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M.Mouse
18th Nov 2013, 01:38
I am currently in San Francisco having spent a terrific 10 days on holiday whereas I had previously only spent 48 hours here during slips. A great city with so much to do and see but I have been quite staggered by the number of beggars and homeless on the streets.

I quietly support various charities at home and have been known to donate to beggars in countries like India and other countries where widespread poverty is an issue.

Leaving aside drug addicts and alcoholics, who it could be argued made their choices, why are so many people apparently homeless and destitute in such a successful country.

I am no left wing tree hugger but it saddened me to see so many people on the streets. More to the point what should be done to resolve the issue?

fleigle
18th Nov 2013, 01:48
It is a sad fact of life here on the west coast, where I have lived now for 37 years.
I lot of people headed out to California in the past due to the laid-back lifestyle, weather, gorgeous chicks, circumstances change and if you are marginalised it is a lot better to live on the streets here than in, say, NY or the mid-west where it is "feckin" cold in the winter.
In addition I suppose people here are more tolerant, or less obnoxious towards the less-fortunate.
How much longer are you going to be here?
If you have a few more days then drop me a PM and maybe we can grab a brew, or a tour of some of the less "touristy" places.
Cheers,
f

Um... lifting...
18th Nov 2013, 01:52
Also the case in Los Angeles and Portland, cities where I have lived.

The economic contrast between the haves and have nots is probably starkest in San Francisco, one of the most expensive cities in the U.S. The line between making it and not making it in San Francisco is a fine one indeed.

Shame of the City - SFGate (http://www.sfgate.com/homeless/)

fleigle
18th Nov 2013, 01:57
Tis correct Mr Lifting, and SF is a lot dry-er than The City of Roses, where I lived for quite a few months while they built the new Locks at Bonneville Dam.
f

M.Mouse
18th Nov 2013, 02:45
Wow Um... lifting... that link makes for some very sobering reading.

SASless
18th Nov 2013, 03:13
The change in our Mental Health Laws many years ago set us up for this too....the Huggy Fluffs were all aghast that Society would involuntarily commit Mentally Ill folks....and combined with some truly awful Asylums......it became very hard to plunk the Nutters into the Institutions.

Ergo....so many who need help....don't get any....and find themselves enjoying the great outdoors.

Of course in California....figuring out which ones should be inside as wards of the State takes some pretty keen figuring as the line between being Clinically Insane and Californian is also a pretty slim line.

11Fan
18th Nov 2013, 03:34
....being Clinically Insane and Californian is also a pretty slim line. In my case, drawn with a fine tip pen.

finfly1
18th Nov 2013, 04:05
Over twenty million US homes were foreclosed this century. I guess not everybody went to live with friends or relatives.


Home Foreclosure Statistics | Statistic Brain (http://www.statisticbrain.com/home-foreclosure-statistics/)

SASless
18th Nov 2013, 04:05
Check my post in the "Hell hath no fury...." thread if you want to see how Californian women can be. Remember that line we talked about?

500N
18th Nov 2013, 04:11
So does this mean Obama's prosperity for all hasn't worked ;)

obgraham
18th Nov 2013, 04:21
Some years ago the "community activists" went to court on behalf of the homeless, and stated that it was their right to live on the street, and panhandle for their existence. Courts found that was so, and San Francisco in particular passed city laws to prevent the authorities from removing them from the streets, and disallowing claims that they were harrassing the locals and tourists.

So there they are. As they are in most of the urban areas where "progressives" are the political establishment.

In smaller communities, especially in flyover country, the "street people" are much fewer in evidence.

After one or two short trips to San Fran to see the sights, I find nothing attractive about the place.

Um... lifting...
18th Nov 2013, 08:19
Yet one seldom finds the homeless on Telegraph Hill, Nob Hill, Russian Hill or Twin Peaks, Pacifica, The Marina, Chinatown, and so forth.

Thick concentrations on Market Street, SoMa, The Mission, Castro, Haight...

The people living in the former areas, by virtue of their affluence, are well insulated from the homeless, regardless of whether their voting exacerbated the problem.

vulcanised
18th Nov 2013, 11:35
So does this mean Obama's prosperity for all hasn't worked


I heard he's done alright out of it.

Lonewolf_50
18th Nov 2013, 12:18
Why should something/anything be done, and by whom?
Beggars go to where money is, where there is a chance. San Fran is a city with a lot of people with quite a bit of money. Manure draws flies. Another feature of SF that attracts the "live on the street" option is that the weather is mild.

SASless
18th Nov 2013, 13:18
San Francisco is far over rated.....as is Seattle....Los Angeles.....and so many Democrat Party Utopia's.

In another life, while driving a Truck for a living having gotten fed up with the Helicopter Industry, I had the bad luck of being sent to Gay Bay to pick up a load of scrap paper from a rather large recycling operation run by a small Timber Products firm known as Whore Houser.

While waiting for the truck to be loaded....I felt the need to make use of the Loo.

The Management of the place refused to grant me access to their Loo as it was for the use of their Staff Only.....No Truck Drivers allowed.

I thanked them for that information and walked outside and pissed on their sidewalk smack dab in front of the Managers Office. He got a bit miffed.

I reminded him that his Mayor Willy Brown had seen an ordinance passed that removed the act of public urination from the City's Ordinances thus making my act of defiance quite legal.

He complained to my management.....who sided with me completely....reminding the Complainant of both the reason why I had elected to do what I had....and that if our Drivers were not good enough to piss in his toilet then we were not good enough to haul his cargo.

When his Corporate Management heard of this....we got permission to use any of their facilities to include the break room and that scrap paper place in San Francisco got a new manager.

Don't you just love San Francisco?

dead_pan
18th Nov 2013, 13:41
that scrap paper place in San Francisco got a new manager

I wonder if he and his family ended up on the street too...

I too was shocked during a recent visit Paris (France, not Texas). The outskirts seem positively over-run by people living rough.

Why should something/anything be done

Cos something's gonna give...

SASless
18th Nov 2013, 15:25
Lone Ranger.....AMF! Off to the Peanut Gallery in One! You managed to set a record....usually it takes a few more posts than that.

Ancient Observer
18th Nov 2013, 16:42
I thought Sasless's quote was very good.

As a bit of humour, I can't figure out what was wrong with it.

Krystal n chips
18th Nov 2013, 17:29
" The change in our Mental Health Laws many years ago set us up for this too....the Huggy Fluffs were all aghast that Society would involuntarily commit Mentally Ill folks....and combined with some truly awful Asylums......it became very hard to plunk the Nutters into the Institutions

Yes, you can see the dilemma here....I mean, fancy not being able to commit a person the some hell of an asylum as a convenient way of removing them from society and even more so if they were incarcerated in an environment which was more penal than medical and without any real hope of treatment.

And lets not forget the charming title you attach to people suffering from mental health problems, which includes me as I have suffered from depression over the years and see NO stigma attached to the condition, notably ....."Nutters".

In contrast to which, your own rational stance is beyond question, the minor detail of being institutionalised former military and special agent law enforcer aside that is.... post #15 does indeed show this rational thought process in action.

