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The real story

Posted by inkognito (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 19, 12 at 8:25

At the risk of being accused of America bashing I have attached an article by Paul Rosenberg in which he presents some statistics that burst some myth bubbles. Like him I believe that, just like describing symptoms to a doctor, honesty is the best policy. Unless you know what the problem is how are you going to fix it? Not by denying it.

American exceptionalism is often spoken about and how it leads the world in everything from health to education, the reality however is different.

Rosenberg talk about a book (that)looks at eight indicators each in seven categories, ranking counties in order along with precise figures for how they score. It also divides them into first, second and third divisions (in sets of 10), which comes in handy for gauging overall performance. The seven categories are: health, family, education, income and leisure, freedom and democracy, public order and safety, and generosity. Indicators include things like life expectancy at birth, infant mortality rate, share of income received by richest 10 per cent, years of life lost in injury, etc. Those with some awareness of these sorts of measures will probably not be surprised to learn that the United States ranks next to last overall (go Mexico!), while those who get their information from FOX or other corporate media may be stunned to the point of disbelief.

Here is a link that might be useful: Reality check


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The real story

Don't worry, I'm sure that everything will get set right after next November...


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ink, I've never accused you of America bashing...but really? Paul Rosenberg of the progressive blog...Merge Left?


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Morning Mrsk!

I hope you guys are getting weather as nice as ours.

Back on topic... I didn't read the link, but regardless of whether it is left or right media, it could be that the factual information is still correct (even if the delivery is biased).


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Morning hg...nice at the moment, but hot later. But that's what pools are for lol.


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Consider the source. What he doesn't mention is that those without insurance still receive medical care through government sponsored medical programs such as medicaid, VA, state-sponsored children's health insurance programs, etc.


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The information on high spending for health care in the U.S. has been discussed previously, as well as the high numbers of uninsured. Some of the following has also been discussed - support for the fetus, and for little else after birth of the child.

From the link:

Exhibit A, in that regard [Family Values]: ... But the US record on family issues is no better than its record on health care. The family indicators are as follows, along with the US rank: teenage pregnancy births per 1,000 women aged 15-19 (28 out of 28); paid maternity leave entitlement as a percentage of annual wage (29/29); public spending on family benefits in cash, services and tax measures (26/29); child poverty rate (25/26); family-time index (22/27); percentage of young people (0-14) living with both parents (21/23); percentage of young adolescents living with both parents (26/26); and divorce rate (30). All together, the US comes in dead last in the combined index of family indicators.

These low rankings are directly related to conservative practices and social policies. Divorce rates and teen pregnancy rates are both higher in "red states", a result of patterns of family formation according to law professors Naomi Cahn and June Carbone in their book Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarisation and the Creation of Culture. Even aside from culture, practices like "abstinence only" sex education and restrictive access to birth control both make for higher teen pregnancy rates. In the US, conservative politicians even opposed unpaid maternity leave -- no wonder the US is the only advanced industrial nation with zero weeks of paid maternity leave -- and very low rates of any public spending in the way of family support. In short, conservatives really are uniquely responsible for the United States' poor showing in the family category -- the exact opposite of what they tend to believe.


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Really? Everyone without insurance gets government help? I'd love to see proof of that one.


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Lady Brat: Edward Fullbrook and his ebook 'Decline of the USA' is the source. Fullbrook is editor of the 'Real World Economic Review'. Your response though is described accurately in the article I linked to, do you think that it would make more sense to consider why the US fairs so badly and why it is commonly believed to be the opposite rather than deny or divert to just the one issue?


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Well, sometimes people have to be proactive and find the government help themselves.

The government doesn't always show up on your doorstep to give you everything you need, although Obama's working on that!


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There are two posters here who had absolutely no comment to make about the subject at hand, no response to the points being raised by the OP's statistical information. Why did you bother to respond at all, if your comments can even be dignified as responses?


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""""""""""""""Your response though is described accurately in the article I linked to, do you think that it would make more sense to consider why the US fairs so badly and why it is commonly believed to be the opposite rather than deny or divert to just the one issue?"

