Monday, June 06, 2011

Downsizing

The Mouse's studio operations continue to shrink.

Walt Disney Studios plans to cut as much as 5% of its worldwide workforce as early as next week, according to people familiar with the matter.

The movie studio would eliminate as many as 250 jobs from its staff of about 5,000 people globally, said the people, who did not want to be identified because they had not been authorized to discuss the matter. Several Disney insiders say the bulk of the cuts will be in Burbank. ...

What this means for Walt Disney Animation Studios, I donno. But probably not that management will do a permanent expansion of the feature crew anytime soon. Lean staffing seems to be the order of the day: Hire when production on a show ramps up; lay off when production (generally in 9 to 13-month increments) comes to an end.

The Visual Effects model works, of course. But I continue to believe that a deeper development slate would trigger a continuity of employment in the production end, and ultimately make a stronger, more cohesive crew. However, it doesn't look as if the studio is going that way.

132 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think there might be a strike. 70 years ago, this happened.

Anonymous said...

LOL! Good one. Strike for WHAT?

Anonymous said...

What about Glen Keane? Is he staying at Disney ?
I am a proud fangirl as well an artist... please understand me.

Anonymous said...

Nope. He's long gone.

Anonymous said...

Glen is still at Disney, and will continue to be.

Staffing at Disney Animation is ramping up, but its a conservative ramp-up, hopefully indicating that these hires are permanent.

Incidentally, the caliber of artist being hired is very high. Tangled's artistic success has caused a heavy stream of top-tier applicants.

Anonymous said...

Tangled had zero to do with that. The bush economic debacle did.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Glen is still at Disney, and will continue to be.

He may nominally still be there, but you know as well as I that whether will continue to be is extremely debatable, leaning toward unlikely.

zoograyson said...

Based off of what I've heard from employees in animation the studio is trying to really create something new instead of a ressurection of the Disney Renaissance. They are looking for quality, not quanity. Most of the new employees coming in are in the Talent Development Program in areas including animation, story, visual effects, and clean-up. However they're taking things a bit slower than in the past. As for the veterans they've pretty much established a group of them who will stay there and work with these trainees. I recently talked to some of them on the phone about what's going on at the studio and they're now doing alot of experiemental animation. Things are moving slow but I've gotten the impression they're not going anywhere and that they stuff they're working on is very challenged/high quality. The projects are pretty early in development so I don't know what the stories exactly are. As for Glen Keane I've heard from many people that the DW talk is just rumors but that he hasn't been around the Hat Building much recently and many of his colleagues haven't as much as spoken to him for months. He's one of very few animators still on a contract, the rest are on staff. Duncan Marjoribanks and mike Srurey have left the studio and also Andreas Deja has taken a leave of absence although most people seem to think he's going to return at least sometime.So in my opinion expect good things to come but expect them to come slowly and don't expect what has happened before.

nope said...

"Tangled" sucked.

Anonymous said...

^ Awww, baby feel better now? Let's change your diapers and get you tucked in before you hurt yourself on Mommie's computer.

Anonymous said...

He may nominally still be there, but you know as well as I that whether will continue to be is extremely debatable, leaning toward unlikely.

I dont think that's necessarily true, and maybe you don't know the latest information (I wont spill it here). Bottom line, the "nope, he's long gone" comment is absolutely false.

As for Glen Keane I've heard from many people that the DW talk is just rumors but that he hasn't been around the Hat Building much recently and many of his colleagues haven't as much as spoken to him for months.

I see Glen at Disney all the time. Maybe the people you talk to just dont happen to see him?

Anonymous said...

"Tangled" sucked.

Got to give this poster points for brevity if nothing else.

Since the target audience for that film is currently sitting in their classrooms at various elementary schools across the globe I can only assume that this post was made by some pale, middle aged, pudgy, wanna-be-artist that is currently drawing nothing but unemployment benefits. Way to go there buddy-boy. Hey, if you want - head over to Aint It Cool News and see if you can't be first to post, "Green Lantern sucked". Wit like yours needs a broader stage then just this blog.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunate to see more layoffs at disney but its been contracting for more than 8 years. Not sure if its headed for a single lean team to produce smaller pictures but financially that may be attractive to where they are.

Anonymous said...

Dont forget, the Walt Disney Studios group consists of much, much more than the animation division (live action features, TV, etc)

Right now, Disney Animation is hiring, not contracting.

Anonymous said...

for what its worth Mr. Deja no longer lists Disney as his employer

http://www.blogger.com/profile/10503659818150293229

Anonymous said...

Andreas took a leave of absence, as previously stated by zoograyson.

Not sure what that has to do with anything though, really.

Steve Hulett said...

I'm informed that WDAS is hiring for "ReBot Ralph." Supervisor told me hiring was imminent a while back.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ Almighty - can we ditch political posts on this site, Steve? Left, right, center I dont give a damn - unless the President, Congress or our mayor here in LA do something that impacts animation can we cull these posts from the blog?

You guys wanna bash each other over the head for your political views do it elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

"You guys wanna bash each other over the head for your political views do it elsewhere."

Couldn't agree more. The leftist bent / conservative push-back dynamic is pretty tired.

But then again, political bias is built-in to the TAG site:

http://www.blogger.com/profile/01025023288241410877

"Interests
screenwriting opera blogging theater and movie history convincing people not to vote for Republicans"

Anonymous said...

With Panda 2 numbers way below what wall street was expecting, along with pushing back on Croods, I believe the first layoffs are imminent for DreamWorks....

Anonymous said...

Imagine that - a left leaning Democrat on a union blog, go figure?

zoograyson said...

Guys this is a blog about animation not politics. Republicans vs. Democrats has nothing to do with the medium period.

Adam Smith said...

Well, at least David Mamet has seen the light after years of self-denial.

Anonymous said...

I believe the first layoffs are imminent for DreamWorks....

First? They've laid off a bunch of times, but just not recently.

And yes, layoffs are coming. Possibly big.

Anonymous said...

Personally I'm beginning to consider Dreamworks the most overrated animation studio and Disney the most underrated. Tangled in my humble opinion was much better and more serious of a film than How to Train Your Dragon but it seems dragon is the one that's had the more acclaim inside the industry. DW's films aren't very good in my opinion: they have way to many popculture references, are completely insincere, don't have minimal understanding of the character relationship, and are geared exclusively towards profits. Yet it seems Dreamworks has a great reputation inside the industry and has become the new godl standard for employement. Personally I don't understand and think that Disney's studio environment as well as their moral currently are much better than people give them credit for.

Anonymous said...

Tangled made more money at the Box Office than How to Train Your Dragon (494 mil vs 590 mil) and will soon top it in DVD sales (90 million vs 119 million)

Ask any film buff or possibly any animation industry pro, and they probably assume HHTYD made more.

Anonymous said...

If it was a strike, it would be the Feature Animation department cause I don't think Lasseter and Catmull are good leaders. Tangled was good because it was in CGI! On the 2D side, it would be European countries that make the best ones today, not Disney because "Princess and the Frog" sucks and I think "Winnie the Pooh" is gonna die at the box office

zoograyson said...