When did you say you intend to visit the UK in 2014 and where do you intend to stay and visit ?

con-pilot
18th Nov 2013, 17:58
KnC

Yes, you can see the dilemma here....I mean, fancy not being able to commit a person the some hell of an asylum as a convenient way of removing them from society and even more so if they were incarcerated in an environment which was more penal than medical and without any real hope of treatment.

Well, everyone is entitled to an opinion and you certainly have one.

My wife works with the mentaly ill. So I'll have to believe her actual facts rather than your uninformed opinion, if you don't mind that is.

SASis dead on correct. Unless the person who needs to be placed into a mental heath facility volunteers to be commited, they cannot be forced into commitment. That is the law. Period or full stop, which ever you perfer.

Only when it is too late and a mentaly ill person kills somebody, then and only then can they be placed into a mental heath facility, if found innocent by reason of insanity in a court of law.

Another dark and nasty secret your heroes, the liberal Democrats, do not want you to know is that every winter hundreds, if not thousands of homeless people die from exposure in the US. Would you like to know why?

Well even if you don't I'll tell you. By Federal law, pushed through by your so-called liberal Democrats, the police or any other agancy cannot take a homeless person off of the streets, put then into a shelter and make them stay there.

They can pick them up and take them to a shelter, but if they walk right back out, the police cannot do a damn thing about it. Until they find the frozen body a few days later or when the snow melts in the spring.

Or do you have a solution to this problem, I'd be interested to hear it.

eastern wiseguy
18th Nov 2013, 18:17
The change in our Mental Health Laws many years ago set us up for this too....the Huggy Fluffs were all aghast that Society would involuntarily commit Mentally Ill folks....and combined with some truly awful Asylums......it became very hard to plunk the Nutters into the Institutions.


Not sure the "huggy fluffs":rolleyes: had a hell of a lot to do with Ronald Reagan's
policy of pandering to "small government" ideals.

Reagan's social policy is best seen as an abdication. Reagan's economic policy was to adjust government regulation so that it favored business once again, and social policy was merely an outgrowth of this larger issue. While family groups and professi onal groups and patient groups did clamor for respect, the real struggle was between the state and the business community. Reagan worked to lessen the tax load for the rich, and the social policies were meant to match this goal. Business needed a more fav orable corporate climate, and Reagan worked to that end. The coalitions that were necessary for election were either gratified (the elderly) or abandoned (the poor). As for the mentally ill, certain changes that their families and practitioners wanted wer e gained, and the administration pointed this out. Even though these changes came about primarily through state governments and the courts, the Administration would take credit. All in all, business interests were served. Families and doctors were appease d. Patients were forgotten.

Cuts in funding for mental health services continued throughout the 1980s, with the emphasis being on the provision of services via the private sector. Overall, the number of beds available to the mentally ill in public and private hospitals dropped over forty percent between 1970 and 1984 (Reamer, 1989). Most of this decline was due to cuts in public hospitals. During the 1980s, the number of beds provided by general hospitals in psychiatric wards and in private hospitals for the mentally ill increased. In 1970, there were 150 private psychiatric centers; in 1980, there were 184; by 1988, there were 450 in the United States. General hospitals offering psychiatric services increased from 1,259 in 1984 to over two thousand in 1988 (Reamer, 1989, 25; LaF ond and Durham, 1992, 115-16). With such growth in the private sector, there were substantial profits to be made in mental illness, assuming that the patient had adequate health insurance. Those without medical insurance frequently did not receive adequate care.

Ronald Reagan and the Commitment of the Mentally Ill:
Capital, Interest Groups, and the Eclipse of Social Policy

Alexandar R Thomas
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Northeastern University
[email protected]



The idea that healthcare and mental health care in particular should be available ONLY if you can afford it is CERTAINLY going to lead to the wards emptying and the sidewalks and underpasses filling up.

500N
18th Nov 2013, 18:22
They "de institutionalised" the metally ill here in Aus as well.

Problem was, they didn't have the support structure in society for them so they fell though the cracks, got into situations where the Police confronted them with the predictable results and all in all, it was left to family to fend for them.
A lot ended up on the streets.
Most think it didn't end well.
Many got shot dead.
A lot were buried in paupers graves.

The left has a lot to answer for.

IcePaq
18th Nov 2013, 18:24
When you see someone panhandling at the same spot for 16 years, I would think it's by choice and that no amount of money will "fix his problems".

BenThere
18th Nov 2013, 18:26
The Left could have focused on improving mental health facilities and quality of care. Instead they chose to enlist the ACLU and left-wing judges in an agenda to open the doors and shut down a vast network of institutions, putting many people who needed them on the streets. They further made it almost impossible to commit dangerous people until they had committed crimes and were institutionalized by the criminal justice apparatus.

obgraham
18th Nov 2013, 21:00
In my med school years I spent a little time at the nearby state "hospital for the insane". It was a bit of a wild and wooly place, and most of the patients had been committed there.

They were warm, clothed, clean, and well fed. They socialized with staff and patients. True, the psychiatric services were often little more than what was needed to warehouse them. We did not have anywhere near the medications currently available.

But now they are out on the streets, freezing, in rags, dirty, hungry, and begging. And receiving zero medical care for their affliction. It is, after all, their "right". But I fail to see how this is a sign that society has a more enlightened view of the mentally ill.

Worrals in the wilds
18th Nov 2013, 21:34
They "de institutionalised" the metally ill here in Aus...
Fortunately we still have involuntary treatment orders though.
Being committed for care saved one of my cousins, when he was in the depths of drug addiction and mental illness. If he hadn't been treated (initially against his will) I've no doubt he'd be dead. Likewise a friend who had bad depression and was also committed for treatment because she was suicidal. Both are now in reasonable shape.

I suppose some people think it would have been better to uphold their rights and leave them to die in a gutter. It's a point of view, but not one I agree with.

racedo
18th Nov 2013, 22:00
In my med school years I spent a little time at the nearby state "hospital for the insane". It was a bit of a wild and wooly place, and most of the patients had been committed there.

They were warm, clothed, clean, and well fed. They socialized with staff and patients. True, the psychiatric services were often little more than what was needed to warehouse them. We did not have anywhere near the medications currently available.

But now they are out on the streets, freezing, in rags, dirty, hungry, and begging. And receiving zero medical care for their affliction. It is, after all, their "right". But I fail to see how this is a sign that society has a more enlightened view of the mentally ill.

Well as ACLU and others would say they have their FREEDOM, society has allowed them a free for all where they don't survive rather than caring for them.

500N
18th Nov 2013, 22:01
I think they focused on the words "rights" and "institution",
forgetting that electric shock therapy et al had gone out of
fashion so to speak.

Some people want to "get away from it all" as they can't cope,
from very mild to very severe, others "need to be" put away
as they are just not able to cope.

Institutions might not be the best but the alternative for a lot
of them was far worse.

SASless
19th Nov 2013, 00:23
I just love Liberals....they are dependable as the Sun coming up each morning.

I cite the political movement that AND the abuses that led to the change of the Mental Health Laws in this country....and all they want to do is focus upon the abuses and totally ignore the rest of the factors that led to the horrible situation we have today.

