Pick any colloquialism that suits; the bloom is off the rose, Elvis has left the building, that dog no longer hunts, no lead left in the pencil, the halcyon days of American dominance is becoming, figuratively speaking, nothing but a memory. Yeah, we can still kick anyone’s ass in a stand up fight, for whatever that is worth. And yes, the world still looks to us to clean up their messes or lend weight to a moral argument in chastising the latest super bully, but in the last few decades the rest of the world has found their sea legs and has adopted their own views of national exceptionalism. I, for one, welcome any autonomy they find under their pillow and applaud their pursuit of self-reliance. Doing their own heavy lifting frees us up to focus on what is best for us. Looking inward, supporting yourself in all things, trade, defense, national character, border security, each nation should fend for itself and join in alliances only when beneficial to that country in the pursuit of its own interests.

Americans can no longer take for granted that we dominate in all things. Although we still do some things pretty well; unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit, creating wealth, having the best universities, science/technology/engineering/medical innovation, entertainment, social networking, porn, possessing guns, beer (sorry Germany, but we have more kinds of beer and more breweries than anywhere) diversity,  but other cherished accomplishments, those things previously viewed as American as apple pie, have fallen by the roadside.

First, the good news; in creating/saving wealth we still dominate.

Average household wealth varies widely across OECD countries, ranging from a low of $4,429 in Turkey to a high of $176,076 in the United States. Across the entire OECD, the average household wealth was $90,570.

This stat is eroded a bit by the fact that most Americans are still ruled by instant gratification and easy credit; hence their savings rate is pretty bad.

$176,000 isn’t even close to what most people will need once they stop working.

Now, the bad news; our economic ranking among other nations keeps dropping 

Economic freedom has increased around the world during the last 30 years, capitalism has proven to be a smashing success. Here is how economic freedom is actually measured;

The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and security of private property. Economic freedom is measured in five different areas: (1) size of government, (2) legal structure and security of property rights, (3) access to sound money, (4) freedom to trade internationally, and (5) regulation of credit, labour, and business.

The analysis shows that living in an economically free country plays a greater role in one’s life satisfaction than does income, age, employment or even a country’s political system.

Economic freedom promotes educational achievement, which segues to the next area of diminished American gains, the fruits of our public education system;

The last chart is the 2018 World Happiness Index. happiness – or well-being – is subjective and notoriously difficult to quantify. General health, satisfaction with how the government works and whether it odious or harmonious to citizens living out their lives as they choose, societal norms that conform to their views, quality of life, all these are thrown into the blender;

It is interesting that many nations rank high on all these “efficiency” charts. Their attitudes on free trade, civil liberties, property rights, freedom of the press, less intrusive government using fewer regulations and lower taxes to allow its citizen greater wealth prosperity, promotes the individual and his own pursuit of excellence.

 

The Nordic nations score high on the happiness index, I guess people do like to be taken care of. The U.S. has increasing fallen year after year on the happiness index, I guess money can’t buy happiness after all. Lack of confidence/control in our government is a reason, ever-increasing obesity, substance abuse, depression; all these erode contentment and promote stress.

 

I suspect that in both education and happiness, we will continue our downward slide. But there is no excuse for us to suck as economic freedom. Rule of law, limited government, regulatory efficiency and open markets, there are the very pillars on which our nation was built. We can and must do better in this regard.

21 comments

  1. I don’t think we should be pessimistic. If you dig into the American profile from Heritage’s Economic Freedom study, it says this:

    While the U.S.’s economic freedom ranking has dropped due to comparatively better improvements in other countries, the increase in its overall score would seem to indicate that the decade-long decline in America’s economic freedom may have been arrested. There are signs of renewed labor market dynamism and increased growth, and major regulatory and tax reforms are spurring business confidence and investment.

    https://www.heritage.org/index/country/unitedstates

    Our national score will probably improve next year when the corporate tax rate reduction is taken into account (this survey only covered 2017, pre-tax cut) and we get the full impact of Trump’s elimination of Obama-era regulations.

    I don’t know how those will be offset by the negative impact of reduced foreign investment due to the trade war though.

  2. While writing the post I purposely avoided the politics of the index. I suspected that the Trump tax cuts, a better economy and a less onerous business environment (reduced regulations) would up our score. Of the 4 indicators, rule of law/government size/regulatory efficiency/open markets, 3 of the 4 should vastly improve. Tariffs and trade conflicts is the big wild card but the deals are still being worked out.

  3. While writing the post I purposely avoided the politics of the index

    Yeah, I don’t mean to politicize it either. Heritage did mention it though, but it’s hardly a surprise that they prefer Trump’s policies to Obama’s.

