Nov 30, 2009

China Again

So the other part of my China epiphany was this:

China has more than a billion uninsured people.

What makes us think we're so important that we can sell China our bad debt, take their money, and use it to insure our current 30 million that are not covered by healthcare? What makes us so much better than them? hmmm?

So this is my new political stance: It is not moral for us to be in debt as a nation. After reading and thinking about it a lot, I feel like our debt is literally taking the food out of others' mouths, or could be seen that way at least (and yes I know there are a hundred equations and philosophies and opinions and predictions that would explain this view into oblivion. But see... we're selling them money we don't have and can't guarrantee ever to have, and they are paying real money for it. And we think that we can go into FURTHER debt to insure our 30 million while China has over a billion uninsured... who is China going to sell debt to, to pay for coverage they can't really afford?)

I am a democrat. I have realized how very thouroughly a democrat I am, in the purest sense of the term. I believe in a free democracy above all else. Really I do. I believe that our current Republic works out OK most of the time, but it's a compromise we should never have made. I agree with James Madison in that we ought to have Actual representation, and not be forced to channel our votes through a few people that have been selected by committees who have been selected to represent the rest of us. We really ought to have more of a democratic system.

I believe we have way too many laws that dictate the way people live their lives. There need to be some laws to protect the innocent, yes. But we shouldn't have laws that force one particular narrow set of values and customs upon a large population. That's not the place of Rule of Law.

I believe that welfare is vital to any country or nation or government's well being, and that a well-run system will hugely benefit the population it serves, without bankrupting said system. In fact, a well-run welfare system should produce profit and productivity. We just have a lot of beaurocratic deadwood and expensive red tape procedures and policies that need to be cut, shifted and changed.


Basically, I think I now am a Democrat who believes we need to start from scratch... after we get completely out of debt. Because what kind of person thinks it's OK to sell fake money to a population where a large number of people still starve to death sometimes, and an even larger number have absolutely no access to healthcare? At least here we have emergency rooms and laws that make it so everybody has to be served in them.

So that's my bleeding-heart-liberal reason for thinking we should not sign this health care bill.

OK, go ahead and start throwing donkey poo at me. :)

15 comments:

David L said...

Not necessarily donkey poo, but I have some issues with the general feeling I take from this post that we are forcing our debt on China. We're not. They buy it of their own will. That doesn't necessarily make it right for their government to spend their money that way, but to put the blame on us is like blaming the credit card companies for Americans having too much credit card debt. We signed up for the terms and knew what credit cards were long before we got into debt with them. Same with China.

I really like to think of China as the US about 100 years ago. We weren't perfect then, and we didn't have universal health care or many other social programs. We turned out alright. China, while one of the oldest nations on earth, is still a VERY young post-industrial society that is just now going through the growing pains we experienced 100 years ago.

I think it is wrong, therefore, to hold them to the same expectations as our own nation. They are different and they do things differently. Does that make it right or wrong? No clue, and frankly I doubt it's my place to argue. Personally, I'm much more concerned about other facets of China than their health care system.

Anthony D said...

Regardless of China I have never thought the health care bill was a good idea. It's just more narrow views being forced upon the population. The less the government gets involved in our lives the better, aside from the basic role of the government in practical matters like protection and shared resources.

NoSurfGirl said...

I agree, Dave, that it started out that way with China. But I feel that the reason they started buying our debt (with the pretty strong assurance it would be a good investment) is different from the current reason they're buying it... eg because they have to... for reasons mentioned in my other post.

I feel like we don't need to hold another country to our expectations of standard of living. But we do need to examine our own expectations in light of those we may be exploiting... and I do feel we're exploiting china right now.

I believe that, with credit card companies, they do have some responsibility if they know they're selling a bad debt. Yes, it's the individual's responsibility to not get to a level of debt that they cannot soon pay back. But a company has the capability to hide or change or shift policy to benefit themselves at the expense of their consumers, and I believe that, going with your credit card analogy, that is what has happened with China.

lol. But there are no regulations as far as selling US debt to unwary customers (or wary customers that are basically caught in an inextricable cycle of buying in order to maintain an investment) while there are forces and regulations that oversee credit card companies.

