescale. Many developments criticized as ghost cities in the past did materialize into economically vibrant areas when given enough time to develop, such as Pudong, Zhujiang New Town, Zhengdong New Area, Tianducheng ; most of these so called ghost cities do eventually became occupied, when given enough time.
China is only doing what we did in Victorian Britain, but on a grander scale because they have all the modern machinery, whereas back in the 19th century Britain everything had to be done by hand e.g. cheap labour from Ireland. Nevertheless the Victorians built canals, the railway network, the London Underground, cities sewers, water supply to every home etc., and all at breath-taking speed by today’s standards. And to this day most of that Victorian engineering, including our sewers and water supplies is still used because it was built to last.
#2: China’s Crumbling Buildings: The video on this in your link is a fake news video. The buildings they describe as only three years old are not new buildings as they claim. They are old buildings waiting for demolition; the big give away being the discoloration on the stone show its age e.g. 99% of buildings in the UK are brick, stone (of all types) and concrete, so I am well familiar with the ageing process of stone buildings.
#3: China’s Plastic Food: Firstly, China Uncensored (the people making the video). When you fact check, it appears they're a propaganda channel first and foremost and their main goal appears to be to further the Falun Gong's personal platform (but that’s a separate, controversial and complex subject).
Anyway, the video itself admits that the plastic rice story (that you refer to) “has never been confirmed”; and I think it should be obvious that it is a fake news story.
As regards, Fake eggs, so what, we make fake cheese and other fake foods in the West, made in a similar fashion with some foods using similar chemicals; most particularly in the USA e.g. a large number of many American processed food products are illegal in the EU and UK, and many other countries around the world, because they use artificial chemicals (some similar to those listed in the video) that are banned in foods in Europe and the UK because of their toxicity.
Also, with reference to the fake rice; the video does state that the Chinese Authorities do have difficulty in enforcing strict ‘food safety standards’; something which I’m sure will change overtime. Fake flour was common place in Britain during the Victorian era (when we were at the same level of Industrial development that China is today).
10 American Foods That Are Already Banned in Other Countries https://youtu.be/JQ_SYqevGi4
#4. China’s Strong Alliance with Russia: So? They are both communist countries, and therefore will have an akin to each other just as Western Countries feel an akin to each other in our belief of freedom and democracy. Also, the USA’s Trade wars with China and the EU in recent years is bound to strengthen the relationship with China and Russia.
#5. China’s Global Reach: Yeah, So? I watched the video, and it poses no threat to Europe e.g. The Old Silk Road that extends all the way from China to London, England; allowing quick and easy ‘Trade’ by train between the UK and Europe with China. It’s something the UK and the EU welcomes, as it benefits us. But as the video states “The United States feels this is a direct threat to their sphere of influence.”, and as quoted at 35 minutes into the video ““America will try to pin the blame for its own economic problems on China”.
After all, Trump doesn't only have a Trade War with China, he also chose to have a Trade war with the EU; so therefore it should come as no surprise to you that Trump’s Trade wars with the EU and with China is only going to further strengthen ties with China and the EU (and UK).
The train that's made the 7,400-mile journey from China to London https://youtu.be/4Y9nfWXywMs
Excellent counter, I do appreciate that you took the time to watch those links, I am not entirely so dismissive of some of the negatives put forth in them, but I believe there to be merit to your positions as well.
The plastic food, for example, is not condoned by the CCP, it is criminal elements within China that are complicit in these efforts. But it is a problem, made more severe in recent years as China focused on sending food produce to Russia in return for Oil and Gas. Diverting what would otherwise be available to their own citizens.
Thank you for that link to banned foods. I am painfully aware of the health risks of American foods. They nearly claimed my life. It was through my own research where I learned the information that link provided, motivating me to remove those items from my diet, and by doing so, my health returned to what it was many years prior.
You are correct, there is a trade/economic/currency war ongoing between China and the US for control of the world, and you may not feel as if China is a threat to the UK... but consider, the US has for centuries now been a reliable ally to the UK... you have no idea what is in store for the UK once China has deposed the US as global leader and usurped control of the International Reserves standard bearer.
Thanks Ken; yes, I think that when someone goes to the bother of supplying links to support their view, it would be irresponsible not to view them e.g. only ever considering the views of others that supports your way of thinking, and dismissing opposing views out of hand can be a dangerous thing, because no one is ever 100% right. Plus, occasionally, by considering views of others who have opposing views, you can sometimes learn something new e.g. fact checking about so called ‘Chinese Ghost Cities’ was educational. Also, if you don’t listen to the other side of the argument you never get a balanced view, nor ever be able to see the issue from the other person’s perspective.
Yes, what you eat does have a profound affect on your health. American food standards are one of the main stumbling blocks in the Trade Negotiations between the USA & EU, which after 10 years of negotiations has still made little progress. It’s was also proving divisive with Boris Johnsons trying to get a much needed Trade Deal with the USA, post Brexit e.g. those talks had also reached an impasse, for the same reason.
Yep, I (like most Brits) appreciate that America has been an important ally to the UK for over a century. Albeit a lot of Brits are a little miffed that the USA was late for both wars, and when they did eventually join us in the 2nd world war the behaviour of American Troops in Britain gave mixed feelings, leading to the famous saying “Oversized, Oversexed and Over here”. Grateful bunch aren’t we? Because I do appreciate that many Americans sacrificed themselves to fight ‘our’ war in Europe. And I know that from the American perspective, they are the heroes for saving Britain and Europe from Nazi Germany. So I guess this might be a good example of trying to appreciate things from the other side’s perspective!
As regards to your last paragraph: For Brits (from our perspective); even before COVID-19, because of the economic damage to the British economy over the past four years, because of Brexit; and because of the looming economic crisis in Britain once the Transitional Period ends on the 31st December 2020; Brits are already bracing themselves for a ‘New World Order’; and one where Britain goes from being a major player on the world stage to becoming just an isolated island on the fringes of Europe.
Further to that, because Brits fear a Trade Deal with the USA, because of America wanting us to lower our ‘Food Standards’ so that we can accept American food in the Trade Deal; and because of Trumps Trade War with the EU (of which we are still part of in practical terms, until the Transitional Period ends at the end of the year): Brits have become increasingly anti-American. Coupled with the fact that Trading and Tourist relationships between China and Europe (including the UK) is on a ‘All Time High’: We don’t fear China usurping the USA on the world markets.
Britain had its ‘Hay Day’ of being the world leader in International Trade, during the height of the British Empire over a century ago; when over half of all world trade came through the British Ports.
The USA had its ‘Hay Day’ after the 2nd world war; and now it seems that it might be China’s turn! And with it, will come change; even without COVID-19 Britain was set for change anyway (and not for the better) because of Brexit; so any additional upheaval of the Markets at this time will (from a British perspective) be just par for the course.
In typical British Style (British Humour during time of crisis) “Look on the Bright Side of Life”: https://youtu.be/SJUhlRoBL8M
Apt for this moment in time. Reminds me of one of my key beliefs, one that helped make me an exceptionally daring Ranger.
"Dying is easy, its living that's the tough part"
Ken, as posted earlier, I’ve had a busy and productive day in the garden, therefore just catching up on some of the HubPages posts and emails before I call it a day. Couple of weeks ago (while we had a mild patch of weather) I tidied up the front and back gardens, pruned the trees, burnt all the pruned wood, and emptied all the compost bins. Today I tidied the greenhouse and prepared the seed beds in the vegetable plot. Tomorrow, I shall be sowing the first batch of seeds for the summer crops. So like today, HubPages Forums will take a low priority.
Anyway, in giving a brief reply to your final point, in your post above e.g. China vs Russia threats to the West:-
I’m rather sceptical that the UK does have any real influence in American politics or media e.g. Americans don’t seem to have much appetite for a healthcare system more like the NHS, comprehensive labour protection laws or tighter gun controls, just to mention a few. In fact our two cultures are so different that it’s often difficult to find common ground that we can agree on.
As regards Russia and China; you view China as the Real threat whereas Brits view Russia as the real threat; and for very good reasons. Living in Britain, all my life Russia has been a consistent threat here, on many levels e.g. propaganda (misinformation), military and cyber-attacks etc. From your comment, you see that the Russia threat to Britain is just imaginary; where it is not, the threat is real. As an example, Russian submarines have on occasions been caught off the Scottish coast, attempting to follow the British nuclear submarine into the deep seas as it leaves the Scottish coast for its six months covert duty, deep under the oceans (where it cannot be tracked) somewhere in the world. Britain has four nuclear submarines, each carrying up to 40 nuclear warheads, with at least one of the four British nuclear submarines being hidden under the oceans at all times. So that in the event that Britain is destroyed by the Russians in a nuclear war, the submarine can retaliate. And the arrangement is that in the event the British Government was to be wiped out by the Russians in a nuclear attack, is that the Authority for the captain of the submarine to take action is already given in a signed and sealed envelope in a sage on board the submarines.
I know I responded to this paragraph already, but I had to revisit it after watching this video, watch from 38:20 on, as China is discussed, this is the 'depression' I am talking about.
Listening to Mike Maloney’s video, as you suggested (I watched the section you referred to and other parts of the video); he’s a showman, putting on a good performance in his videos to plug his books; make his money from his videos and books.
His economics sound convincing enough to the average viewer, but it is flawed; I get the impression that he’s mixing economic theories with right-wing political spin. Apart from the video being five years old, the predictions he made about China’s deflation had the reverse effect to what he claimed e.g. instead of China’s bubble bursting, causing civil unrest within China, because (unlike most of the rest of the world) China still has a fixed Exchange Rate, which allowed them to devalue their currency against the rest of the world in 2015, the effect was not as he predicted but instead it boosted China’s economy by making their exports cheaper, which then had a negative effect not on China, but on the rest of the world.
