Originally Posted by mcbear
I have too many friends in Canada, England and Germany so I oppose it pretty much every day that I get a chance. I know there is a solution somewhere but it is a very hard target to acquire.
Agreed. Their system sucks due to over-all cost (cleverly hidden from the payer), our system sucks because po' folks get screwed.
I was just watching a PBS story about the reformation of GM and the cost burden of retirees, given the foreign competition, etc. A good piece of work from PBS, even after adjusted for the prevailing wind from the west. One interviewee used the word, "paternalism", to describe the cradle-to-grave benefits that the retail buyer of the GM products must pay for. That struck me in an oddly Faulknerian sense. I've lived and worked around mill towns in the SE USA since I left the USN. They were the epitome of paternalism in their day. Company store, company script used only at the store, company housing, company doctor, company school for the kids. I worked in one town in which the mill owner (during the 1920s-1950s) built a complete modern hospital and elementary through high school and gave scholarships to the honor students to any college in the USA that would take the kids. The people of the town hate that family to this day and they left the town in the 1980's.
The lesson I learned is that paternalism doesn't breed love, it breeds contempt. That is one of potential fundamental problems, long-term, of a socialized system. I don't think it is a unique, necessary outcome. But socialized systems' weakness is the notorious inability to adapt. People change any number of times over the course of a life time but social systems simply cannot do so. That's why ALL social systems are conservative--they are always behind the curve. The bigger the entity, the slower it can change and adapt. The current bureaucracy, IMO, has become so large and inflexible that it simply cannot change in the course of any one person's lifetime. Thus, it will become increasingly a source of irritation and ultimately contempt.
Like the mill owner.