  4. I mentioned our great scientists and medical innovations in the post, then this drops into my lap;

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/33210/saved-socialism-us-saves-baby-oliver-after-uk-amanda-prestigiacomo

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=318&v=UNH7GTaUPQA

    Imagine if the world didn’t have the U.S. to run to because the U.S. went socialist. America, the greatest social experiment ever created. Reagan nailed it;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khi08rq3oI4

  5. My 2c worth….
    I think it makes sense that people are most happy in places where:
    (a) there is a decent public health system, so you don’t need to fear the consequences of the inevitable health issues we all must face, and certainly don’t need to face the risk of working hard to establish a nice life and retirement for yourself but then having all that wiped out through sheer bad luck,
    (b) there is a quality public education system, from birth (having a public system doesn’t inherently mean that it’s a quality system, but knowing you don’t need to be wealthy for your kids to get a good start in life),
    (c) there is ample opportunity to better yourself, whatever that might mean (it will mean different things to different individuals, but I certainly include the ability and opportunity to makes lots of money if that’s really important to you),
    (d) there is stability (no war, you can rely on things), and
    (d) other people are generally happy ( a non-vicious cycle).

    So in that sense, the rankings in your tables make sense.

    Money doesn’t equate directly to happiness. It can obviously alleviate suffering, but beyond a certain point (and I would guess much lower than people imagine) having more money doesn’t make you any more likely to be happy. It can certainly give you more choices, and then you can choose to do things that MIGHT make you more happy. But most of the things that make people happiest aren’t related to money (other than, ironically, giving it away).

  6. https://www.dailywire.com/news/33210/saved-socialism-us-saves-baby-oliver-after-uk-amanda-prestigiacomo

    So the NHS ultimately paid for it? Then how does ‘Saved From Socialism’ work in this case, if socialism ultimately funded it? Didn’t socialism ultimately save them from having to spend $170K of their own money?

    …not only would the NHS pay for the surgery, they would also send two cardiologists and a cardiac surgeon to learn from the doctors at Boston Children’s.

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/british-babys-rare-tumor-confounds-nhs-cured-in-us

    Sounds like a great result for everyone.

    Out of interest, what would parents in the US have to pay for that to happen? What if they couldn’t afford it?

  7. , and certainly don’t need to face the risk of working hard to establish a nice life and retirement for yourself but then having all that wiped out through sheer bad luck,

    Are you talking about putting all your retirement money in the stock market then the day that you retire have a market crash to the point of losing everything? First off, that has never happened. Even in the great crash of 1929, stocks did not go down to zero. And who would be dumb enough to do that anyway? Are you advocating government regulating retirement based investment vehicles? Although not designed for such, most Americans view social security as their primary source of retirement revenue. And those that do fund 401k’s , 403b’s, SEP’s or IRA’s prudence dictates a higher percentage of bonds to stocks the closer one gets to retirement.

    there is a quality public education system, from birth (having a public system doesn’t inherently mean that it’s a quality system, but knowing you don’t need to be wealthy for your kids to get a good start in life),

    I think you are talking about pre K. Googling ,”Does pre K work”, I found that for every study that said it is a good thing, another existed that said the opposite. Like most things, the politics skew any real fact findings; the left wants it because their taskmasters (The teachers unions) want it to increase their influence and power, the right do not because they think time spent with mom is more valuable. If families want it then yes, it should be available to them.

    (c) there is ample opportunity to better yourself, whatever that might mean (it will mean different things to different individuals, but I certainly include the ability and opportunity to makes lots of money if that’s really important to you),

    Fleshing this out a bit further, to me it means that you should be able to go as far as your brains and industry takes you, nothing is barred from you. You choose what avocation you want, who you want to marry, where you want to live.

    But most of the things that make people happiest aren’t related to money (other than, ironically, giving it away).

    Yep.

    So the NHS ultimately paid for it? Then how does ‘Saved From Socialism’ work in this case, if socialism ultimately funded it?

    I assume you read the article, it said that the NHS not only refused treatment but objected/forbade the parents from seeking medical help outside the UK. The UK doctors were unable to treat, did not have the technical know how and could only offer a heart transplant which in socialized medicine countries requires years long wait. A hospital in Boston hears about this and contacts the parents saying they do have the medical know how, having a 100% success rate and can save the baby. The NHS hears about the Boston lifeline and declines to pay for anything, the procedure, the transportation to Boston, everything. The parents take their case public, they start a fund raiser page and raised the money needed, the NHS got shamed into action;

    After funding nearly $170,000 on their own and garnering international attention, the NHS’s hand was forced. The government finally announced that they would allow and fund the necessary surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital.