This article, from the same time period is far more balanced, and gives a more honest picture of reality as it was at that time:- https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 … -deflation
I get your analogy with regard to Capitalism. However, this should not apply to a National crisis.
It appears this is a problem of price gouging, pure and simple. Hopefully, the President will address this problem and have those that are gouging penalized by law. President Trump signed an executive order to prevent price gouging, March 23, 2020, which addressed just such hoarding o or price gouging on medical supplies. This order came within days of his request to Governors to try to purchase medical supplies on their own
".Trump is authorized under the Defense Production Act to prohibit hoarding of needed resources by designating them as scarce or threatened by people accumulating excessive amounts, Barr said.
The executive order signed by Trump on Monday gives Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar the authority to designate certain supplies as critical, meaning those found to be hoarding or price gouging such equipment could face criminal action, Barr said."
https://thehill.com/homenews/administra … of-medical
Sharlee: It is not a matter of hoarding by the users that creates the price gouging. It is the source companies that are holding out for the best price they can get by having states compete by bidding higher prices.
In other words, if an N95 mask normally sells for $1.00, the companies are holding out to sell that same mask to the highest state bidder for $5.00. That is price gouging and free market capitalism at its worst. My point is, if the feds were to control the pricing across all states, they could regulate the price to a fixed reasonable cost for all users. But Trump refuses to do that.
This reminds me of the $14.00 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches during Katrina. This when restaurants were offering spaghetti dinners in New Orleans for much less than that. Dubya's cronies made a fortune on the Katrina crisis, as they did on the Iraq invasion. Re Haliburton.
It's the Republican business model all over again.
It looks as if the President's executive order to prevent price gouging was directed at companies to stop price gouging. I have not been able to obtain a copy of the EO. AG Barr stated "We have received evidence recently. We have already initiated investigations of activities that are disrupting the supply chain and suggestive of hoarding,” Barr said, noting the probes are targeting people hoarding on an “industrial scale” or “manipulating the market” for profit."
President @realDonaldTrump just signed an EO to prevent hoarding & price gouging of supplies needed in our war against the #Coronavirus. This sends a strong message – we will not let those hoarding vital supplies & price gougers to harm the health of America in this hour of need."
https://www.cnn.com/world/live-news/cor … 1fff113fb4
It seems that the companies that are openly taking bids from states on medical supplies are clearly manipulating the prices of these medical supplies. Instead of selling at a set price, some companies are gouging. I would think these companies could be charged with price gouging due to manipulating the prices in order to make more profits.
I have not been able to locate the actual EO. It would be interesting to read the full document.
The problem is clearly with the companies even taking bid at a time of crisis. However, I very much agree the bidding war could have been averted if FEMA did the purchasing at one set price and then distributed the equipment to the states. Hopefully, the companies caught taking bids on any medical supplies will be penalized.
Sharlee: That's all well and good, but it is not just a matter of issuing an executive order. It's enforcing that order and so far I have not seen any evidence of that. Here is what HHS says about it.
https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/03/ … order.html
I agree I have seen nothing to indicate AG Barr has gone after these companies for taking bids on equipment. Thanks for the link... Very informative.
Sharlee: I just found this at the bottom of that order.
https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files … ention.pdf
It well appears this EO does not cover price gouging. It appears Some of the media has misrepresented the order by implying the ordered covers any businesses. Not good. The other day at the president's press conference a reported asked about the fact FEMA was biding alongside Governors for Vents, and the prices were being driven up due to bidding against FEMA. I have not heard of any solutions to stop this bidding. I felt that EO covered it, I see it does not... Not good
I noted a Phone number... To get further information
Bryan Shuy: 202-703-8610 --- Disconnected or not working at this time.
Sharlee: Here is Trump's Executive Order to prevent hoarding and of health care equipment...You be the judge and let me know what you think.
https://www.federalregister.gov/documen … f-covid-19
I found no mention of price gouging. I feel some outlets have misrepresented the EO. In my opinion, this EO served no purpose at this point at all. I have not heard of any extreme cases of hoarding other than TP, and hand sanitizer by citizens.
Seems to me the price gouging may have been or should be a problem that should be considered, and solved.
I've heard, several times, that NYC is hoarding ventilators in a warehouse. Have no idea if it is true, though it does seem possible. Preparing for the apex of the curve, though they aren't needed that badly right now. It would also give more credence to the crying that NYC needs more ventilators (at the cost of others not getting enough).
Guess we'll find out in time.
"Hundreds of thousands of hoarded medical supplies, including 192,000 N95 respirator masks, are being sent to coronavirus hot spots New York and New Jersey, the departments of Justice and Human and Health Services announced Thursday.
https://thehill.com/homenews/administra … s-to-ny-nj
The FBI located the supplies on March 30, as part of its work under the department’s Covid-19 hoarding and price gouging task force, which was announced last week. HHS was then alerted and activated the Defense Production Act to seize the supplies and put them under U.S. government control."
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/0 … ies-161477
It does appear the EO was to curb hoarding and selling to the highest bidder, and there is a growing problem of this practice. It well appears the President's EO was needed. One would think this kind of hoarding would not go on in such a crisis.
Today's it appears Trump is looking into 3M for their selling to other countries before considering out needs. All about the cash...
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/20 … d-selling/
Great job digging up the facts and making them available Sharlee.
Sharlee and Ken: That's great, now let's see if they can enforce it.
Chomsky not only holds that it is capitalism getting in the way (he's quite critical of capitalism under Trump), but that neoliberal capitalism is especially to blame. Overall, he states, that "the distinguishing feature in responses seems not to be democracies vs. autocracies, but functioning vs. dysfunctional societies."
https://truthout.org/articles/chomsky-v … apitalism/
Chomsky the highly intellectual critic that comes up with no solutions.
Ken Burgess: He only has no solutions because he is a threat to your values and beliefs. The solution is to place life above money.
Hopefully participants in the forums (granted we aren't as high-profile as Chomsky) aren't held to the same standard. U.S. politicians don't seem to be in this business either, except to the extent they can use the system to bestow some benefits upon themselves and their elite circles.
As far as intellectual critics go, we could go with Harari and dismiss both capitalism and socialism as insubstantial steps along the path to our eventual servitude of the technologies we create (given that we don't completely annihilate ourselves with nuclear war or some other turpitude).
Ken: What solutions does Trump and his minions have to mitigate the virus? He operates on gut feel and has a total disdain for science. This virus doesn't care about his gut feel, other than it could make you vomit if you contracted it.
Speaking of disdain, I have a total disdain for Trump. I'm 81 years old and he violates every thing my parents taught me about morality and how to be a good person. I can't even stand to watch him distort facts and broadcast misinformation in his task force addresses.
Now he wants to relax social distancing for Easter. That tells me he really doesn't understand what social distancing is about or he doesn't care because he is recommending that to play to his evangelical base. It's appalling that he would recommended something that would allow the virus to spread like wild fire.
The only thing he really cares about is protecting his brand and he does it by lying, self aggrandizing, and attacking others who disagree with his twisted view of himself and the world he lives in.
I feel better now.
I'm glad you feel better now, maybe it will help you accept the fact that he IS the President, and there isn't going to be anyone replacing him.
Not in seven months.
We are in the beginning stages of a crisis we can't even begin to measure, this is an off the charts disaster in the making, and its global.
The House Democrats, Schumer, and the MSM that supports them and continues to attack Trump are truly traitors to the Nation at this time.
Because they are still focused on their petty, and currently irrelevant political ideologies and beliefs, their falsehood fabricating and Trump hating.
This pandemic is going to kill hundreds of thousands, maybe hundreds of millions.
Civilization is going to collapse, piracy and riots are going to become the norm, throughout the Western world, and even worse is going to happen in the developing nations.
The global economy is on the brink of collapse, the dollar could become worthless, and when that happens every bank, every business, and every currency the world over becomes insolvent.
THAT is what we are facing... THAT is what we are slipping toward, and anyone still attacking the President and playing at politics is just helping us reach that catastrophic outcome.
Ken, Found an interesting article that chronologized the actions Trump took as he received information fro WHO and CDC.
I appreciate Trump's daily updates, the updates on what is being done give me a positive feeling that the all is being done. In my opinion, it's time to look at the positive instead of dwelling on the negative.
https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/31/th … he-danger/
Here you go, Shar. Why don't you check a site out before you link to it? DOH!
"Coronavirus pandemic misinformation
During the coronavirus pandemic, The Federalist published numerous pieces that contained false information or information that was contrary to the recommendations of public health experts and authorities. The Federalist published articles denouncing social distancing, as well as articles claiming that fears over the coronavirus pandemic had been overhyped by the Democratic Party and the media. The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis said that Democrats were intentionally trying to "destroy the economy" as a “last-ditch 2020 play”, and that "All they care about is power. And if they have to destroy your life and business to get power back, they will." The Federalist published articles calling on the government to quickly end social distancing directions, and to open businesses again. The Federalist co-founder Ben Domenech attacked a prominent Imperial College analysis which estimated the loss of life due to the coronavirus pandemic; Domenech attacked the analysis for revising its figures downward, but the only reason that the analysis did so was that the analysis incorporated the social distancing and shutdown strategies that had increasingly been implemented.
It published a piece by someone identified as a physician in Oregon who recommended that people hold "chickenpox"-style parties for the coronavirus to build herd immunity, but the recommendations were contrary to those of public health experts, and the author in question did not have a medical license and had worked as a businessman for decades. At the time, experts warned that the number of new infections should be kept down so as to not overburden the health care system. The Federalist was subsequently temporarily suspended from Twitter because the website used the Twitter platform to promote fringe ideas that contradicted public health experts and were harmful to public health. Reddit also removed links to The Federalist article on its platform."
And Randy’s idea of a reputable site is Wikipedia? LOL
And the little turtle's idea of reputable is a hayseed college in Oklahoma. "We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee."