Actually from what I've seen and heard Winnie the Pooh is pretty good. The company is committed to releasing both hand-drawn and cg. Also I don't get why everyone is suddenly criticizing John Lasseter. Believe me there won't be a strike.

Reginald Hubert Blaisdell said...

"Tangled was good because it was in CGI!"

Derp, derp, derp .

Puhleeze ... all of you schmendricks go back to AICN.

zoograyson said...

I agree with Reginald Hulbert Blaisdell. This blog is filled with nonsense and irrelevance. You guys take rumors and turn them into soap operas only to get attention. Leave the studios and the artists alone when it comes to their situations! Also don't bring the political cards in. I will admitt I'm sick of the Glen Keane rumor drama and the anti-Disney movement.

Anonymous said...

"a left leaning Democrat on a union blog, go figure?"

just like ronald reagun--who was once the SAG president before he became a failure and illegally sold arms to terrorists to fund an illegal terrorist war. And lied about it. But he's in hell now bending over for Saddam Hussein.

Anonymous said...

"Most of the new employees coming in are in the Talent Development Program in areas including animation, story, visual effects, and clean-up."

In other words, more of the same mentality from the big studios. Hire promising right-out-of-school kids that are cheap, rather than hire a seasoned pro who knows how to deliver the goods in half the time. But the bean counters only look at the numbers on paper. As for the veterans still at Disney who are training these recruits, you are creating your own replacements!

Anonymous said...

Never thought Andreas would leave disney, definitely surprised, but look forward to his postings and wish him well.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the article reference disney animation instead they mention pixar animation studios as disneys supplier of big family films.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

You remind me of the referee who misses the original foul, then blows the whistle on the retaliation. If you are going to pull my response, then pull the provocation.

"^Nobody buys that anymore, sweetie.

Oh, and how's that "hope and change" working out for ya?"

That's what I was responding to; a condescending Sarah Palin quote. All the previous poster said was, "economic debacle," without any attempt at attributing it's cause.

"Sweetie?" Pure provocation. Be fair. Either remove it, or restore my response.

Anonymous said...

Reading all these posts I have to conclude that many of you are your own worst enemies.
Leave the politics off here. Leave the rumors and innuendos off too. Just stick with the animation, OK?

Anonymous said...

This is a union blog, not an animation fansite.

Unions. Get it? Unions are part of the political spectrum, especially these days. There is one political party (the Republicans) that has made it their business to go after unions, and try to dismantle them. Another party (the Democrats) have been the historical defender of unions.

I will not stop posting political comments, because political comments are absolutely part of the fabric and theme of this union blog. I will not sit idly by, not commenting, as Republicans attempt to dismantle unions and unionization across the country.

In fact, what needs to stop is all the animation fan-blather on this site.

Anonymous said...

So don't you think that it's incredibly unfair that by being in the union you are essentially 'forced' to be a liberal democrat?
The people who are supposedly representing your interests all lean to the left. What if you happen to be a republican? Where's your representation? Sure, you could quit the union but then you could only work at smaller studios.
That's why the union agenda has become a subtle form of fascism. You're forced to support an ideology that goes against everything you believe in.
My question is sincere and not intended to be inflammatory, I would be thrilled to hear a thought-out, intelligent answer as opposed to the all-too-common screeching and name-calling that usually follows an opinion that differs from the majority.

Anonymous said...

A. You are not forced to be in the union. You can always opt-out, and go "core status."

B. The Republican "representation" you are asking for would essentially be the gutting of the union. Say goodbye to your pension, health, and legal benefits. Be joyful with your 30% drop in wages, like Pixar or ILM. In case you haven't noticed, Republicans aren't fans of unions, or employees in general. Their ONLY constituency is business employERS. By wanting Republican "representation" of the union, you are wanting to cut the economic throats of you and all of your artistic co-workers.

C. The Republicans are the creators of their own problems in this regard. Nobody has forced them to take such anti-worker, anti-union stances. They do so of their own volition. I'm sorry that your ideology is so antithetical to your own economic best interest. I wish it weren't so.

D. You have your political extremities mixed up. "Fascism" is conservatism (pro-employer) to its logical extreme. I think you meant "Communism," which is liberalism (pro-worker) to its logical extreme.

Anonymous said...

Unless I'm missing something, if I opt out of the union, the major studios will not be 'allowed' to hire me. That's not really much of a choice.
The best benefits I ever got were in non-union studios, so I'm sorry but the whole "say goodbye to all the great stuff the union gets you" just doesn't hold water.
I find it interesting when liberals use terms like 'ethical.' The word 'ethical' can be interpreted many, many ways... who's to say yours is correct? Imagine if you replaced the word 'ethical' with 'holy.' It's the same thing. Very subjective terms. And yet I'm forced to adhere to the 'ethics' of a group I disagree with if I want to work. That's fascism.
I'm not interested in converting anyone into a republican because I know it's not going to happen, but if anyone's going to convert me to a liberal you need better arguments than this.

Anonymous said...

You're missing something. Going core-status doesn't mean you can't work at union studios.

If you got better benefits at non-union studios, I'd say good for you, but your experience is highly untypical. What non-union studio gives you three pensions, one of which is $5,000/year?

Comparing the feature studios, in general the non-union ones pay 30% less than the union ones, and their benefits are worse. Sony used to be better, but it has declined.

Nobody is forcing you to become liberal, or adhere to liberal ethics. But it IS a political reality that Republican politics are anti-union, and anti-worker. While the Republican position on lowering taxes may save you a couple thousand a year, losing collective bargaining would cost the average animation artist 10's of thousands a year.

Anonymous said...

Wait, you can opt out of the union? I've never heard this. Is that a Dreamworks only thing?

Anonymous said...

This is news to me. But the fact remains, if you're non-union the bigger studios simply won't hire you. I call that 'trapped.'
And calling republicans 'anti-worker' is just dogmatic and unfair.
Both political parties exist because each has a philosophy that is aimed towards the greater good for the nation. Both are well intentioned. Neither are the work of Satan.
Unfortunately, mainstream liberals are given a pass to call conservatives 'evil.'
When redneck republicans call liberals 'evil' it is laughed off as hick rhetoric (and rightfully so) but when respected liberals call conservatives 'evil' everyone just swallows it whole.
The liberal philosophy - and one that the unions are a big part of - says that government institutions and unions can do a better job of taking care of you than you can. Maybe it's true, but I have yet to see it work in the real world.
Bureaucracies like the government and the unions continue to expand and demand more money and resources saying "We need just a LITTLE BIT more from you and then everything will be great and we'll all be equal." So more is taken from us (not to be confused with us GIVING more) and nothing changes. Have you ever noticed how all rich liberals send their kids to private schools? Why do you suppose that is?
Conservative philosophy takes the very realistic stand that you are in charge of yourself and it's up to you to make your own way in this world. Government exists merely to ensure that our freedoms are upholded in pursuit of that.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but you wrong on the objective facts. You are free to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.