When the Liberals removed the Locks from the Doors....and turned the Inmates loose into a society that had no other provisions for them....and we wound up with what we now call "Homeless" People....an all inclusive term that includes actual homeless folks and Mentally Ill, Drug Addicts, and Alcoholics who elect to live on the streets despite Shelters being available (although banning the use of drugs and alcohol as a requirement for residence).....it becomes everyone else's fault and not the frigging Liberals fault in any way, shape, or manner.

When you remind them of their role in all this....they get rude, ugly, and offended and result in attacking those who embarrass them so.

As a Police Officer working a Beat in a large urban area....I know what the effects of the ACLU and other Liberal Groups had on those that needed the intervention but were denied that due to the changing of the law.

As Con describes.....I have stood there in the Snow or freezing Rain and recovered the bodies of derelict humans who died of exposure. I have seen the way evil segments of our population have preyed upon them and done in so many or robbed them of what few possessions or money they had.

Sitting in your lounge, glass of wine in hand, telling others how wrong they are is so typical of a Liberal....they never had to get out and deal with the reality of their misbegotten notions of how life should be for others.

Eastern.....you are any thing but wise. I suggest you do a ride along with your local City Police one really nasty cold night and get the Officer to show you what the results of the Liberal Agenda has done to you own city's "Homeless". It won't be pretty.....eat a good dinner because your Breakfast will not taste very good.

500N
19th Nov 2013, 00:32
SaSless

On the tombstones they wrote:-

"The may have died but the persons rights were not infringed
and they had the life of living free"

Even if they did freeze to death with no food in their stomachs !


FYI, the whole Victorian Police force had to be retrained because
so many of the people who were released were shot dead. As I said,
it didn't end well for a lot of them.

MarcK
19th Nov 2013, 00:57
When the Liberals removed the Locks from the Doors....and turned the Inmates loose into a society that had no other provisions for them....and we wound up with what we now call "Homeless" People....an all inclusive term that includes actual homeless folks and Mentally Ill, Drug Addicts, and Alcoholics who elect to live on the streets despite Shelters being available (although banning the use of drugs and alcohol as a requirement for residence).....it becomes everyone else's fault and not the frigging Liberals fault in any way, shape, or manner.

The Liberal who removed the Locks from the Doors was Ronald Reagan. Or did you forget?

SASless
19th Nov 2013, 01:35
Marck,

Don't be daft.....Congress and the Courts write the law....the Executive, except in the instance of the current occupant of the White House, carries out the the laws as passed by Congress.

Blame the Congress and the Courts....along with the ACLU where the law was written and interpreted and brought about.

Since Reagan there have been as many Democrats in the White House as Republicans....Congress has had Democrat Majorities far more than Republican....so who is at fault.....Reagan?

You need to get your facts straight before posting I would suggest.....of course you probably are one of those that still have not accepted the fact Bush has been out of Office for over five years either.

If you are going to debate.....bring something to the table will you?

11Fan
19th Nov 2013, 02:53
SAS, slim line rule applies. :}

bcgallacher
19th Nov 2013, 08:15
I find it a little ironic that the same people with right wing views complaining about the mentally disturbed being on the streets are fighting Obamas attempt to bring universal affordable health care to the American people.

SASless
19th Nov 2013, 11:09
You understand nothing about the American concept of individual freedom.

I would suggest you read the news of late....and you would understand the fight is not against individual health care for the poor...but rather not destroying the American Health Care system by Government fiat which violates sound business sense.

Actuarially Obamacare does not work, we are being forced to buy policies we do not want, the Federal Government is requiring us to buy policies that cost more, have higher out of pocket deductibles, and in the end we will still have just as many uninsured as before.

You might want to read this article for a start and get a grasp of how strongly the American People reject Obamacare and the Welfare Man's performance of late.

Botched ACA Rollout Hammers Obama; Job Disapproval Reaches a Career High - ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/11/botched-aca-rollout-hammers-obama-job-disapproval-reaches-a-career-high/)

When the vast majority of Employer Sponsored Plans are cancelled, something that is coming, you will see Obama's numbers in the 20's.....which puts him right down there with Truman....another Democrat.

You wish to counter that statement BCG....bring forth your facts.

radeng
19th Nov 2013, 11:45
I was surprised in 1994 to see the number of people living in cardboard boxes in the Tokyo metro stations. Not just the odd one or two......

Where I saw the most panhandlers was in Vancouver, though - one or two with heart rending stories that were absolute downright lies!

SASless
19th Nov 2013, 12:16
Your Obama Regime in action.....one Lie after another....one false statement in Court or Congress right after another.

"If you like your Health Care Policy....you can keep it...period!"....as the Welfare Man has said well over 29 times.

Over Five Million Individual Policies cancelled and no way to get onto the Federal Web Site to look for replacement policies....that will cost more, have higher deductibles, and require you to buy coverage you do not want or need. By this time next year the Employer sponsored Health Plans will be cancelled as well....and that number approaches 50,000 000 Policies, most of which include family members as well.

Now we learn the Eric Holder DOJ is proffering information to a Federal Court that directly contradicts the Welfare Man's public statements.

Yes...you Libtards out there that are all about Health Care for everyone....defend all this and tell convince yourself you know what you are talking about.

Fox News - Breaking News Updates | Latest News Headlines | Photos & News Videos (http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/the-kelly-file/index.html#http://video.foxnews.com/v/2849495344001/justice-dept-filing-states-most-will-lose-employer-coverage/?playlist_id=2694949842001)


A Summary of what is going on in the USA today.....

https://youtube.googleapis.com/v/BNRT0P-oZfw%26autoplay=1?rel=0

Loose rivets
19th Nov 2013, 15:59
.but rather not destroying the American Health Care system by Government fiat which violates sound business sense.


But what American Healthcare system? The young and the elderly is a step in the right direction, but millions of hardworking Americans are simply not covered. Nothing to do with Barry, this has been the case for decades. Some of them find themselves in this situation simply because their employers have fallen on hard times.

Out of work, often equals, out of medical cover. None. Nothing. It's hard for a Brit to imagine that.

I'm aware of a youth that had a procedure recently. Parents got a co-pay bill for $2,000 . . . about the real value of the services supplied. So, $20,000 original bill? Sheer madness.

SASless
19th Nov 2013, 17:03
You forget Medicare and Medicaid for the poor......and the fact even under the best conditions the vaunted "Obamacare Program" would still leave 15-30 Million without Medical Insurance.

Do not confuse the Health Care Insurance Industry with the Health Care Industry.....they are too very different things.

As I ask my Liberal friends....both of them....."How do we pay for it?".

Ask yourself why Businesses are burdened with providing Health Insurance by Obamacare Regulations? Since when is an employer compelled to provide Health Insurance by Government Mandate?

Buying Health Insurance is a personal decision, as is deciding which policy, coverage, and provider you wish to purchase.

Now the government has decided to "coerce" you into buying Health Insurance.....which is nothing to do with providing everyone health services.

Obamacare is the Socialist approach to solving the problem....and not the Free Market solution.

If we got the State and Federal Governments out of the Insurance business....which they are in by means of Mandates and other regulations that set forth to the Insurance companies what they can sell, what must be in the policies, and in way too many cases what they must charge for those services....we would be far better off.

If we allowed Insurance companies to compete in all fifty States (or 57 if you listen to Welfare Man), enacted Tort Reform, allowed the Insurance companies to offer Cafeteria style shopping, and returned to Health Savings Accounts.....we could do a much better job of reducing costs which alone would make it easier for folks to get their Health Insurance.