I just watched Trump's task force briefing. He is now making hydroxychloroquine available for virus patients, even though it has not been clinically tested for efficacy against the virus. He says, "What do we have to lose?"
What he doesn't understand or is ignoring is there could be unknown side effects with this drug, especially if taken with azithromycin. But hey, he is so desperate for success, he doesn't car who's life he puts at risk.
No kidding Mike, his desperation is showing. I'm wondering if Jarrod is involved with producing the drug at this point. Wouldn't surprise me in the least....
You are aware that hydroxychloroquine has been used for years? My wife takes it for her arthritis, it is in common use for malaria and there are others as well.
I would think the side effects would be known by now.
Of course if PP was on his death bed with Covid-19 he would be saying he won’t take it because “Trump doesn’t care about it’s efficacy, he’s desperate and I’d rather die”
That’s the logic that comes from TDS.
Not only that... but the people are dying... but lets not use the drug because we have no idea what the side effects may be
Feel free to be a guinea pig, Ken. I'll pull for you!
Wilderness: Does your wife take it with azithromycin? That's the cocktail that Trump is prescribing.
Agree, Wiki is no more or less reliable than what Shar linked to.
Really Ken? Does the Federalist list reputable sources for their info?
I wanted a factual timeline this author gave one. I have verified the dates. Here are just a few other references with the same timeline. I wanted to prove how quickly Trump went into action, the dates say it all. I was not looking for Trump tweets or his opinion statements only what he
initiated to problem solve.
https://www.brookings.edu/research/the- … nd-themes/
https://www.businessinsider.com/coronav … nts-2020-3
https://www.donaldjtrump.com/media/time … ronavirus/
Yes Shar, any amount of objective research will show that Trump was acting while the Democrats (and WHO) were blasting him for acting to protect America from the virus.
And now they are trying to say he didn't act fast enough, there are no "aha-gotcha!" moments anymore... from the Russian Conspiracy to the Corona Investigation it has been one long string of Democrat ineptness and corruption and falsehoods and fabrications.
You really have to be living in an alternate reality (one CNN will happily create for you, MSNBC as well) to have any faith in the Democrats in DC anymore.
Yeah, remember this: Dr. Fauci Said Coronavirus ‘is not a major threat to the people of the United States’
Is the media on Fauci’s back for that? The advice he obviously had to be giving Trump who relies on his advisers to give him accurate advice?
You are correct it is apparent to me that there is a segment of the population that will not view facts as facts. It matters little what actually was done how quickly it was done. What they see is Trump did it, and that makes anything he did BAD... President Trump could not have acted faster or been more organized at solving every problem that has cropped up. I would shudder to think what would have happened with any other president at the helm. He is doing a wonderful job.
WHO needs to be investigated, and China needs to financially pay for what money our Government has spent on fighting this virus.
Between me and you. The Dems have made such fools of themselves I find after each of their aha-gotcha's that I feel they could not possibly maker bigger fools of themselves. But, then they do.
Yes, damn the left for not liking a liar in the Oval Office.
You are batting .500 Sharlee.
"WHO needs to be investigated, and China needs to financially pay for what money our Government has spent on fighting this virus.'
I completely disagree with this—unless it can be proven that the Chinese purposely unleashed this virus as a weapon. Which I don't think is the case. I can't imagine any realistic expectations that would justify your thought.
"The Dems have made such fools of themselves I find after each of their aha-gotcha's that I feel they could not possibly maker bigger fools of themselves."
On this one, I agree.
.500 isn't bad. Derek Jeter only batted a .310, and look at the millions he got for that. ;-)
I don't think that China unleashed the virus as a weapon, but I do think an investigation into WHO and the handling of a response warrants an investigation--for the reasons outline in this article, among others:
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opin … us-victims
Cover-up, kowtowing, or inept responses . . . I'm not sure.
A little something else for your consideration:
WHO accused of ‘Chinese propaganda’ after official refuses to acknowledge Taiwan in bizarre interview
https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/healt … 433ee6c8a9
Yes, I had seen that accusation eastward. I am unsure what to think about it.
The WHO accusations may be right. It does seem so. But, it also looks like what we have seen with Trump-bashing. A factoid here and there, a bunch of spin, and Bingo! we have a scandal.
That is just my perception. The little effort I have made to follow this issue seems to validate the accusations, but it still smells like spin. Like we are looking for someone to blame.
It would be easy for me to see the political and CYA motives of the WHO doing what it is being accused of, but I don't think this is a time for the blame game, so I will remain on the sidelines undecided until something that doesn't require spin or speculation comes to light.
I'm sure there is a degree of spin applied, GA. However, in the big picture, it is true that China puts immense pressure on governments, countries, and organizations to make sure they talk about Hong Kong, Macau, and (especially) Taiwan as part of China. Just a few other examples I remember seeing in the news:
Versace apologises after T-shirt angers China
United Airlines made a tiny concession to recognize Taiwan, and China is furious
https://www.businessinsider.sg/united-a … S&IR=T
Huawei Angers China After Listing Taiwan as a Country
Angelina Jolie angers China with Taiwan comments
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/j … maleficent
On that point, I agree Eastward. China does not accept any perspective that Taiwan is an independent nation. But that is different from the accusations being made about the virus, Even if those accusations are also true.
You forgot Fox News, Ken. Or do you agree with their opinions?
Yes, Ken you should throw Fox in there since by his statement Randy appears to agree with what you said about CNN and MSNBC. You are getting through to him, finally!
Here is a critical difference.
FOX isn't fabricating stories about Russian Conspiracies, FOX isn't bashing him for being xenophobic for implementing the travel ban, and then turning around and bashing him a month later for not acting faster, etc. etc.
That said, I don't watch any of them, because I don't watch cable, direct, or regular tv. I do admit to catching a clip of something on Youtube from time to time, not that I go looking for it.
As for Randy, if he were more internet savvy, he would know that Youtube is host to a great many individual sites like Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, PBS, all sorts of informative foreign (as in non-American) sites.
For Example (for Randy to enjoy):
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4p_I9 … KoU-nawrDg
There is too much GOOD information out there for me to waste watching the brain rotting garbage CNN. MSNBC and yes FOX feeds you.
"FOX isn't fabricating stories about Russian Conspiracies, FOX isn't bashing him for being xenophobic for implementing the travel ban, and then turning around and bashing him a month later for not acting faster, etc. etc."
first you say that. And then you say this:
"That said, I don't watch any of them, because I don't watch cable, direct, or regular tv. I do admit to catching a clip of something on Youtube from time to time, not that I go looking for it."
So if you don't watch Fox, how do you know what they opine about? Watching Youtube is the mistake you're making, Ken. Without watching your links I know what to expect from them. More BS....
Yes I know Randy, you have a very closed mind.
You live in a safe, somewhat isolated place, and do not deal with the daily hardships currently facing most Americans that do not have the luxury of living in the country and being well off.
The reason why your opinions and beliefs jive so well with the likes of those in DC and CNN, is because you are so much like them, aloof, not affected by struggling to get by from paycheck to paycheck, not having to raise kids or struggle to care for them and protect them from all the idiocies rampant in today's world.
Don't take this wrong, I'm not saying you aren't a good person, or that you didn't bring up a family, or that there is anything wrong with how you live or what you have... but I am saying you are out of touch with struggling Americans, and you have no interest in seeing any other perspective on the issues other than your own.
I notice you avoided answer my query re Fox and how you know what they say. First you say you don't watch tv and then you opine on what Fox says.
Make up your mind, Ken. Or is your mind closed as well?
Yes, just add shoot the venue to your playbook of talking points to parrot and looney tactics that are guaranteed to demonstrate your irrelevance to any discussion.
I'd agree it isn't very productive to hyper-focus on political differences and spilled milk for the time being. Trump is the President and has authority, but whether on his own or in coordination with his advisers, he certainly is responsible for failing to act soon enough and aggressively enough. This Snopes article is fair at taking the oft-circulated timeline of his comments and expanding them into their surrounding context:
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/timel … responses/
Now isn't the time to play the blame game, assuming we make it through this, it will be time to hold our leadership accountable for this horrific failure and the countless deaths that could have and should have been prevented. It'll likely take decades to determine what that number is (approximately).
We need to place a lot more faith in the scientists and medical professionals, and pressure our politicians to follow their expertise and lead. Politicians need to serve as communicators of the appropriate messages, from the experts. They need to communicate the truth to the public to try and help as many people as possible.
It's mad that there still isn't a countrywide mandatory quarantine and that Wisconsin is even continuing on with in-person voting at the polls. It seems inept decision-making is continuing, with politicians on both sides of the aisle fueling the worst.
Eastward: Thank you so much for that article. I think Noam Chomsky is right on. The march of capitalism to place money above everything else has been going on for years and is very insidious, except when it raises it's ugly head in the form of a global pandemic.
Everybody should read that article, even though it is long. It makes sense to those who have an open mind and have seen what neoliberal capitalism has done to not only our country, but to many others as well.
Socialism, it's little brother, modern Liberalism and it's big brother-Communism, are all forms of government that rely on the imperfections of capitalism to justify their existence. While capitalism is, indeed, the optimum monetary system for a government, it cannot be perfect in an imperfect world. Statists heckle it at every opportunity-usually citing coincidental but largely irrelevant disruptions to the system as evidence it doesn't work. Is your population ridiculously obese and hooked on opioids causing a shortage of medical care in a supply and demand crisis? Blame capitalistic health care-not obesity. Is your government printing up and handing out trillions to corporations (Obama bailouts)? Call that capitalism-then criticize free markets. Etc.