Yes, you can opt-out of paying any union dues, and still be hired by the big studios. Research "core status" and call the union about it to find out more, if you want. Whatever.

Of course the different ideologies represent different ways to best serve the nation. That's fair enough. The conservative/Republican approach is to give employERs as much of a free hand as possible, to oppose restrictions on employERs, and to oppose unionization.

But of course, you realize that the EFFECT of that is a reduction of employEE power.

Here is an objective FACT, which transcends all industries, not just animation: employees who are unionized make, on average, 20% more in wages than those who are not unionized. That's a FACT, not opinion. If you are an employee, it is in your economic interest to maximize your negotiating leverage by joining with your other co-workers. This is just bare economic fact.

Because conservative Republicans' primary constituency is employERs, they oppose paying their employees 20% more. Hence, they oppose unionization. So the issue comes down to who you are: if you're an employER, I understand why your economic interest would be with Republicans. If you are an employEE, doing so is against your own economic interest.

It is objective fact that for most, unions CAN do a better job negotiating than the individual. That's a fact of leverage. The actual economic data bears this out, in a factual, numerical way. The fact that you can negotiate even HIGHER than the minimums set by the union means that you benefit even more from the base floor the union set.

Anonymous said...

I think "core status" is limited to certain studios only.

Hey Steve, gossip is circling about Dreamworks laying off. Can you get to the bottom of this?

Anonymous said...

No, 'financial core' status is not limited to certain studios. It amazes me how some people can so freely argue about things they don't begin to understand.

Hey Steve, gossip is circling about Dreamworks laying off. Can you get to the bottom of this?

What you mean is, there was a single anonymous comment on a previous thread to this effect.

So don't you think that it's incredibly unfair that by being in the union you are essentially 'forced' to be a liberal democrat?
The people who are supposedly representing your interests all lean to the left. What if you happen to be a republican? Where's your representation?


If this person were actually in TAG, and actually knew who their Executive Board members were, they would know that there has consistently been several rock-ribbed Republican board members representing them for as long as I've been in the union (a couple of decades). Do your homework, or shut up please.

Anonymous said...

The conservatives whining how they're forced to be in the mean, dirty, stinky, marxist, islamofaschist union should learn about Financial Core:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_core

Anonymous said...

And yet I'm forced to adhere to the 'ethics' of a group I disagree with if I want to work. That's fascism.

No, that isn't fascism. You DO realize that words have actual meanings, right?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the news. This means zero traditional animation... sad, because Pooh will bomb at the box office, we knew it from the very beginning.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that words are an abstract and subject to interpretation right? Like 'fair' and 'ethical.'
Unfortunately, this is what I'm talking about. When a conservative dares to show his face, the attacks are condescending and incredibly mean spirited. Is this how you win people over to your side?
And the one person who quoted numbers and percentages as 'facts' failed to note the source of these statistics. But, ultimately, it wouldn't matter any way because both sides are capable of conjuring up statistics that aren't true in an effort to further their agenda.
I could quote some 'facts' as well, but there's no chance I'm going to change anyone's mind no matter how nice I try to be and I've already had enough of the typical screeching liberal hateful rhetoric. I would honestly love for someone to enlighten me and change my mind. I would have a much easier time in the world if I were liberal. Unfortunately, no liberals seem to be able to stay calm enough to come up with a decent enough argument. Oh well. I'd also be interested to know what some of the republicans on the board think of all this. Either way I can't wait to obtain financial core status. I guess that's one good thing that came of all this.

Anonymous said...

What you mean is, there was a single anonymous comment on a previous thread to this effect.

No no, I heard it today. At work. A non-union shop though, so I'm curious to know more.

No, 'financial core' status is not limited to certain studios. It amazes me how some people can so freely argue about things they don't begin to understand.

Im not arguing with you. I said "I think." I dont know for sure. I should have put a question mark for clarity.

Also, Im not the same anonymous you've been arguing with. I dont waste my time on politics.

Anonymous said...

----
When a conservative dares to show his face, the attacks are condescending and incredibly mean spirited.
... from the SAME post:
typical screeching liberal hateful rhetoric ... no liberals seem to be able to stay calm enough to come up with a decent enough argument.
---

Typical 'conservative' rubbish and hypocrisy.

Source: you.

Anonymous said...

So prove me wrong. I really want you to. It's more hip to be liberal. I WANT to be liberal. Explain to me why a lesser version of socialism will work when all of the greater versions of it fail miserably. What's the core ideal in liberalism that conservatives just don't understand?

The Other Anonymous said...

Societal evolution is a good thing. Conservatism, by it's very definition, hinders new and better societies by clinging to the old.

Anonymous said...

Socially I'm already very liberal, so that's not the issue. Why is liberalism better financially? Pure capitalism SEEMS much better. Explain why it's not.

The Other Anonymous said...

Pure capitalism leads to the rich getting astronomically rich, while the rest get poorer and poorer. (The Wal-Mart effect, as one example) There's got to be a balance struck.

But as soon as someone suggests that MAYBE we shouldn't have say, I dunno, tax exemptions for corporations or the insanely wealthy, the conservatives jump up screaming something about socialism.

Well, in that case, if you feel that way, maybe you should call your local fire department and ask them to never respond to 911 if your house catches on fire, because that's a socialist program.

The Other Anonymous said...

Or public education! If you cant afford to send your kids to a private school, then your kids dont deserve to learn!

That's capitalism baby!

Anonymous said...

You've constructed a strawman that you call "liberalism" which you then knock down.

I have no idea what you're defining as "liberalism." In the 50's, most of America was unionized, the top marginal tax rate under Eisenhower was 91%, and yet that was the "good old days" when America was the shining beacon of freedom, prosperity, and the height of America's economic power. Are you saying that America wasn't free back then?

Liberalism doesn't mean anti-capitalism. But liberalism DOES recognize that every system needs defined boundaries. Capitalism with reasonable, enforced regulation to make sure that parties are honest and playing by fair rules. When there is no economic "cop on the street," it is the same as having no real cops on real streets, with the same consequences.

Anonymous said...

I don't disagree with any of that. I guess it's a matter of just how many cops on the street you want.
But I also don't agree in this whole 'republicans just want the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer' chant. Rich people get rich by people BUYING things. If people are too poor to buy stuff, the rich would just be sitting on their dough. It is in the best advantage of 'the rich' to INVEST and create new ways to make money which, in turn, leads to jobs. Why is that so bad?
Wealth is obtained in two ways: You either inherit it (in which case, I guess that's your birthright and you should be free to do what you want with it because SOMEONE in your past worked hard for it) or you EARN it. In which case, why should you be thought of as evil or punished for being rich?
And if the government does such a bang-up job at everything, why do rich liberals hire private security and send their kids to public schools?

The Other Anonymous said...

Explain to me why it's okay that EXXON and GE paid no taxes last year?

