July 17th, 2007

paperbear

"Sicko"

Last week Kitty and I went to see Michael Moore's latest flick, "Sicko." We were just going to Netflix it in a few months, but she was able to get some extra credit for a sociology class by going. Overall it wasn't a bad movie, but it was not great either. I really don't need to hear story after story of people who have been screwed over by the American medical system and how great the medical systems are elsewhere in the world. I get it! What I like about Moore's films is his snarkyness. This film has it's moments, but not enough IMHO.

It did illustrate an interesting point, however, in how we as a country seem to disdain anything that resembles "socialism." We still have this attitude that socialism = communism. We also seem to hate everything related to the government. If the government is involved in anything, it will be awful, disgusting, bureaucratic, nightmarish, etc. Oh, like our current system works oh-so-well!

We as Americans seem to have this complete hatred of paying taxes, yet we love the benefits of living under the current system of government. Where do roads, police departments, garbage collectors, etc come from? What ever happened to community good? Should everything be pay-as-you-use like most conservatives think? Shouldn't that include schools as well? Oh wait! Whatever happened to public education? Is that a bad thing? Should it all be private?

My question is what is an appropriate level of socialism? What should be provided to every citizen of a country just because they are a citizen? Welfare, as it used to exist, was a disaster. But shouldn't the basic needs of every citizen be taken care of? Does that mean that the gov't should provide housing, food, and water to everyone? Would it be fair for a person to slave in New York City to afford a 200 square-foot apartment while the government provided a 400 square-foot apartment to someone who couldn't afford being out there on their own? Should there be free day care? Should the government be subsidizing the having of children?

I have been wrestling with these issues in my own mind. I would especially like to hear from my friends who are in other countries. "Sicko" made it seem that places like Canada, France, England, and Cuba were paradises in terms of medical care. Is that the truth? Also, how much do you pay in taxes? Do you feel that you're getting your money's worth?

I am a fiscal conservative, but I would also like to think that I am somewhat of a humanitarian. I don't mind helping those out in need, but I also want accountability. If I pay higher taxes but get services for those taxes, then I don't mind. What pisses me off to no end is that my taxes are currently going to support a war in Iraq. What is the benefit to me? Security? *LMAO* And why is there always money for war, but never enough for schools, roads, parks, etc?
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