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Thread: health, the individual & society

  1. #1 health, the individual & society 
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    (this is somewhat of a rant directed towards zubs, but for all to see and comment on)

    "health care is not "providing for the common defense" or "maintaining the peace", " zubs

    Maybe not directly, but the low class from which criminals are bred are reknowned for also being unhealthy, suggesting correlation if not causation between health and social-opertunity.

    Also, healthier people, generally make better decisions, hence why more poorer people tend to be more unhealthy; and the extent of mental problems and cults in prisons; and wealth is a measure of good decisions, at least in the capitalism that you claim to be biased towards.

    As a type of libertarian myself, although not especially biased towards capitalism like you, I think it's up to each individual to maintain their own health. As a hobby-nutritionist, I think that a healthy nation is better at defending itself as well as maintaining it's own peace, without resorting to federal involvement. As a hobby-psychologist, I think that anxiety and cultural alienation is a major part of crime, and that a social health care -- although not my favorite concept -- will act to (re)incorporate otherwise neglected/alienated youth, minorities, and disenfranchised workers, into our society.

    People complain about certain immigrant groups (because they don't adapt over night, IMO), older people complain about the attitudes of young people(because they have more energy, and seek ways to use it, IMO), and proud workers complain about bums(plain old self righteous propaghanda, IMO), but what are these antagonists doing to incorporate the objects of their contempt into their culture? to allow them the chance to be a part of their culture; or even to get to know them for what they are; not the archetypel stereotypes associated with them? Very little, and so they are creating their own problems.

    Not only are they maintianing false ideas of what these people are("these people" then react to the alienation, by creating false archtypes of "us") but by alienating them from society, they are hindering their ability, not just to socialize but to make a living, which is a threat to their survival. When they react agressively, and resort to crime, and we see statistics showing "them" as being the cause and "us" as being the relatively good citizens, it supports these antagonists' points of veiw, but it really seems to me to be a two way street. The more we alienate eachother, -- which is a form of compitition, IMO, amplified by capitalist philosophy -- the more we as a society need federal involvement to remain united.

    Health care is just one more thing that is an overcompensation for something we as individuals should be doing ourselves; no different than most of the fruits our republic has promised, it will rot long before dropping. Nonetheless this rotten fruit is sweeter than ash, that will become of this nation if we continue to focus on the individualism that made it powerfull, and ignore the communities that hold it together.


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  3. #2 Re: health, the individual & society 
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    (this is somewhat of a rant directed towards zubs, but for all to see and comment on)
    Well, I'll do my best to respond to it to get the discussion going
    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    "health care is not "providing for the common defense" or "maintaining the peace", " zubs
    I actual mispoke, I intended it being providing health insurance not health care. Health care (hospitals) cannot deny care to anyone (Pursuit of Life is something the government cannot interfere with).
    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Maybe not directly, but the low class from which criminals are bred are reknowned for also being unhealthy, suggesting correlation if not causation between health and social-opertunity.
    No arguments here.
    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Also, healthier people, generally make better decisions, hence why more poorer people tend to be more unhealthy; and the extent of mental problems and cults in prisons; and wealth is a measure of good decisions, at least in the capitalism that you claim to be biased towards.
    I would claim educated people make better decisions and educated people make healthier decisions. It depends how you define wealth. I don't mean to sound dismissive, but 'wealth' means something different to someone of Donald Trump's stature vs. the small business owner (who employs something like two-thirds of american workers). The access to pursue choices that can yield wealth I would argue is what capitalism provides.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    As a type of libertarian myself,
    I would argue there is only one type of libertarian.
    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman

    As a type of libertarian myself, although not especially biased towards capitalism like you, I think it's up to each individual to maintain their own health.
    Self directed choices are a cornerstone of the Libertarian Party. Therefore, choosing how to live your life and the consequences that are involved would fall under pursuit of happiness.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    As a hobby-nutritionist, I think that a healthy nation is better at defending itself as well as maintaining it's own peace, without resorting to federal involvement.
    Not sure we are defining these terms the same. Providing for the defense is the right of our government to have an armed forces that act to defend our personal liberties from attacks. Maintaining the peace is what law enforcement (the Justice Department) does. Healthy 'peace maintainers' are ensured by regulations on physical requirements to be in law enforcement as well as military reserve/national guard.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    As a hobby-psychologist, I think that anxiety and cultural alienation is a major part of crime, and that a social health care -- although not my favorite concept -- will act to (re)incorporate otherwise neglected/alienated youth, minorities, and disenfranchised workers, into our society.
    I could just as easily say that giving everyone 'truly affordable access to' healthcare would fulfill this same premise.
    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    People complain about certain immigrant groups (because they don't adapt over night, IMO), older people complain about the attitudes of young people(because they have more energy, and seek ways to use it, IMO), and proud workers complain about bums(plain old self righteous propaghanda, IMO), but what are these antagonists doing to incorporate the objects of their contempt into their culture? to allow them the chance to be a part of their culture; or even to get to know them for what they are; not the archetypel stereotypes associated with them? Very little, and so they are creating their own problems.
    Well, the first amendment gives everyone the right to both have and express their opinions no matter how disliked they might be by others. Also, there is nothing the federal government can or should do to try to force people to like each other more. This is a personal choice that will be best influenced by local communities and by neighbors.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Not only are they maintianing false ideas of what these people are("these people" then react to the alienation, by creating false archtypes of "us") but by alienating them from society, they are hindering their ability, not just to socialize but to make a living, which is a threat to their survival.
    There are so many community and government oriented subsidies to allow anyone 'underrepresented' to get equal access to things others have. If this were really true, then you would have zero successful individuals that came from those neighborhoods/culture/socioeconmic houselholds. Since there are many people who 'make it' despite their deplorable environment growing up, the truth becomes clear that people's choices are what yield results. Blaming everyone else for why you cannot be a success is simply using scapegoats to offset your shortcomings or lack of ambition etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman

    When they react agressively, and resort to crime, and we see statistics showing "them" as being the cause and "us" as being the relatively good citizens, it supports these antagonists' points of veiw, but it really seems to me to be a two way street. The more we alienate eachother, -- which is a form of compitition, IMO, amplified by capitalist philosophy -- the more we as a society need federal involvement to remain united.
    The federal government has actually caused this problem. By enforcing high taxes on the citizenry, they actually cause "us" (from your statement above) to be less inclined to be charitable and philanthropic. The evidence is plenty out there to support this. Everytime government reduces taxes, charitable giving goes up. If we could be involved in helping locally impoverished people, then we would be less antagonistic. I would argue that capitalist philosophy is what allows these people the opportunity to rise above their condition and cultural climate. There are many small business owners who were born and raised in the 'ghetto' and do fine for themselves and their families even in their local neighborhoods they grew up in.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Health care is just one more thing that is an overcompensation for something we as individuals should be doing ourselves; no different than most of the fruits our republic has promised, it will rot long before dropping. Nonetheless this rotten fruit is sweeter than ash, that will become of this nation if we continue to focus on the individualism that made it powerfull, and ignore the communities that hold it together.
    Yes I agree with the caveat that the government is the ten ton elephant blocking the individual from connecting with his community.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    "I would claim educated people make better decisions and educated people make healthier decisions."

    In general, yes. Average income goes up with education as well.

    "It depends how you define wealth."

    Anything with an exchange value.

    "I don't mean to sound dismissive, but 'wealth' means something different to someone of Donald Trump's stature vs. the small business owner (who employs something like two-thirds of american workers)."

    I think political economists--without personal attachments to the word--are best suited to define it.

    "The access to pursue choices that can yield wealth I would argue is what capitalism provides."

    Hunter gatherers of olde pursued wealth in the form of the food they hunted and gathered. This is all wealth, since it is exchangeable for other things, whether it's a different type of food or the attention of a prospective mate.

    Capitalism doesn't provide the ability to yield wealth; ability does, since labor is the only thing that yields wealth.

    "I would argue there is only one type of libertarian."

    Well, Libertarian Socialism is a relatively new apolitical ideology, I wouldn't be suprised if you've never heard of it. I would be more suprised if political scientists and historians have included it in their "Official List of Political Ideologies"
    slightly less suprised if such a list exists, and most suprised of all if Libertarian Socialism meets the requirements to be included.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    "I would claim educated people make better decisions and educated people make healthier decisions."