Why is it okay that Wal-Mart continues to drive prices down, forcing manufacturers to move their plants overseas to keep up with the fierce competition. (and no, no one "forces" them, I know) At some point, regulations should be put in place that places the stability and financial security of OUR nation OVER the profit potential of corporate stockholders. Yes, to me, the American middle class family is more important than profit margins for the super rich.

PS) I went to public school.

Anonymous said...

Rich people get rich by people BUYING things

That's very simplistic and not always true

Anonymous said...

Because they have a best friend in the white house.

Anonymous said...

No one is answering any of my questions. Come on. I want to convert, I sincerely do. But none of this is working. It's the same old stuff over and over again.

The Other Anonymous said...

I answered your questions. I believe it's more important to put the health of the country over the bottom line of giant corporations and the super rich.

Also, war is more expensive than it's worth. Imagine if all the money spent in Iraq would have been spent on paying people to fix the roads, bridges, and energy problems in our country, and invested in new travel technology like high speed rail. We'd be a lot less reliant on foreign oil, no one would have had to die, and the environment would be better.

Anonymous said...

You're giving me your personal opinions based on your personal morality code. I need to know how and why liberalism will work as a basis for running this country.

Anonymous said...

You're looking for promises that no one can guarantee you. The point is (and has been stated over and over) that Liberals are concerned with how everyone can survive and prosper while the so-called Conservatives do not - they just worry about how the rich can get richer - despite what they preach.
Whether you like it or not the facts are is that this country prospers under Liberal leadership and does not under Conservative leadership. Go look it up yourself.

Anonymous said...

So much for my conversion. Wow. I'm disappointed.
Your assessment of the conservative 'agenda' is laughably bigoted. You've swallowed a cultish dogma without thinking it through. If anyone has anything better to offer I'm open to listen, but this is the same stuff I've been hearing for years.
I was really hoping to be a liberal by the end of the day. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

"If people are too poor to buy stuff, the rich would just be sitting on their dough. It is in the best advantage of 'the rich' to INVEST and create new ways to make money which, in turn, leads to jobs. Why is that so bad?"

Yes, that's a perfect articulation of the conservative economic philosophy. (and, by the way, no liberal here used the term "evil." That was your characterization in an attempt to characterize yourself as the victim).

This religious belief in the magic of the "free" market has no more basis in reality than a belief in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. First, the rich actually ARE sitting on their dough. If they are investing it they are mostly investing it overseas, where they are also paying their taxes. Result: Zero benefit to most American's quality of life or standard of living.

Second, how exactly does it "benefit" the rich to invest in the American economy more than, say, investing overseas, hiding profits in tax shelters or giving their CEOs astronomical raises. There are no implicit ethics or automatic growth built in to the market system. It's essentially a pyramid scheme.

Even Reagan couldn't make it work without raising taxes and borrowing money, which he, contrary to the myth, eventually had to resort to.

There is no liberal "ideology" per se, apart from prioritizing necessary humanitarian causes and resisting the self serving right wing ideology designed with only one purpose: Protecting the interests of the powerful and wealthy at all costs.

The Other Anonymous said...

How does the phrase go?

"You can lead a conservative to water, but you can't increase his IQ to understand what you're saying."

Or something like that. But I went to public school, so I probably got the phrase wrong.

Anonymous said...

This thread is Hillarious.

Somebody said "Strike..." LOL. The Guild...Strike? hysterical.


And then somebody just realized that Dreamworks is the most Overrated animation studio.... OH! You Slay me! Stop... I cant take it....

The Other Anonymous said...

Also, you try telling someone your opinion while they sneer at you, arms folded, DARING you to convince them their views are wrong. It's an impossible task.

Until something happens in your life (say, a debilitating illness, or a victim of predatory lending, or you lose your job due to outsourcing) that changes your mind, you'll continue to think things are fine the way they are.

So this immature approach of "Oh yeah? In 100 words or less, sum up why liberalism is better" and then lambaste anyone when YOU cant be convinced isn't fooling anyone. Or at least it isnt fooling me. Its an immature game. You'll grow up eventually.

Or maybe not.

Anonymous said...

So according to liberal philosophy, by being born into this country I am automatically signed on to an unwritten (because it certainly isn't in the Constitution) agreement that I am partly responsible for the well-being of everyone else in the country.
If I get a cold, are you duty bound to come to my house and make me chicken soup? Of course not.
Insisting that it is my duty to 'care' about the well being of every other person in the country is insane and, moreover, unworkable.
Here's conservatism in a nutshell: I go to school... I study hard... I get an 'A'... I am rewarded. I don't have to SHARE my 'A' with kids who didn't study.
I was being (and still am) completely sincere when I say that I would love to be a liberal. It's much more popular. But I need some real evidence that it would work. Not proof... just evidence. No one has provided any.
Does it ever even occur to any of you that you might possibly be wrong? It occurs to me all the time. Somehow I don't think you could say the same thing. This is why I look for reasons to abandon my unpopular beliefs, but I live in the real world and those are the cold, hard facts.

The Other Anonymous said...

So according to liberal philosophy, by being born into this country I am automatically signed on to an unwritten (because it certainly isn't in the Constitution) agreement that I am partly responsible for the well-being of everyone else in the country.

YES. That is the basis of a healthy, functioning society. Live together, die alone. It's human evolution. It's nature. The health of the colony is important for the species to survive. It's the same reason we have prisons. Get the bad eggs out of society so they dont screw everything up. You're automatically signed up when born in this country to not kill people.

Look, thats not to say people shouldnt be rewarded for their hard work. And its also not to say that a communist dictatorship is the goal. Its just that there should be a BALANCE. Risking the health of our society so corporate CEO's can line their pockets? Reward profit-focused financial systems with even MORE tax breaks? Bet AGAINST mortgages that are set up to fail?

We've swung too far. Its time to re-balance it...JUST A LITTLE!

Anonymous said...

Send troops to kill people in the middle east so we can control oil instead of spending that money on long term energy solutions?

When they read history books 500 years from now, they will say it was a mistake to not invest in better energy solutions sooner.

If we survive that long...

But let's keep denying that we havent reached peak oil consumption...

Anonymous said...

Well, there's where we agree. I'm not fond of the current republican party either, but I'm also not fond of the current democratic party. They're both WAY to far swung on each side. While I am a conservative, I consider myself extremely moderate. I'm all for checks and balances when it comes to big corporations, but it's the individual I'm concerned with.
And I'm afraid I still do not agree that I've signed on to TAKE CARE of everyone else or see to it that they have health care, housing, nutritious meals or anything else. Yes, I have agreed not to kill or steal from anyone or infringe on THEIR freedoms in any way. But apart from that, I don't owe them anything nor do they owe me anything.
I give to charities all the time and have contributed countless days/weeks/months of my life to volunteering for charities. But that was my CHOICE.
I would submit to you that if you look it up, people contribute to charities more when taxes are low and the economy is strong.

John said...

You say you went to school, got A's, etc.

What school did you go to? Was it a public school? If so, society/government provided a means for you to get an education. That's because ALL of society benefits when the population is educated.