The problems America faces cannot be solved collectively. Americans have been so conditioned to look to government for solutions, have accepted massive debt in lieu of saving money, and have become so sloppy with health that simply collectivizing a problematic people is no solution. It's just rearranging the problem. The people are ripe for heckling by Socialists that promise a solution they can't deliver either, but like Obama Care-which promised to fix our health care system only to have Liberals once again ten years later saying millions can't get health care, Socialist plans simply won't ever be held accountable for failure even as they spend trillions trying to, that won't ever be recovered. And by the way, capitalism is not Socialism's doctor either. It's a system of prevention, not cure. Once that first fiat dollar is printed, the slippery slope has begun. Yes, you are in an arcane way correct: capitalism cannot help us now. Government involvement in the means of production and wealth redistribution has damaged us beyond repair. But the caveat is now that Socialism won't work either. As long as it can take longer to try and there is no means to hold the officials who try it accountable for its ultimate failure (usually due to the passage of time), deluded and desperate people will no doubt fall for its empty promises.
Anybody who believes in socialism has never lived under socialism. I visited my relatives in the Ukraine for the first time in 1970s when I was a teenager. At that time, it was part of the USSR. I could tell you so many stores from that trip as well as what I heard from my relatives who lived there.
You people who think socialism is so great have no idea what you are talking about. I say spend some time living in Venezuela or North Korea or other places where the government controls the means of production. That is socialism, the government controlling the means of productions.
European countries are not socialist countries, as most western Europeans are not. ALL of them have many elements of capitalism in their economic structure. More than one Scandinavian leader has said capitalism is the fuel the runs their social programs.
Readmikenow: The socialism I'm talking about is not communism. It is the Federal government taking a leadership role in this crisis, instead of having the states fend for themselves and put more lives at risk. I'm not going to go into a big long litany of about socialized health care would be more efficient than having the states compete against each other for health care resources. But here is an example of what they are forced to do.
https://boston.cbslocal.com/2020/04/02/ … -politico/
You don't know what socialism is at all. I don't know how to deal with people like you who believe you have a point but lack the understanding of the concept of socialism. It is NOT based on individual interpretations.
"The socialism I'm talking about is not communism. It is the Federal government taking a leadership role in this crisis, instead of having the states fend for themselves and put more lives at risk."
Only God above knows what that means. It has NOTHING to do with socialism.
If you don't believe me here is a definition of it from the Merriam Webster dictionary.
"Definition of socialism
1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done."
Truly, you need to study some more political science. I believe you have no idea what life is like for people who live under a socialist state.
Here is a good article on the difference between Socialism and Communism. They have similar goals.
"Marxism emerged in this milieu. Engels called it "scientific socialism" to distinguish it from the "feudal," "petty-bourgeois," "German," "conservative," and "critical-utopian" strains the Communist Manifesto singled out for criticism. Socialism was a diffuse bundle of competing ideologies in its early days, and it stayed that way. Part of the reason is that the first chancellor of newly unified Germany, Otto von Bismarck, stole the socialists' thunder when he implemented a number of their policies. Bismarck was no friend to socialist ideologues, whom he called "enemies of the Reich," but he created the West's first welfare state and implemented universal male suffrage in order to head off the left's ideological challenge."
https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answer … ialism.asp
Readmikenow: This is from your link:
"Socialists can be pro- or anti-market. They may consider the ultimate goal to be a revolution and the abolition of social classes, or they may seek more pragmatic outcomes: universal healthcare, for example, or a universal pension scheme. Social Security is a socialist policy that has been adopted in the unabashedly capitalist United States (as are the eight-hour working day, free public education, and arguably universal suffrage). Socialists may run for election, forming coalitions with non-socialist parties, as they do in Europe, or they may govern as authoritarians, as the Chavista regime does in Venezuela."
I can appreciate your experience and your relatives living in the Ukraine under communist rule. But as stated above in your link, there are many forms of socialism. And the form that we use in America is not communism. Neither is Bernie Sanders' Democratic Socialism. The means of production is not controlled and owned by the state (the federal government).
Again, what I'm concerned about is having the states bid for health care products. They should be a regulated fix cost, controlled by the federal government. Price gouging is a manifestation of capitalism, not socialism.
Trump has called himself the wartime president and has invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA). And he has asked GM and other companies to make ventilators and other health care products. Yes, that is a form of socialism, but I see that as no different than car manufactures building bombers and tanks during WWII. They were on contract to the government and were paid by the government. As a matter of fact, that is what a military is. It is a socialist organization, just like defense contractors.
Some people in this country are stuck in the cold war period when communism was a threat to our way of life and every time they hear the word socialism, they freak out and immediately equate it to communism of the 50's and 60's.
As stated above by your link, there are many forms of socialism that are not like the USSR communism. And there are forms of capitalism that exploit people and organizations, like price gouging and that is what this forum is about.
Our government (or nearly all governments, for that matter) are not competent to set prices.
They either take kickbacks and set prices so companies make huge profits or they set prices so low the company cannot survive in order to placate the populace. In more simple terms, governments are not concerned with reality and costs, just their own pocketbooks and the votes of the people (in our system of government).
As just one example, consider the price of power in California. Regulated and set by the state, it is so low as to prohibit proper maintenance of the distribution system...with the result that half the state burned down from fires caused by that distribution system. And then the people blame the power company for not having the money to do proper maintenance!
Wilderness: So you think it is better to have state governors competing with each other and source companies for health care products than to have fixed price control?
I don't know how old you are, but I remember during WWII, we had rationing that was controlled by the government. We had coupons for gas, food, clothes, and other commodities. It was war time, just like this is war time. What is missing now is competent leadership to regulate the procurement and distribution of these products to the states on an as needed basis.
So you think it is better to use capitalism to sacrifice the lives of people, just because you think the government is corrupt? The government is corrupt, because the leadership at the top is not only corrupt, but incompetent to manage this war time crisis.
You are right about one thing and that is Trump's main focus is about getting votes to get re-elected and protecting his image and his brand. He will do that no matter what the costs is to the people, financially and to their lives.
"I can appreciate your experience and your relatives living in the Ukraine under communist rule."
I don't think you can. Unless you've lived that way or have relatives who lived that way, or even seen it for yourself, you have no appreciation of that it means. As I said before, I could tell you many stories.
I agree there are many ways to be a socialist. That is like saying there are many ways to play the game of football. They all have one thing is common, a football. All of socialism has one thing in common, control of a country's means of production. Communism does it with an authoritarian approach, socialism tries to achieve its goals of control by working within an established system. It's the same house with different colors. Socialism is curable, communism is terminal.
I don't know what to say when people believe socialism is based on how a government uses its resources. In western Europe, they have many more social programs based on using their resources obtained by a capitalist economic system. I could get into the former soviet countries and their brands of socialism, but lets just say none of them are doing as good as if they would embrace total capitalism of their economies. Nothing generates income for a nation like capitalism. If they use only some of it or all of it, socialism is not even close to being able to meet the economic needs of a nation. This has been proven many times.
Well said Mike. I think you would agree with this article I found, Socialism: The Opiate of the Corrupt and Ignorant
https://economics21.org/socialism-opiat … -calomiris
Tsadjatko, Excellent article!
Here is the part I would wonder if those on the left are able to comprehend.
"Not only has socialist theory been wrong about the economic and political fruits of capitalism, it failed to see the problems that arise in socialist governments. Socialism’s record has been pain, not gain, especially for the poor. Socialism produced mass starvation in eastern Europe and China, as it undermined the ability of farmers to grow and market their crops. In less extreme incarnations, such as the UK in the decades after World War II and before Margaret Thatcher, it stunted growth. In most cases, socialism’s monopoly on economic control also fomented corruption by government officials, as was especially apparent in Latin American and African socialist regimes."
I love the way so many Americans not only run scared of Socialism, but consistently lump it all together with communism; as if all forms of Socialism was synonymous with communism.
FYI: The Article you reference and link to in your comment is published by Economics21; Economics21 is a political right-wing conservative American Institute, and therefore by its very nature natural biased against Socialisms.
The Economic21 Institute’s research seeks to develop and promote ‘free-market’ ideas, and therefore quite naturally is biased against Socialisms.
In that article the Economic21 Institute quotes the CEA in its study “The Opportunity Cost of Socialism” as showing:-
“…that the socialist approach to “single payer” health care advocated by many on the left would cost much more and deliver much less….”
However, if you actually read the full report by the CEA (which in itself is naturally biased against Socialism, because it’s written by a right-wing Administration for a right-wing Administration); the CEA report makes four references to “single payer” (three relating to healthcare) but it does not actually state what the Economic21 Institute claims it says.
The additional text surrounding the statement the E21 falsely claims the CEA makes is tantamount to propaganda.
Furthermore, it is an unfounded statement as the NHS (National Health Service) in Britain is testimony to the fact that a Socialist Healthcare System can be run cheaply and efficiently, while providing a high level of healthcare to all, free at the point of use.
In fact the NHS is one of the cheapest healthcare systems in the world, costing the average tax payer just $2,000 per year; which is a lot less than most Americans pay for their health Insurance.
The National Health Service explained https://youtu.be/bDdZCv5v2Rg
So in a nut shell your answer isn’t to specifically refute any one point made in the article but to shoot the messenger.
The predictable left wing tactic employed whenever their brainwashed mind is left with no way to reject the truth and they can’t possibly indoctrinate anyone in the face of it.
So they must shoot the messenger which also is how socialists keep power, kill, lock up, or censor their opposition.
Nope, I know from reading your comments that there is no point whatsoever even trying to sensibly debate the issue with you; because you are nothing but aggressive and dismissive towards anyone who disagrees with you.
For example, contrary to your rebuff that I didn't "specifically refute any one point made in the article"; I did specifically rebuff the claim that "the socialist approach to “single payer” health care advocated by many on the left would cost much more and deliver much less" Specifically by giving the NHS as evidence that the claim made in the report is incorrect.
Beside, I was born, and live, in a country where Socialism is an intricate part of our daily Social and Cultural and Political life; and I have nothing to fear from it: I see the benefits of it everyday.