I am well aware of the source. I agree that there needs to be change in our Healthcare system but not to obama care. I've also seen articles/statistics commending health care systems in countries that I know for fact is false so sorry but no, I don't believe all the articles and statistics I read. Statistics don't always show the complete story so I still say, consider the source

""""""""""""""""Really? Everyone without insurance gets government help? I'd love to see proof of that one"

Maybe I should have said "The majority of people without insurance receive government help or that people below a certain income level receive government help." Whatever, there are lots and lots of folks receiving healthcare from the government even though they have no insurance. No, not everyone falls within the eligibility lines jodik and many times those who do deserve help can't get it. I've seen people who have worked hard all their life, scrimped and saved to buy a home or build up a little savings to retire on be turned down for government help when they need a little boost because they own property or their little savings is to large. Like I said before I believe some changes need to be made in our healthcare and other government benefit programs but not changes that enable a healthy person who sits on his/her behind and refuses to work to collect them.

""""""""""""""Well, sometimes people have to be proactive and find the government help themselves. The government doesn't always show up on your doorstep to give you everything you need, although Obama's working on that! "

Thank you Demi. Sad but true not only for healthcare but everything else as well. Just wonder how long those who work and pay the way will continue to do so for those who don't.


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Posted by ingrid_vc Z10 SoCal (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 19, 12 at 11:41

There are two posters here who had absolutely no comment to make about the subject at hand, no response to the points being raised by the OP's statistical information. Why did you bother to respond at all, if your comments can even be dignified as responses?

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Talk to your friend Maddie about that Ingrid.

We learned all about that from her, except we don't make personal, disparaging insults.

Baby steps, you know.

Call her out on the hundreds of statements like that she's made, then get back with the rest of us.


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Thank you Demi. Sad but true not only for healthcare but everything else as well. Just wonder how long those who work and pay the way will continue to do so for those who don't.

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Not much longer, I imagine!


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Just wonder how long those who work and pay the way will continue to do so for those who don't.

I have not met all these "don't people". I guess we believe what we are and what we see.

l see so many working and saving for their rainy days as I have done and taught my daughter to do the same. People I see at work are doing the same. The people I talk to are working, struggling trying to make ends meet.

So since it is not something I envision doing myself and do not see others looking for free stuff could be why I do not think that all these people are standing in line looking for free stuff.

I guess we are what we are and we are what we think so many others are doing.


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The real story: Lady Brat is Fl Gypsy?

Incidentally the health issue is only part of the story, so what about:

When it comes to freedom and democracy, however, conservatives are not alone in mistakenly thinking that the US leads the world, when it's actually dragging up the rear among the advanced industrial nations. The US does score in the mid-range on a couple of indicators, but fails abysmally on others: voter turnout for parliamentary elections (30); female parliamentarians (24); gender gap [economic, political, etc.] (13 -tied); corruption perceptions index (18); press freedom index (26/29); collective bargaining coverage (24/25); prisoners per capita (29/29); support for human rights [international agreements signed] (30). For the category as a whole, the US ranks 28th out of 30.

And this trend has been a long time coming so blaming it on Obama is simply naive.


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demifloyd, are saying that copying someone else's behavior (of which I have no knowledge in regard to maddie) is how you conduct your own behavior? My "insulting and disparaging" remarks were nothing more than a statement of fact. You did not comment on the topic in question, except to disparage President Obama, who has nothing to do with the overall statistics cited in the report. For some reason you seem to want to insert him into every topic, relevant or not. It's a puzzle.


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Thanks ingrid, really enjoyed your comments about the subject!!


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You know, I will apologise right now for being the person to start off the non-comments. I ask how the weather is for someone, I know that I haven't stuck to the topic at hand, sorry.

I would like to say in my own defense that I don't think there is a single thread on this board that doesn't stray from the subject at hand. It's the nature of the beast, guys.


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hg, you are right, there is not a single one that doesn't veer for one reason or another. You owe no apologies.


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The real story: Lady Brat is Fl Gypsy?

Appears so.



I think it would be interesting to see a summary of the policies of the countries in the comparison to what we have - or don't have - in the U.S. which is leading to our low ranking. For all the dismissals of USians expecting the government to take care of them, the other countries in the study obviously do take better care of their people along with having high standards of living. There could be something to be learned there.

I wish there were a way to access Fullbrook's Decline of the USA without purchasing the e-book. I did find a sample page: Life Expectancy at Birth

Rank -- Country -- Description
First Division
1 Japan 82.12 years
2 Australia 81.63
3 Canada 81.23
4 France 80.98
5 Sweden 80.86
6 New Zealand 80.36
7 Switzerland 80.85
8 Iceland 80.67
9 Italy 80.20
10 Spain 80.05

Second Division
11 Norway 79.95
12 Greece 79.66
13 Austria 79.50
14 Netherlands 79.40
15 Luxembourg 79.33
16 Germany 79.26
17 Belgium 79.22
18 United Kingdom 79.01
19 Finland 78.97
20 South Korea 78.72