Not so long ago, there was no mandatory schooling for children. There was no expectation of literacy for the populace. Only the children of the rich were educated. Was that a better society, or a worse one?

One of the reasons America succeeded is because its populace was educated. Everyone mandated by government to go to school. Public or private. According to you, that's a horrible decision--individuals should decide whether to go to school or not.

Same with healthcare. Having people get emergency treatment in ER's is costing ALL of us a tremendous waste of money and higher premiums. We will ALL see our costs go down if everyone has insurance, and problems are treated before they become emergencies.

Anonymous said...

By the way, when I said "that's where we agree" it was in reference to Anon5:43 and NOT the other one who makes the tired old "WE SENT TROOPS TO KILL PEOPLE!" loon.
What I was agreeing with was that we need balance.
As for John, you completely mis-read my point.

The Other Anonymous said...

I dont claim to have the answers to everything, but I do know I'd rather have my tax dollars go toward helping people in this country rather than killing people in others.

I'd like my tax dollars go to politicians who pass laws to increase the minimum wage by a huge factor (double it! triple it!), and cut any and all tax shelters for wealthy CEO's and corporations. (dont make them pay more, but make them pay their fair share). Make it illegal to outsource jobs to other countries. Period. Give financial incentives to companies who come up with real energy solutions.

Do I care if my tax dollars go to public schools? Hell no! Anything is better than blowing people up for oil! I think there should be heavy scrutiny on all tax-funded programs, but there absolutely DOES need to be government funded programs that exist to help people.

Anonymous said...

This is the best thread.

John said...

I didn't misread your post, you miss the whole philosophical point (and obviously didn't read the rest of my post). Liberalism correctly states that the role of government is to provide the resources and infrastructure to its citizenry so we can all succeed.

While you may think that your bootstrappy successes in school and hard work are the sole reasons for your success in life, you completely ignore everything that liberals in government set up for you to do that. You were provided a free public education. You were given roads and freeways to get there. Perhaps you got a government college loan. Your parents weren't forced to choose between helping you go to school, or supporting your elderly grandparents, because your grandparents got Social Security and Medicare.

All these liberal ideas, and programs, help ALL of us. Our country is better because of the economically liberal ideas of the past.

Anonymous said...

Finally, some halfway decent arguments.
Unfortunately, none of them are really convincing. I could make the effort to counter-argue them, but since none of you have expressed any desire to be 'converted' I won't bother because I know it will do no good.
And, John, my point about the whole 'grades' analogy had nothing to do with my actual grades. The point was that if you earn something, there is no reason you should be forced to share it with someone who didn't.

Anonymous said...

Your use of the word "convert" is a real "tell." You have a religious faith in your ideology, that's why you will never be convinced by simple logic. You probably follow Milton Friedman and read Ayn Rand and consider them geniuses.

It's nothing but pure selfishness elevated to the pretense of philosophy.

You actually believe that, if someone in need benefits in some way from society, it diminishes from you in some way. You belong in a cave hunting mammoths for food.

The Other Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, none of them are really convincing.

Yeah, you're right. Roads are SOOOO overrated.

John said...

Once again, you STILL don't understand the point I was making. It had nothing to do with your grades.

For the last time, your success came as a result of standing on the shoulders of liberal government programs. Not just your own hard work alone, in a vacuum.

Therefore, you do indeed owe something back to society, and it should be shared with others, so that they can similarly contribute to society.

Anonymous said...

Guys, I think we're arguing with a troll. He's running us. We are being manipulated. He keeps repeating the same nonsense over and over again, "challenging" us to change his mind, and we're all taking the bait. He's probably not even a conservative. After this, I won't be checking this thread again.

Anonymous said...

Are we talking about the same democratic party whose most prominent leader is nancy Pelosi?
The same Nancy Pelosi that has squashed all attempts for the workers at her vineyard and hotel to become union?

Unions are supported by the democrats as long as the bill gets pushed down the line to the tax payer. And there isn't anymore money to pay the government unions.

The liberal weenie moaning in here actually wants all of us to pay more taxes during a recession to pay for public sector unions pensions.

Thats not going to happen.

The money isn't there.

Hence the hissy fits. What a laugh. We're going to see more of these freak outs as the country moves away from the failed economic policies of the democrats.

Anonymous said...

Looks like you were right, Anon 4:02:00 AM.

Just a hysterical, talkingpoint-spewing conservative troll.

Anonymous said...

hysterical, talkingpoint-spewing conservative

Could you be any more redundant? :)

Jesus Effin' Christ said...

Sure would've been nice if all these posts were actually on-topic...

Anonymous said...

Hi. Original conservative commenter here.

I promise you, I'm not a troll. I am a conservative who sincerely wants to be a liberal. So far it seems as though the only way to do it is to subscribe to an almost religious world view (and I'm an atheist) where war is never justified and everyone is entitled to equal standards of living and it's my responsibility to work hard so that other people don't have to. I just don't get it.
Interesting that the commenter above accuses me of first being a religious nut (which I'm not) and then an Ayn Rand nut (which I'm not) since she was an outspoken atheist (which I am).
Think of me what you will, but I am not joking when I say that I would prefer to be a liberal but I haven't heard an argument yet that has convinced me that a liberal philosophy will work in a real-world scenario.
And if liberals can't even be 'challenged' to justify their viewpoints, why should I bother considering them? You can't expect me to just take your word for it that you're "just right".

yahweh said...

This "Conservative" begging to be converted reminds me of the story of how Rabbi Hillel was asked by a Gentile to teach him the Torah while standing on one foot and if he could accomplish this he would convert - obviously hoping for Hillel to fail.
Hillel's response (while standing on one foot) was “That which is hateful to you, do not unto another: This is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary — [and now] go study.”

Frankly the answer is pretty much the same in this case: follow the Golden Rule and you will be (whether you like it or not) be a Liberal. If you don't care about how others are treated and worry only about your own success then you are what passes for a Conservative these days

The Other Anonymous said...

it's my responsibility to work hard so that other people don't have to.

No, that's where you're missing the point. You're looking at it completely black and white. You're taking everything we say and extrapolating it to the Nth degree.

NO LIBERAL thinks you should work hard so others dont have to. It's just about making things a little more proportionate for the betterment of society as a whole. Its about the rich corporations paying their fair share in taxes. It's about spending taxes more on infrastructure and less on bombs. It's about not creating such a toxic economic system that companies send their work overseas and take away American jobs.

But in my opinion, you honestly, seriously, no bullshit, are simply not listening. Either that, or you think it's great that GE and EXXON paid zero taxes in 2009, and love that bank CEOs are still getting outrageous bonuses after the bailout.

Im not kidding, you're either stupid, or not reading these responses. Im done with this thread too.

Steve Hulett said...

can we ditch political posts on this site, Steve?

I don't write them, as a general rule. Anonymous people do. But listen up, everybody. Nobody gives a shit if you have Barack Obama or George Bush. Nobody cares if you love Benito Mussolini.

