But where will they put the multifloor aquarium?



  • http://powerof2games.com/node/2

    Of course the real WTF is in their mailing address.

    Power of Two Games

    533 2nd Street, Suite J

    Encinitas, CA 92024

     



  • holy shit, I can't believe there are rentable office spaces that small!  I don't understand why they don't work out of their garage like all the other completely broke startups.



  • I actually spent a significant amount of time looking for the aquarium reference in the text there. I was disappointed :(



  • @tster said:

    holy shit, I can't believe there are rentable office spaces that small!  I don't understand why they don't work out of their garage like all the other completely broke startups.

    There always has been rentable office spaces that small, but they're more technically referred to as cubicles



  • @tster said:

    holy shit, I can't believe there are rentable office spaces that small!  I don't understand why they don't work out of their garage like all the other completely broke startups.

    You're talking about Encintas, California, which is not far from San Diego. Just what do you think the real estate market looks like out there? Do you think these guys actually have a garage? :)



  • @fennec said:

    @tster said:
    holy shit, I can't believe there are rentable office spaces that small!  I don't understand why they don't work out of their garage like all the other completely broke startups.

    You're talking about Encintas, California, which is not far from San Diego. Just what do you think the real estate market looks like out there? Do you think these guys actually have a garage? :)

    They could have a garage, but only if they're roommates, and they're renting an ultra-cheap old house. (Note: Ultra-cheap is relative here, and would still probably be in excess of 2-3k a month). 



  • Yeah, well, I hope they don't start hating each other 2 months into the project.

    From their site:
    "We strongly believe that two passionate people in a garage (or closet)
    can make great games even in this day of multi-million game projects.
    So we put our money where our mouths are, quit our nice and secure
    jobs, and decided to embark in this crazy, wild ride."

    Yes, two people can make fun games...but can they market and sell them?  I hope they have significant savings, and don't have families to support.  My money's against them.  (I did subscribe to their newsletter!)



  • they could have kept part time jobs , at least to keep some money coming thru, or just go on social welfare and just get started from home ;)



  • @Hitsuji said:

    they could have kept part time jobs , at least to keep some money coming thru, or just go on social welfare and just get started from home ;)

     

    Social welfare?  You must come from the civilized world.  I'm afraid this story takes places in the USA. 



  • ok please tell me why you would rent something that small to actually work in?  Then you have to drive there every day?  Why not just work from home and get rid of the expense of having this office rented anyway.  If it was to simply have a mailing address, they could have gotten one from any non-USPS mail room as those "post office boxes" can't be called Post office boxes so they have to be named suites or apartments.

     I mean seriously, just work from home at this point. I think this is a serious WTF.



  • @rjnewton said:

     

    Social welfare?  You must come from the civilized world.  I'm afraid this story takes places in the USA. 

    These guys voluntarily quit their jobs.  Why the heck should they get anything from the government?

    We're
    not completely heartless here.  Americans can get 6-12 months of
    unemployment benefits as long as they lost their jobs through no fault
    of their own.  There's a greater emphasis here on "if the government helps people too long, they'll grow dependent" vs "the government should help people as needed; they'll eventually get back on their feet".  (how to balance that scale's a matter for debate).

     



  • @Jojosh_the_Pi said:

    These guys voluntarily quit their jobs.  Why the heck should they get anything from the government?

     So they have something to live on if they do not find a new job immediately afterwards?
     

    We're
    not completely heartless here.  Americans can get 6-12 months of
    unemployment benefits as long as they lost their jobs through no fault
    of their own.  There's a greater emphasis here on "if the government helps people too long, they'll grow dependent" vs "the government should help people as needed; they'll eventually get back on their feet".  (how to balance that scale's a matter for debate).

    What if they do not find a job for 6-12 months? Put them on the street?
     



  • Here in America we believe in a little something called 'self reliance'.



  • @mdk said:

    What if they do not find a job for 6-12 months? Put them on the street?

    I understand the concern.  This is where the question of balance enters. How long should the government support someone?  2 years?  3 years?  5 years?  I don't know the best answer.  But there has to be a limit.  Knowing that there's a safety net without a time limit will cause people to slow down on the job search.  It's human nature.

    And what about the people who figure it's better to get money from the government instead of finding a job?
     

    @mdk said:

    @Jojosh_the_Pi said:

    These guys voluntarily quit their jobs.  Why the heck should they get anything from the government?

     So they have something to live on if they do not find a new job immediately afterwards?

