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Odds and Ends
3 3, 5:49am
Well that principle doesn't actually come from Marx, even if he's credited with popularizing it.
The principle was expressed in that form by other socialist before Marx, and in other forms well before the term socialism was even invented.
In fact, as Wikipedia notes:
"Some scholars trace the origin of the phrase to the New Testament. In Acts of the Apostles the lifestyle of the community of believers in Jerusalem is described as communal (without individual possession), and uses the phrase "distribution was made unto every man according as he had need"
But then I've often noted that the historical Jesus (which we know to have existed) is basically the worlds first recorded socialist, if you look at his teachings and example.
Regarding the use of GDP for comparisons of wealth between nations, that's a very imprecise tool - which you see if you look at the lists in Wikipedia.
At or in the top you have several very small nations which all have hugely inflated numbers, because they're used for storing huge corporate or personal profits for tax purposes.
Luxembourg, Monaco, Bermuda or the Isle of Man for instance - their numbers are clearly inflated by influx of foreign money for tax purposes. Switzerland obviously have a huge banking sector that inflates it's number, Norway is a big oil exporter unlike any of the other Nordic countries, but that doesn't mean that the average Norwegian is personally more wealthy or productive.
Because that's the second problem with GDP of course - it doesn't actually say anything about the actual average wealth or productivity in a nation. Which you see from other nations listed high like Brunei or Saudi Arabia.
Sure - those countries are huge oil exporters and there are filthy rich people living there - but that doesn't mean that all citizens in those nations enjoy anywhere near the level of wealth or productivity that a per capita number of GDP may make you think.
So using just GDP per capita is actually a pretty clumsy way of comparing nations.
I'm no financial expert, but there are both American and international studies and comparisons done on this, and there are rankings released on all kinds of metrics each year - and the Nordic's will regularly be among the top.
(Which they all are using GDP per capita as well, just not above the US - except for Norway with it's oil then)
This ranking from Trump's Alma mater Wharton School of Business ranks Sweden as 6th overall best country in the world this year, based on rankings in several different categories for instance. The US comes in as number 8th and Denmark and Norway as number 11th and 12th respectively:
But there are several different categories they rate by, and in the category of "Quality of Life", the Nordic nations of Denmark, Sweden and Norway end up in 2nd, 3rd and 4th place respectively, with Finland coming in at 7th place.
The US came in 10 places below that, as 17th in the ranking:
And this is a ranking system put out yearly by Americas most prestigious business school - it's not some communist manifesto.
"Therefore I refute your assertion that free higher education leads to higher wages as the evidence does not support the claim."
Well the "free" part isn't really relevant in that sentence, since how the education is paid for doesn't effect the effect of it.
And that a higher level of education is more likely to lead to a higher average life income is a pretty basic fact, not really disputed by anyone.
If that wasn't true there wouldn't be a need to ever educate yourself - unless you did it purely for your own enjoyment.
What you probably meant is that you don't think it's financially beneficial for a nation, from a strictly national economic standpoint, to afford it's citizens free higher education?
I don't really have the energy to dig anything up on that right now, but I'll state my opinion that I believe it is.
And I'd say the fact that the Nordic's - and so many other countries that follow that example - has done very well, is a strong indication that it is.
It's also something every party from left to right stands by in our nations, so it's not like it's a left-right political issue here.
"On the other side, some expensive treatments are simply not covered at all in Universal Health Care systems of other countries"
I can tell you that in the case of Sweden, the only thing not covered is procedures that are deemed as simply cosmetical. Unless you have an actual reason for cosmetic surgery that is - like burns or a sex change (yes, those are covered to).
"or the wait is so long that you will die waiting for the appointment."
That's very rare - but it has happened in Sweden, unfortunately. The problem there isn't actually the system, because this is not in any way normal, but that the system in recent years have become underfunded.
We had a right-wing government for 8 years that like every right-wing government everywhere cut taxes and that money obviously has to come out of somewhere as tax cuts doesn't pay for themselves.
Unfortunately some people had to pay with their lives for those tax cuts - just like many in the US have unfortunately been forced to pay with theirs through the years, because of the lack of free preventive care.
People with diabetes that for instance won't get the basic check-ups they need, but will be rushed to hospital in the US and treated for free in the ER - if they get acutely ill.
Which is one of the reasons why the US pays more for it's healthcare then any other nation - but get's worse health outcomes for it.
Because you subsidize the most expensive treatment, while not the cheaper preventive care - meaning that some people simply doesn't get any care at all, until they're acutely ill.
So instead of cheaper preventive care, they're rushed to the ER for the most expensive care whenever they get sick enough - which is terrible for their health, and your healthcare costs as well.
Cuba has far superior preventative care compared to the US - and lower infant mortality rate then the US because of it. Which means that fewer Cuban parents have to see their child die in infancy then US parents.
And Cuba has been under a US blockade since the 1960's...
"So if you want timely treatment, you must travel to another country and pay for it yourself."
No you don't. Private healthcare is available as well - it's not like it's banned or anything. Most people just don't use it, since the one we get for free is just as good - even if we may have to wait a bit for it.
Some people still travel abroad and get treatment because they don't want to wait for an operation, and if they get it approved before they get the procedure, it will still be paid by the Swedish healthcare system.
Also all Swedes are obviously covered while abroad. Any emergency medical procedure we need while abroad will be paid by our healthcare system.
"but I also don't trust our government to allocate the money effectively"
Well that's the rub - isn't it? Americans have been indoctrinated by the Republicans to believe that the government can't do anything properly.
Except conduct wars, or put a man on the moon, or enforce the law - you know, things the Republicans support.
But anything they oppose - the government is of course completely useless at doing any of that, and if you ever entrust it with that responsibility it will surely institute death panels and kill grandma.