Stick to the topic, okay?

John said...

I have absolutely no interest in "converting" you to anything. I couldn't care less what you want to believe.

Your notions of what liberals believe are laughable strawman fallacies. You say [liberals] subscribe to an almost religious world view (and I'm an atheist) where war is never justified

Funny. I remember 90% of America backing Bush's action into Afghanistan in 2001. That's a lot of liberals. I also recall our liberal "marxist" "socialist" President continuing our War on Terror, and even starting something in Libya. And don't forget the most liberal President of all, FDR, had something or other to do with WWII. That's your first silly strawman shot down. What we liberals hate are STUPID wars (Iraq).

and everyone is entitled to equal standards of living

More strawmen. Liberals would like everyone to have at least a livable wage that allows a roof over one's head and food on the table, in exchange for a solid day's work. It about setting a decent base floor of a living standard for every working person living in the richest country in the world (America). Of course, if you have greater skills, talents, education, etc. then you deserve whatever you can negotiate on the job market. Liberals believe a country is only as great as how it treats its least citizens.


and it's my responsibility to work hard so that other people don't have to.

Yet another strawman only the conservative is arguing. The liberal Bill Clinton reformed welfare so that people must transition off of it. Liberals believe in a safety net, yes--but only a temporary one to catch those who get caught by life's occasional snags. I've had that happen in my life, but thanks to some govt. help, I'm back on my feet and working productively again. If not for that help, I might've gone homeless. I'm story could be anybody's, including yours, and I'm grateful that help was there.

I just don't get it.

Neither do I.

Anonymous said...

Conservative philosophy takes the very realistic stand that you are in charge of yourself and it's up to you to make your own way in this world.

Pretty to think so. And you're right, the philosophy holds to that. But the reality of American conservatism is, if you're a big bank and you mess up, Uncle will bail you out.

That's what the last Conservative President did. You can look it up. Six large banks were run into the ground, and were rescued by billions from the Federal government.

The reality. As opposed to the philosophy, which is a pretty fantasy.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of completely useless, self indulgent, off-topic, longwinded "comments". Bleargh.

There are important issues in our UNION happening right now, that need to be discussed. These aren't ANY of them.

For instance: you should talk to some more people at Dreamworks, Steve. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

"The liberal Bill Clinton reformed welfare so that people must transition off of it. Liberals believe in a safety net, yes--but only a temporary one to catch those who get caught by life's occasional snags."


You are specifically referring to Clinton's signing of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 into law. As described in the Wikipedia article, this bill "was a cornerstone of the Republican Contract With America." Recall at the time that both houses of Congress were controlled by Republicans.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_Responsibility_and_Work_Opportunity_Act


For an interesting "liberal" insiders view on this event, please see this article "The Worst Thing
Bill Clinton Has Done":

http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/97mar/edelman/edelman.htm

Steve Hulett said...

For instance: you should talk to some more people at Dreamworks, Steve. Seriously. ...

I was on the fourth and second floors of the Lakeside Building at DWA day before yesterday, going office to office and cubicle to cubicle.

Just to let you know.

Anonymous said...

I was on the fourth and second floors of the Lakeside Building at DWA day before yesterday, going office to office and cubicle to cubicle.

Just to let you know.


And no one said anything about the unpaid time off? (aka, layoffs) Surprising.

Steve Hulett said...

I'm aware of it, but no. Nobody talked to me about it.

Anonymous said...

I'm aware of it, but no. Nobody talked to me about it.

That might be because that building is an open plan with very few places for private conversations with the Business Manager.

Anonymous said...

Plus, no one has been informed if they are the unlucky ones yet.

When the heads roll, Steve should expect phone calls...

Anonymous said...

I'm all for the philosophy of "doing unto others" but the problem is that the government does a HORRIBLE job handling money. Everything that is run by or supervised by the government sucks. Public schools suck. Public transportations sucks. If you're all so keen on socialism, give your car to charity and take the bus every day. But you won't do that, will you? Why? Because it's nicer to be in a car. A car that's yours. Private. You bought it with your money.
If this or any government had ever demonstrated that socialism or a watered-down version of it actually WORKED then I would be all for it. But it NEVER does. When you give all the power and money to a bureaucracy, the bureaucracy just feeds itself and grows.
Do you think your tax dollars are really going to buy computers for public schools and give homeless people a hot meal? If so, you're completely deluded. They go to pay the bloated salaries of congressmen, their assistant, their assistant's assistant, their private jets, and the hotel rooms they're banging their secretaries in.
Why are you so critical of "big business" but UN-critical of "big government"? They're guilty of the same sins.

John said...

A. You obviously haven't spent much time in European countries, where socialistic infrastructure is much more prevalent. It works extremely well, and people there actually enjoy a HIGHER standard of living than we do here in the US.

Their socialized medicine, public transportation, etc. are excellent, and quite loved by their citizenry. They show that, in fact, liberal philosophies work exceptionally well in the "real world" when they are implemented by intelligent planners.

Of course, many there own their own cars, and purchase supplementary health insurance as additive luxuries, but this is largely optional, not necessity like it is here.

Go to Sweden and tell me that socialistic ideas don't work in practice.

John said...

B. Further, your suggestion that public schools and transportation suck is oversimplified. The correct answer is: some do, some don't. I enjoyed excellent public schools where I grew up. I also went to private school for a bit--didn't much like it.

The fact is, whether these things are good or bad is up to individual administrators, just like it is in the private sector. I've seen mind-blowing inefficiency in the private sector, but I also accept that there are excellent private companies as well.

Anonymous said...

John, its nice that you are in awe of the public transportation systems in Europe. I like them as well.

But there are vast differences in the layout of the land from Europe to America that you are conveniently ignoring.

In short: Europe developed from central cities thousands of years ago where hubs of activity radiated outward into farmlands. This is a very effective landscape for public transportation. America, on the other hand, developed from vast lands of farm land. 95% of this country goes back to farmers who were self sufficient on their own land - and because of that we are dependent on traveling much greater distances than our european friends.

I'm not trying to defend urban sprawl or denigrate what they enjoy in Europe(which I too like very much). I just wince when there is a simplistic and wrongheaded comparison of Europe to America.,

Different histories. Different needs.

The Other Anonymous said...

I've lived in two American cities, San Francisco and New York, and I didnt own a car in either. It wasnt until I moved to LA that I bought a car. If LA had a more robust public transportation system, I'd sell my car in a heartbeat. I much prefer not owning one.

I went to public high school and public university (with federal loans). I'm now happily successful in my industry, so I guess they taught me okay.

There's counterpoints and data that completely contradict your positions. But please, keep pretending that YOU'RE the open-minded one who WANTS to be converted.

The Other Anonymous said...

PS) I'd love high speed rail from NY to LA, LA to SF, and all the cities in-between. Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, Vegas, etc.

Anonymous said...