    In general, yes. Average income goes up with education as well.

    "It depends how you define wealth."

    Anything with an exchange value.
    That is a very simplistic view, not to mention you actually more closely defined a commodity. Many people would define wealth as being prosperous to have a home and family that they can reliably provide for. This may simply be a $40k/year gross income, but they feel wealthy. The point is tha under another economic system they may only be given the right to have enough income to live in a one bedroom shack and eat bread crumbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    "I don't mean to sound dismissive, but 'wealth' means something different to someone of Donald Trump's stature vs. the small business owner (who employs something like two-thirds of american workers)."

    I think political economists--without personal attachments to the word--are best suited to define it.
    What do you mean by 'personal attachments to the world (I assume you meant world and not word"?
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcusclayman
    Quote Originally Posted by zubs1
    "The access to pursue choices that can yield wealth I would argue is what capitalism provides."
    Hunter gatherers of olde pursued wealth in the form of the food they hunted and gathered. This is all wealth, since it is exchangeable for other things, whether it's a different type of food or the attention of a prospective mate.
    You are describing a 'bartering' system, not a capitalist system. Captialism requires the ownership of production distribution and exchange of wealth.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcusclayman
    Capitalism doesn't provide the ability to yield wealth; ability does, since labor is the only thing that yields wealth.
    I actually said that capitalism provides access to pursue choices that can yield wealth. Meaning that in a socialist society I have no access to choices of how to invest my talent or ambition since that is made for me. I therefore cannot provide a superior product for a cheaper rate to sell to another individual; I can only perform a task so the state can allocate my product to a specific item they see fit.


    Quote Originally Posted by Marcusclayman
    "I would argue there is only one type of libertarian."

    Well, Libertarian Socialism is a relatively new apolitical ideology, I wouldn't be suprised if you've never heard of it. I would be more suprised if political scientists and historians have included it in their "Official List of Political Ideologies"
    slightly less suprised if such a list exists, and most suprised of all if Libertarian Socialism meets the requirements to be included.
    The two facets of the Libertarian party are free market (capitalism) and decentralize and or minimize concentration of power while maximizing personal liberties. However, they still wish for there to be an authority in place to provide for protection of these liberties. LS does not want there to be any authority shy of some local community trade unions/worker's councils etc. So they are leaning towards a pure democracy so that no power is concentrated in the hands of few people, while also wanting to keep the ownership of all resources and distribution of services equally distributed among the populace. You cannot have one and the other. People are greedy; its inherent in our nature. We want to preserve our own well being and the well being of what we treasure (family, property etc.). We therefore will do what we can to ensure that happening; meaning we will to some degree screw over our neighbor to get our goals. We require the state to protect the liberty of all, because we cannot govern ourselves (as a equally distributed power system). Likewise, we turn to religious texts to provide authoritative oversight on what actions are permissible when pursuing our 'greed'.

    Now I'm not sure if you are claiming to be a LS, or simply are trying to point out that other forms of Libertarianism exist. If it was the latter, then I would argue that they are trying to separate principles that are attached firmly together to form something that the would be despised by those whom they took part of the ideology.
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  6. #5 Re: health, the individual & society 
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    Quote Originally Posted by zubs1
    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Also, healthier people, generally make better decisions, hence why more poorer people tend to be more unhealthy; and the extent of mental problems and cults in prisons; and wealth is a measure of good decisions, at least in the capitalism that you claim to be biased towards.
    I would claim educated people make better decisions and educated people make healthier decisions. It depends how you define wealth. I don't mean to sound dismissive, but 'wealth' means something different to someone of Donald Trump's stature vs. the small business owner (who employs something like two-thirds of american workers). The access to pursue choices that can yield wealth I would argue is what capitalism provides.
    I would start by talking about access to healthy food. In our country, obesity seems to strike the poor even harder than the wealthy. Just visit a trailer park, and you'll see what I mean.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    As a hobby-nutritionist, I think that a healthy nation is better at defending itself as well as maintaining it's own peace, without resorting to federal involvement.
    Not sure we are defining these terms the same. Providing for the defense is the right of our government to have an armed forces that act to defend our personal liberties from attacks. Maintaining the peace is what law enforcement (the Justice Department) does. Healthy 'peace maintainers' are ensured by regulations on physical requirements to be in law enforcement as well as military reserve/national guard.
    Market forces would drive them to lower their standards if the average level of fitness were lower throughout the population. Either that, or they'd have to raise their wages in order to recruit from the dwindling pool of healthy people. It's supply and demand. If supply goes down, the price goes up.