    Professor Dominic Wilkinson at the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics said that the pressure was on the NHS to comply due to the recent case of U.K.-based baby Charlie Guard, who was denied medical treatment by the NHS despite other nations offering treatment. “I think the intense attention from the Charlie Gard case is likely to make those decision makers more conscious that they are under greater scrutiny and therefore that they have to be particularly careful in making a fair decision,” he told The Telegraph.

    Out of interest, what would parents in the US have to pay for that to happen? What if they couldn’t afford it?

    I guess it would depend on what type of insurance they had, but you are missing the point. An American citizen can find treatment, any treatment right here, without having their own government tell them there is nothing that can be done, they certainly would not have to get a gofundme page to solicit funds to go to another country for treatment. Yes, I know that you are satisfied with the socialized medicine where you live, I’m glad it has worked out for you but there is a reason Canadians come to America for better care;
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/canadians-come-to-america-for-better-care-1514410218

  8. Are you talking about putting all your retirement money in the stock market then the day that you retire have a market crash to the point of losing everything?

    No, any variation on a healthcare issue financially ruining you. Not having to worry about that, in my view, provides for greater happiness overall.

    I found that for every study that said it is a good thing, another existed that said the opposite.

    I am convinced by what I have studied (and it’s a fair amount) that what happens before the age of 3 can fundamentally affect a persons life. Always keen to have a look at some good evidence which says the opposite though.

    the politics skew any real fact findings; the left wants it because their taskmasters (The teachers unions) want it to increase their influence and power, the right do not because they think time spent with mom is more valuable.

    I’m talking peer-reviewed professional research, not propaganda garbage (by anyone, not just CORRUPT LIBERALS). And no I’m not talking about shoving a 1 year old into a shitty daycare because the parent can’t wait to get back to work. See my comment about quality.
    Tempted to get into your whole inevitable boring paint-by-numbers libs-are-tards “left do it because this arseholes, whereas the right do what’s right for the child” thing but I can’t be bothered.

    Fleshing this out a bit further, to me it means that you should be able to go as far as your brains and industry takes you, nothing is barred from you. You choose what avocation you want, who you want to marry, where you want to live.

    Yes. And also you’re in charge of your body and what you do with it, so long as it doesn’t affect any other person.

    I assume you read the article

    Yes, and then I looked it up elsewhere (somewhere not uber-partisan).

    it said that the NHS not only refused treatment but objected/forbade the parents from seeking medical help outside the UK

    Maybe I missed that part – where does it say that? That sounds very strange.

    The UK doctors were unable to treat, did not have the technical know how and could only offer a heart transplant which in socialized medicine countries requires years long wait

    It’s an extremely rare situation. – reported only 200 times across the world. Your piece links to the Mirror piece, which confirms that the UK has “some of the world’s top heart surgeons”. But with something that rare, it’s not a surprise that they didn’t have the specific expertise in this case.
    I’m not aware of long waits for heart transplants in NZ because of funding or lack of expertise – it mostly relies on finding a compatible match.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11951182
    That’s not to say we haven’t got issues in our health system, particularly after 9 years of a centre-right govt running things down.
    Of course in the UK there are also big issues over how the Conservatives have been starving the NHS of funding for years. The theory is they do it so that it fails, so they can then kill it off completely because nobody has faith in it any longer.

    A hospital in Boston hears about this and contacts the parents …..

    Hmmm. The Boston hospital says the parents researched it and reached out to the hospital:

    That’s when Oliver’s parents found the story of Francesca, a little girl in the U.S. whose large heart tumor had been successfully removed by doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital. The Camerons immediately reached out to the team…

    http://www.childrenshospital.org/centers-and-services/programs/a-_-e/cardiac-tumor-program/see-who-inspires-us

    The NHS hears about the Boston lifeline and declines to pay for anything, the procedure, the transportation to Boston, everything. The parents take their case public, they start a fund raiser page and raised the money needed, the NHS got shamed into action;

    Your dailywire piece says they only raised $170K of the $260K required.
    The ‘shaming’ claim appears to be an assumption. Ultimately though, it shows that the system isn’t rigid, like opponents make out. I assume they went through some sort of appeals process. Not sure, will see if I can find anything.

    Professor Dominic Wilkinson, from the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics, said health chiefs would have been aware of the greater public focus as a result of Charlie Gard, but that this was unlikely to have influenced their decision.

    “The fundamental questions are is this treatment suitable, is there evidence that it is benefiting other patients with the some condition,” he said.