    Now this is silly.  These guys do have a job (albeit with no income yet).  I want my tax dollars supporting people who can't work because of injuries or layoffs, not a couple guys who think they'll make a living out of a closet.

    If someone voluntarily leaves a (non-abusive, legal) company, and don't have another source of income, they're taking a calculated risk.  They don't deserve to get a dime from anyone.
     



  • @Isuwen said:

    Here in America we believe in a little something called 'self reliance'.

    Yep, you can ask any good ole boy farmer and they'll tell you all about how they got to where they are through hard work and everyone else should do the same. You can call them up on their subsidized phone, or drive to visit them on subsidized roads and drink some of their nice subsidized water.



     



  • @Jojosh_the_Pi said:

    @mdk said:

    What if they do not find a job for 6-12 months? Put them on the street?

    I understand the concern.  This is where the question of balance enters. How long should the government support someone?  2 years?  3 years?  5 years?  I don't know the best answer.  But there has to be a limit.  Knowing that there's a safety net without a time limit will cause people to slow down on the job search.  It's human nature.

    Getting thrown out onto the street (because you didn't find a job fast enough when the market is in an unexpected slump, or you develop a medical condition that renders you unable to find work, or any of the other many well-known failure cases in the US laws on this subject) causes people to become criminals. That's human nature too.

    Not overly surprisingly, the crime rate in the US is rather high. Some other countries figure that it's better to support a few lazy people (who do no harm other than consuming a tiny amount of money) than to create more criminals (who do considerable amounts of harm to other people and cost far more money in police work). Also, the quasi-religious "give them nothing that they didn't earn" attitude is fairly unique to the US.



  • @asuffield said:

    @Jojosh_the_Pi said:

    @mdk said:

    What if they do not find a job for 6-12 months? Put them on the street?

    I understand the concern.  This is where the question of balance enters. How long should the government support someone?  2 years?  3 years?  5 years?  I don't know the best answer.  But there has to be a limit.  Knowing that there's a safety net without a time limit will cause people to slow down on the job search.  It's human nature.

    Getting thrown out onto the street (because you didn't find a job fast enough when the market is in an unexpected slump, or you develop a medical condition that renders you unable to find work, or any of the other many well-known failure cases in the US laws on this subject) causes people to become criminals. That's human nature too.

    Not overly surprisingly, the crime rate in the US is rather high. Some other countries figure that it's better to support a few lazy people (who do no harm other than consuming a tiny amount of money) than to create more criminals (who do considerable amounts of harm to other people and cost far more money in police work). Also, the quasi-religious "give them nothing that they didn't earn" attitude is fairly unique to the US.

     

    Perhaps this is why the United States is the richest, most powerful country ever to exist.  The job of the government is not to hold your hand while you get through life's problems.  That's what family, friends, charities and religious organizations do.   The purpose of the government is to defend it's people from threats both domestic and abroad.  Another job of the government is to support infrastructure for commerce and trade both within the country and between countries.  The proper amount of time to help people who have lost a job is 0 years, 0 months, 0 days.  If someone has a medical condition they should be covered by medical insurance, if it happened on the job they get workers compensation.  If they don't have medical insurance then they better find some family or someone to help them out.  Lacking that, they can get a different job that they can perform with their condition/injury.  Lacking that they might just be screwed.  Just because you live in an affuent society doesn't mean you have the right to have all the benefits of wealth.  



  • @obediah said:

    @Isuwen said:

    Here in America we believe in a little something called 'self reliance'.

    Yep, you can ask any good ole boy farmer and they'll tell you all about how they got to where they are through hard work and everyone else should do the same. You can call them up on their subsidized phone, or drive to visit them on subsidized roads and drink some of their nice subsidized water.

    Oh, you paved all your own roads, and purify all your own water, plus you provide food to the sad wage-slaves in their cubicles across the nation?  Wait, no, you don't.  All you have is a stupid straw-man statement that doesn't even make an ounce of sense.  My parents in a rural community pay twice what I do for both water and electricity.

    Farming is dirty and dangerous work, unlikely to lead to extreme wealth unless you're the head of Con-Agra.  The farmer, his wife, and their kids aren't going to have health insurance because it's crazy-expensive, and the farmer's going to end up on a tractor until he's 87.  [The gay farmer can retire at 86, plus his tractor has doilies on it.]



  • @Tderscheid said:

    Oh, you paved all your own roads, and purify all your own water, plus you provide food to the sad wage-slaves in their cubicles across the nation? 