As far as the health care bill itself, most don't see it as "forcing" with some of the ideas being batted around... an "opt in" option for instance.

I do feel that in the end, the goal should be a system that provides the opportunity (not necessarily forcing) for every American to have a chance at reasonable coverage for healthcare, especially emergency coverage. We do spend a whole lot on Emergency room visits for those who aren't covered, because they have no means to afford the sort of preventative care that would forestall a lot of those emergencies, and in fact, use the emergency room as a sick-visit clinic because they have nowhere else to go.

:)

You guys disagree with me, and I disagree with you... but we have both carefully thought out our positions, and I'm glad about that. Nothing's more annoying that discussing politics with someone who just believes a certain way because their parents did, or their party told them to. I think I'd vote for either of you if you ran for public office.

Tracy said...

My husband says: "You just described the exact same views of the average conservative-minded Republican."

NoSurfGirl said...

Really? Because I know a lot of conservative-minded republicans who think we should abolish the welfare system altogether.

And the democratic system is different from a republic system, which is a "representative" democracy and not a true democracy... though of course the republican and democratic platforms have both hugely varied from their original purposes.

So I guess I'm what could be termed a "classical democrat," but in today's political climate, I'm really what could be termed as, "nothing."

chuckle.

NoSurfGirl said...

For some reason my comments aren't translating into pulication. Let me try this one again.

I agree, Dave, that it started out that way with China. But I feel that the reason they started buying our debt (with the pretty strong assurance it would be a good investment) is different from the current reason they're buying it... eg because they have to... for reasons mentioned in my other post.

I feel like we don't need to hold another country to our expectations of standard of living. But we do need to examine our own expectations in light of those we may be exploiting... and I do feel we're exploiting china right now.

I believe that, with credit card companies, they do have some responsibility if they know they're selling a bad debt. Yes, it's the individual's responsibility to not get to a level of debt that they cannot soon pay back. But a company has the capability to hide or change or shift policy to benefit themselves at the expense of their consumers, and I believe that, going with your credit card analogy, that is what has happened with China.

lol. But there are no regulations as far as selling US debt to unwary customers (or wary customers that are basically caught in an inextricable cycle of buying in order to maintain an investment) while there are forces and regulations that oversee credit card companies.

As far as the health care bill itself, most don't see it as "forcing" with some of the ideas being batted around... an "opt in" option for instance.

I do feel that in the end, the goal should be a system that provides the opportunity (not necessarily forcing) for every American to have a chance at reasonable coverage for healthcare, especially emergency coverage. We do spend a whole lot on Emergency room visits for those who aren't covered, because they have no means to afford the sort of preventative care that would forestall a lot of those emergencies, and in fact, use the emergency room as a sick-visit clinic because they have nowhere else to go.

:)

You guys disagree with me, and I disagree with you... but we have both carefully thought out our positions, and I'm glad about that. Nothing's more annoying that discussing politics with someone who just believes a certain way because their parents did, or their party told them to. I think I'd vote for either of you if you ran for public office.

NoSurfGirl said...

And you, tracy. I'd vote for you, too. Anyone who discusses politics in a reasonable, intelligent way in our current political climate is head and shoulders above the rest!! lots of donkey and elephant poo being flung about right now.

NoSurfGirl said...

BTW, I just realized I had things exactly opposite. I thought Madison was for direct demcoracy, but he was not. he was the big advocate of federalism. So I guess it's not madison I agree with... whom do I agree with? I'll have to go do some more reading...

Skywalker said...

Whom do you agree with? None of the Founding Fathers. They all knew a pure democracy wasn't dependable, scalable, or sustainable and would quickly infringe upon individual liberties and eventually become tyrannous. A direct (pure) democracy is one way Communism maintains its power. You must be a Commie!