    “They will also have to consider the cost of the treatment relative to the benefit in the context of a public health system.”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/09/nhs-pay-babys-us-heart-surgery/

    I guess it would depend on what type of insurance they had, but you are missing the point.

    I don’t think I am. I would imagine part of what makes a nation’s citizens happy is not having to rely on private insurance when a health care issue arises. Yes you can always find some rare example to suit your argument (although in this case it doesn’t really) but I’m talking about the 99% of cases.

    An American citizen can find treatment, any treatment right here, without having their own government tell them there is nothing that can be done

    (1) You’ve hand-picked an example which involves an extremely rare medical situation
    (2) Finding treatment isn’t the same as being able to access/pay for that treatment
    (3) The UK Govt didn’t tell them “there’s nothing that can be done”. A heart transplant, while not remotely as good of course, was the course of action chosen. Ultimately the system paid for it, and more (it paid for specialists to go and learn)

    they certainly would not have to get a gofundme page to solicit funds to go to another country for treatment

    Then how do they pay if they don’t have the right insurance (one that covers an extremely rare situation which presumably costs a lot to fix)?

    Yes, I know that you are satisfied with the socialized medicine where you live

    And the healthcare I received (and my wife received) under the NHS for over 4 years.

    Anyway, that’s my opinion – I think being able to access healthcare without the prospect of not being able to afford it is likely to be a factor in a nation’s citizens level of general happiness. You can certainly disagree. With two kids I know it certainly is a weight off my mind not having to worry about it at all.

  9. but there is a reason Canadians come to America for better care;

    Can you expand on that (your link is behind a paywall)?
    I’ve read the stats that show Canadians accessing U.S. health care can be misleading because they include snow birds vacationing in the south and that it would be quote rare for a sick individual in Canada to be reviewing U.S. health care as a viable option for treatment. And that 99% of Canadians could not afford significant medical care not covered by government insurance, so going to the U.S. is not an option.
    I remember Trump made a claim about this too, and it wan’t supported by people who looked into it.
    E.g. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/10/11/trumps-claim-about-canadians-traveling-to-the-united-states-for-medical-care/?utm_term=.11dbac7090f2
    E.g.

    Even if Canadians wanted to escape their system, most probably could not afford US medical care. “Prices for U.S. health care services are extraordinarily high, compared with those in all other countries, and this financial barrier is magnified by the extraordinary strength of the U.S. dollar. Private insurance for elective services, being subject to very strong adverse selection, is, not surprisingly, nonexistent.”

    As the lead author on the paper, University of Michigan’s Steven Katz, told Vox, “A hip replacement [in the US] would cost nearly $100,000 out of pocket plus travel and living expenses.” Waiting get one for free in Canada is easy compared to that, he added. “Canadians are happier with their system than we are and life expectancy and other health indicators are higher.”

    https://www.vox.com/2016/10/9/13222798/canadians-seeking-medical-care-us-trump-debate

  10. No, any variation on a healthcare issue financially ruining you. Not having to worry about that, in my view, provides for greater happiness overall.

    Oh, OK. I don’t think that happens as often as those socialized medicine pushers think or would like. People have insurance and for those that don’t, the emergency room treats them anyway. Something catastrophic, they still get treated and worse come to worse they declare bankruptcy, but it still beats having your government say ,”Too bad, so sad, but you are on your own”.

    I am convinced by what I have studied (and it’s a fair amount) that what happens before the age of 3 can fundamentally affect a persons life. Always keen to have a look at some good evidence which says the opposite though.

    Not what I said at all, you are doing it yet again. I was talking about pre K, which here starts at age 4. I doubt there is a study anywhere that says ,”what happens before age 3 is absolutely irrelevant and meaningless, and can NOT fundamentally affect a person’s life”.

    whereas the right do what’s right for the child” thing but I can’t be bothered.

    Good, that’s a relief, because what I said was “What’s right for the child” has not been determined by the studies available when I googled “Does Pre K work”.

    Yes. And also you’re in charge of your body and what you do with it, so long as it doesn’t affect any other person.

    Nice try.

    Of course in the UK there are also big issues over how the Conservatives have been starving the NHS of funding for years. The theory is they do it so that it fails, so they can then kill it off completely because nobody has faith in it any longer.

    Weren’t you just bitching about boring paint by numbers inevitable partisan swipes?

    Hmmm. The Boston hospital says the parents researched it and reached out to the hospital:

    Jesus, who cares about who called who, they hooked up due to the fact that the boy could not be treated in the UK.

    Ultimately though, it shows that the system isn’t rigid, like opponents make out.

