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I don't mind you asking at all mate. I'm just sorry that it's too late, too tired to respond adequately here.

Basically I believe that there are some things which don't 'belong' in the private sector. Infrastructure provision for starters. Roads, rail, services such as power and communications networks. These, in my view, should be owned by the people, run by the people and most of all run FOR the people. Sure they have to be run efficiently and at a profit. But that profit should belong to all of us, not just a few.

Such things as health and education also should belong wholly to the public sector. It's obscene to see them being run on a 'for profit' basis and lining the pockets of a few while denying service to some who need it. "Sorry, you can't pay so go away and die from that infected cut!" "Sorry, son, but your daddy doesn't have the dollars so we don't care HOW clever you are - only the money earns your place at THIS school!"

I could go on and on I suppose but I won't. Suffice to say that, for me, it's humanity first, community second, and me a distant third. That sorta puts me at odds with the ideals of the 'Free, capitalist World'.

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hmm, people here are being turned away by our socialised healthcare because there's not enough money to treat them...

The waiting lists for major procedures now are years long. In 2002 my mother needed emergency surgery to remove a suspected fastgrowing colon cancer (turned out to be something else luckily), she was told she'd have to wait 2-3 months at least before there was time for her.
She only got in early because someone on the waiting list died and her doctor pulled some strings to get her moved forward.

2003 the government pumped some €3 billion extra into healthcare in order to increase the staffing levels at hospitals (most hospitals have entire wards closed down for lack of staff). At the end of the year all the money was gone but staffing levels had gone down. So far they've found only about half a billion of it, spent on shiny new CAT scanners (replacing 2 year old units in the same hospitals that were sitting idle for lack of trained staff already) and refurbishing brand new operating theaters (many of which are also rarely used for lack of staff).

I'd rather have healthcare run like a business with the government making sure prices are fair (maybe by setting limits) and everyone is guaranteed to be able to afford required procedures (so no nosejobs, but heart surgery would fall under it).

That would reduce the wastage tremendously, thereby reducing the overall cost of the system by an order of magnitude while competition will improve quality as well as lower prices.

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If you don't mind me asking, what exactly do you like about socialism? I don't know too much about it, so please explain.

what many people like in socialism (at least the early stages, when the Party still has to work within a democratic system and hasn't yet taken total power for themselves) is the total lack of personal responsibility it promises and the fact that it promises that the State will provide everything for everyone.

After the socialists take power though they invariably show their real face and turn into thiefs and thugs who oppress and starve the population to enrich themselves.

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jwenting, I'm sorry but some of the views you express verge damn near into 'redneck' territory! The things you talk about there aren't aspects of a socialist system of organisation but rather the dangers of allowing power to run without adequate checks and balances in place. The same sort of outcomes can (and do) result from the implementation of a capitalist system of organisation.

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Obviously that's an oversimplification, but even if that statement were true, that doesn't mean desperate people can't be deceived by the promise of something "better", even if what they wind up with is actually worse.

Is this like the 72 virgins the Islamic martyrs are promised? If you take all of the islamic texts and references into account, then there is no sex at all in their afterlife. So what is the martyr going to do with those 72 nagging virgins?

:p

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... the dangers of allowing power to run without adequate checks and balances in place. The same sort of outcomes can (and do) result from the implementation of a capitalist system of organisation.

US Examples:

- There are no checks and balances over government spending. Being part of government automatically makes anyone want to increase taxes and spending, no matter which branch of government, because spending pays all salaries. (There was one, but it was accidentally amended out in the process of the abolition of slavery.)

- There are no checks and balances to prevent a political party from sponsoring a third-party ringer in an election to split the opposition. (Abolition of the Plurality Voting System is needed here.)

- There are no checks and balances in cases of impeachment to prevent a minority party from blocking conviction of an admittedly guilty official on the basis of "party unity."

- There are no checks and balances to prevent spending government money on nonessentials.

- There are no checks and balances to prevent people from voting themselves money from the treasury. This is what killed off all democracies founded before 1700.

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And in an horrendous situation my own country is currently confronting, a Government which was elected on a platform of changing Industrial Relations law to ease the situation for companies with fewer than 15 employees, has used their majority in both houses of Parliament to implement the changes for companies with 100 or fewer employees instead. There were no checks and balances to ensure that their promises were actually adhered to after they gained power. The move they are making has the potential to strip worker rights and benefits from more than 90% of all employees in this country!

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The founding fathers offered many check and balances, but people can now change the freaking constitution(how did it come to this?), and amend it to what they want. Personally, I feel the extreme power the supreme justice's posess is potential disaster.

As for crap spending, if we could have a president that could get rid of riders on bills and lobbyist, that would cut down a lot.

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The things you talk about there aren't aspects of a socialist system of organisation but rather the dangers of allowing power to run without adequate checks and balances in place. The same sort of outcomes can (and do) result from the implementation of a capitalist system of organisation.

Maybe. But in a capitalist society there's a (slim) chance of such things happening, in a socialist society they're certain to happen simply because all checks and ballances in a socialist society are controlled by the same people who have a vested interest in making them happen and therefore are useless except as a means to make the people believe that "Big Brother is caring for you".

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current affairs that would worry me most...

1.Conflict

2.Crime

3.World Economy

4.Global warming

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i agree with you catweazle (by the way my m8 has the dvds of that series) i am most worried about afganistan/iraq

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Global warming is just a lot of hot air, it doesn't exist (at least not in the way the treehuggers claim).

The world economy isn't any worse overall than it has been in a long time, though there are local problems in Europe.

There's never been less wars and conflict than now and what there is doesn't affect me directly.

Crime is bad, but not a lot worse than in the past.

Overall, economics and crime affect me the most but not at a global scale.

The only worries I have about "global warming" is the incredible amount of resources being wasted on it that could be far better spent fighting crime and improving the economy.

:-/ Just as long as it wont bother you then I guess all is well with the world . Right? Why bother putting more resources toward fighting crime or improving an economy thats "no worse over all " Lets just all Party!:icon_rolleyes:

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Where are you getting your so called information from. Every sentence in your blog is false.

Bush does not have the authority to drill in Alaska. If he did, it would have begun about 6 years ago. The congress must act to authorize it. Not likely with the Demicrats in control.

This is first I've heard about logging sequois. Where's your evidence. Don't tell me you got it from moveon.org or the New York Times or some other left wing nut case publication.

As far as antagonizing the middle east, that's about the stupidest statement I've ever read. You act as though everyone in the middle east has the same opinion. All 1.5 billion of them. It ain't true. The one's that are pissed off are all living in caves in the hills of Afghanistan or cowering in some safe house in Baghdad. The ones that should be pissed off are the ones that care about the 3000 inocent people who died on 9-11.

This topic has been dead for over six months. Start a new discussion instead.
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