Obamacare does none of that.

Mac the Knife
19th Nov 2013, 17:58
"They were warm, clothed, clean, and well fed. They socialized with staff and patients. True, the psychiatric services were often little more than what was needed to warehouse them. We did not have anywhere near the medications currently available.

But now they are out on the streets, freezing, in rags, dirty, hungry, and begging. And receiving zero medical care for their affliction. It is, after all, their "right". But I fail to see how this is a sign that society has a more enlightened view of the mentally ill."

Amen! People forget that the term asylum means a place of refuge.

Years ago, in the first years of wholesale liberation I was confronted, as a young Casualty Officer with a charming young schizophrenic couple who had just been tossed out. They were neat and clean and polite, on their meds and a bit confused about where they should go. Many phone calls later, a grumpy social worker told me that they had been assigned to "community care" and gave complicated directions to some centre on the other side of London.

Needless to say, they never got there. A few weeks later I saw the girl again; they had gotten lost, couldn't get their meds, slept rough, and eventually were beaten and robbed. The girl had been raped, was filthy, psychotic and had no idea what had happened to her feller. But she remembered that I had been kind to her and begged me to send her "home".

The pschs couldn't section her as she "wasn't a danger to herself or others" and there were no beds. The gynaes wouldn't admit her and the social workers could only give her an appointment in two weeks time. I could have wept.

I gave her a (stolen) blanket and a fiver and told her to go to a woman's refuge round the corner.

I never saw her again but my feelings of anger and helplessness are as clear today as they were then.

A terrible betrayal of two innocent young people who would never have been able to cope on their own.

Heartbreaking.

Mac

:cool:

racedo
19th Nov 2013, 18:11
Obama flubs health care conference call with community organizers: 'More than 100 million Americans already successfully enrolled' | Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2509715/Obama-flubs-health-care-conference-community-organizers-More-100-million-Americans-successfully-enrolled.html)

Reminds me of the old joke about something smelling like SH^T and passing message up the chain reaching the top it is a prime fertiliser for everybody.

wings folded
19th Nov 2013, 18:17
My wife works with the mentaly ill. So I'll have to believe her actual facts rather than your uninformed opinion, if you don't mind that is.

SASis dead on correct. Unless the person who needs to be placed into a mental heath facility volunteers to be commited, they cannot be forced into commitment. That is the law. Period or full stop, which ever you perfer.




I have my doubts about that being so in all jurisdictions, con.

One can be "sectioned" in the UK under the Mental Health Act 1983 if one is seriously unwell mentally speaking. No choice.

"Sectioned" is a term derived from the section of the Act. I forget which one now.

My deepest respects to your wife's chosen career; cannot be a load of fun, but what a great thing to do.

obgraham
19th Nov 2013, 19:08
In the US it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to commit someone simply because they have a mental illness, no matter how severe. Simply behaving in a manner which is a threat to themselves is seen as their "right".

They have to commit a a crime (which many do on purpose), or behave in such a way that others will testify that they are a threat to society.

The other way to get committed is to actually not be mentally ill, but commit a crime, and find a lawyer who will convince the courts the perp was at least insane when he perp'd.

Loose rivets
19th Nov 2013, 20:19
SASis dead on correct. Unless the person who needs to be placed into a mental heath facility volunteers to be commited, they cannot be forced into commitment. That is the law. Period or full stop, which ever you perfer.

This is manifestly untrue. I can attest to this with absolute certainty.


By this time next year the Employer sponsored Health Plans will be cancelled as well...

Our friends lost their cover when he felt the need to leave his long term job after a kidnap attempt over the boarder. His wife lost her cover when her long-term employer reacted to the new rules and put her on 39 hours a week. No requirement at that number of hours. They had to resort to a new company with bizarre costs and deductibles. Any claim would cost them thousands.

Mac, I've heard such stories before, but never from someone on the front line. It really brought it into focus. Heartrending.

Lonewolf_50
19th Nov 2013, 20:37
"you'll be able to keep your current plan."

Wrong. He didn't know, and chose to pretend he knew an answer.

And he doesn't care.

MarcK
20th Nov 2013, 01:02
Reagan's dismantling of mental health was not new. He did it in California before he did it to the nation.
The law that Reagan signed was the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (LPS), passed by the legislature & signed into law in 1967 by Governor Ronald Reagan. The idea was to "stem entry into the state hospital by encouraging the community system to accept more patients, hopefully improving quality of care while allowing state expense to be alleviated by the newly available federal funds." It also was designed to protect the rights of mental patients. It was considered a landmark of its time--a change in the attitude toward mental illness and its treatment.

The law restricted involuntary commitment, among other things. It allows people to refuse treatment for mental illness, unless they are clearly a danger to someone else or themselves. It facilitated release of many patients---supposedly to go to community mental health treatment programs.

Reagan's role, besides signing the bill, was using it as a reason to cut his budget. What Reagan did was, at the same time the bill was passed, to reduce the budget for state mental hospitals. His budget bill "abolished 1700 hospital staff positions and closed several of the state-operated aftercare facilities. Reagan promised to eliminate even more hospitals if the patient population continued to decline. Year-end population counts for the state hospitals had been declining by approximately 2000 people per year since 1960."

This law presumed that the people released from hospitals or not committed at all would be funneled in community treatment as provided by the Short Doyle Act of 1957. It was "was designed to organize and finance community mental health services for persons with mental illness through locally administered and locally controlled community health programs."

It also presumed that the mentally ill would voluntarily accept treatment if it were made available to them on a community basis. However, because of the restrictions on involuntary commitment, seriously mentally ill people who would not consent to treatment "who clearly needed treatment but did not fit the new criteria or who recycled through short term stays -- became a community dilemma. For them, there was nowhere to go." Once released, they would fail to take meds or get counseling and went right back to being seriously ill.

Also, unfortunately, at the time LPS was implemented, funding for community systems either declined or was not beefed up. Many counties did not have adequate community mental health services in place and were unable to fund them. Federal funds for community mental health programs, which LPS assumed would pick up the slack, began drying up in the early 1980s, due to budget cutbacks in general. The Feds shifted funding responsibility to the states.


When Ronald Reagan arrived in Washington, he inherited the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980. One of the last achievements of Pres. Jimmy Carter, this was passed by the House 277 to 15, in the Senate, 93 to 3. With as many critics as there were special interests, it was far from perfect. Yet it expanded the federal government's commitment to services, to research, to training professionals, and to patient rights. It identified stigma as an impediment to seeking and receiving services. It established parity in Medicaid and Medicare. It recognized the link between physical health and mental health. And it dedicated $800 million over 4 years to redress the gross neglect of the commitment to mental health in earlier administrations. In short, it moved an agenda that minimized homelessness, the reliance on expensive nursing homes, jails and prisons, and one that to more hopeful choices for those who needed help.

The Mental Health Systems Act was a milestone. It came on the heels of four years of hearings and a presidential task force benefiting from First Lady Rosalynn Carter's active involvement. Philosophically it affirmed Pres. John F. Kennedy's Community Mental Health Centers, an attempt to thwart hospitalizations. It fit into the safety-net values championed by Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson with the passage of Medicaid and Medicare.