    That has nothing to do with the point he was trying to make.  Food isn't a public good.


    Wait, no, you don't.  All you have is a stupid straw-man statement that doesn't even make an ounce of sense.  My parents in a rural community pay twice what I do for both water and electricity.

    Farming is dirty and dangerous work, unlikely to lead to extreme wealth unless you're the head of Con-Agra.  The farmer, his wife, and their kids aren't going to have health insurance because it's crazy-expensive, and the farmer's going to end up on a tractor until he's 87.  [The gay farmer can retire at 86, plus his tractor has doilies on it.]

    That's nice.  But I don't think that has anything to do with the point he was trying to make. 

    The point is that farmers get a lot of special money in the form of various subsidies from the government, and have been for ages.  Farmers rely a lot on the government, some of it a genuine reliance that are necessary to have good food supply, others not so genuine.  I've seen people point to farmers as some sort of paragon of self reliance, when it isn't the case.  Some people tell others that they need to learn to be self reliant, but ignore the massive amounts of farming subsidies that are given out.  If they were REALLY about self reliance, they wouldn't want farmers getting those subsidies.  What's the difference between a farmer that cannot make enough money to feed his family and a low-income blue-collar worker that cannot find a good enough job to make enough money to feed his family?



  • @Jojosh_the_Pi said:

    @mdk said:

    What if they do not find a job for 6-12 months? Put them on the street?

    I understand the concern.  This is where the question of balance enters. How long should the government support someone?  2 years?  3 years?  5 years?  I don't know the best answer.  But there has to be a limit.  Knowing that there's a safety net without a time limit will cause people to slow down on the job search.  It's human nature.

    And what about the people who figure it's better to get money from the government instead of finding a job?
     

    @mdk said:

    @Jojosh_the_Pi said:

    These guys voluntarily quit their jobs.  Why the heck should they get anything from the government?

     So they have something to live on if they do not find a new job immediately afterwards?

    Now this is silly.  These guys do have a job (albeit with no income yet).  I want my tax dollars supporting people who can't work because of injuries or layoffs, not a couple guys who think they'll make a living out of a closet.

    If someone voluntarily leaves a (non-abusive, legal) company, and don't have another source of income, they're taking a calculated risk.  They don't deserve to get a dime from anyone.
     

    1. Almost all simply prefer to get a job and be able to live in a bigger apartment or a house and afford some luxuries. 

    2. I'd rather subsidize them then having them break into my house and steal something after they go broke.



  • @tster said:

    Perhaps this is why the United States is the richest, most powerful country ever to exist.

    Actually, the US is in debt up to its eyeballs - it's bleeding money at a rate of around $100billion per year. "Richest" is tricky to pin down (depends how you measure), but it's probably either Switzerland, Japan or China. They actually make money (and are where most of the US's money is going these days). It's no coincidence that the dollar has been losing value rapidly on the international markets.

    (This is a consequence of the US producing very little that the rest of the world has any desire to buy, importing immense amounts of oil and luxuries, and its own megacorps moving offshore for tax reasons and taking all their money with them)

    You are perhaps confusing GDP with wealth - the US has the largest GDP in the world, but that's a measure of the size of an economy, not how rich it is. Waste and loss of property cause the GDP to increase, but the wealth to decrease - it's just a measurement of how much stuff is going on. For example, the devastation of New Orleans by Katrina caused a significant increase to the GDP of the US, and a corresponding drop in the country's wealth.

    The "most powerful country ever to exist" is similarly hard to define - but it's definitely not the one major country never to have held an empire. The US government controls a fairly insignificant fraction of the world's wealth and power compared to China, or the old British empire, or even the Roman empire. The most powerful country today? Probably China, difficult to say. Power is an extremely slippery concept nowadays.

    I do recall one study recently that showed the US to be the "most hated country in the world", though... since "power" and "evil" are usually the same thing, perhaps that counts? 

     

    The job of the government is not to hold your hand while you get through life's problems.  That's what family, friends, charities and religious organizations do.   The purpose of the government is to defend it's people from threats both domestic and abroad.  Another job of the government is to support infrastructure for commerce and trade both within the country and between countries.  The proper amount of time to help people who have lost a job is 0 years, 0 months, 0 days.  If someone has a medical condition they should be covered by medical insurance, if it happened on the job they get workers compensation.  If they don't have medical insurance then they better find some family or someone to help them out.  Lacking that, they can get a different job that they can perform with their condition/injury.  Lacking that they might just be screwed.  Just because you live in an affuent society doesn't mean you have the right to have all the benefits of wealth.  