    Ultimately though, it shows that even a rigid system like the NHS can bow to public sentiment to override it’s initial position.

    Your dailywire piece says they only raised $170K of the $260K required.

    So far. You don’t think that if the NHS didn’t cave, that the $260K goal would not have been reached?

    I would imagine part of what makes a nation’s citizens happy is not having to rely on private insurance when a health care issue arises.

    And I imagine part of what makes a nation’s citizens happy is having control and a say in how their medical conditions are handled, not being told that their nations doctors are unable to treat or that they have a year (or more) wait to get treated. Having personal control in their health affairs makes people happy.

    Yes you can always find some rare example to suit your argument (although in this case it doesn’t really) but I’m talking about the 99% of cases.

    The only argument I made was that in this case the parents had to leave the UK and come to Boston in order to have their child’s life saved.

    Ultimately the system paid for it, and more (it paid for specialists to go and learn)

    Yea for socialized medicine in the UK, they ultimately paid and ultimately learned, kicking and screaming in the process.

    Then how do they pay if they don’t have the right insurance (one that covers an extremely rare situation which presumably costs a lot to fix)?

    The horse before the cart, at least here they get treated. As for paying, as I said, insurance covers most of it if we are to use your 99% of the time parameter. For those rare diseases private charities chip in, gofundme pages, we even have several private hospitals that charge nothing at all, funded entirely by donations.And, as mentioned before, if bankruptcy is the only thing that’s left, it least they get treated in the process and not told to go to another country.

    I think being able to access healthcare without the prospect of not being able to afford it is likely to be a factor in a nation’s citizens level of general happiness. You can certainly disagree.

    Now why would I disagree with that?

  11. Can you expand on that (your link is behind a paywall)?

    I’ve linked to WSJ articles before, were those also behind paywalls?

    Here is the article;

    In response to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s letter praising Canada’s single-payer health-care system (“No Canadian Need Worry About Health Care,” Dec. 20): If it is such a great system then why are doctors’ offices and hospitals here in the Phoenix, Ariz. area crowded with Canadians during snow-bird season?

    My daughter has worked in the medical industry in doctors’ offices in the Sun City area for 20 years. The crowds start forming at the beginning of November when vehicles with license plates from “Beautiful British Columbia” and Alberta begin to clog the streets. The Canadians don’t wait—they come to Arizona for six months every winter and get their medical care here, where the wait time is shorter. They pay cash for their treatments, then submit the receipts to the Canadian government for partial reimbursement.

    Canadians Come to America for Better Care
    PHOTO: ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES
    When my 17-year-old grandson suffered a severe knee injury last January, the orthopedic surgeon was booked through March with Canadians getting knee and hip replacements. “The Canadians are here, you know,” the doctor’s scheduler told my daughter.

    My best friend’s son-in-law (a Canadian) was 64 when he was diagnosed in the U.S. with prostate cancer. He, his wife and my friend moved to Canada where he could get wonderful Canadian treatment. However, he was judged to be “not a candidate for treatment.” They suspect it was his age but don’t know for sure. He did five years of natural treatments (vitamin-C IVs, etc.) and then was diagnosed with bone cancer. He was suddenly eligible for treatment when diagnosed with bone cancer, but lived only a month after the first round of chemotherapy.

    An 80-year-old Canadian friend of mine, who was diagnosed with macular degeneration, was denied shots which would help her eyes by slowing the progression of the disease. She had a friend drive her to Chicago from Toronto each month to get the treatments in the U.S., for which she paid cash. Finally the doctor in Chicago found a private physician in Toronto who would administer the shots for cash so she wouldn’t have to travel to the U.S.

  12. Oh, OK. I don’t think that happens as often as those socialized medicine pushers think or would like.

    Maybe not. Certainly there seemed to be a large number of examples popping up in the US when the Obamacare debate was raging. But yeah I don’t have the stats.

    People have insurance and for those that don’t, the emergency room treats them anyway. Something catastrophic, they still get treated and worse come to worse they declare bankruptcy, but it still beats having your government say ,”Too bad, so sad, but you are on your own”.

    Again that was one specific example, not even remotely the norm. And they weren’t “on their own”. Why keep repeating things that aren’t true?
    And lots of people in the US didn’t/don’t have insurance.

    Not what I said at all, you are doing it yet again.

    Doing what again? Huh? If you’re talking about something different then clearly what I said doesn’t apply. Calm down.

    Weren’t you just bitching about boring paint by numbers inevitable partisan swipes?