Third Division
21 Denmark 78.30
22 Ireland 78.24
23 Portugal 78.21
24 United States 78.11
25 Czech Republic 76.81
26 Mexico 76.06
27 Poland 75.63
28 Slovak Republic 75.40
29 Hungary 73.44
30 Turkey 71.96


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So lets get back to the OP

Are Americans capable of facing the real facts and the actual consequences of how they choose to manage their world? Is it possible for Americans to see themselves as others see them and do something about their problems before they end up as a third world country? Are we culturally capable of looking for answers elsewhere?
The inability to look to other models in other countries that are working better than ours(lower infant mortality rates and longer healthier lives for instance) is a serious part of our problem.

Frankly I see the actual problem in where we put our resourses-we are still the richest country in the world by most accounts but we spend that wealth on world domination- a sort of Romanesque sort of thing....world domination is very good for the 1% because it helps to be international these days and governments are put in place to help us be all we can be-especially if you are the 1% and in control of the country at the moment which as we know is how it should be since they pay all the taxes.


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Posted by hamiltongardener CAN 6a (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 19, 12 at 13:34

You know, I will apologise right now for being the person to start off the non-comments. I ask how the weather is for someone, I know that I haven't stuck to the topic at hand, sorry.

I would like to say in my own defense that I don't think there is a single thread on this board that doesn't stray from the subject at hand. It's the nature of the beast, guys.

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Thank your pointing that out, HG.

And for the record, I enjoy the niceties about the weather, and kind personal remarks or questions.


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I would like to see proof that the majority of people without health insurance rely on government handouts, then. Because I'm fairly certain that's not an accurate word to use... unless we're only discussing children, which would be more likely to be covered through a state agency should their parent(s) not be covered through employer offered or self purchased insurance.

Quite a few folks pay out of pocket, and quite a few don't receive medical help or go in for regular checkups because they don't have insurance, and can't afford the costs of either medical care, or insurance. Medical costs have risen, insurance costs have risen, less employers are offering coverage, and more people are unemployed. Many of the employers still offering coverage are offering less for higher premiums.

This is where some actual numbers might come in handy, and after looking around a bit, those numbers are all over the place. Approximately 46 to 50 million Americans are uninsured. According to several different sources, the numbers vary too greatly to get an actual fix on it, but what I'm finding does not mention a majority of uninsured suckling the government teat. That's more of a Fox talking point than anything from the annals of reality.


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Here's another comparison from Fullbrook's website: Real-World Economics Review

This is a sore point with me -- business creating a demand for products which will be harmful for the consumer. Marketing to children and creating habits of consumption which, if maintained, will injure the children as they grow. Then the howling hyenas opposing regulation, claiming government interference in business and restricting potential profits. And the braying about 'personal responsibility' when these same companies employ behavioural scientists and psychologists to advise them on how to create customers for life - literally from cradle to grave. Where is the corporate responsibility for the well being of the public? The U.S. capitalist system is so corrupt that children have to be cordoned off from its insidious influence, and taught that those TV commercials are evidence of corporate profits being promoted ahead of children's health.


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Pointless tring to tell this crew anything. Harvard studies on the uninsured meaningless , world health organization stats useless. They are as hardcore as they come with their fantasies.


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  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 19, 12 at 20:56

Liberal!


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Are Americans capable of facing the real facts and the actual consequences of how they choose to manage their world?

Based on responses to this post from the conservative crew here the answer would be NO.


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Are Americans capable of facing the real facts and the actual consequences of how they choose to manage their world?

Based on responses to this post from the conservative crew here the answer would be NO.

Are you kidding. No the answer is it is Obama's fault. When he is gone..... They all become Annie sing along now.....

The sun'll come out
Tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be sun!
Just thinkin' about
Tomorrow


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...except we don't make personal, disparaging insults.

Demi, now that's funny.


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All these horrid statistics about USA are really Obama's fault, right MrsK and demi? They are disgraceful..especially the BMI one. We are a nation of fat waddling people.

Verrrry interesting. Brat and Flgypsy are one and the same?? Is that allowed?>>And the Righties don't make disparaging remarks. I spit all over my screen at that one, Demi.


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After the successful, combined efforts by Team Sanity (thank you TS!) to save Ink's thread from yet another hijacking, you two come along to incite yet more tirades.

Now really!
;)


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The sad part, Maddie, is that such mindsets will remain intact no matter how many facts are thrown out and actually stick to the wall for perusal. It's simply the nature of the conditioned beast, or political forum.


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