    So we've established that you're a conservative, but there are a lot of people who hold other opinions about the purpose of a government.



  • @tster said:

    @asuffield said:
    @Jojosh_the_Pi said:

    @mdk said:

    What if they do not find a job for 6-12 months? Put them on the street?

    I understand the concern.  This is where the question of balance enters. How long should the government support someone?  2 years?  3 years?  5 years?  I don't know the best answer.  But there has to be a limit.  Knowing that there's a safety net without a time limit will cause people to slow down on the job search.  It's human nature.

    Getting thrown out onto the street (because you didn't find a job fast enough when the market is in an unexpected slump, or you develop a medical condition that renders you unable to find work, or any of the other many well-known failure cases in the US laws on this subject) causes people to become criminals. That's human nature too.

    Not overly surprisingly, the crime rate in the US is rather high. Some other countries figure that it's better to support a few lazy people (who do no harm other than consuming a tiny amount of money) than to create more criminals (who do considerable amounts of harm to other people and cost far more money in police work). Also, the quasi-religious "give them nothing that they didn't earn" attitude is fairly unique to the US.

     

    Perhaps this is why the United States is the richest, most powerful country ever to exist.  The job of the government is not to hold your hand while you get through life's problems.  That's what family, friends, charities and religious organizations do.   The purpose of the government is to defend it's people from threats both domestic and abroad.  Another job of the government is to support infrastructure for commerce and trade both within the country and between countries.  The proper amount of time to help people who have lost a job is 0 years, 0 months, 0 days.  If someone has a medical condition they should be covered by medical insurance, if it happened on the job they get workers compensation.  If they don't have medical insurance then they better find some family or someone to help them out.  Lacking that, they can get a different job that they can perform with their condition/injury.  Lacking that they might just be screwed.  Just because you live in an affuent society doesn't mean you have the right to have all the benefits of wealth.  

    (I had to split this up into two posts because of the stupid forum software, which gave me an "Non matching quote blocks in post" error every time I tried putting everything in one post)

    Although the country I live in is not that powerful and not that rich (still a first-world, European country), I like living there because:

    - Tuition is something like 500$ per semester,

    - I can study for six years at the governments' expense,

    - I have free medical insurance, as I do not have a job (full-time student),

    - I can opt for an apartment subsidized by the city council, which would cost me around 400$ per month for rent,

    - If I quit or lose my job, I can get a year of unemployment benefits and social security benefits afterwards,

    - I also get money for leaving (depending on the duration of the employment, between one and 12 monthly salaries),

    - I know that I will get a pension when I'm old, which will allow me to live without financial support of family members,

    - and so on, and so forth.



  • @asuffield said:

    Actually, the US is in debt up to its eyeballs - it's bleeding money at a rate of around $100billion per year. "Richest" is tricky to pin down (depends how you measure), but it's probably either Switzerland, Japan or China. They actually make money (and are where most of the US's money is going these days). It's no coincidence that the dollar has been losing value rapidly on the international markets.

    It is also hard to define when a debt is high, and when it isn't. See these small figures from the U.S., Germany and China:

    public debt in % of GDP: 64% (USA), 62% (Germany), 24.4% (China)

    in % of reserves (Gold, foreign currencies, etc): ~3200% , ~1400%, ~50%

    That does indeed suggest you're right, I guess. :) 




  • @mdk said:

    1. Almost all simply prefer to get a job and be able to live in a bigger apartment or a house and afford some luxuries. 

    2. I'd rather subsidize them then having them break into my house and steal something after they go broke.

    1.  True that.  There's still the issue, though, of people not pressing so hard to get a job because they don't have to right away.

    2.  From a probability standpoint:  if I'm subsidizing these people, I'm losing money 100% of the time.  However, despite that I'm living in a poor, fairly unsafe city like Miami, it's rather unlikely that I will be a victim of burglary.

    3.  Which first-world, not-so-powerful country?  $500 tuition's a good thing!  Although I'm past that stage of life.  (And remember, nothing's free--it just that someone else is paying the bill.)

    @asuffield said:

    Getting thrown out onto the street (because you didn't find a job fast
    enough when the market is in an unexpected slump, or you develop a
    medical condition that renders you unable to find work, or any of the
    other many well-known failure cases in the US laws on this subject)
    causes people to become criminals. That's human nature too.