The latest example of the NHS (Paid for by the Government) and free at the point of use for ALL (True Socialism) is the building and equipping of a 4,000 bed hospital in just 9 days (one of just 3 being built in Britain) to tackle COVID-19; the largest such hospital of its kind in the world.
Coronavirus: Prince Charles opens NHS Nightingale hospital https://youtu.be/mZz0OlEx-1Q
"I did specifically rebuff the claim that "the socialist approach to “single payer” health care advocated by many on the left would cost much more and deliver much less"
Actually, you didn't, for implicit in your argument is that your NHS is equal in quality, availability and amenities in use in the US system. It also assumes that virtually unlimited care is freely available, without regard to circumstances. To actually make the argument that it is cheaper all of these things (and others) have to be proven true. A Toyota is cheaper than a Maserati, yes, but the two are not equivalent.
It’s so obvious all he has is tactics! To say,
“ Nope, I know from reading your comments that there is no point whatsoever even trying to sensibly debate the issue with you; because you are nothing but aggressive and dismissive towards anyone who disagrees with you.”
Is nothing but the same tactic I called him out for “Shoot the messenger.” It is what he did to the article and now it’s his excuse to not try to refute facts he can’t refute.
The truth is to explain how the article is false point by point has nothing to do with anything I or anyone else might say in response. There is your proof that he is simply brainwashed and can’t cope with the truth!
There are multitudes of facts in the article which he can’t honestly take issue with and he knows it so that’s why his first and second response is simply to shoot the messenger. Plain and simple it’s a cop out - you can’t make this up!
This is what I said at the beginning of this forum and it still holds true today:
"Currently, there is an extremely urgent need for PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), ventilators, and health resources by all 50 states. However, the governors of all 50 states are having to compete with each other and FEMA to bid on these necessities to mitigate the spread of the virus to others and among front line health care personnel. It has been expressed as bidding on ebay for 50 states and FEMA."
That is a true verifiable statement. Today governors are going to other countries to get medical equipment. Trump invoked the DPA against 3M to stop exporting N95 masks to other countries and the CEO essentially told him to go pound sand. Why, because it is affecting his profit margin. That is capitalism and free market enterprise at it's finest.
Trump claims he is a war time president, but during WWII, we had car manufactures building bombers and tanks. Is that socialism or capitalism? The truth is it is both. Defense contractors were making money, which is capitalism, but they were employing people like Rosie the Riviter who was paid to takep part of her money and spend it on war bonds which is socialism.
In my view, capitalism and socialism should coexist. Capitalism is better suited for the financial markets and socialism is better suited for things like health care, law enforcement and safety for the people. The problem on both constructs is greed.
Unfettered capitalism without regulations can cause what happened in our last financial meltdown. Too much socialism can cause a welfare state.
In this crisis, we need a top down national strategy, just like there was in WWII, not a mishmash of governors vying for health care products and having to go to other countries to get them.
But I don't believe this administration is capable of that strategy because Trump has surrounded him self with yes men who are all afraid of their jobs and are afraid of being fired by Trump. The only people who are competent are Dr. Fauci and Dr. Brix. Everybody else has to pay homage to Trump, including the state governors or they don't get their products, like governors of Michigan and Maryland who tell Trump what they think of him. Therein lies another problem. Trump takes everything personally. That is not the sign of a good leader, especially in a global crisis.
His press conferences distort the truth and facts and afterwards Fauci and Birx have to put everything back in perspective again. I believe he is absolutely the wrong person to get us out of this mess.
You better hope you are wrong, because there isn't anyone else. There isn't going to be anyone else. It's Trump, for better or worse.
Ken: Yes, that's what I'm afraid of for the next seven months and possibly beyond.
It's interesting that you support capitalism in the form of buying respirators from other countries, and socialism in the form of not allowing our suppliers to sell to other countries. America First!, it seems...until Trump uses the phrase and then it's unconscionable and wrong.
Are you sure you want to take that stance?
Fair Point Wilderness.
I wouldn’t wish to be so presumptuous as to claim the NHS is better or equal to the American System because I only have personal experience of the NHS; that assessment I think is probably best left to those who have had personal experiences of both systems.
However, the NHS is certainly one of the best healthcare systems in the world.
Getting to your specific points regarding to whether the “NHS is equal in quality, availability and amenities in use in the US system”. It’s not for me to judge, but taking those three points separately:-
Quality: Certainly the quality of care in the USA and the NHS are good, but there are differences; sometimes in favour of the USA system, sometimes in favour of the NHS e.g. for Postpartum Care, according to an American who currently lives in the UK, in her words “Here in the UK it is so much better”.
Availability: The two healthcare systems are radically different, and again sometime it’s in favour of the USA system e.g. for those covered by healthcare waiting lists are generally shorter. Whereas, if you need medical treatment (including operations) it’s available to all (free at the point of use); plus if you have just a minor complaint and don’t want to bother your doctor, you can just pick up the phone and dial 111 to speak to a fully qualified medical staff; who will then advise you, and if as the result of your conversation they think it might be a serious complaint needing urgent attention, they will dial 999 for an Ambulance on your behalf, to rush you to hospital.
Amenities: Yep, I guess when it comes to private rooms and the like, the American system does offer greater Amenities; but when it comes to essential care, the NHS does provide good amenities for free e.g. Walk-in centres that provide fast and convenient access to health advice, information and first aid without the need to see your doctor or make a trip to A&E in Hospital. Also, Urgent Treatment Centres if you need urgent medical attention, but it’s not life threatening; again it’s saves you having to make a visit to your doctor or A&E in Hospital.
As regards your second main point “It also assumes that virtually unlimited care is freely available, without regard to circumstances.” No system in the world offers that, unless you pay for it out of your own pocket; and few people can afford that. However, most medical care, that most people need, is available on the NHS for free; and not just the basics. For example, Gender Reassignment (Gender dysphoria) is on the NHS for free to all patients who need it e.g. although the operation costs the NHS £19,236 ($25,000) per patient, and the NHS spends over £20 million ($25 million) a year on this; the patient gets this service for free at the point of use.
Your last point: “To actually make the argument that it is cheaper all of these things (and others) have to be proven true. A Toyota is cheaper than a Maserati, yes, but the two are not equivalent.”
The NHS is considerably cheaper, that is a given fact; and it’s free to all at the point of use e.g. it’s paid for from the taxes. But perhaps the question ought to perhaps be “whether it’s better value for money”. The two systems are certainly different, and they both have their pros and cons; but which system you would prefer isn’t for me to say. All I can say it that, without question, I prefer the NHS.
As I said above, I’m not qualified to make an informed judgement on one system over the other because I am only familiar with the NHS.
However the two videos below are made by Americans who have immigrated to Britain, and have experience of both the American healthcare system and the NHS; and what they have to say does make for interesting listening e.g. the American in the first video states (in her own words) “Socialism is great when it works, and the NHS has been working for quite a long time”, and the American in the second video states (in her own words) ” The average person has more options because its free in the NHS”.
Why I Love the NHS by an American https://youtu.be/THr1_0epEeQ
US vs. UK HEALTHCARE https://youtu.be/_xM5h55Dp_I
"But perhaps the question ought to perhaps be “whether it’s better value for money”."
And therein lies the rub. That "better value" part. I probably prefer ours, though it is nearly a toss up, for I very seldom need a doctor. Twice in the last 20 years plus a yearly check up just because I can. And, as I have paid a lifetime for our Medicare, it costs me only about $120 per month for anything I need.
My wife, on the other hand, sees a doctor almost monthly if not more, and if she has to buy her own insurance she would certainly benefit from free health care (she goes on medicare next year)...IF she could get in to get that care.
I've mentioned this before in these forums, but here it is again: She needed a colonoscopy for abdominal pain she had been having for several months. No urgency, so it was scheduled about a week out. When performed, they found it was impossible to do, for the colon was blocked with something. Within less than a half hour we were in a hospital (as opposed to a simple clinic), where a cat scan was performed. As we walked to our car afterwards, she got a call from the surgeon; she needed a bowel resection - major surgery - (still not an emergency) and could she come in the next morning for that? As I understand it this kind of thing simply does not happen in the UK and Americans demand it. She also got a private room with TV, phone and other amenities. The hospital restaurant, at low prices, was available for visitors. Coffee was available - free - all day for visitors. Value depends on what a person wants.
Finally, it has been my experience that government can NEVER compete with private industry when it comes to price. Remove the insurance companies, forcing government to pick up the bill, and the price per visit will skyrocket. You'll perhaps get more, but never more per dollar spent, with the result that saving insurance company profits disappear into the maw of indiscriminate spending.
(But you're absolutely right in that neither you nor I can decide for the other. Not even the folks making the videos can; as I say my wife and I likely would choose opposite systems.)
Fair play Wilderness:
Certainly we don’t generally get private rooms with TV, phone and other amenities in the NHS; it’s predominately open wards.
When my wife and I were working (me in the civil service and my wife in the NHS) we were both on average earnings, so only paid about £40 ($50) a month each towards the NHS in taxes. Since we both took early retirement (me at 55 and my wife at 59), we’re both now currently on just our Occupational pensions, plus my wife gets PIP (disability allowance for her bad back) so therefore I get a carers allowance (Welfare State) to look after her. Then at state pension age we’ll both also get our State Pension. However, because we are retired, neither of us pays any tax towards the NHS.
Likewise, our son (after graduating from university) has spent the last few years building up his business as a professional photographer; and although he is on a liveable wage, he isn’t quite earning enough yet to pay any taxes towards the NHS. Nevertheless, he, like us, has full access to the use of the NHS as and when required, free at the point of use.
So for us we do certainly get excellent value for money from the NHS.
With reference to your comprehensive description of the speedy treatment your wife got for non-urgent surgery; and stating that “As you understand it this kind of thing simply does not happen in the UK”.
