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General Motors, Socialized Medicine and Ireland

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by swank60, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. swank60

    swank60

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    I read an interesting Op-Ed piece the other day (NYT! Look out!) about how Ireland is the second wealthiest nation in the EU (second only to Luxemburg) - Loads of big business head that way, corporate taxes are very low and incentives are given by the gov. etc. At the same time, college is practically free, as is the health/medical sector. Interesting blend, if you think about it: socially progressive but friendly to business. (and businesses love the fact that there's an educated population without ever having to pay health benefits - and the numerous discussions about how GM is ruined because of unions/benefits package popped into my head.)

    here's the op-ed: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/29/o... and Op-Ed/Op-Ed/Columnists/Thomas L Friedman

    I wonder if we can discuss this tactfully? :flipoff2:
     
  2. patride71

    patride71

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    guess i'll head back to the "homeland"...
    :D
     
  3. swank60

    swank60

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    Funny, I emailed the piece to another Irish-American friend of mine with the message "Time to move back?"

    You getting settled into SA, freakshow?
     
  4. Cruisin'Carolina

    Cruisin'Carolina

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    That sounds like a good combination.

    Would be interested in how low taxes for business translates into enough $ to support the healthcare part.

    You, know, what programs do they have that we don't, or more realistically, which ones we have that are keeping us from being able to afford to copy them.

    What is the personal tax like? Lots of variables to consider, I'll let you chat "whores" find out the meat. I've got to go back to the office.

    Report due by 5pm! :flipoff2:
     
  5. swank60

    swank60

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    Good questions - I was also wondering if a smaller scale economy (Ireland has approx 2 million workers) could be sustained in a larger population like the US.

    I can actually report back on a lot of this from a more personal level - two friends are just back in town from Dublin (they live there and are on an extended vacation here in the US). It'll take a while though. Should be seeing them soon.
     
  6. patride71

    patride71

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    i'm still commuting right now from Austin. its a killer getting up at 5am and driving into San Antonio everyday.

    looking at houses tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes.

    should be settled in by end of july.

    until then i'm walking around like zombie...not like that is anything new.
     
  7. tucker74

    tucker74 Moderator

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    You hit the nail on the head - the limiting factor is scale ... you can impliment things with 2M people you can't even get your head around for 200M people. Lot's of smaller countries have systems we'd be envious of (Norway, Sweeden, Ireland) but could never hope to have.

    Tucker
     
  8. swank60

    swank60

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    But can you manage the scale under our current system? The DFW area has a population of about 5.5 Million...couldn't this area be run on a modified Irish plan?

    This is getting my brain moving a little...

    Pat - be careful on that drive, man. You need to find something soon!
     
  9. Gold Finger

    Gold Finger

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    The reason that Ireland is doing so well is that it was once one of the poorest countries in Western Europe and it joined the EEC. The EEC pumped a tremendous amount of money into the country and helped with development and technical know how. Without the EEC Ireland would still be a very undeveloped and poor country it has also lost some of its charm but that is the price of progress.
     
  10. NMuzj100

    NMuzj100

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    This kind of system is probably not sustainable for the long term but it is easy for a country to make great progress when they have been so far behind for so long. For example when China or to a lesser extent Ireland make a investment in telecommunications infrastructure they are getting the latest cutting edge technology at globablization prices. Thats a lot of bang for the buck but the next upgrade will just be an incremental step like all the other developed nations. Its like the leap in quality when you buy your first cruiser after owning jeeps. But the second cruiser you buy isn't that great an improvement. Economists call it leapfrogging. Many places in Africa and Asia will never have wire-based phone systems. They will start wireless and stay wireless because that is the most effective technology.

    If Long Island (or San Fransisco, Seattle ect...) were to form it's own country it would easily be the richest country in the world per capita. It is also easier for a small area to go from wealthy to poor (Detroit ?). It's the diversification factor.

    OK - more opinion than fact. Socialized or communist-type systems can work well at first when the system is new and the people still behave like they did before everything was free. [You have a sniffle and decide whether it is serioous or not before running to the Doc.] After people adjust thier behaivor to the fact that the service is free (to them) there cannot help but be a shortage. [You get a sniffle and run to the Doc and demand the best meds because there is no cost to you.] At first only the really dishonest game the system but then as things progress the number of people gaming increases to the point where everyone thinks its normal and figures they might as well too. At that point rationing has to come in to get people the "right" amount of service but people resist because they are entitled to it. The death spiral has begun and there you are. unfortunately everyone will remember that "Honeymoon period" [Like when Social Security only took 1% of your check and kept widows from starving. Now it takes 16% and lets 80 year old widows go golfing in Key West] where everything was perfect and try to get the "system" back to that point even though it was just a result of the transition between systems.
     
  11. PolterGeist

    PolterGeist

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    I had considered Medical School in Ireland.

    The very things you mentioned were brought up in my school search. The Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland is comparable in every way to it's British and continental european counterparts, and is on par with Harvard, Yale, Hopkins, Michigan and other top-flight public schools, and the school I eventually chose-- University of Wisconsin, Madison.

    We did not make it there, as my wife's own education required her to be here. (Wisconsin is one of the only two universities in the world that teach her field of specialization) We also would have to sell the house, cars and all of that....

    In the future, living in Europe is in our plans, and Ireland is still a good candidate, along with Austria, Finland or Sweden. Her area of specialization means she can get a job anywhere in the world, and I'll be an MD, so probably won't have troubles finding work anywhere. I've also talked about getting a Ph.D and going into teaching as a professor, so we'll see how that goes.

    Great post!

    Steve