    Nice try but my observation about what is happening in the UK was specific. Not even remotely one of your usual ” boring paint by numbers inevitable partisan swipes”.

    Jesus, who cares about who called who, they hooked up due to the fact that the boy could not be treated in the UK.

    Minor for sure, but it’s just another example of how your simplistic narrative doesn’t stack up under closer examination. For some reason you feel the need to change little details. Is the central argument not strong enough?

    Ultimately though, it shows that even a rigid system like the NHS can bow to public sentiment to override it’s initial position.

    Again, that appears to just be speculation. It was explained why they changed their mind (I quoted that part, you left it out).
    But I understand that you need to rely on speculation.

    So far. You don’t think that if the NHS didn’t cave, that the $260K goal would not have been reached?

    No idea, but the point is that they hadn’t raised it. Again, a small point, but why the need to repeatedly need to cut obvious corners in order paint a simplistic narrative?

    And I imagine part of what makes a nation’s citizens happy is having control and a say in how their medical conditions are handled, not being told that their nations doctors are unable to treat or that they have a year (or more) wait to get treated. Having personal control in their health affairs makes people happy.

    Except that this overall summary is based an extremely rare condition – reported only 200 times across the world. But then it doesn’t really appear that you read the articles or my posts.

    Having personal control in their health affairs makes people happy.

    You mean the profit-driven insurance company having control. I’m sure you know full well that US claims aren’t accepted for a variety of reasons.

    The only argument I made was that in this case the parents had to leave the UK and come to Boston in order to have their child’s life saved.

    Again you’re using an extremely rare case to try and suggest this is the norm. It isn’t. Which is why it was newsworthy. And ultimately the parents weren’t on the hook because their insurance didn’t cover it.

    Yea for socialized medicine in the UK, they ultimately paid and ultimately learned, kicking and screaming in the process.

    Again, you’re speculating.
    But even if that were true – insurance companies don’t sometimes (and probably more often than the NHS) kick and scream before ultimately relenting (or refusing)?

    The horse before the cart, at least here they get treated.

    Yet again, it was an extremely rare case. I have no idea why you’re being so blatantly disingenuous.

    As for paying, as I said, insurance covers most of it if we are to use your 99% of the time parameter.

    99% of Americans have insurance? I thought something like 44 million were uninsured?

    For those rare diseases private charities chip in, gofundme pages, we even have several private hospitals that charge nothing at all, funded entirely by donations.And, as mentioned before, if bankruptcy is the only thing that’s left,

    Earlier you said: “they certainly would not have to get a gofundme page to solicit funds”. Now you’re saying they would?

    it least they get treated in the process and not told to go to another country.

    Again, that was an extremely rare case, not the norm. If your argument relies on extremely rare cases then your argument is shit.

    Now why would I disagree with that?

    Because you have a different definition of what ‘access healthcare’ means. Bankruptcy is apparently no big deal. I imagine it doesn’t correlation with happiness though.

  13. 1 in 4 Americans refuse medical care because they can’t afford it

    https://nypost.com/2017/06/07/1-in-4-americans-refuse-medical-care-because-they-cant-afford-it/

    Just because a person is insured, it doesn’t mean he or she can actually afford their doctor, hospital, pharmaceutical, and other medical bills.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/06/medical-bills/530679/

    IMHO that sort of stat isn’t consistent with ‘happiness’, which is why I included healthcare as one of the aspects of a country I would expect to be important.

  14. I’ve linked to WSJ articles before, were those also behind paywalls?

    Yes, and I’ve mentioned it before.

    The Canadian ‘snow birds’ example appears to involve very rich people who can somehow afford to spend 6 months heading south for warmer climate over winter. They’re likely to be older, and given it’s for 50% of the year, it makes sense that they’d need to use healthcare.

    The polls in your opening post are presumably cross-sections of each country. You could always cherry-pick and find certain segments that prefer American healthcare (because they can personally afford it). But that’s not actually telling you much.

  15. And they weren’t “on their own”. Why keep repeating things that aren’t true?

    Because they were .on their own”, regardless of whether you want to admit it. Their son had a condition the UK doctors could not treat, did know how and were not willing to pay for. Once parents found a hospital, out of country, that could treat they were told the NHS would not help them ,not help with the costs of the procedure or the costs of getting them there. Sure sounds like on their own to me.

    Calm down.

    I am calm, try arguing honestly for a change.

    Nice try but my observation about what is happening in the UK was specific.

    As was mine about the politics of pre K.

    Minor for sure, but it’s just another example of how your simplistic narrative doesn’t stack up under closer examination. For some reason you feel the need to change little details. Is the central argument not strong enough?