Anecdotal evidence isn't going to convince me. There are always exceptions to the rule.
For those who think I'm insincere about wanting to be a liberal, let me let you in on a little secret: It's no fun being a conservative in today's world especially in a city like San Francisco or L.A. or New York. It's a total drag. I have to be "in the closet" and pretend that my liberal friends are making sense when they talk politics. It sucks.
So I really, truly would love to be a liberal but none of your arguments hold water.
And comparing America's problems to other countries is the last bastion of weak debate. What's right for them is not what's right for us. America is entirely unique.

The Other Anonymous said...

That's not anecdotal evidence. That's two of our country's major cities (you know, like over 15 million people) finding great solutions using the government's money. And that's just 2 examples. Chicago does it as well.

But the bottom line is, you WANT it to be anecdotal evidence, because you're closed minded. So you're saying if suddenly LA had a vast, robust, environmentally friendly public transit system, you WOULDNT use it? Or if the country had high speed rail you wouldnt use it?

YOU DONT THINK ROADS AND BRIDGES ARE IMPORTANT? BECAUSE ROADS AND BRIDGES AND THE FIRE DEPARTMENT AND THE USPS ARE ALL SOCIALISM.

I'm so tired of proving you wrong over and over. Its like talking to a 4 year old.

I dont care if you have to pretend to be liberal around your friends. It's like you're hiding a disease. Not standing up for your beliefs is almost proof that you hadn't thought it through. You're unwilling to expose how ignorant you are around your friends. I bet you're a real treat.

John said...

And comparing America's problems to other countries is the last bastion of weak debate. What's right for them is not what's right for us. America is entirely unique.

You are essentially conceding that your position holds no water. I'm citing actual evidence of actual liberal ideas successfully in use, demonstrating they are BETTER than the status quo of our standard of living here in America.

Your blanket dismissal of this evidence, with no logical rebuttal, is the true bastion of a lost argument. There is nothing inherently different about health between Europe and America. Or taxes. Or the concepts of social safety nets.

One needs only look at Europe's successful implementation of liberal ideas to conclude that they work, and work well. They can work well here too, if conservatives weren't fighting tooth and nail to prevent it. But it's apparent that you will see (and ignore) only what you want to.

Steve Hulett said...

Everything that is run by or supervised by the government sucks.

Remember D-day? The war in the Pacific? Government operations. They sucked totally.

Oh. And government health care? Google around a bit. You'll find out pretty quickly that all those awful European Socialist health care systems kick our ass.

Lower costs. Better outcomes. All there on the web in black and white if you're willing to look.

(I eagerly await your "Yeah, but ...")

Anonymous said...

"Remember D-day? The war in the Pacific? Government operations. They sucked totally."

Do you remember Pearl Harbor? The Allied invasion of North Africa? The Allied invasion of Italy? The internment of Japanese-American citizens? All involved some serious military/government foobar. I wouldn't hold-up WW2 (or ANY war for that matter) as some shining example of the greatness of government. The only good thing about WW2 is that we WON.

If government health care is so great, why did IATSE and other unions complain about the "Cadillac" tax provisions of Obamacare only to negotiate an exemption later? (http://www.iatse-intl.org/news/pr_01192010.html)

As far as googling around a bit, here's something I found about Sweden (American liberals' shining example of socialism done right):

"The welfare system that had been growing rapidly since the 1970s could not be sustained with a falling GDP, lower employment and larger welfare payments. In 1994 the government budget deficit exceeded 15% of GDP. The response of the government was to cut spending and institute a multitude of reforms to improve Sweden's competitiveness. When the international economic outlook improved combined with a rapid growth in the IT sector, which Sweden was well positioned to capitalize on, the country was able to emerge from the crisis."

"The crisis of the 1990s was by some viewed as the end of the much buzzed welfare model called "Svenska modellen", literally "The Swedish Model", as it proved that governmental spending at the levels previously experienced in Sweden was not long term sustainable in a global open economy. Much of the Swedish Model's acclaimed advantages actually had to be viewed as a result of the post WWII special situation, which left Sweden untouched when competitors' economies were comparatively weak."

"However, the reforms enacted during the 1990s seem to have created a model in which extensive welfare benefits can be maintained in a global economy."

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Sweden#cite_note-35)



"The Social Democratic government yesterday began dismantling the welfare state it built, proposing sharp cuts in benefits and state jobs to stop the country's economic decline."

"Generous social spending and liberal working conditions have resulted in low worker productivity, which in turn has led to high inflation and taxes."

(http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19901027&slug=1100782)


"Sweden votes in party pledging cuts in taxes and benefits"

(http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-405711/Sweden-votes-party-pledging-cuts-taxes-benefits.html)


"Major reforms are needed to strengthen the Swedish economy" Experts warn"

(http://www.scancomark.se/Sweden-needs-drastic-new-reforms-to-maintain-strong-economy.html)


More interesting Sweden links:

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/19/33/44652648.pdf

http://www.clevelandfed.org/research/POLICYDIS/pdp21.pdf



And of course, Sweden has a higher suicide rate than the US:
http://www.who.int/mental_health/media/swed.pdf
http://www.who.int/mental_health/media/usa.pdf



Gee Steve, if you actually DO google up some info on those Euro Socialist countries, you might find that many are actually currently trying to scale-back their social welfare and health care systems because they are economically unsustainable. But to actually bother to do some research might challenge the ideology that you've clung to all these years. Can't have that can you.

Straight-up question for you Steve:

Would you give-up your TAG health plan for what will be available to you under "Obamacare"?

The Other Anonymous said...

And see, to me, this is where the discussion starts, not ends.

This is where we say, "okay, let's use the wealth of knowledge that countries like Sweden have acquired (among others) and see what they did right, and what they did wrong."

But people like you immediately jump to conclusions and say "oh look, they hit some road bumps, so we should never, ever do government healthcare."

The Other Anonymous said...

Also, I enjoy private healthcare, and likely wouldn't give it up for a government funded one.

But I also think there should be a program for lower income families who have major health problems. I dont think cancer should ever bankrupt an entire family. I think both are possible. I think reducing military funding is a start.

Anonymous said...

Also, I enjoy private healthcare, and likely wouldn't give it up for a government funded one.

But I also think there should be a program for lower income families who have major health problems


I think lower income families are served by Medicaid and SCHIP. A friend of mine received cancer treatment under Medicaid last year.

Anonymous said...

For those who think I'm insincere about wanting to be a liberal, let me let you in on a little secret: It's no fun being a conservative in today's world especially in a city like San Francisco or L.A. or New York. It's a total drag. I have to be "in the closet" and pretend that my liberal friends are making sense when they talk politics. It sucks.

Why do you care what your friends think?

A lot of my friends and co-workers hold political views with which I strongly disagree. I just don't discuss politics with them. Problem solved.

"There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin." -- Linus van Pelt

Anonymous said...

I think lower income families are served by Medicaid and SCHIP. A friend of mine received cancer treatment under Medicaid last year.

The problem is you have be really, really low income before Medicaid is an option. As in, virtually penniless, and without income.

There's really no viable option for most working Americans who make a small, modest income. Private insurance is too expensive, and they make a bit too much for Medicaid.