    Um...we do have job disability benefits and workmen's comp for injuries here.  I'm curious as to how long the government should subsidize non-disabled people.  3 months (for example) is clearly too short.  What about 2 years?  If someone can't find a job in 2 years--even if it's in a field they don't want (and no one can guarantee how in-demand their desired field is)--well, there's probably no helping them.

    I'm not all that sure that the poverty-crime link is as strong as we might think.  There's logic to it, but there are anomalies as well (eg, countries with greater poverty and less crime)  I'm no expert on this, which is why I'm hedging!


     



  • @Jojosh_the_Pi said:

    3.  Which first-world, not-so-powerful country?  $500 tuition's a good thing!  Although I'm past that stage of life.  (And remember, nothing's free--it just that someone else is paying the bill.)



    It's Austria (not to be confused with Australia).



  • @Jojosh_the_Pi said:

    I'm not all that sure that the poverty-crime link is as strong as we might think.  There's logic to it, but there are anomalies as well (eg, countries with greater poverty and less crime)  I'm no expert on this, which is why I'm hedging!

    What country are you thinking of then?

    Anyway, pulled out some numbers again:

     


    <colgroup><col width="86"><col width="86"><col width="86"></colgroup>














































    Country
    Murder Rate Gini-Coefficient*
    South Africa 47.53 59.3
    Venezuela 33.15 49.1
    Mexico 13.04 54.6
    USA 5.9 45
    Switzerland 2.94 33.1
    Finland 2.75 26.9
    Indonesia 1.05 34.3
    Norway 0.78 25.8

    *measures income disparity.

    I think the trend is obvious although there certainly are other key factors (compare Finland and Norway for example)



  • @TDC said:

    *measures income disparity.

    I appreciate the numbers.  However, income disparity != poverty.  Indonesia, although the income disparity is less, has greater poverty rate and lower crime rate than the U.S.  A better conclusion would be this: since there is less difference between rich and poor, there's not as much class envy, and thus less crime.

    An important question, too, is what kind of crimes are being committed?  There are many crimes unrelated to economic circumstance, and even people who aren't poor steal.

    I'm not trying to say that poverty and crime are completely unrelated...but I'm not sure how well the numbers show it.
     



  • I agree, I chose the income disparity because I thought it made more sense. If everyone is poor - whose money can you steal? Also these were only murders, I didn't find any general crime rates as fast. As I said, I think there's far more to it, but the numbers certainly suggest there is at least some connection between income disparity and crime, although it may be indirect of course - that is: they might have the same causes, instead of one being the cause of the other. Unemployment rates, for example (although these are very low in the USA, so that seems unlikely).
     



  • Definitely.  One could talk about level of education, etc.

    I enjoyed reading all the stuff in this thread, although it ended up being a huge threadjack.  It was interesting to say the least.  But it's 17:30 here, which means it's time to go home and stop thinking!



  • As long as it's done properly (this bit is very important!) a society should be better off with subsidised/free higher education, medical care, social care, etc. The benefits should be obvious to most people.

    The cost to society of producing a highly educated population - even those who couldn't afford it themselves - should be outweighed by the benefit of having a highly educated workforce. Those people now in highly paid jobs should now be able to pay back that debt and then some. That sounds a lot more appealing than leaving university enormously in debt with no guarantee (although improved odds) of being able to pay it back any time soon, and FAR more appealing than living in a country where the workforce is as educated as a 16 year old.

    The social support aspects have been discussed above and there's certainly logic to it. You have to get the right balanace between ensuring nobody is forced into crime to live, but it also can't be too comfortable otherwise you end up with a great big pointless drain on society.

    As for health care, this is one that I really can't get people not agreeing with. Who would want to live in a society where a significant number of people can't afford the basic health care to keep themselves healthy? Unlike being around poor or uneducated people, sickness can spread to you no matter how well off you are. A sick population also isn't very efficient.

     

    All of the above done properly should lead to a net gain for society - including the taxpaying individuals who balk at the idea of "paying for someone else's education.health/etc" - don't blame the theory because of several poor implementations.



  • @Jojosh_the_Pi said:

    @asuffield said:

    Getting thrown out onto the street (because you didn't find a job fast
    enough when the market is in an unexpected slump, or you develop a
    medical condition that renders you unable to find work, or any of the
    other many well-known failure cases in the US laws on this subject)
    causes people to become criminals. That's human nature too.

    Um...we do have job disability benefits and workmen's comp for injuries here.