    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    As a hobby-psychologist, I think that anxiety and cultural alienation is a major part of crime, and that a social health care -- although not my favorite concept -- will act to (re)incorporate otherwise neglected/alienated youth, minorities, and disenfranchised workers, into our society.
    I could just as easily say that giving everyone 'truly affordable access to' healthcare would fulfill this same premise.
    Maybe "truly affordable access to" health insurance would work, but not truly health care itself. There's never going to be a "truly affordable" cure for cancer, or a "truly affordable" heart transplant, if you don't have insurance.

    Suppose a criminal shoots you in the liver, and it fails. How would you ever afford the health care you need for that out of pocket?
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  7. #6 Re: health, the individual & society 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by zubs1
    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Also, healthier people, generally make better decisions, hence why more poorer people tend to be more unhealthy; and the extent of mental problems and cults in prisons; and wealth is a measure of good decisions, at least in the capitalism that you claim to be biased towards.
    I would claim educated people make better decisions and educated people make healthier decisions. It depends how you define wealth. I don't mean to sound dismissive, but 'wealth' means something different to someone of Donald Trump's stature vs. the small business owner (who employs something like two-thirds of american workers). The access to pursue choices that can yield wealth I would argue is what capitalism provides.
    I would start by talking about access to healthy food. In our country, obesity seems to strike the poor even harder than the wealthy. Just visit a trailer park, and you'll see what I mean.
    So, instead of: educated people = wealthier people =healthier people, then educated pepole=wealthier people +healthier food = healthier people.... I'll buy that.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    As a hobby-nutritionist, I think that a healthy nation is better at defending itself as well as maintaining it's own peace, without resorting to federal involvement.
    Quote Originally Posted by zubbs1
    Not sure we are defining these terms the same. Providing for the defense is the right of our government to have an armed forces that act to defend our personal liberties from attacks. Maintaining the peace is what law enforcement (the Justice Department) does. Healthy 'peace maintainers' are ensured by regulations on physical requirements to be in law enforcement as well as military reserve/national guard.
    Market forces would drive them to lower their standards if the average level of fitness were lower throughout the population. Either that, or they'd have to raise their wages in order to recruit from the dwindling pool of healthy people. It's supply and demand. If supply goes down, the price goes up.
    I think you misunderstood my point. The federal government has the authority to keep an army and run emergency response services and as such they will be able to regulate them to require whatever physical requirement they merit as necessary. As an aside, I will say that I am not necessarily on board with changing requirements, lowering the bar, to allow people who shouldn't be engaged in the job. For example to allow women wishing to be firefighters to not pass the same physical requirement testing (being able to lift x pounds from floor and carry out, but rather to simply drag that weight). The truth is the physical requirements don't bias against anyone, they are simply minimum standards to do the job. I don't think the emergency response should be privately run....
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Maybe "truly affordable access to" health insurance would work, but not truly health care itself. There's never going to be a "truly affordable" cure for cancer, or a "truly affordable" heart transplant, if you don't have insurance.
    I never said to 'not' have health insurance. I simply said that if the government ensured that we had access to affordable health insurance then they would be following through on their 'maintain the peace/provide for the common defense' responsiblity/authority.

    Technology always gets cheaper in a free market over time. Cures for cancer will be affordable, perhaps not the coolest most rad thing that was developed last week, but certainly not the 20 year old non effective treatment.