Simple treatment in the UK can be quick, but as you quite rightly point out, if surgery is required, and it’s not urgent, then the waiting lists for operations can be quite long. That is something where Americans and the British have different attitudes. I understand that Americans demand surgery to be quick, even if it’s not urgent; whereas because it’s free in the UK, and because of all the other benefits of the NHS, the British are not so demanding.
Our experiences: Like you and your wife; I hardly ever go to the doctor, whereas because of her bad back and other related problems my wife uses the NHS a lot, and last year had a major non urgent operation on her throat after a six months wait.
The only time I went to the doctor in recent years is when I had a minor issue that didn’t cause any discomfort but was concerning because I didn’t know what it was. I visited the doctor on the Thursday, and after a thorough examination she arranged for me to have an endoscopy in a local hospital the following day, and then an appointment in another local hospital the following Thursday for a CT scan. Fortunately all the tests came back negative; and whatever the problem was went away. But I was impressed on how fast all the test were done.
As regards my son, he occasionally sees his doctor for mild ailments, nothing serious. But there was one time (a few years ago) when he didn’t feel too good, but not ill enough to feel that he needed to go to the doctor; so he phoned 111 for advice; and after giving them his symptoms, and talking to them for a few minutes they arranged for an Ambulance to take him to hospital; which arrived within 5 minutes; and within half an hour he was being checked over in a local hospital. Although, from the symptoms it could have been life threatening, hence the Ambulance, fortunately it wasn’t; all he needed was just some antibiotics (which along with the Ambulance was free) to clear up a chest infection.
So both in the UK and the USA the health system works, and as you said, neither you nor I can decide for the other which system best suits us.
How the NHS 111 system works (An Inclusive Service): https://youtu.be/CMePMsS9KT8
A couple of points. That my wife got her CT scan, after the failed colonoscopy, was not a scheduled appointment. They called from the colonoscopy clinic and 30 minutes later she was being scanned. To do that means the hospital has more scanners than they need; it means that they sit idle much of the time in order to be available at a moment's notice. That's a big difference, for those things aren't cheap and somebody is paying for them.
Secondly, YOU may find the value good, but that's because YOU are not paying the full cost of your treatment; someone else is. And that's on a daily, common basis; we're not talking an unusual emergency or something. Someone else is paying the cost of your rare visits, even when you were paying that $50 per month. Similarly, your son isn't paying anything at all towards HIS care...but someone is. It's not like insurance, where the risk is divided among everyone that pays and when you don't need a lot of service your payment goes to someone else. Not unless you view the entire tax base as insurance - a forced insurance where you don't get to pick and choose what you need and your cost is not based on statistical averages for one of your circumstances.
Given that govt. is inherently wasteful (though I hear the UK is having trouble, and denying some services now), I cannot imagine how it is cheaper to pay for more care for more people. How can that possibly be...except by cutting services? Some by using wards and no amenities, but it takes more than that to produce the difference in costs you're talking about. Perhaps the general tax base is being used to shore up the expenditures, rather than just NHS taxes? Are doctors and nurses paid far less for their expertise across the pond? Are clinics or hospitals owned and maintained by the state without using NHS funds? I understand Australia educates their doctors and even provides clinics to work in, but does not report those costs as a part of their national system - are such things being done in the UK?
I'll take yours, if I understand it correctly, that you only pay in if you make a certain amount of money, and then not after you retire (not that many can afford to do that these days).
I, like you, don't like to go to the doctor, and then it has to be serious.
And when it is serious, and the doctor explains what the problem is, I then research it to determine how I want to treat it... I don't leave it up to the doctor, in America that is a recipe for a great amount of unnecessary tests, drugs, and even operations.
For instance, I once tore my Achilles, which made walking all but impossible. So I had to go to the doctor and get an MRI, the doctor wanted to operate, to take from one of my big toes.
I researched it, found that the Achilles would heal itself if kept immobile, but it could take many months for it to do so.
It did, it was a year before I felt confident enough to walk normally. But I never needed the operation.
Another situation I had, was intense chest pains, tightness in my chest when doing any exertion, etc. I was sent to have a few significant tests, bloodwork, etc. and it came back that my heart was in great shape, but my American diet was deadly, I had plaque build up in my arteries.
The doctor wanted to have me take more tests, and take some drugs. I went home and did my research. I cut all meats and dairy out of my diet, no more fast food joints, no greasy fried foods... in two months the pains and issues went away. A year later it was like I was ten years younger.
Point of all this... our doctors in America can diagnose very well.
But Health is a business in America... and if they aren't giving you tests, and having you come in for check-ups, and getting operations, and taking prescriptions, they aren't making money off of you.
In order for them to pay their bills, and have nice cars and homes, and for hospitals to pay their bills and make a profit... they need patients, ones with insurance.
They aren't exactly incentivized to do what's best and most affordable for you here in America.
Hi Ken, in answer to your first paragraph, below are the details of tax that covers the NHS costs in the UK.
If I understand correctly, tax on Income in the UK is done differently than in the USA. So for clarity I’ll just give a brief description of the UK System.
In the USA, if I understand correctly everyone has to fill out annual tax forms because Income tax is complex and includes all sorts of things that British people don’t pay tax on?
In the UK employees don’t fill out tax forms; I’ve never filled one out in the whole of my life.
In the UK the main tax on wages is called “Income Tax”. Income Tax is paid out of your wages directly to Inland Revenue by your employer, before your employer pays you. A system called the PAYE (Pay As You Earn).
The current Income Tax Rates in the UK is:-
• First £12,500 wages per year is zero tax
• £12,501 to £50,000 per year is at 20%
• £50,001 to £150,000 per year is at 40%
• Additional wages over £150,000 is at 45% (when the Labour Government is in power this rate tax tends to be increased nearer to 50%).
The additional tax (introduced by the Labour Government in 1948) to cover the cost of the Welfare State which includes Social Benefits, Welfare Benefits, State Pension and the NHS, is called the National Insurance (NI).
NI is paid directly to Inland Revenue, by your employer before you get paid, under the PAYE system at the same time and in the same way as your employer deducts Income Tax from you wages before paying you.
• The current NI Rate in the UK is:-
• First £9,504 wages earned per year @ zero NI tax.
• £9,504 to £50,000 wages per year @ 12%
• Over £50,000 per year @ 2%
Therefore, the maximum anyone earning up to £50,000 per year will pay in NI (which includes your contributions towards the NHS) is £1,140 per year.
As an example, someone earning wages of £200,000 per year would pay NI @ £3,000+£1,140 = £4,140 e.g. they would pay £4,140 per year in NI (which includes their contribution towards the NHS, and their State Pension etc.)
Obviously anyone in full time education, unemployed, on a low income or retired don’t pay any NI; but still qualify for the benefits if they need them; with the exception of State Pension e.g. you need to have been paying the NI tax on your wages for at least 10 years to get the minimum State Pension, and 35 years in employment to get the full State Pension. Currently the State Pension age is 66, but it will eventually rise to 68.
Does that help to clarify your thoughts on the NHS NI Tax System?
It certainly seems the UK gets more for its taxation than the US.
We have Federal, State, and Local taxes here, most pay at least 50% in taxes, when combining them all together, some States are far better in this regards than others.
For instance, the move from NY to FL saved us $20,000 a year in taxes we don't have to pay, when tallying up various sales tax, property and school tax, and Income tax.
Our combined income is currently the same as we made in NY, but $20,000 dollars more a year remains in our pockets rather than with the State. Its made a huge difference for us.
We don't have free healthcare, we don't have a reliable pension/retirement plan, in comparison to what is available to citizens of the UK, Americans (those who work or own businesses) get very little for our tax dollars.
Yes you are right wilderness, NHS hospitals do fully utilise their CT Scans by having sufficient to meet demand without having spares standing around idle just in case they could be used at a moment’s notice: It’s making maximum use of resources, which makes good economic sense.
Albeit, in the event of an emergency e.g. possible life threatening injury due to a car accident; the CT scan would be made available for that patient at a moment’s notice, and the person scheduled for that time slot would have to wait a little longer e.g. go off and have a coffee.
Yep, you are right, it’s not like a Traditional Insurance; and it’s not trying to be. The whole principle of the NHS is the concept of ‘Universal Health Care’ for All, ‘Free at the Point of Use’, that’s paid for through tax and available to everyone (including the unemployed) regardless to their ability to pay.
It is pure Socialism, and that’s why Conservative Governments have always hated it (back in the 1980’s Margaret Thatcher even tried abolishing it in favour of an American style Healthcare system). But the British Public love it (even Conservative voters); so the Conservative Party has had no choice other than to be seen to be supportive of it e.g. not to do so would be a big vote loser. During General Elections the Conservative Slogan is “The NHS is Safe in Our Hands” but once in power they always cut public spending on the NHS in real terms; then argue that they’ve increased spending, but fail to mention that the increased spending on the NHS is in monetary terms (due to inflation), not in real terms. That’s politics for you.
Actually I would dispute that “Governments are inherently wasteful”. Granted Governments can be wasteful, but then so can Private Companies. But equally Governments can also be efficient; and sometimes even more efficient than Private Industry. So as with many things, it’s not all black and white, but many shades of grey.
I was in the civil service for the whole of my working life, so I am quite familiar of the strengths and weaknesses of Government Departments.
A lot of British (right-wing) propaganda, making the same claim as you, cites the spectacular failures in the 1970’s of British Governments attempt at running Private Industry, but they never mention the great successes.
To give some background: In Post War Britain Labour Governments Nationalised (bring under Government ownership) all essential services e.g. coal, railway, electricity, water and sewage etc., and they also nationalised large manufacturers that were failing e.g. car and steel etc.
With the manufacturers, they failed under private ownership, and many of them became a drain on the tax payer as nationalised Industries. These are the failures used in propaganda.