Oh no! I married a Commie!

NoSurfGirl said...

Skywalker...

that article was hilarious. I never thought I'd read the words "Marxist" and "Libertarian" next to each other in a sentence, much less to describe, together, a political stance.

Hmmm... Maybe not pure direct democracy. But I think we could definitely use more of it. I think we should be able to have the states' actual votes themselves elect our president, for instance, as opposed to the voters basically handing over that responsibility to a smaller group of representatives.

"Mob Rule" and "Anarchy" are both the kind of opposite-end spectrum of Communism. And they're definitely just as potentially damaging.

But I feel like our current system has made the people as a whole less responsible, or at least, feel less accountable, for what our lawmakers and politicians are doing. And I think voter apathy is in large part resulting from the Alienation most Americans feel from what really goes on in Washington, especially. At the state level, things are much better... for those who actually participate.

Steve said...

Back to China, David has some points about China. But also, China DOES have plenty of money and resources to buy our debt. They could choose to use that money for healthcare, but don't. In fact, they are using TONS of their money to buy influence via humanitarian aid in places such as Africa and South America, sometimes surplanting us there. Besides, most people in the world don't see buying US debt as a burden, on the contrary! Buying US debt is seen as one of the safest long term investments since most people assume our country will be more financially stable than any other country. Also, to say we are selling "fake" money is kind of a oxymoron. Money by definition is "fake". It's the belief that this piece of paper is worth something. It's an arbitrary system propped up by the notion that the 'system' will continue to exist in the future, thus if I take a $1 bill from you today, I will be able to use it as a $1 tomorrow. It is why we have no problem using US dollars or Euros today, but can no longer spend German Marks, French Francs, or Italian Lira. Those countries are around, but the "system" that supported those currencies is no longer. Buying US debt is a bet that the US financial system, ie US dollars, will be here and strong in the future, which ultimately benefits China and any other debt buyers, if they are correct.

NoSurfGirl said...

I don't know, Steve. OK, I take your point and concede that china has far more resources than most other nations at this time (in fact, possibly all nations? How is Russia doing lately? Not too well, I'd guess, but maybe better than we are?)

Anyway, the problem is that we think we can overspend (purposeful overspending) when we reach the end of our own dollars. And even though we ourselves predict the dollar is going to eventually fail at the current rate we're going, we're still selling those dollars.

So basically, yes, money is fake. But in this case, it really is fake, as in, we can predict no real value for our money in the future. Don't you find that kind of... well... wrong?

I mean, what makes America as a whole different, responsibility-wise, than the average American? Is it right for an individual to spend money he or she does not have, epsecially when she is fairly certain she will not be able to pay it back in future?

I know people who have had to declare bankruptcy. And it's a hazy issue. On the one hand, they lose a lot (credit, assets, etc.) But on the other hand, they are also saying they aren't paying any investors back for the money they basically "took."

Sounds kind of like... well, like stealing, to me.

IF it's so necessary to use debt to fund a burgeoning economy, how come China does just fine?

Putz said...

back to heqlth care....i visit rhymes with plauge dail;y and yorkshire from england said how wonderful universal health care has been for his country....and i personally believe it would be wonderful for our country, sure there afe many poor who walk into emergency rooms and get help, but it is not built into our health system for them to officially have care as is their right, and many let their health go to hell in a hand basket cause of the embarassment of being poor and begging for it in an emergency room...that is the conservative 's answer they eventually get it, but that is so selfish, and in england they have accepted the non selfish approach....hooray for them, booo to us

Putz said...

hey my comment isd unlucky 13 and now 14

Steve said...

Without saying more than I know, there IS a difference between sovereign wealth and individual wealth. We as individuals have to follow rules established in this country. Governments, as creators of money (by definition), have a little more free will with this than we do. Also, selling debt isn't as equal as you or I getting a mortgage. The global marketplace has a lot more built in balances (currency exchange rates for one, albeit China has been trying to skirt that issue) that keeps a country from getting too out of control.