    Which actually reminds me of my other argument. We should have access to affordable health insurance, not guaranteed inclusion in medical treatment that is the most cutting edge on the planet (unless we are willing to pay extra for it). It is highly unrealistic (albeit heart breaking) to think that just because you have a highly aggressive rare form of lymphoma, for example, that you should be covered at 100% for a treatment that is not out of clinical trials that legitimately costs a pharm producer 10's if not 100's of thousands of dollars to produce a dosage adequate for your needs. Just because we can produce something does not entitle everyone to it just because they pay for basic health insurance. Health insurance is simply a means to reduce the risk of financial ruin. Reducing liability does not equal guaranteed coverage for every possible ultra rare treatment. Again I understand the humanitarian argument against this, but the truth is that a power hierarchy has ALWAYS existed that dictates who gets the premium of the premium access to whatever (be it royalty of old, or wealthy of new).
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  8. #7  
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    Maybe not directly, but the low class from which criminals are bred are reknowned for also being unhealthy, suggesting correlation if not causation between health and social-opertunity.
    "the low class from which criminals are bred"
    Can you clarify this statement, are you implying that there is a class of humans that inherently are subject to criminal behavior or that criminal behavior is primarily caused by the environments, experiences and culture?


    Also, healthier people, generally make better decisions, hence why more poorer people tend to be more unhealthy
    Do people choose to live next to an industrial plant instead of the prestine area because they want to live in poluted areas or because they cant affoard to select which house to live in?

    Poorer people tend to be unhealthy NOT because they make worse descisions given all options that rich people have but because they dont have the options(money) to choose a better quality of life, food and have less control over their lives and more stress(as demonstrated by a study in the UK). Culture and environment also play a part.
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  9. #8 Re: health, the individual & society 
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I would start by talking about access to healthy food. In our country, obesity seems to strike the poor even harder than the wealthy. Just visit a trailer park, and you'll see what I mean.

    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    Poorer people tend to be unhealthy NOT because they make worse descisions given all options that rich people have but because they dont have the options(money) to choose a better quality of life, food ...
    I've heard this said a few times elsewhere, and don't really get it. I've been on a diet for about 10 months now (lost 80+ lb) so I'm very aware of nutrition. I can't see where eating healthy has to be more expensive. You can waste your money on organic food, etc. but you don't have to.

    I stopped at the supermarket today and checked out some prices. Candy (4.80/lb) donuts (2.85/lb) chips (4.00/lb) were more expensive than things like fresh apples and oranges (1.00/lb) dried beans, rice, or barley (1.00/lb). Bananas were 60 cents a pound, 40 cents for the ripe ones. Potatoes were 2.99 for a 10 lb bag. The skim milk, at 1.66 for a half gallon was a little more expensive than soft drinks at $.75 for 2 liters, but tap water is better for you than the pop.

    In the meat department, the fat laden kolbassi was $2.66/lb but frozen turkey could be had for $1.99.

    Now, what is this cheap food the poor people are eating? To me, it still looks like a bad decision problem, not a money problem.
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  10. #9 Re: health, the individual & society 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    I've heard this said a few times elsewhere, and don't really get it. I've been on a diet for about 10 months now (lost 80+ lb) so I'm very aware of nutrition.
    Wow. Well done, Harold. That is quite an accomplishment. Well done, man.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Now, what is this cheap food the poor people are eating? To me, it still looks like a bad decision problem, not a money problem.
    Well said.
    One exception, fresh fruits and veggies can add to your grocery bill in a hurry. There are, of course, alternatives, but it's something to consider.
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  11. #10  
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    "One exception, fresh fruits and veggies can add to your grocery bill in a hurry"

    Some can, but not all. As Harold stated, potatoes and bananas are very cheep.



    Thanks for bringing that up harold, I was going to focus on a totaly different aspect, the one that individuals are free to leave their area. That culture, is one thing, but there are enough sub cultures, at least in America, that you can find your way out if you'd like.

    I've been homeless for years, without food stamps until the past 2 months. I volunteered at soup kitchens and food pantrys. I learned to cook quite well, and my friends loved letting me live with them because I'd bring them food, and cook and clean.

    I am not claiming to have the solution for all unfortunates, in fact, I am quite fortunate and I owe my fortune to a sound mind, and the ability to forsake people's opinions of me. I exersize, even though my lazy pot smoking friends make fun of me, and I eat healthy when they eat nothing but meat. I abstain from their vices, and read about the things they learn on the history channell.

    But I am a particular case, just like those who live down wind of factories.There is something about us particulars that ruins an otherwise ineffable generalisation, nonetheless, the generalisation is useful, for the general group considered.

