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I need to know USA.

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  • I know the United States of America is not a third world Country but some of the things I hear on here make it sound like it is. Can someone please explian to me your welfare system?. You do still have one I presume!. Your Country is a Super Power so why all of the hard luck stories?. I am not talking about Transgender rights I am talking about basic living standards.

    You pay your taxes , again I presume so what do you get in return for paying them?. Here in the UK we have had a hard few years and have struggled just like the rest of the world. Some people here choose to live a life of not trying to do anything apart watch TV and breed to claim more benefits. Yes a family of 2 adults and 5 or 6 children can get a good One Thousand GBP per week for sitting on their arses (work that out in US Dollars). I just really would like to know so please tell myself and others how your welfare system works.

    I thank you in advance .

    This post was edited by Former Member at March 26, 2015 11:04 PM GMT
      March 26, 2015 7:22 PM GMT
  • Hello Julia - Unfortunately two things - I am no expert ( but have reasonable understanding, even of the US gibberish ) and two ( and most importantly ) there is no uniform 'welfare' system. The first and single greatest problem the US faces still to this day is the totally decide who ( the federal or state governmental ) is in charge of a given matter, such as here - welfare. A lot of the burden in this matter is passed to the states, hence my answer may be quite different from someone else living in another state ( of confusion, so it seems here ). 
    After this probles comes the overall philosophy of one party for certain ( Republican ) and to a lesser but still significan amount the other party ( Democrat ) there is a strange set of philosophies the former has which are : 1) Do not raise any revenues at all since this impares the social and economic systems, 2) Only shrink government, even if there is no private sector involvement on the lost benefits, 3) Cut taxes to the wealthiest segments of society as this will supposedly provide jobs to all
    With regards to the second comment, this does not mean to shrink all parts of government - only remove those that have social components and are considered some sort of socialism/communism/ et al - such as welfare, public education, medicare, medicaid, and even social security ( which all working people put in to, hence it is their money ). These cuts can go as far as firefighters and police as well along with public parks, public museums, and libraries. 
    Their philosophy extends from what I call the 'pull yourself up by your own bootstraps' mentality. No one needs anyone else and especially the government and he or she can do it on his or her own. 
    The welfare program could be argued to have begun with FDR and his various programs in the 1930s and 40s to help in the depression. Later legislation was lightly about in the 1950s and reached a peak in the 1960s. Virtually all efforts by the democrats but also another critical element, moderate people, even republicans, where there was bipartisanship in those times. 
    Since these times, it has been a continual attack on any and all welfare systems according to the ideals noted above. But why? Simple. As Ronald Reagan had noted  ( I am paraphrasing his talk to others ) : 'how does it make you feel to be on your way home from work and stop at the store and have only enough for a pack of hot dogs, while there is a man ( implied black ) ahead of you in line with a tremendous steak. He does not pay for it with money but with welfare.' - In the 1980s the average person on welfare was called a 'welfare queen - who live on the public dime and do nothing'
    No one of any intelligence here takes time to look at the statistics to find that there are more whites on welfare than blacks. No one of any intelligence here takes time to realize that the damn cost of living is what is spiraling out of control while the access to jobs is decreasing and those that do exist have frozen or lower wages that do not match the out of control cost of living. 
    It was calculated on not one but two different reports that the minimun wage, if it were to match its purchasing power of somewhere between 1965-70 would have to be $20-21 dollars per hour today while presently it is only about $8.
    Few take notice that here in the states many personal rights and liberties are being taken away or reduced, while corporations are granted more rights than the average citizen and even granted personhood in a recent supreme court finding. 
    All of that affects welfare. To illustrate, Walmart has been found ( I do not know the year but it is in the last decade or so ) to actually teach new employees how to get on welfare since they see the government as a supplement to the pay they miserly give to their employees. 
    This means they want it, yet to retain their conservative core, like many billionair right wing conservatives, they want it kept to a minimum and cut heavily on the medical benefits, especially abortion rights ( which is under assault on every level in almost every state ). 
    As to your question on 'basic living standards' - that has no basic definition and is often left to the states. 
    I can even use myself to illustrate. I have a chronic illness, type I diabetes, plus several other problems that affect my life to the degree there are certain jobs, times, et al I cannot do, but there are no legal definitions as such, hence there are no benefits for me based on this. I had to prove I have no income and own no major assets in order to only qualify for basic medical insurance, yet I cannot have money for any other reason, not even food. I need to note my food problems are so bad, I am gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant, and many other issues - where in an average grocery store over 80% of the items there I cannot consume. Yet I can get no help on this. Thankfully I have some support on these things by the way.
    Even in the medical I have to take the insulin they are willing to cover instead of the ones I had been using when I had a job and insurance where they worked very well for me and I could see diabetic specialist doctors, whereas now I cannot. 
    Any questions, comments, and I will add things as I think more on this.
    Clearly it is a joke - our nation does not see the idea as a safety netas FDR did and some in the 1960s with that legislation - we as a whole have handed the keys of power to loud-mouths and fools who do not value the person as the most important asset in this country. Instead the new attitude is the government conservatives have taken the new corporate look at the person and see them as a liability.
    Take Care
      March 26, 2015 11:04 PM GMT
  • Wow! Thank you for that Briana. A diabetic here in the UK gets everything free where health is concerned whether they are rich or poor. That includes all medical needs , dental and eye tests and specs ect. Insulin is of course all provided free of charge. Every medical need is covered including drugs for things that are not diabetes related. Of course it is not free as in a free gift , the taxation and national insurance we pay is paying for it all.