Still, by 1980 the nation needed more for those with a chronic illness. Many failures accompanied the attempts to close the miserable hospitals, often little more than warehouses, to help patients succeed in the community. The neglect of government support conspired to form a patchwork system with notable gaping holes. A 1977 GAO report said, "Government needs to do more." Congressional hearings in 1979 re-affirmed the need to strengthen impoverished services and the failed policies.

Although not perfect, the Mental Health Systems Act responded to these problems. For the first time since the National Institute of Mental Health became part of NIH in 1949, mental health was front and center in federal policy.

Then came Ronald Reagan. Within a month, the Office of Management Budget announced it would curtail the budget of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), phase out training of clinicians, interrupt research, and eliminate services. Cutbacks to staff followed; chaos ensued. Experienced people left, others remained in government service but were forced into menial jobs. Trained professionals were reassigned to labs to dissect dead rats; science writers were reassigned to typing pools. The Mental Health Systems Act would be disappear. Instead, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (1982) would merge money for mental health programs into block grants, and with fewer dollars going to the states. They had the discretion to use them however they saw fit, often to perpetuate programs already deemed problematic. The pretense for all this was the president's concept of a "new federalism."

"Many of our dreams were gone," wrote Rosalynn Carter in Helping Someone with Mental Illness. "It was a bitter loss."

This could have been enough, but it was not. Pres. Reagan attempted to restrict criteria for determining eligibility for SSI, thought to be a safety-net. Nearly 2.6 million people were receiving insurance because their disability prevented them from working. New evaluations for eligibility led to widespread terminations. Of those who were terminated, about half appealed, and in two-thirds of the cases, administrative law judges reversed the decision. The process took nearly a year, during which time they, and their families, were deprived of promised help.

About 340,000 people would lose their insurance before public outcry and courts halted the process. Sen. John Heinz, a liberal Republican from Pennsylvania, told the New York Times the policy was a "meat grinder." Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat, said the reviews caused "unconscionable suffering." In June 1983 HHS Secretary Margaret Heckler announced she would halt suspending about 135,000 people until the government could improve standards for "functional psychotic disorders."

By then, however, the nation was doubting the president's kindness. A1982 Louis Harris survey found nearly three-quarters of the respondents said the president was hard-hearted toward the poor.

baggersup
20th Nov 2013, 01:43
As someone who grew up in LA and used to go between San Francisco and LA all the time, it was no different in the 50s, 60s and 70s, etc.

San Francisco, but especially LA, always being seen, especially back then, as the "place you go to start over" or "be a star" or...whatever, has been a drawing card for those who don't fit in where they grew up, or just decided small town life somewhere wasn't for them.

It was the ultimate haven for the person who managed to scrape enough together back home for a one-way bus ticket. Alas, many aren't and were not suited to make it in big cities that demand a lot of a person.

It's been going on for decades--it's a syndrome that seems to affect California--always seen as the land of milk and honey when viewed from elsewhere. Even though it's not.

And for those on the edge, it's an easier place to sleep rough and hang out in LA and San Francisco than in.....say....St. Louis! Brrrrrrrrrrrr.

People can point fingers at every political sea change in the last 60 years as the reason--but it was the same in the late 50s as it is today.

It's the place you see this a lot for a whole host of reasons. And none of them the same throughout the years.

I'm sure people with a sense of history that started in 2000 might not see this; but for somebody who remembers Orange County when it only had...orange trees, and took the red street cars from the beach cities to downtown LA, I have some personal observational history on my side here.

What has never changed, is the weather which is cooperative to spending a lot time time outside. So it's more noticeable than in, say, DC where I live, in which a lot of shelters are open during the day when it's really cold.

Cacophonix
20th Nov 2013, 01:47
As a Chinese bloke once said to me "You have friends? I find that hard to believe..!"

As for the Americans?

Caco

SASless
20th Nov 2013, 02:01
A1982 Louis Harris survey found nearly three-quarters of the respondents said the president was hard-hearted toward the poor.

Liberals say that about every Republican and Conservative.....so what is new.:=

Remember what was said about Romney.....and he was only running for President!:ugh:

BEACH KING
20th Nov 2013, 02:01
Just so everyone understands. I presume the term "Liberal" here is a USA term meaning someone of "left" political leaning? The term "Liberal" in a good many countries (most I think), refers to someone of "right" political leaning. Perhaps "right" or "left" should be the terms used to avoid confusion.

KBPsen
20th Nov 2013, 02:06
I presume the term "Liberal" here is a USA term meaning someone of "left" political leaning? The meaning of Liberal has been completely perverted in the US. Ron and Rand Paul are actually as close to a liberal as you can come, except in the US where the meaning has been completely reversed.

Cacophonix
20th Nov 2013, 02:07
Suzie Q - YouTube

Caco

SASless
20th Nov 2013, 02:30
You might be a liberal if:
* You've ever left your sociology class thinking, "That professor really knows what he/she/it is talking about."
* You associate the words "model American" with "Bill Clinton"
* You think Dan Rather represents media impartiality
* Your response to anything Rush Limbaugh says is, "Well, he's fat."
* The first word in the description of your hair color is "neon"
* You've ever tried to protect the ozone layer
* You've stood for animal rights, but wear leather belts and sandals
* You've ever given a dollar to a bum so he can buy more liquor ... ummm ... food
* You ever use the words "Clarence Thomas" and "Uncle Tom" in the same sentence * you are a vegan
* You have a bumper sticker that says "You Can't Hug With Nuclear Arms" on your car
* You believe diversity represents the extinction of the white race
* You've ever walked around carrying one of those Javahhh mugs
* You pay a 185 percent markup for organically grown food
* You cheered for "Obstructing Justice Simpson" last Tuesday at 1 p.m.
* You don't think it's right to kill rapists and murderers, but do think it's right to kill babies
* You have anything to do with the Compassionate Living Fair
* You want more funding for AIDS research but less for cancer, despite the fact that cancer kills many more people per year
* You have the entire menu at Cup-A-Joe memorized
* You consider yourself open-minded but refuse to listen to anything Jesse Helms has to say
* You abhor censorship unless it's censoring race, religion, Conservatism, Western culture or Rush Limbaugh
* You found yourself unemployed after this past November's election
* You're a dope smoker or a womanizer ... oh, sorry, that's "You might be a Clinton cabinet official if ..."
* You're the dolt who stole the "Helms '96" bumper sticker from my car
* You think the phrase, "... separation of church and state" is in the Constitution
* You cry, "You can't legislate morality," but defend the Roe v. Wade decision in order to legalize your moral position on abortion
* You stay informed by watching MTV News
* You have an "I'm Straight But Not Narrow" button pinned to your book bag
* There is a ring in any part of your head other than your ears
* You think religion is bad for school kids to learn, but think condom giveaways are just what schools need
* You molest campaign workers, then lie about it on national television ... oops, my mistake again, that's "You might be Mel Reynolds if ..."
* You think Jesse Jackson is a good spokesman for the black community
* You think Jesse Jackson is good at anything
* You lie in bed at night worried that Pat Robertson might be out to get you
* You attribute the rising illegitimacy rate, crime rate or problems in the inner city to Ronald Reagan
* You've ever held up a grocery store line trying to pick between plastic, which isn't biodegradable, or paper, which cuts down innocent trees
* You think the National Organization for Women is made up of average heterosexual women with no lesbian agenda
* You're on the committee to construct the Gay Jewish Women's Cultural Center -- there's a slight chance you're a liberal
* You blame Ronald Reagan and George Bush, but not the spend-happy "Democrooks" for the huge national debt
* Banning assault weapons is your solution to end crime (what do you mean punish the criminals?)
* You tell me how to live by telling me I can't tell people how to liveYou might be a liberal if . . .
You think that consenting adults can engage freely in every activity except capitalism.
You named your children Moonglow and Arizona.
You think the really alarming violence takes place outside the abortion clinic.
You’ve ever referred to the “root cause” of something.
You pray to “The Woman Upstairs.”
You think we never gave peace a chance.
You had to be told that “Manhattan,” “menopause” and “boycott” were not sexist words
You begin sentences with the words “I feel.”
Your driver’s license has a hyphen because for you one last name just isn’t enough.
You don’t think “All in the Family” is a very funny program, but watch it anyway because Meathead makes a lot of sense.
You think OJ is out looking for the real killers.
You think Julia Sugarbaker is an astute social commentator.
You think it takes a village.
You think that the words “to promote the general welfare” in the Constitution mean to promote welfare generally.
You think that, even though more people voted against him than for him in both the 1992 and the 1996 presidential elections, Bill Clinton had a mandate.
You think that conservatives, like preservatives, ought to be federally regulated.
You ever wore earth shoes.
You have ever wondered out loud, “Why can’t we all just get along?”
You think the New York Times prints all the news that’s fit.
You think that Rush Limbaugh is just an entertainer.
You spent Columbus Day reading Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
You reach the limits of your talent and then complain that you ran into a glass ceiling.
You wear more ribbons on your lapel than in your hair.
You think that the really dangerous McCarthy was Joe, not Eugene.
You blame the Unabomber’s parents.
You fail to see the connection between Lenin and Lennon.
You have ever agreed with Martin Sheen or Barbra Streisand.