    Anyway, I was staying down wind of a factory in a squat house, I decided it would be healthier(not just because of the factory air undoubtedly seeping into the squat, but also because of the environment already present within that hell hole) to live up wind in the woods.

    Then when things got colder, I decided it would be healthier to go back to work and find a place to live for the winter.

    There are an infinite possibilities, but most poor people are less reactive to possibilities than wealthier people. Hence why our society gives opertunities to some and not to others, because generally speaking, those we give opertunities to will better use them. Those we don't give opertunities, like myself, can find their own just as easy, if not easier, because many of my niches are uncontested.


    enough self righteousness, sorry for going off on a rant, but I reject your study for completely subjective reasons, with a blind faith that the more studies are done, the more we will understand, no matter the systems, individuals decide
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  12. #11 Re: health, the individual & society 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370

    I stopped at the supermarket today and checked out some prices. Candy (4.80/lb) donuts (2.85/lb) chips (4.00/lb) were more expensive than things like fresh apples and oranges (1.00/lb) dried beans, rice, or barley (1.00/lb). Bananas were 60 cents a pound, 40 cents for the ripe ones. Potatoes were 2.99 for a 10 lb bag. The skim milk, at 1.66 for a half gallon was a little more expensive than soft drinks at $.75 for 2 liters, but tap water is better for you than the pop.
    I've heard that beans and rice have pretty much all the nutrition a person needs. Mexican people seem to eat pretty healthy on a low budget. So, I have to admit that a person could feed themselves pretty well, if they just give up on the luxuries.

    Another possible explanation why obesity prevails could be because a lot of poor people are working multiple jobs and don't have time to cook. Or if their poverty is caused by laziness, then they'll probably be too lazy to cook.

    There's also unhealthiness caused by the physical strain of some jobs. I know from doing construction, that it's easy for a construction worker's knees to wear about before they're 50, or other injuries can result from the prolonged, unnatural positions that people have to put their bodies in. Ideally all jobs would be like the classic ditch digger situation, where the job is actually helping you get in shape, but I guess we've automated a lot of those kinds of tasks.
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  13. #12 Re: health, the individual & society 
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    I've heard this said a few times elsewhere, and don't really get it. I've been on a diet for about 10 months now (lost 80+ lb) so I'm very aware of nutrition.
    Wow. Well done, Harold. That is quite an accomplishment. Well done, man.
    Thank you, sir.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Now, what is this cheap food the poor people are eating? To me, it still looks like a bad decision problem, not a money problem.
    Well said.
    One exception, fresh fruits and veggies can add to your grocery bill in a hurry. There are, of course, alternatives, but it's something to consider.
    Forgot to mention the carrots at 4.00 for a 5 lb bag and the frozen veggies that were on sale for 60 cents a pound.

    Another thing I heard, I think it was on NPR, was a suggestion that as part of health care reform, we should buy people a gym membership. Absurd. I haven't set foot in a gym, nor bought any exercise equipment, unless you count the $5.00 pedometer or the treadmill I havent used in years.

    I walk the dog for an hour or so a day. Cost: nothing. I just started the 5bx exercise program. It's just calisthenics, no gym equipment. It was good enough for the Canadian air force in the sixties, and should be good enough for anybody.
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  14. #13  
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    we're all born with all the exercise equipment we will ever need
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  15. #14  
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    I've heard this said a few times elsewhere, and don't really get it.
    1- You are correct, it is POSSIBLE to live on water, beans and bananas. You might be comparing different things, situations and levels of preperation, however, as if they were the same. For each given situation and convenience if you have more money you have more choices to choose from;

    - FROZEN turkey might be cheaper at your grocery, but I garantee that fresh turkey cuts are much more expensive than bolonia cuts at my grocery.
    - If you go to the restaurant, fast food is often cheaper(50cent hotdog) than a fine restaurant.
    - A typical GMO-pesticide agro-industrial supermarket is cheaper than an organic groceries.

    But why would all this make a difference if people can technically just eat water, beans and bananas? Because when you take a step back and observe a large population, theres a huge difference between possible and practical, something that is irrelevant on an individual level can be significant over a large population, the environment can have more of an impact than might be apparent, and you can see this from another perspective...