    The main problem we have here right now is it is being abused by NHS tourists. They are people who come here from the EU and have never paid into the system. Others come from outside the EU and as it costs more to try to track them down and even if they are tracked down they still do not pay so they just let it go so the British tax payer foots the bill.


    Our benefits system makes sure no peson goes without but , some on benefits get more than others who work . As I walk into work I pass about 15 people all hanging around the same building . They are always drinking alcohol for breakfast and have the nerve to ask me for money for something to eat. Of course I am not stupid enough to give it to them because if they can find the cash for alcohol then they can for food. They smoke too which is not cheap in this country. Branded cigarettes are about £8.00 a packof 20 they are taxed at over 700%.


    I have to go I just checked the time it is just past 5am.


    Take care and thank you , be back later to add to this.

      March 27, 2015 5:01 AM GMT
  • Hello Julia - no problem - I'll try to add ideas to mine as well as needed. In mentioning my diabetes as a good discussion point. I have had it going on 36 years now. In a stretch of time of 7 years in length in the past I could not get insurance. Mind you I was employed, even as adjunct faculty at a local community college teaching science, but the system here in those times ( the 90s ) had it so insurance companies can refuse your money if you have a pre-existing condition. All of this has changed under the Affordable Care Act ( denounced by right-wingers as Obamacare ) - it is not perfect, but the measure that grants me at least some insurance is the single greatest change in insurance history in this country in over 100 years. 
    Another interesting thing to comment on, here is the states we are bonkers - we think that dental, optical, and medical are separate things, hence I do not have optical or dental at all even with the affordable care act. We treat each system as if they are independent of each other and not part of the same person. Even at the age of 8 I thought this rather odd if not stupid. 
    We have a parallel problem in terms of those who paid in versus those who have not. The right-wingers see them as the illegal immigrants. But instead of offering any reasonable access to becoming citizens it is best to treat them as leeches on the system the right feels. 
    I like you do not feel all are deserving and would not offer help to the smoking drinker on the street. 
    Of all the industrialized nations on Earth, only the US and one other small one has no national health system, even with the Affordable Care Act. Provisions in it once again, as i noted in the opening remarks about states versus federal rights and powers grant the states the ability to control its effects on its state populace, hence there are many states where if I lived there I could not even get the medicaid I am presently receiving. I would be like I was in the 90s with no insurance coverage at all. In sum, an ineffective law really is more show than genuine glow and mostly for the cameras. The complainers only use divisive ideas to stir the crowd and get continually re-elected. 
    Ever strange but true. More to follow. : )
      March 27, 2015 10:52 AM GMT
  • Hello - Further updates - thought the right-wingers love to complain of all the supposed freebies of the immigrants, it must be first noted that they do not have the ability to partake in the Affordable Care Act. They can only receive very minimal things on the side of other 'welfare' services. 
    I return to your second post on the cost of items, where chronic illnesses have free charges and such. I have also heard that there are base costs for some other prescriptions such as for antibiotics and such. I bring that up to illustrate the capitalist game that is ran in America, even with the Affordable Care Act ( and long before it as well ). My parents are both alive and presently ill. They live on social security and with the health care from it have now come to find ever increasing copays and deductables imposed by the Affordable Care Act. Worse, they just recently had to acquire some strong medicine for coughing and congestion. One pharmacy does not carry it, another would charge them ( not insurance mind you ) $298, while another that they settled on charged them $105 for this cough syrup. The prices are asinine, the fact that medicines are not available where one needs them to be is stupid at best, and the entire system is rigged to be nothing more than a money-making scheme for pharmacies and drug companies at best. 
    I would find the same sort of thing when it comes to insulin as I noted in my first post. 
    Still more fun in the good ol' USA.
      March 27, 2015 11:17 AM GMT
  • Hi Briana.

    Here in the UK we pay a standard prescription of £7.85 per item (£8.05 next month). That item could cost just £1 to produce and sell so the NHS makes money from that. The next prescription could cost £5.000 for one item but it still costs the patient £7.85 so the NHS has a loss.

    The high cost of most drugs means that the NHS is running at a loss. We pay National Insurance contributions to help pay towards heath care but that is also to pay for our state pensions ect. We are taxed on virtually everything we buy here after being taxed on income. Up untill the recent drop in oil prices a gallon of what you call gas was getting close to £8.00 , that is very close to 12 U.S Dollars at todays rate for one gallon of gas/petrol. It is taxed at a rate of about 650% .


    Some say we are the envy of the world but added up we are taxed to pay for everything. Just reading through what you have written I think our way is still the best as your way confuses me. Another thing that confuses me is why you are called The United States! Your states do not seem very unitedSmile. I need to read your posts more in depth when I get some spare time but Thank you very much.


    Take care x

    This post was edited by Former Member at March 27, 2015 10:24 PM GMT
      March 27, 2015 9:30 PM GMT