KBPsen
20th Nov 2013, 03:05
Perhaps you should join your friends in the peanut gallery. Your debating skills seems to be on par.

SASless
20th Nov 2013, 03:39
Have a chat with them.....you made it in One!

KBPsen
20th Nov 2013, 03:54
QED..........................................

Krystal n chips
20th Nov 2013, 05:27
:confused:

About # 54.....the group therapy syllabus may need to be revised I feel.

Ah yes, liberals.....some thought required here on your part, but, the lyrics may help.

Joan Baez - There But For Fortune - YouTube


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5dtpw7zEm0

More on liberals therefore.

Your impending trip to the UK....will this be a sort of "Brannigan meets Dirty Harry" visit, or, are you coming as a pure tourist to enjoy all these shores have to offer ?.....the first option could become a shade problematic you understand....

However, I do urge you to budget for the £1.40 per day cost of buying The Guardian during the week, and £2.40 on Saturday....and, the really good bit, you can take the paper back to the folks back home, as they say in the vernacular, and read it in the comfort of your own home at your leisure !

chuks
20th Nov 2013, 06:11
Why buy the "Grauniad" when the "Telegraph" is still available?

Anyone who can read the Grauniad's Wimmin's Page and keep a straight face is sectionable. Not my opinion, that, but an incontrovertible fact.

SASless is okay, in small doses. Not politically correct, perhaps, but to some of us, that's what makes him so uniquely appealing. The "dirty Harry" of social commentary, him. Whingeing Poms, on the other hand, are a dime a dozen.

SASless
20th Nov 2013, 11:58
It does.

Under Obamacare it really does!

Look at how many Waivers and Exemptions that have been granted by Obama...none of which have any basis in Law....but take care of some very strong supporters of Obama.

No one is against finding a way to open up access to health insurance to everyone that wants it.

It is the methods being used now that are utterly disastrous and yet still fails to get healthcare to those very same people and sadly deprives as many of health care insurance they had in the past.

This was pure politics run amok that got us here to where we are today.

It does not fix the problem and sure creates far more.

I believe we shall see the Repeal of Obamacare within a Year.

It will probably take place shortly after the 2014 Elections when the Democrats lose the Senate and the House gains more Republicans yet.

If there is a Veto Proof majority then Obamcare is finished and you shall see a new approach to the problem....one that will work and removes the Federal Government from the involvement it has currently.

We have to make Health Insurance affordable on the Individual Market....and the right way is for Government to get out of the "Mandating" of policy contents beyond basic rules like "Portability", "No Ban on Pre-existing Conditions", and "No Dropping or Raising Rates for Illnesses". Beyond that, the Government really needs to remove itself and let the Market compete for business.

bcgallacher
20th Nov 2013, 13:35
John Smith
The American system, such as it is, has nothing to do with healing the sick and everything to do with enriching hospitals,drug companies etc.and insurance companies.Have a look at WHO statistics - the US infant,child and maternal mortality figures are worse than the UK -worse even than Cuba. As you say the NHS is far from perfect but I,for one find little fault with it. We in the UK do not have to fear that illness will reduce us to poverty,I have lived and worked in many countries where the population cannot say the same. Two months ago my mother in law passed away in Manila after being in intensive care - the bill had to be paid before the body was released for cremation - equivalent to £15,000. Cheap by western standards but where would an ordinary Filipino family obtain that amount at short notice?
.

Lonewolf_50
20th Nov 2013, 14:04
John, the answer lies in the condition of post war (WW II) America. The Unions were able to get health care packages as part of collective bargaining agreements put on the tab of industry. When America led the world in manufacturing, this covered a lot of people. Other industries and sectors, to include the government sector, followed suit. This allowed taxes to be lower, among other things.

In nations like the UK, where the government was already in control of much more, the choices made on how to handle that were different. Taxes were and are higher in the UK, and elsewhere.

What is happening now is that the structure built on being the world's industrial base is gone, and the adjustment is going to be expensive one way or another. Another issue is the out of control costs of health care in the first place, but that's another topic.

con-pilot
20th Nov 2013, 17:07
The meaning of Liberal has been completely perverted in the US. Ron and Rand Paul are actually as close to a liberal as you can come, except in the US where the meaning has been completely reversed.

That is why I use the term 'so-called', when I speak of our friends of the other side of the aisle when I call them progresive, so-called liberal Democrats.

In my day being liberal meant wanting smaller government, less government interference in one's personal life, same rights and chances for everybody, regardless of skin color, etc.

Now these so-called libeals demand massive government, high levels of government involvement in one's personal life and passing law, after law, after law in an attempt to govern and control one's life from birth to death, plus a lot more.

One more thing that puzzles me. About every union member I personally know, are beer drinking, sports loving and more consistent in their lives as someone that would identify with the right, but they let people like Nancy Pelosi speak for them. WTF?

It is a confusing world out there. :uhoh:

Matari
20th Nov 2013, 18:59
It's like that hideous term 'progressive.'

'Progressing' toward what?

Tribal identification, vs. individuality? Yeah, that's progress all right.

Command economy vs. free enterprise? Been tried and failed how many times?