    Oh, please. See this is why you aren’t worth arguing with in the first place, you pull this kind of shit on a regular basis. My link did not go into the specifics of who first contacted who because it really didn’t matter, contact was made because the UK could not would not treat properly. Either they contacted the hospital first or the hospital contacted them, it really didn’t matter and had nothing to due with the underlining preface, but there you go, like you always do, making a mountain out of a mole hill, so predicable pathetic.

    It was explained why they changed their mind (I quoted that part, you left it out).
    But I understand that you need to rely on speculation.

    What you quoted was them trying to cover their butt in the face of horrible press but I understand that you need to make excuses for them.

    No idea, but the point is that they hadn’t raised it.

    A very weak desperate point since their fund raising was not finished.

    Except that this overall summary is based an extremely rare condition – reported only 200 times across the world

    I was basing my ” overall summary” on people’s happiness with their medical care as a whole, not on this specific case, as anyone else but you would have understood.

    You mean the profit-driven insurance company having control.

    I mean being able to choose the doctor I want, treated properly and not given a half ass substitute and being treated in a timely manner.

    Yet again, it was an extremely rare case. I have no idea why you’re being so blatantly disingenuous.

    And I don’t know why you are being so blatantly obtuse. My point here was very simple; the first hurdle is whether I can adequately be treated. If so, then the costs comes second.

    99% of Americans have insurance?

    No, yet again you are being blatantly dishonest. Here is what you wrote;

    I don’t think I am. I would imagine part of what makes a nation’s citizens happy is not having to rely on private insurance when a health care issue arises. Yes you can always find some rare example to suit your argument (although in this case it doesn’t really) but I’m talking about the 99% of cases.

    That was the 99% figure I was referring to, but you knew that anyway and could not help yourself from being dishonest.

    Earlier you said: “they certainly would not have to get a gofundme page to solicit funds”. Now you’re saying they would?

    Yet more dishonesty on your part, it just keeps coming. Baby Oliver’s parents were left on their own, their only hope was raising money to pay for an operation out of country. Here, folks can get treated properly without having to go out of country. Here, they have insurance to pay for treatment. Here, if insurance is not sufficient they have other avenues like private charities, charity hospitals, and yes, go fundme pages if they choose but it is not their only hope like what the UK parents faced. But again, as I keep saying over and over, you already knew this.

  16. As was mine about the politics of pre K.

    None of this changes what I said about school and pre-school education. Having access to affordable and quality pre-school education, and free school education would be what I would envisage makes a population ‘happier’.

    What you quoted was them trying to cover their butt in the face of horrible press but I understand that you need to make excuses for them.

    I’m happier to stick with the evidence. However I can’t find any which explains why the NHS initially said no, and what the process was for them to ultimately say yes. It MAY have been public pressure.

    I was basing my ” overall summary” on people’s happiness with their medical care as a whole, not on this specific case, as anyone else but you would have understood.

    Strange that you’d single out this rare example then, as being relevant to an overall summary.

    I mean being able to choose the doctor I want, treated properly and not given a half ass substitute and being treated in a timely manner.

    I agree, they are important. That happens here, under our public system. I can choose which doctor at the Medical Clinic I go to, or go somewhere else to another doctor.

    My point here was very simple; the first hurdle is whether I can adequately be treated. If so, then the costs comes second.

    See my examples of people not having treatment because they know they wouldn’t be able to afford it. As opposed to a person in a public system also being treated adequately but paying through their lifetime via taxes. It makes sense to me that people in some sort of public system are going to be ‘happier’ (one of many aspects to consider though, as I initially noted). It’s not even when you need treatment, it’s the worry about it (especially you get made redundant etc).

    That was the 99% figure I was referring to, but you knew that anyway and could not help yourself from being dishonest.

    Sorry, no dishonesty from me. Perhaps we’re at cross purposes on this one? I’m not talking about 99% of possible health issues for someone with insurance.
    If we’re talking 99% of cases (i.e. not the weird ass rare shit), then a certain number of people in a private-insurance system (who are not insured for whatever reason) are going to face huge bills, or choose not to get treated. In a public-health system, none will face bills, but will get treated. If they’re all polled about ‘happiness’, again, I expect those in a public-health system are going to have a higher ‘happiness’ level.

    Here, if insurance is not sufficient they have other avenues like private charities, charity hospitals, and yes, go fundme pages if they choose but it is not their only hope like what the UK parents faced. But again, as I keep saying over and over, you already knew this.