The successes were the Service Industries e.g. water, sewage, electricity, telephone and railways etc. While they were ‘Nationalised’ they were profit neutral e.g. the profits they made was ploughed back into reinvestment within the industry to maintain and improve the service. When Margaret Thatcher re-privatised them all in the late 1980’s they all quickly became significantly more expensive to the consumer and to varying degrees services in many of them deteriorated as re-investment dropped off and profits were creamed off for the shareholders.
The main exceptions, at both extremities being the telephones (British Telecom) who did invest heavily in modernisation, as a success as a private company; and at the other extreme, British Rail, who under the ownership of Private Companies, the maintenance and investment in both the rail tracks and the trains became inadequate while prices soared, being a prime example of where the service was far more efficient as a Government body. In fact, while the trains are still under Private Ownership; the Private Company who maintained the railway tracks (and train stations) went bankrupt in 1996, and that part of the service has subsequently been re-nationalised again; and now (under Government ownership) is a thriving Government business that’s in the last 8 years (under a Conservative Government) has embarked on a massive programme of modernisation and massive expansion.
I understand your logic, but there are advantages to a service such as the NHS to help it being cheaper and more efficient without adversely cutting services:
• Yes the NHS does use wards rather than private rooms with individual TV and phones for patients.
• And the Doctors and nurses are underpaid and overworked; under Conservative Governments (when they are in power) the Conservatives consistently either introduces pay freezes or pay rises below the rate of inflation in the NHS. Something Labour strives to redress when they are in Power.
• Nope the cost of hospitals and clinics, Ambulances, staff and the rest of the Health Service all come out of the NHS Budget, which is all administered by the NHS itself.
• Nope, in the UK nurses and doctors are trained in-house, to ensure they meet the standards required by the NHS. and to obtain the relevant internationally recognised qualifications NHS hospitals work in very close partnership with local universities; so that the NHS pays for all the training and the university costs, while at the same time the partnership allows the NHS access to university facilities for ‘Research and Development’.
Where great savings, and increased efficiencies, can be made, by such organisations like the NHS, includes:-
The NHS is the 5th largest employer in the world; employing 1.5 million people: And has a large customer base of over 66 million people.
Therefore, the NHS has the advantages of the ‘Scale of Economy’ e.g. buy in bulk (cheaper), large customer base which is attractive to contractors of goods and services (medical equipment and supplies etc.), so the procurement bids are highly competitive as private industries compete with each other to win the lucrative contracts with the NHS.
Being a single large organisation, it avoids unnecessary duplication in ‘Administration Costs’ e.g. just one set of patient records (available on-line, from a single source database) that’s available to the whole of the NHS, regardless to which doctor/specialist you see or hospital you go to.
In the USA Medical Insurance Companies, Doctors, Hospitals and Ambulances etc., all want their share of the profits, to make large profits. In the UK we have none of these expenses, which in itself is a huge saving.
Because it’s all free, the NHS is extensively used by the Public e.g. with a population of over 66 million people:-
• Doctors provide over 300 million patient consultations a year (equivalent to ever person visiting their doctor every 3 months), and
• A&E (Accident and Emergency Departments in Hospitals deal with 23 million visits a year (equivalent to 1 in 3 (one third) of the British Pubic taking themselves to A&E every year.
A&E (Accident and Emergency) in the UK is a walk in service provided by hospitals for genuine Accidents and Emergency, where the patient doesn’t need an Ambulance and where the patient needs urgent attention but can’t get to their doctor e.g. it’s in the evening, when doctors surgeries are closed, and it can’t wait until the morning. An Example might be you slip on some ice while out shopping and you are in pain and think you might have fractured a bone.
However, A&E is very popular with the Public, even for minor ailments that don’t really need treatment, or can wait until you see your doctor, because the hospitals put ‘patients before cost’ and will never turn a patient away regardless to how minor the ailment is. So the public know that if they pop into their local hospital’s A&E that they will get seen and given basic treatment urgently as necessary, regardless to how minor their complaint might be; even though that they know they may have a four hour wait because emergency cases (especially those arriving by Ambulance) take priority.
To help ease pressure on the A&E’s the NHS in the past 8 years has:-
1. setup a wide range of walk-in centres across the country for non-urgent treatments that don’t require a hospital, that you can walk into and get treatment within half an hour e.g. to get your leg bandaged because you sprained it while out shopping, or a plaster put on your arm because you grazed it or cut it while out for a walk in a local park, and slipped etc.
2. Set up a non-urgent and free phone line for medical help and advice (just dial 111), the 111 service will give you advice and reassurance, and advise you to see your doctor or visit A&E if appropriate, and will even call the ambulance for you if it sounds that your condition could be life threatening e.g. signs of a potential heart attack.
Another way the NHS cuts costs is through a policy of ‘Prevention rather than cure’ e.g. it’s cheaper to educate people on healthier eating and better life styles to prevent the onset of diabetes, and reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease etc., than it is to treat the patient once they have diabetes, or other preventable health problems, and it’s cheaper to send people on therapy courses rather than wait for people to develop avoidable mental illnesses etc.
Finally, NICE plays a major role in keeping down the cost medical drugs. The NHS is prohibited in buying medical drugs directly from drug companies. NICE (a government Department) does all the negotiations for drugs on behalf of the NHS. And with a potential market of 66 million people NICE are in a good bargaining position, and is a tough negotiator. Consequently the NHS gets a lot of its drugs a lot cheaper than the drug companies charge the American healthcare service.
One of the many Educational Adverts to the British Public by the NHS: https://youtu.be/ffT1orYXdcI
"It’s making maximum use of resources, which makes good economic sense."
Yes, and purchasing the smallest, most fuel efficient car on the market makes good economic sense. Except very few people WANT that crackerbox - they want a nice car with some luxuries in it. I keep saying; it matters what you want, and Americans demand things that the Brits do not value hardly at all.
It's interesting that you see the size of NHS to be a good thing, because it has lots of companies competing for those large, lucrative, contracts. If they are so lucrative then lower costs because of scale are not being utilized, are they?
You keep referring to the NHS services as being free, but of course they are not. Not even close. Your son may be getting the services without paying for them, but someone is paying. Someone else is being forced to cover the costs of what your son wants but doesn't want to pay for. An anathema to a great many Americans.
Yes, I know American drug companies sell cheaper overseas in Europe in general than they do in the US. US citizens are the ones picking up the enormous tab for R&D, while Europe slides by without sharing that cost. It's a sore point here, and unlikely to last much longer.
Thanks for the feedback Ken. Overall, there may not be that much difference in taxes between the UK and USA! In my post I only reference the taxes paid on Wages/Income, as that’s the taxes that includes Government Revenue to cover the Government Expenditure on the Welfare State e.g. NHS, Benefits and State Pension etc., whereas you also included Sales tax and local government taxes.
Broadening it to those other taxes the two main ones in the UK is VAT (Sales Tax) and Rates (Local Government Tax).
The VAT (Value Added Tax) is the European equivalent to the USA’s Sales Tax. VAT in the UK is set at 20%, and (for the customer), rather than being added to the ‘sales price’ (as I understand it’s done in the USA), the quoted ‘sales price’ on goods is inclusive of VAT. So the price you see is the price you pay (inclusive of tax). In principle VAT should only be paid on luxury items, but in practice the Government puts it on most goods. Although the Government have some items exempt from VAT, such as children’s shoes and cloths, and ‘takeaway’ food etc. e.g. if you sit down to eat in a restaurant or café then you pay VAT, but if you buy the same food from a takeaway then you don’t pay VAT.
Revenue from VAT, like the taxes on wages, goes to the National Government.
The other main tax is Local Tax (Rates) that funds Local Government Expenditure e.g. Education, Maintenance of Local Roads, rubbish (garbage) collection, building social housing etc.
The Rates (Rateable Value) is a tax on the value of the property you own; so only home owners, and businesses who own their property pay Rates (Local Tax). The total annual amount a home owner will pay on the value of their property (as Local Tax) works out to be about 2%. Theretofore, someone living in a 3 bedroom semidetached house in a cheaper part of the city will pay less than a family living in a similar house in a more exclusive part of the city. For example, as I live in East Bristol, where house prices are lower (the working class area) annually I pay £1,848 on Local Taxes; whereas if we lived on the West side of Bristol, where most of the Middle Class live, the Rates (Local Taxes) would be double, because the house prices on that side of the city is double.
I note you also mentioned ‘School Tax’? That’s one tax we don’t have.
With regards to Pensions: In the UK, although the Conservative Party isn’t that keen on the comprehensive Welfare State introduced by Labour in 1948; they have their moments of surprise. For example, in 1974 the Conservative Government gave most people on welfare benefits (excluding those on unemployment benefit) a £10 Christmas bonus, as a ‘good will gesture’. Ever since then, every Government (Labour and Conservative alike) have always issued the £10 Christmas bonus (so it’s now become tradition). So although it’s not worth much these days, my wife and I do appreciate the £10 Christmas bonus, because it’s the thought that counts (silly really I guess!). Nevertheless my wife gets the bonus because she’s on disability benefit, and I get the bonus because I get paid by the Government to be her carer (carer’s allowance).
However, when it comes to pensions, that’s where the Conservative Governments do like to throw the money around a bit, because 75% of people over the age of 65 in the UK vote Conservative; whereas only 25% of people under the age of 25 vote Conservative.
In that respect in 2012, the Conservative Government made it Law that all Companies have to give Occupational Pensions to all their employees, with the employee paying 5% of their wage and the employer paying 3% into the employees Occupational Pension.
The other way the Conservatives plan to help future generations of the elderly is the New ‘Life Time ISA’ launched by the Conservative Government in 2017. ISA’s (Individual Savings Accounts) were originally launched by the Labour Government in 1999 as a tax free haven for the less well-off e.g. the interest on any other savings account is taxed at source e.g. the bank deducts the tax before they pay you the interest; whereas ISA’s is tax free interest. Currently, the maximum you can pay into an ISA each year is £20,000.