    Yes, but several states will only pay them if you were working at the time you were injured. If you leave your job and start looking for a new one, and then next week you break your spine in three places, you're screwed. The rules for who does and who does not get benefits are complicated, more or less arbitrary, and make little sense - and are full of problems like this. A significant minority of people end up trapped outside the system by these loopholes - and once you're out, you can't get a 'real' job any more.



  • @RayS said:

    As for health care, this is one that I really can't get people not agreeing with. Who would want to live in a society where a significant number of people can't afford the basic health care to keep themselves healthy? Unlike being around poor or uneducated people, sickness can spread to you no matter how well off you are. A sick population also isn't very efficient.

    Another issue is that insurers can decide who they want to insure.

    I suffer from seizures (happens a few times a year).  Health insurance companies have decided that this is too much of a risk to cover, even though I'm able and willing to pay extra.  The only way I have health insurance is through my company.  If I started working for myself, and tried to get insurance, I'd be screwed.


     



  • @asuffield said:

    The rules for who does and who does not get benefits are complicated, more or less arbitrary, and make little sense - and are full of problems like this.

    Welcome to the United States, friend. 



  • @Jojosh_the_Pi said:

    @asuffield said:

    The rules for who does and who does not get benefits are complicated, more or less arbitrary, and make little sense - and are full of problems like this.

    Welcome to the United States, friend. 


    Welcome to life, friend.



  • @Jojosh_the_Pi said:

    Another issue is that insurers can decide who they want to insure.

    I suffer from seizures (happens a few times a year).  Health insurance companies have decided that this is too much of a risk to cover, even though I'm able and willing to pay extra.  The only way I have health insurance is through my company.  If I started working for myself, and tried to get insurance, I'd be screwed.

    Ah, the health insurance system - I don't know of any country that has a non-WTF system for that.

    Here in Germany for example, private and public health insurances are coexisting, which of course means all the healthy, well-earning people are making profit for the private ones, while the public ones need to receive further tax money for the ill, unemployed and old (which, if you think about it, means, the money goes straight from the tax payers' into the big insurance companies' pockets).. Yet you can still manage to be not allowed in either. Also there were more than one thousand public health insurances in the early 90's and today there are still more than 200. Lots and lots of money wasted there. 

    The obvious solution - having everyone pay into one public health insurance, which provides basic service, and letting the private sector handle the 'extras'  - will of course never be implemented. Instead the politicians are working on entirely destructing the public healthcare system with ridiculous 'reforms'.

     



  • @TDC said:

    The obvious solution - having everyone pay into one public health insurance, which provides basic service, and letting the private sector handle the 'extras'  - will of course never be implemented. Instead the politicians are working on entirely destructing the public healthcare system with ridiculous 'reforms'.

    That's always been my suggestion.  Some sort of public system for health issues that are life threatening, prevent you from working, anything that necessitates a trip to the emergency room (i.e. broken bones), and yearly exams & associated lab work ordered by the Doc.  Issues beyond that would be covered by private health insurance.  Something like a chronic knee problem that, while it doesn't prevent you from working, impacts your quality of life would be covered by private insurance.  Of course, the problem with all of that is how to make sure people are properly categorizing what should and shouldn't be paid for by the public system.

     It'll be interesting to see how Massachusettes's (yes, that is grammatically correct), new health insurance policy works out. For those of you who don't know, MA has instituted a system that requires health insurance for everyone and those that cannot afford their own get it at a subsized rate.  or something to that effect.
     



  • @bonzombiekitty said:

    @TDC said:

    The obvious solution - having everyone pay into one public health insurance, which provides basic service, and letting the private sector handle the 'extras'  - will of course never be implemented. Instead the politicians are working on entirely destructing the public healthcare system with ridiculous 'reforms'.

    That's always been my suggestion.  Some sort of public system for health issues that are life threatening, prevent you from working, anything that necessitates a trip to the emergency room (i.e. broken bones), and yearly exams & associated lab work ordered by the Doc.  Issues beyond that would be covered by private health insurance.  Something like a chronic knee problem that, while it doesn't prevent you from working, impacts your quality of life would be covered by private insurance.  Of course, the problem with all of that is how to make sure people are properly categorizing what should and shouldn't be paid for by the public system.

     

    You could simply look at how those of us with a proper welfare state do it (rather than a state-funded insurance policy, which is an entirely different beast and puts a whole layer of penny-pinching into the system for the gain of private companies at the expense of the public).