Anonymous said...

"But people like you immediately jump to conclusions and say "oh look, they hit some road bumps, so we should never, ever do government healthcare.""

Well, there you go jumping to conclusions. Never said that we should never ever do government healthcare. Quite the contrary. I believe that we should have some sort of public safety net for healthcare and welfare. What I object to is government mandated universal healthcare.

And I do agree that we should learn from the good and bad things about any healthcare and welfare system and try to apply them to the US if possible. What I object to is simplistic Liberal ideology indicated by statements like "European Socialist health care systems kick our ass." Because a simple google search turns up plenty of information that this is simply not so.


"Also, I enjoy private healthcare, and likely wouldn't give it up for a government funded one."

Well, I prefer to judge a person by their actions not their words. What that statement sounds like to me is "Government healthcare for thee, but not for me." It seems that you are not clear on the "individual mandate" portion of "Obamacare"? Perhaps your Liberal friends will fill you in on this feature of "Obamacare".

Unfortunately for many of us, the freedom to choose your own private healthcare may not be an option. In their own words, the Liberal goal is for single-payer, government controlled healthcare:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpAyan1fXCE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-_SGGcJu_c&feature=related

John said...

What I object to is simplistic Liberal ideology indicated by statements like "European Socialist health care systems kick our ass." Because a simple google search turns up plenty of information that this is simply not so.

Actually, a simple Google search shows that it is precisely so.

As this graph shows, we pay VASTLY more for health care than every other developed nation, for mediocre results:

http://blogs.ngm.com/.a/6a00e0098226918833012876a6070f970c-800wi

Universal health care for ALL works brilliantly.

Steve Hulett said...

Would you give-up your TAG health plan for what will be available to you under "Obamacare"?

Got news for you. The MPIPHP is having a tough time weathering the 10% per annum health care inflation.

Nationwide, we've got 12% health care inflation.

But to answer your question, I would have no problem trading TAG health care for Swiss, German, or Canadian systems. Or current Medicare for that matter.

Obamacare is mostly a mash up of what we've got now. Except we'll ultimately get what my wife has in the Federal employee system -- a choice of plans.

Wouldn't have any problem with that, either. (Happy now?)

Steve Hulett said...

And now. How about an answer on European health care stats vs. American health care stats?

We don't look too good, do we? But you can go on changing the subject as much as you like.

Anonymous said...

Just adding my $0.02...

I have a preexisting condition. I have been rejected three times by three different insurers for private health insurance. As an individual, I am not profitable.

I was only able to purchase guaranteed-issue group health insurance by exploiting California's state law for businesses. I formed a general partnership with my spouse and purchased an employer plan to cover the two of us. This is not ideal, because if one of us dies, the other will lose coverage.

I cannot WAIT for "Obamacare." I cannot WAIT until the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges to start in 2014. I'll finally be able to buy my own private coverage from a private insurer as an individual, without having to jump through any hoops.

Anonymous said...

And now. How about an answer on European health care stats vs. American health care stats?"

Yes, okay. They have a wonderful health care system in European nations Steve, but there is something thatalways seems to be forgotten about those health care systems...

We paid for them.

The United States provided military protection for European nations from the very real threat of the Soviet Union and in doing so they were able to spend money on a health care system that they would have had to spend on their military. In effect, we subsidized their state sponsored health care. Because we're that nice.


And if we hadn't had our military stationed in those nations, they would be a decrepit and struggling as Uzbekistan and all of the other eastern bloc nations.


Food for thought.

Steve Hulett said...

Okay, got it. You ain't gonna go with actual statistics, since they cut the wrong way.

So how about this?

We'll stipulate that the Marshall Plan and general American largesse protecting Europe paid for Europe's better, more generous socialized medicine. (Doesn't work for Britain's National Health system, which wasn't part of the Marshall Plan or Britain's military -- they had their own nuclear force) And NHS also costs less than our inefficient system with better outcomes, but OKAY. We're pulling things unsupported by stats or evidence out of our large intestine, so why not?

You say:

The United States provided military protection for European nations from the very real threat of the Soviet Union and in doing so they were able to spend money on a health care system that they would have had to spend on their military.

See, the reason your thinking doesn't work too well is it ... uh ... isn't true. It falls apart on close examination. Let's forget our ally Britain. (Not in the Marshall Plan, but a victor in WWII.) Let's look at Switzerland, which wasn't a participant in the second war and received no American help. And has its own military. Switzerland has a private, universal health care system which A) costs less that the U.S. delivery system and B) ALSO kicks our ass in its outcomes.

But a really, really nice try, anon. Hats off. America decided to carry the burden and everybody else benefited.

But then ... if that's so, why does everybody else's health care cost less than the United States'? If we're carrying most of the piano, shouldn't their health care systems cost more? I mean, your argument is, we're footing all the other bills so they can have better health care, right?

Except their systems cost less AND have better results. Following your argument, shouldn't theirs cost MORE because they can afford more because we're paying for their military?

So what the hell gives? Hmmm?

Anonymous said...

Comparing SWITZERLAND with the United States(or any western nation) is an admission that you lost the argument. They are an anomaly. You might as well use the platypus as a testament that every other mammal is inferior.

Your assertion that european health care is cheap is also laughable. France has the government health care that has the most value for the dollar and citizens pay 20% of every pay check for that alone.

You don't know hat you are talking about.

The Swiss Army??!?

You mean the army that doesn't go to war ever?
Wonderful argument you put forth there. No really. Its about as ridiculous as it could be.

Steve Hulett said...

Okay, it's clear you don't want to roll out any actual facts, so if you'll allow me. From the World Health Organization:

"The U.S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries according to its performance, the [WHO] report finds. The United Kingdom, which spends just six percent of GDP on health services, ranks 18th . Several small countries – San Marino, Andorra, Malta and Singapore are rated close behind second- placed Italy. ..."

http://www.who.int/whr/2000/media_centre/press_release/en/

And so on and so forth. But you just go right on with the sneering, ad hominem attacks. Anything to divert attention away from real world stats.

Anonymous said...

Here's a chart for your fact challenged opponent, Steve, since I don't think his reading comprehension is very good.

You'll note that the UK and Canada combined spend a little less per capita than we do (put another way, the average cost for health care for a Canadian AND a Brit is less than the average annual cost of a single American). There are plenty of other developed countries, many of which have better life expectancies, and ALL with much cheaper per capita health care costs.

The weird thing is that this yahoo thinks that not having to pay as much in defense spending somehow leads to cheaper health care costs. How the hell does that work? That's so nonsensical that it's almost psychotic.

Anonymous said...

More wonderful reports from the health care system we wish we had: the UK's NHS.
http://tinyurl.com/6354zn6

Anonymous said...

Straw man argument. Few people in the US are arguing that the UK's NHS is a model we should move towards. It is widely seen as being more expensive and less effective than other European models that we actually CAN learn from.

Regarding the specific article you cited, I could give similar horror stories about heath care in the United States that I've personally witnessed.

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