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Comment Re:Single payer system would avoid this problem (Score 1) 327

The one area that US healthcare statistically outshines the rest of the world is cancer survival. I wonder if this is why.

Does it? The CONCORD-2 study did a pretty large comparison of 60+ countries and while the US was well amongst the lead group it wasn't significantly ahead. Some graphs here. If you have different figures I'm interested to see them.

Comment Re:Lack of government is the problem (Score 1) 327

Which is tremendous unless you're the poor fool who used to get paid to clean the streets. But no matter, you can go on workfare too and do something that someone used to get paid to do. The next thing you know you've got a significant chunk of people with no spending power which which is going to take a bite out of business and make them start laying people off... work for welfare doesn't have a significant effect on a small scale but if you roll it out on a large scale it smells a little like economic death spiral to me. When you factor in administration and compliance monitoring this program is also going to be hellishly expensive.

Comment Re:Single payer system would avoid this problem (Score 1) 327

Last I checked I think the US had a foreign born population of between 10 and 15 percent. In single payer countries like Australia and New Zealand that's more like a quarter so don't drop the less homogeneous excuse. I haven't checked the UK but I suspect the numbers would be at least comparable to the US.

If the federal government is too unwieldy then give it to the states. Some of the smaller ones may have to work together to increase their negotiating power but it's doable if the will is there.

I the biggest barrier to single payer in the US is a very effective propaganda war being waged by special interest groups.

Comment Re: John Oliver (Score 2) 954

If I have the choice between being confronted by a criminal with a knife and a criminal with a gun I'll go for the knife every time. Against a gun my chances are little better than the criminal can't shoot straight. Against a knife I have the opportunity to run if I choose and in most situations I can lay my hands on a weapon that will give me a chance in a fight. For example: from where I'm sitting now I can reach a glass lamp, a large screwdriver, a 2m length of coax, my chair and a claw hammer.

Comment Re:About as far as you can throw a strawman (Score 1) 620

Not them, but certainly others. If you care to look you'll find that there are a lot of leaders around the world, including in the middle east, begging people to stop shooting in the air because people get injured and killed. Here's a couple of names to google: Brendon Mackey and Shannon Smith.

Comment Re:Slashdot? (Score 1) 822

For the United States hard data is surprisingly difficult to come by but the guardian says that 903 people have been killed by law enforcement so far this year. The Washington Post says that the number is consistently above 1000 per year.

In Australia between 1989 and 2011 there were 105 people killed by law enforcement so maybe 5-6 per year.

I make the US population about 14x the Australian population so per capita US law enforcement are killing more than 10x the number of people.

Comment Re:Lack of context? (Score 1) 822

I pulled up the CDC stats for 2013: 895 deaths by poisoning for people aged 0-19. A bit higher than the number you quoted but in the ballpark. Of these 754 were over 15 years of age. The year before there were 928 poisoning deaths in the 0-19 age group of which 756 were aged above 15. Go back another year it was 907/1072. It appears to me that you're taking what looks like teen suicides and maybe drug overdoses, blaming the parents, and suggesting that it is relevant to a discussion on accidental shootings involving toddlers.

Comment Re: Laws (Score 1) 822

I'd like to see how you arrive at that conclusion. Granted, I only spent ten minutes googling but the highest estimate on bucket drownings was 10-40 per year. Even taking the worst end of that statistic you're still well behind toddler firearm deaths. The CDC puts the figure at 80ish but other sources are suggesting that figure is low, possibly due to the CDC being severely restricted on the subject.

Comment Re:I'll make sure to let me sister know (Score 1) 164

Hey, don't look down under to make you feel better about your expensive plans. For AU$50 my current provider will give you unlimited calls, unlimited text, and 10 gig of data - either 4G or 3G depending on what is available in your area. Unused data can be rolled over to the next month. Now international calls are limited - I think to the countries I would call occasionally the plan includes what works out to about 6 hours talk time a month - but I don't call overseas from my mobile (cell) phone all that often. After we do a currency conversion we get a plan price of about $35 in American money. Even the most overpriced unwieldy telecommunications company in Australia (I think most Australians would know to whom I refer) will give you 7gig and unlimited talk for under the US$50 pricepoint. For only 1gig with unlimited talk and text prices start around AU$30 or US$21.

One more thing, never paid for an incoming text in my life - what is that all about?

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