    Here in the UK we have the NHS - a tax-funded organisation which provides the majority of basic and essential healthcare to the entire population at minimal or no charge (there's a small administrative fee for certain things, such as processing prescriptions, but you don't have to pay it if you're a child or registered as unable to afford it). No insurance companies are involved. The system has its problems (largely because the government doesn't put enough money into it), but it doesn't have this problem.

    All consultations with your GP are free. If your GP thinks that, in their professional opinion as a doctor, you need treatment, then you get it from the NHS for free. And that's the end of the matter. The government issues guidance and training to doctors on appropriate forms of treatment, but ultimately the doctors make the decision on a case-by-case basis. If you don't like what your GP decides, the opinion of any NHS doctor will suffice (other doctors aren't obliged to give you a free consultation, but most of them will at least hear you out without charging anything).

    No complicated rules or loopholes about what should be covered - if you can find a doctor who is willing to go on record that you need it, then you get it.

    (And yes, we also have a thriving private healthcare industry, who make money on all the people that don't like being on waiting lists, or want more than a basic level of care - a stay in an NHS hospital will keep you alive, but it's not much fun. The welfare state does not exclude private industry, it merely handles the stuff that private industry cannot get right)



  • @Jojosh_the_Pi said:

    @asuffield said:

    The rules for who does and who does not get benefits are complicated, more or less arbitrary, and make little sense - and are full of problems like this.

    Welcome to the United States, friend. 

    It does indeed make me very glad that I am not in the US. 



  • @bonzombiekitty said:

     It'll be interesting to see how Massachusettes's (yes, that is grammatically correct), new health insurance policy works out. For those of you who don't know, MA has instituted a system that requires health insurance for everyone and those that cannot afford their own get it at a subsized rate.  or something to that effect.
     

    Massachusetts's would be correct.  Not Massachusettes's.   And for how it's going to work...  It will work just like every other government function in this state, terrible. 



  • The real WTF is how this thread got turned into an "OMG the US sucks because (we|they)'re not socialist enough!!!" debate.



  • If the US sucks it's because socialist liberals like George Bush have taken it over.

     

    PS.  George Bush also caused the Indonesian tsunami, hurricane Katrina, and global warming.  In fact, George Bush invented pollution.



  • @tster said:

    Perhaps this is why the United States is the richest, most powerful country ever to exist. [snip]

    The proper amount of time to help people who have lost a job is 0
    years, 0 months, 0 days.  If someone has a medical condition they
    should be covered by medical insurance, if it happened on the job they
    get workers compensation.  If they don't have medical insurance then
    they better find some family or someone to help them out.  Lacking
    that, they can get a different job that they can perform with their
    condition/injury.  Lacking that they might just be screwed.  Just
    because you live in an affuent society doesn't mean you have the right to have all the benefits of wealth.   

    In terms of "most powerful country that ever existed" ever heard of the british empire?  which controlled about a third of the world for almost two hundred years, or maybe rome?  The views you are expressing are very american centric, you need to understand that in other countries people are willing to trade a small amount of tax in order to have social welfare, which in turn lowers crime rates and provides money for students to attend university which will in turn bolster the economy.  The unemployment rate here in au is fairly low so the amount of tax that goes to supporting students and the unemployed is fairly minimal anyway.  plus don't be such a hard ass that post makes you sound like a bit of a right wing prick, i'd be interested to see how your opinion would change if for some reason you lost your ability to work.  This is such a typical stupidly blind right wing attitude to take anyway and fails to take into account the economic and social flow on effects of having a large underclass within your society.  Plus you should really look into the US economy before making ridiculous comments like that anyway, you guys are running on borrowed time at the moment.
     



  • In au we have a welfare system where after a certain period of time you
    must do work for your money anyway and it's usually pretty crappy
    work(cleaing train stations, parks etc.) so that's the incentive to get
    off of welfare but you will not be thrown out onto the street just
    because you can't find a job.



  • @element[0] said:

    In terms of "most powerful country that ever existed" ever heard of the british empire?  which controlled about a third of the world for almost two hundred years, or maybe rome?


    Not so! Why, in 2002 alone, the US used over 800 terawatt-hours of electricity! That averages out to over 2 terawatts. And that's just electricity! I'd like to see the British Empire match that! Force times distance over time, baby!


    (that's what my quick-random-Google-search turned up anyway)

    Plus you should really look into the US economy before making ridiculous comments like that anyway, you guys are running on borrowed time at the moment.
     