Speech codes and forced conformity vs. free speech? Where have we heard that before?

In each case, the so-called 'progressives' have adopted the more regressive positions.

They should just own up to their agendas. Bill de Blasio did (http://nypost.com/2013/11/16/de-blasio-vs-the-market/), and just won his NYC mayor spot as a 'liberal progressive.'

BenThere
20th Nov 2013, 20:51
Martin Bashir is 'Progressive'.

Obamacare is 'Progressive'.

Eric Holder is 'Progressive'.

50 million on food stamps is 'Progressive'.

What could anyone possibly complain about?

rgbrock1
21st Nov 2013, 12:09
M.Mouse wrote

Leaving aside drug addicts and alcoholics, who it could be argued made their choices, why are so many people apparently homeless and destitute in such a successful country.

According to statistics - for whatever they're worth - the majority of homeless on the streets of the cities of the U.S. are Veterans. The majority of those are war Vets of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why? Who knows. But my bet is that these homeless Vets come out of the military not really having learned a marketable skill (there isn't much of a corporate need for former Infantrymen, Tankers or Artillerymen), have nothing to do or nowhere to go and, thus, are left to fend for themselves. Some willingly, others not so much.

Worrals in the wilds
21st Nov 2013, 12:59
Are there also issues with untreated PSTD? It's been a problem here for younger veterans, and we have far fewer vets than you guys do.

SASless
21st Nov 2013, 15:11
PTSD, lack of current useful job skills, a terrible Unemployment Problem that far exceeds the Media and Governments lying, and a few other important factors are all playing a role in Veterans being over reprinted amongst the Homeless.

I mentor such Veterans at a Transition Housing Program that takes Homeless Vets off the Street and over a two Year process helps them transition back into the Mainstream Society.

Sadly, there are too few Beds, think lack of funding, and too many Veterans. At this point it is Males only as that is where the majority of needy Veterans are represented but in time we hope to find a way to fund a Female Annex to then open the service to homeless female Veterans too.

The Need is great....the Resources are scant.

The Veterans Administration funds 65% of the cost.....and local Charity funding is required to make up the short fall.

I am proud to say the support we get from Veterans groups, local Churches, and individuals is amazing.

Cacophonix
21st Nov 2013, 23:53
This whole American friends thing is bullshit!

Shit man, the Americans en masse are no more our friends than the Russians or the Chinks...

**** em...!

Caco

Matari
22nd Nov 2013, 00:56
As BenThere once asked: what have you ever done for us?

Cacophonix
22nd Nov 2013, 00:58
As BenThere once asked: what have you ever done for us?


Fought a proxy for you and, albeit, misguidedly, took you nincompoops seriously...

Caco

BenThere
22nd Nov 2013, 01:05
I did, Matari, and never got an answer.

Some number of Filipinos/Filipinas I hope, facing the trauma of lives turned upside down, have a new appreciation for Americans, whose relief always shows up when disaster strikes.

Soon the Guardian will come up with a theme that the only reason the US offered relief is to secure some pipeline or something. 'Twas ever thus.

Matari
22nd Nov 2013, 01:05
Bless you for your efforts.

con-pilot
22nd Nov 2013, 01:14
This whole American friends thing is bullshit!

Shit man, the Americans en masse are no more our friends than the Russians or the Chinks...

**** em...!

Caco

Really. Well if you want the Chinese or the Russians to bail you out in the next war, and there will be one, the best of luck to you.

And while you are at it, why don't up dig up all the thousands of American men and women that died saving your country and send them back home. At least we will treat them with honor and not insult their sacrifice by saying **** em.

And just for your information, there is a small town in Oklahoma that is close to a old World War Two primary flight training base, long closed, where thousand of pilots were taught to fly, many of them British. Sadly as it happened back then, some were killed in training and were buried in that small town.

To this day the local people tend the grave sites and place flowers on the graves of these brave young English lads on their birthdays and on both Veterans Day and Memorial day. They recieve no funding for this, but pay for this by themsleves.

And you say **** em.

Hope you are proud of yourself. I'm very disappointed with you.

Cacophonix
22nd Nov 2013, 01:14
KUM BAH YAH (MY LORD) - YouTube

:p

Caco

Cacophonix
22nd Nov 2013, 01:24
I'm very disappointed with you.

Con, you clearly are a good bloke but I have embraced disappointment and like some bowery bum or a wanderer on some long lost cannery row I will bumble on... tis but the way of these things... :ok:

Steeleye Span - All Around My Hat (Original Promo Video) - YouTube


Caco

BenThere
22nd Nov 2013, 01:28
Caco,

You are essentially a decent person, too. But you have this tendency to lambaste Americans which you should understand doesn't sit well with a lot of us. Could you temper that bit of your anger, please? Maybe try to put yourself in our shoes?

Cacophonix
22nd Nov 2013, 01:31
You are essentially a decent person, too. But you have this tendency to lambaste Americans which you should understand doesn't sit well with a lot of us. Could you temper that bit of your anger, please? Maybe try to put yourself in our shoes?

Fair point!

Maybe I should stop hating you and myself so much...

I don't hate Americans more than anybody else in truth...

Caco

Matari
22nd Nov 2013, 01:38
I don't hate Americans more than anybody else in truth...

Well if that's as close as Caco's gonna get to a compliment, I'll take it!

obgraham
22nd Nov 2013, 04:02
Caco:

Hop to it with the Chinee. But don't complain when you don't like some of the results.

John Hill
22nd Nov 2013, 04:16
We have had Chinese people living in this country since the earliest days of European settlement and our country could not ask for finer citizens.

flarepilot
22nd Nov 2013, 04:32
m mouse

I was born and raised in San Francisco. It has become a pit do to left wing local politics.

if I were you I would look at the nice sights, ignore the bad, do not give anything to an individual.

Drugs, and allowing and almost encouraging homelessness has ruined this city. Relatively warm weather allows for sleeping on the street.

the price of buying an average house in san francisco is too high. crap goes for half a million dollars and property taxes on that is huge.

I've moved and hate going back to see the bad.


mental illness, half way houses, drug addicts and what is most sad of all is the political climate which almost encourages the worst traits of humanity...why? because we have to be free to be you and me...instead of responsibility.

you have to remember that in the 1960's , SAN Francisco was the birthplace of the hippie movement...well all those hippies are old and tired and burned out and happy to bum anything.


another part of the equation is the rich new computer tech people...they happily hand out money and the bums take it and live better than those on minimum wage jobs.


thanks for visiting.


oh, to the guy from south africa who doesn't think Americans are your friends...well that's fine.

I wish we would stop all foreign aid...I don't want to pay for friendship.

John Hill
22nd Nov 2013, 04:40
Oh dear, you dont like foreign aid. How about all those countries that give aid to America take a break from doing that too?

obgraham
22nd Nov 2013, 06:45
Johnny:
We have had Chinese people living in this country since the earliest days of European settlement and our country could not ask for finer citizens. That's not the point. Caco wishes his country would forego any alliances with the US and make new alliances with China and Russia.

I think he might find that arrangement less than satisfactory in a few years' time.

mikedreamer787
22nd Nov 2013, 07:29
This whole American friends thing is bullshit!

Shit man, the Americans en masse are no more our friends than the Russians or the Chinks...