    Ah ok, I thought your emphasis was on not having to raise funds through gofundme, but re-reading it I see you’re putting it on going to another country for some reason:

    An American citizen can find treatment, any treatment right here, without having their own government tell them there is nothing that can be done, they certainly would not have to get a gofundme page to solicit funds to go to another country for treatment.

    See to me, the key point there was the financial issue, not whether the operation is within that country or not. That’s of much lesser importance. So, no dishonesty from me here either.

  17. None of this changes what I said about school and pre-school education. Having access to affordable and quality pre-school education, and free school education would be what I would envisage makes a population ‘happier’.

    But it does highlight your proclivities for picking nits. You say your comment was specific, as was mine, so instead of admitting as much you go back to something I never disagreed with in the first place, weird.

    It MAY have been public pressure.

    Of course it was public pressure, isn’t that obvious to you?

    Look, I understand the initial reluctance to fund this procedure, it is super expensive. The cost could fund 10 other more common operations and money is always a factor. And especially given the bad PR with Baby Oliver and Charlie Gard, they should have seen this train-wreck a mile away. Do something, even if its paying a portion of it or paying to get the family to Boston, anything instead of doing nothing and bowing to public sentiment and paying for all of it. Once the family got to $170K they could have stepped in and said they would fund the difference and would have come out as heroes.

    Strange that you’d single out this rare example then, as being relevant to an overall summary.

    Strange that you couldn’t figure out that I was talking about your healthcare in general comment that make people happy and not this one particular example.

    I agree, they are important. That happens here, under our public system. I can choose which doctor at the Medical Clinic I go to, or go somewhere else to another doctor.

    So you choose what doctor you want? Can you see him anytime you want? If a procedure is scheduled, can you have it in a timely manner? Over here we hear horror stories all the time about folks that actually die waiting for a procedure in socialized medicine countries.

    See my examples of people not having treatment because they know they wouldn’t be able to afford it.

    But if it is life threatening, there are ways to pay for it. And be honest, who in their right mind is going to not get an operation that is life threatening because they can’t afford it? They will get it anyway and worry about paying for it afterwards.

    As opposed to a person in a public system also being treated adequately but paying through their lifetime via taxes.

    I am not against that at all. I would be for socialized medicine as long as I still have control over which doctor I want, when I can see him, and getting all work done in a timely manner.

    If we’re talking 99% of cases

    I wasn’t, so yes, cross purposes.

    See to me, the key point there was the financial issue, not whether the operation is within that country or not. That’s of much lesser importance. So, no dishonesty from me here either.

    It was both cost and competence. They would not pay for it, any of it, and even if they could, they did not have the expertise to perform such an intricate procedure, settling to put the patient on a heart transplant list instead.

  18. I really do get the appeal of the Nordic Countries, a socialized democracy where the public welfare net provides for everyone cradle to grave. It is so much easier, not having to worry about the costs of education, health, or retirement. But I have zero confidence that MY government could pull it off, they can’t. The incompetence, bureaucracy, duplicity, redundancy, the waste is so prolific so pronounced, it is a miracle they can fund any program at all. And if Social Security and Medicare is any example, I don’t want them anywhere near making life altering decisions for me.

  19. Also, congrats on the World Rugby championships. For the rest of you guys, San Francisco hosted the rugby world championships;New Zealand beat England to win the cup. The lady New Zealanders also won. I don’t know jack about rugby, much like cricket, but can recognize excellence. Soccer players are absolute pussies compared to rugby players (If one of them even attempted a flop, his teammates would beat the shit out of him), well done.

  20. But I have zero confidence that MY government could pull it off, they can’t. The incompetence, bureaucracy, duplicity, redundancy, the waste is so prolific so pronounced, it is a miracle they can fund any program at all.

    Fair enough. I am aware that a lot of this has to do with the size of a country/population. It’s an undisputed fact that the US is a home to amazing medical innovation too.

    Also, congrats on the World Rugby championships. For the rest of you guys, San Francisco hosted the rugby world championships;New Zealand beat England to win the cup. The lady New Zealanders also won. I don’t know jack about rugby, much like cricket, but can recognize excellence. Soccer players are absolute pussies compared to rugby players (If one of them even attempted a flop, his teammates would beat the shit out of him), well done.

    Thanks. Those ‘Word Cup’ tournaments (mens and womens) were for Sevens Rugby, a bastard child of actual 15-a-side rugby (or ‘rugby union’ to give it the proper name). Probably the most significant implication of those wins is that we now hold all four World Cup titles (15-a-side and 7-a-side in both mens and womens). Not sure that’s ever been done before. I watched a bit of it and wondered if you were aware it was on. The women were apparently almost as excited that they got to go to a Giants game 😉

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