    On a more serious note, while the future of the US economy is not all sunshine, roses, happy faces, dancing in the street, brown paper packages tied up with string.... I am given to understand, through conversations with the local economics department, that it is still doing okay and will probably continue to do all right in the near to intermediate future, despite concerns over, say, the "subprime" lending markets: while swaths of foreclosures and a collapse in that market will certainly cause pain for those involved, most of the lower-income families who would be affected are already in a position where their money is pretty much all spent anyway, and the sorts of re-allocation of those monies which shocks in this marked would cause would probably not drag down the economy as a whole. On the other hand, if the bottom really did fall out of the real estate market and a lot of homeowners with expensive houses faced the same thing, then there would be significantly more cause for alarm. Economies go up and down and up and down... Contractions and recessions ahead? Certainly. Welcome to the World. We'll survive.


    The biggest short-term problem the country could face would be a big terrorist attack, and after that, probably a sudden spike in energy prices (=> oil). In the long term, worry more about the federal deficit... and the multi-trillion-dollar hole that Social Security is digging.



  • @element[0] said:

    @tster said:

    Perhaps this is why the United States is the richest, most powerful country ever to exist. [snip]

    The proper amount of time to help people who have lost a job is 0
    years, 0 months, 0 days.  If someone has a medical condition they
    should be covered by medical insurance, if it happened on the job they
    get workers compensation.  If they don't have medical insurance then
    they better find some family or someone to help them out.  Lacking
    that, they can get a different job that they can perform with their
    condition/injury.  Lacking that they might just be screwed.  Just
    because you live in an affuent society doesn't mean you have the right to have all the benefits of wealth.   

    In terms of "most powerful country that ever existed" ever heard of the british empire?  which controlled about a third of the world for almost two hundred years, or maybe rome?  The views you are expressing are very american centric, you need to understand that in other countries people are willing to trade a small amount of tax in order to have social welfare, which in turn lowers crime rates and provides money for students to attend university which will in turn bolster the economy.  The unemployment rate here in au is fairly low so the amount of tax that goes to supporting students and the unemployed is fairly minimal anyway.  plus don't be such a hard ass that post makes you sound like a bit of a right wing prick, i'd be interested to see how your opinion would change if for some reason you lost your ability to work.  This is such a typical stupidly blind right wing attitude to take anyway and fails to take into account the economic and social flow on effects of having a large underclass within your society.  Plus you should really look into the US economy before making ridiculous comments like that anyway, you guys are running on borrowed time at the moment.
     

     when I say "most powerful" I don't mean largest % of world power.  If such was the case I would probably be inclined to think that the Chinese (and then the Mongols) were the most powerful empire ever.   No, I go by actual power.  If the British empire at their hight went to war with the United States now, it would be a massive slaughter.  Technology is key here.
     



  • @tster said:

     when I say "most powerful" I don't mean largest % of world power.  If such was the case I would probably be inclined to think that the Chinese (and then the Mongols) were the most powerful empire ever.   No, I go by actual power.  If the British empire at their hight went to war with the United States now, it would be a massive slaughter.  Technology is key here.

    Okay, then the modern Chinese have got the US thoroughly beaten on that one - their military is approximately three times larger on all fronts except operational aircraft (which is about even). A lot of the Chinese equipment is older, but any military strategist will tell you that you're just as dead when you're shot with a 20-year-old gun as you are when shot with a modern one - the US equipment is a bit more efficient and reliable, but that's no help when they're hopelessly outnumbered. There are no fundamental differences in the technology they're using.

    They also have the notable advantage that the Chinese leaders are willing to engage in tactics like this:

    Non-Military Intelligence



  • @asuffield said:

    @tster said:

     when I say "most powerful" I don't mean largest % of world power.  If such was the case I would probably be inclined to think that the Chinese (and then the Mongols) were the most powerful empire ever.   No, I go by actual power.  If the British empire at their hight went to war with the United States now, it would be a massive slaughter.  Technology is key here.

    Okay, then the modern Chinese have got the US thoroughly beaten on that one - their military is approximately three times larger on all fronts except operational aircraft (which is about even). A lot of the Chinese equipment is older, but any military strategist will tell you that you're just as dead when you're shot with a 20-year-old gun as you are when shot with a modern one - the US equipment is a bit more efficient and reliable, but that's no help when they're hopelessly outnumbered. There are no fundamental differences in the technology they're using.

    They also have the notable advantage that the Chinese leaders are willing to engage in tactics like this:

    Non-Military Intelligence

    Kudos on the OOTS reference :)


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