The New Life Time ISA, introduced by the Conservative Government in 2017, is where you can pay into your ISA as much as you like each year up to the yearly limit of £20,000, but you are prohibited from withdrawing any money from it unless it’s to buy a house, or for your old age e.g. you if you’ve saved into all your life and never bought a house, you can withdraw the money from the age of 50. Although, access to the ‘Lifetime ISA” is limited to either buying a house of for retirement; when you do unlock your ISA savings the government automatically give you an additional 25% on top of what you’ve saved in the ISA to help you buy your house or retire.
Finally, with regards to State Pension; to slowly raise the standard of living of the elderly (predominantly Conservative voters) the Conservatives protect the State Pension with a ‘Triple Lock’, which is that each year it is raised by the HIGHER of three conditions:-
• The Rate of Inflation.
• The annual rise in average earning, if higher than inflation, or
• 2.5% if higher than both of the above.
Yep wilderness, I agree with your first point: ‘Americans do demand things that Brits do not value’; and likewise Brits demand things that Americans do not value. We are from two different cultures, with different values; which is fine: ‘Each to His Own’.
To elaborate on that: You make it perfectly clear that Americans want “a nice car with some luxuries in it”; and so do Brits. To an American that means a BIG car that’s a fuel guzzler; to a Brit it means something completely different, quite often a small economical car that gets you around town.
When, a few years ago, my son needed a new car, after careful consideration (and a few test drives of different makes and models) he made an informed decision to buy a Daihatsu Terios, and he loves it. Comparison of the Daihatsu Terios and two other 4x4 available in the UK: https://youtu.be/iCJWWwbW0pU
In your next point, reference to the size of the NHS and tendering for contracts, your comment “If they [contracts] are so lucrative then lower costs because of scale are not being utilized, are they? I think you might be missing the point:-
To clarify: Firstly, “Economies of Scale” is a standard concept used in microeconomics. Put very simplistically, as your business grows you can produce at a ‘Lower Cost Per Unit”, often because ‘Fixed Costs’ work in your favour, and because bulk buying is cheaper.
Economies of Scale in One Minute: Definition https://youtu.be/rYvzM_tayY4
Secondly, if you’re a small business wanting to buy just $1,000 of supplies, no one is likely to give you any discount. However, if you are large business wanting to buy $billions of supplies from competing suppliers, most suppliers are going to offer generous discounts to get the business. That is standard economics.
I know what you say about the NHS being free (at the point of use) to all, and being financed from taxes is an anathema to a great many Americans.; I’ve heard a great many Americans say it many times on these forums, and elsewhere. And as I mentioned several times already, it is pure Socialism, so I don’t expect Americans to like it; but it is the pride and joy of the British Public, and has been ever since its creation 72 years ago (1948); and the NHS has been described as “The Nearest thing Brits Have to a Religion”. So again; it’s another very fundamental cultural and social difference between America and Britain: ‘Each to His Own’.
Yes, there are many pretty big cultural differences - that Brits want government to provide their health care, or that they want small, economical cars (that's a good example) are just a couple of them. I grocery shop once a month, for instance, buying only a few things like milk and eggs again later in the month. As a result I very much value my huge refrigerator and separate freezer as well as the pantry I built to store canned goods, but I doubt that there are a handful of giant refrigerators in private homes over there. I also value the giant supermarkets, selling everything from apples to xylophones, but didn't see anything like it on our visit. A very few large stores, but nothing like our WalMart superstores.
There are a lot of cultural differences, and a desire for govt. to act as a quasi parent, providing for everyone's needs, (not intending any disrespect) is but one of them. Although Americans are travelling that road, too, as govt. provides more and more to more and more people. Still, there are large numbers of us that prefer to survive on our own efforts. Some of this, I believe, is due to population density, for everywhere the density rises here, so does the demand for more govt. services and "freebies".
Yep, you’ve summed it quite well wilderness: Although funny you should mention large freezers!
Although few British homes have American fridges, because they are too big to fit into the average British home; it might surprise you to know that large chest freezers are quite popular. People who buy them usually put them in the back of the garage; we’ve put ours in my wife’s food store at the bottom of the garden.
In our kitchen we just have a standard British width fridge freezer; about the width and height of a doorway. The top half is a fridge and the bottom half is a freezer (three large drawers).
However, in our food store we also have a large 10 cubic foot chest freezer; and to store vegetables I grow, a smaller 4 cubic foot chest freezer.
About 20 years ago I built a large brick shed at the end of our garden, and divided it into two sheds (each with its own door); one as a workshop for my DIY and the other as a food store for my wife, which I’ve kitted out just like a kitchen e.g. floor and wall kitchen cupboards, and a kitchen surface worktop.
It’s not that we’re preppers (because we’re not), the food store is used so that my wife can buy in bulk, for any specific products we use regularly when it’s on offer e.g. half price, 20% discount etc. That way we save about $500 on our food bill each year. Likewise, I grow all our own vegetables organically except for potatoes, and a lot of our summer and autumn fruits; which (with freezer the surplus for the winter months) saves us about another $500 on our annual food bill.
Although we’ve only got a small fridge in the kitchen, compared to American fridges, it is adequate for our needs; especially as we don’t have to store eggs in it e.g. because Europe process eggs differently to America, European eggs can be safely stored at room temperature for at least three weeks (the best use by date); so we keep our eggs to hand on the kitchen worktop. In fact it’s quite safe to use eggs in the UK, stored at room temperature, beyond the ‘best use by date’ (to within reason) provided they have the British Lion stamped on them; and that’s because of the egg saga in Britain in 1988.
The whole sage of salmonella in British eggs was sparked by Edwina Currie MP in 1988 when, as Health Minister in the Conservative Government, for reason of conscience she made a public announcement that British eggs were unsafe to eat because of the high levels of salmonella in them.
Her announcement caused public panic, egg sales plummeted overnight, causing many poultry farms to go bankrupt, and Margaret Thatcher (Prime Minister) forced Edwina Currie to resign as Health Minister.
However, since that date the British Poultry Industry has heavily ‘Self-Regulated’, imposing the most stringent measures possible on themselves to rebuild British Confidence, with the long term goal of completely eradicating salmonella from poultry farms where eggs are produced; and building in stringent safety guards to prevent such farms from becoming re-infected; which took 15 years to do, but they did it.
Therefore, for the British Consumer these days, every egg which is individually stamped with the British Lion Mark is a guarantee that its salmonella free.
In 2013, Edwina Currie talks about the 1988 Salmonella crisis in Britain (that changed the British Egg Industry for Good): https://youtu.be/0sLNz7aqK4g
As regards Supermarkets: Yes I understand from other Social Media platforms that American supermarkets tend to be larger than the big supermarkets in Britain; although there are plenty of Trading Estates dotted around cities with large supermarkets in them (ideal for those who like to do a big shop); the British supermarkets do also like to buy small units in all the High Streets, within short walking distance from people’s homes, to compete with the small independent food shops.
In Britain, the two thorns in the side of the big supermarkets are Aldi and Lidl. I understand from speaking with other Americans that Aldi and Lidl operate differently in America than in Britain e.g. in America they operate more like Wall Mark. However, in Britain Aldi and Lidl operate as ‘Large Warehouses’ rather than supermarkets e.g. they have fewer shelve to stack and just place most of their foods, still in their transport packaging, piled up on top of each other, on the floor of the warehouse. Their approach being to cut costs by dispensing with having to constantly restock shelves, and thus, they sale their products at significantly reduced prices; under cutting the supermarkets. Some British people like using Aldi and Lidl because they are cheap, but others find them too basic, and choice too limited, so prefer to shop in the other (more conventional) supermarkets, and pay a little more for their food.
Another thing very popular in the UK these days is the Home Delivery service that ALL supermarkets now offer; sometimes with free delivery if you spend more than £50. Although she likes to shop around and get the best bargains from each supermarket, my wife uses this home delivery service occasionally.
It’s not like governments are static. Didn’t Marx say Socialism is merely part of the road to Communism? Was he wrong? Part of the irony of it all is that Communism can’t even exist anyway, so of course you aren’t referring to it. What we refer to is the disaster that always results when the futile efforts to divert attention from real solutions to problems-which can only happen on an individualistic level, eventually get escalated as far up collectively as possible. Escalating problems to ever increasing levels of government is never a permanent solution. It’s a diversion, a kicking of the can. Cultures of people who save money or develop strong family ties as for emergencies, like Japanese, don’t do this because of the state. They are more prepared because of culture or individual choice. Americans borrow until they can borrow no more then blame capitalism for not taking care of them. Sad. With all Socialism’s failures you always hear “that really wasn’t Socialism”. Nobody every says you need to keep tweaking fascism til you get it right.
Why is it no surprise the old man who wants to take everyone's guns so they can be at the mercy of criminals is also a person pushing a toxic economics agenda based entirely in covetousness?
I can't say I'm surprised. Once you hate people enough to where you believe taking power away from the common man is a good thing, you simply hate people enough to want them to suffer under the hellishness of socialism.
Why do you hate humanity? Nah, I don't think I care to hear the ridiculous reply.
"While the immediate goal of the program will be to provide relief to families that have lost income due to virus-related lockdowns, the country is developing it with an eye toward making it a resource "that stays forever, that becomes a structural instrument, a permanent instrument," she said, according to Bloomberg."
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics … r-BB12dYJr
Just throwing this out there as it relates to the topic. I also remember a recent discussion where it was debated as to whether Europe had altogether abandoned the idea of UBI. Mr. Yang is not a crackpot, he is a realist.
The bailout is not due to a failure of Capitalism it is from a virus that started in a Communist state. The measures applied are not pure Socialism they are more like the theories of John Marnard Keynes.
The real question is if you think Socialism is so great, does this mean you are OK with the 100 million people murdered for Socialism in the 20th Century? And is it OK that Socialism did NOT save Venezuela and people are starving and being shot?
Communism and Socialism kills more people than any virus ever will.
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