**** em...!

Caco

You gotta stop posting when you're tanked Cac. I've done it
on occasion too I admit, but I do my best to avoid making
real nasty alcoposts whenever I can.

John Hill
22nd Nov 2013, 07:50
obgraham wrote
That's not the point. Caco wishes his country would forego any alliances with the US and make new alliances with China and Russia.

I think he might find that arrangement less than satisfactory in a few years' time.

It is not really in the interest of most countries to make alliances with the US, or with China or Russia. Alliances with big and powerful countries are only binding when it suits them.

racedo
22nd Nov 2013, 09:19
Hmmmmm

I love Americans, general politeness and courtesy seen few places elsewhere apart from France.

From first visits I was deeply suspicious with a "are people really being this friendly" and time and again finding that they are. Offer is made to come and say Hi and you know its genuine.

Rememmber getting a puncture in US late afternoon well away from town I could see on map in a rental, yes, I would have eventually changed it (maybe).

Pickup pulled up with 2 guys and yup Bad Horror Movie idea goes through our heads with Banjos playing.................I kid you not.

1 hour later,wheel changed quickly, we had been kidnapped and taken to a coffeeshop, forced to eat pie and drink coffee. While one of the guys took our wheel for a new tyre and then replaced the wheel back on car.

Thankfully, I was able to report this to a cop who game into coffeeshop, who noted all this down while eating pie, well he never wrote anything as pie was in hand but he would have..........maybe. Our captors had enlisted others to guard us, well drink coffee and chat to us making us welcome but believe they were our captors.

We were held prisoner overnight, well asked where going to and told probably better do it tomorrow especially as we had no motel booked, we find you a place to stay..
We were forced to spend nite in town, in absolutely gorgeous house and invited to a meal which was some get together with music, really late nite ensued.......really didn't enjoy it (much) :).

Next day we had breakfeast at coffee shop and eventually escaped (bid farewell) with thanks to people in the town...................

No money changed hands despite our best efforts to pay but just feel that it was a cunning plan to force us to say nice things about the US.

As Baldrick would say it the cunningnest of cunning plans cause it worked.

US have Best politicians money can buy but just wish they would shop at Nordstrom rather than the Dime store for them.

darkroomsource
22nd Nov 2013, 10:04
I believe the biggest cause of homeless in the US is actually due to tax law changes made in the 80's.
To describe the cause-effect, I'll tell you about my mom, who worked as an accountant for a construction firm in San Diego.
Prior to the tax law changes, the firm she worked for used to do "charity" construction work. This consisted of building a school, low-income housing, or community building. All expenses for the building was considered a tax credit. So if the building cost 1 million, in materials and labor, and the firm wanted to make a profit of 100K, they could charge the school district or local government 140K, pay 40K in taxes, and the rest of the cost would come off of their annual tax bill, so it would be "free" to the agency and the firm.
After the tax changes, they had to pay taxes on the 1M, so in order to make the same 100K net profit, they had to charge the agency the full 1M, plus the 140K (40K taxed), plus, since they had to pay tax on some of that 1M, anywhere from another 200 to 300K. So the school district, or local governement, had to pay 1.5 to 1.6M for the same school that had cost 140K the year before (or the same block of low-income housing).
Within about 5 years we started to see a shortage of schools and low-income housing, because the school district and local agencies and governments didn't get a 10-fold increase in budgets for buildings.
Net result, fewer schools, over-crowding, etc. fewer low-income houses, more people living on the streets.

So many people miss this very important fact:
When you put a sales or VAT tax on a product, you tax the person who buys the product. At the end of the year, the poor person has nothing in savings, the average bloke as some, but not much, and the super-rich have saved a bundle. The poor person has spent all of his money, and therefore paid sales tax or VAT on it, the average person, ditto, but the rich fella has only paid sales tax or VAT on a much smaller portion of their income.
Hence sales tax and VAT are in effect a tax on lower incomes.
But here's what people miss.
When a corporation is taxed, it doesn't reduce it's net. It raises the price of the things it sells. And again, the people who spend the majority of their income, rather than save it or invest it, are the poor, whereas the rich spend a smaller percentage of their income.
So, when a corporation is taxed, that money comes from the poor and the average, not the corporation or the rich.

When the world wakes up to the fact that taxing corporations is a tax on the poor, maybe we'll figure out how to feed and clothe and shelter the poor and destitute in a way that doesn't ruin all of our economies.

SASless
22nd Nov 2013, 13:58
Any money that is siphoned off by government from the Private Sector is money that could have been used to create something , provide commercial services, or provide Capital Funds and Investments.

Private Sector use of that money employs people, creates jobs, builds things, makes products, and provides services. Profits are made, interest and dividends are paid, and people prosper.

The Money taken by Government for essential government services and the construction of necessary infrastructure improves the ability of the Private Sector to do what it does.

The Money that Government takes from the Private Sector and wastes, spends on un-needed services and programs is simply wasted. Worse yet, as government grows due to these improper expenditures....the costs and burdens on the Private Sector increase and make its activities less profitable.

I am for doing away with all VAT (Sales Taxes), doing away with Property Taxes, and going to a fixed income tax.

My income tax would apply to every single penny of income one earns....no matter the source or manner obtained.

Wages, Salaries, Interest, Dividends, Perks, Company Car, Company House....anything that could be construed as being "income" would be taxed at a single fixed rate. Warren Buffett, Donald Trump, Obama, the Koch Brothers, Oprah Winfrey....right down to the lowest ranking person would pay the same Rate of Tax on every single penny they earn. That would include Unemployment Assistance, Welfare, Aid for Dependent Children, Social Security, Veterans Compensation, every single penny paid to you would be taxed. No waivers, no exemptions, no exclusions, no rebates, no Tax Credits.

Everyone would be paying taxes....everyone would have a vested interest in that rate being as low as possible....and there would be no "free ride". Every payday....your pay would be debited for the Tax and done deal. No filing of an Income Tax Return.....cut the staffing of the IRS.

That would end the 78,000 page Federal Income Tax Law, end the power of Special Interests, and curb the power of Politicians.

Business and Individuals would know what the Tax Liability would be and there would be no need for Tax Accountants and Tax Lawyers as we have today.

Amazing how many people would be freed to actually get out and produce something useful instead of just filling out government forms and documents.

rgbrock1
22nd Nov 2013, 14:25
Caco wrote:

This whole American friends thing is bullshit!

Shit man, the Americans en masse are no more our friends than the Russians or the Chinks...

**** em...!

Caco

You know, Caco, Elmers Glue isn't as bad as the stuff you've been obviously huffing on. Must be Crazy Glue for you, eh? :}

Dushan
22nd Nov 2013, 14:37
Caco wrote:



You know, Caco, Elmers Glue isn't as bad as the stuff you've been obviously huffing on. Must be Crazy Glue for you, eh? :}

Unfortunately no super glue on fingertips.

BenThere
22nd Nov 2013, 16:12
You've got a lot of nerve, to say you are my friend.

Oops, wrong thread.

Edit to add:

racedo,

That's a very gracious and heartwarming story. America at its best.

I've been on the receiving end of it a time or two, and have extended the helping hand as well. Human kindness, most of all, is what makes life good.