    2- From an individual micro perspective you are also correct. Individual decisions are made. From a micro level perspective, accidents at an intersection without a trafic light system are indeed the "fault" of each driver in the accidents, its very possible to cross the intersection without crashing into another car and its their descision to look in the mirror at the wrong time or for driving too fast or underestimating the other car's speed and trajectory, etc. But from a macro level perspective, the question is what is the effect of the environment in which these individual cases occur and is it beneficial or detrimental, and then you can estimate that a traffic light system would reduce the number of accidents on average over a year. You still have individual decisions made but the system/environment makes it easier/convenient/likely that on average for a large population/sample there will be less accidents. Now, you could argue that no trafic light is needed because drivers "just have to make the proper decisions" (all the time in all situations) to avoid accidents at the intersection, and say that the accidents are a case of bad descisions, but that would be missing part of the bigger picture(Macro perspective).

    The best situation is for individuals to make the better decisions and for society to make it easier to do so.

    In the US Crime is often seen from a micro perspective imo; He's the guitly one, jail will make him think twice the next time, we need harder sentences, look at that criminal, etc. Yet the inmate population is soaring and crimes still occur, while in the Netherlands which has a more preventive(macro perspective/environment) approach is closing down prisons for lack of criminals. Each criminal in the Netherlands is still responsible individually, but the social environment is organized in a way that makes crimes less likely in general.

    Hope this helps see another point of view

    we should buy people a gym membership. Absurd
    Agreed.
    What can be done from a macro perspective is to design/organize cities so that it is more convenient/safe/practical to walk and ride a bike/bus in everyday life. There are some places where most of the urban system is designed strictily for the car and makes walking and riding impractical, where as other places are organized to make it practical (in some regions its very practical to go to work with a bike and most offices have showers for employees).
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    I've heard this said a few times elsewhere, and don't really get it.
    1- You are correct, it is POSSIBLE to live on water, beans and bananas. You might be comparing different things, situations and levels of preperation, however, as if they were the same. For each given situation and convenience if you have more money you have more choices to choose from;

    - FROZEN turkey might be cheaper at your grocery, but I garantee that fresh turkey cuts are much more expensive than bolonia cuts at my grocery.
    - If you go to the restaurant, fast food is often cheaper(50cent hotdog) than a fine restaurant.
    You kind of forgot about the potatoes, the fruit and the veggies.

    If somebody is getting fat on baloney and hot dogs, they are eating too much meat. Visit the USDA pyramid web site and you will notice that meat should be a very small part of a healthy diet.

    The biggest food related health problem is obesity, and if somebody is obese, they might well be eating twice as many calories as they should. So the smart choice would be cut back on the amount of food and spend a little more of your food dollars on the good stuff, which you don't need near as much of.

    As far as going to a restaurant is concerned, I seldom do it and shouldn't have to pay for anybody else to go either. Now, you may think it would be nice to treat somebody to a restaurant meal, but it's got nothing to do with health care. Eating in even a more upscale sit-down restaurant is not typically a very healthy thing to do. The portions are generally too big and everything is loaded up with butter, cheese, and salt. That's for the simple reason that the restaurants serve what most people want, and most people want unhealthy food. No reason to think the poor person will do anything different. Again, it's choices not a lack of money.

    - A typical GMO-pesticide agro-industrial supermarket is cheaper than an organic groceries.
    And it's just as good for you, based on any scientific measure.
    But why would all this make a difference if people can technically just eat water, beans and bananas? Because when you take a step back and observe a large population, theres a huge difference between possible and practical, something that is irrelevant on an individual level can be significant over a large population, the environment can have more of an impact than might be apparent, and you can see this from another perspective...

    2- From an individual micro perspective you are also correct. Individual decisions are made. From a micro level perspective, accidents at an intersection without a trafic light system are indeed the "fault" of each driver in the accidents, its very possible to cross the intersection without crashing into another car and its their descision to look in the mirror at the wrong time or for driving too fast or underestimating the other car's speed and trajectory, etc. But from a macro level perspective, the question is what is the effect of the environment in which these individual cases occur and is it beneficial or detrimental, and then you can estimate that a traffic light system would reduce the number of accidents on average over a year. You still have individual decisions made but the system/environment makes it easier/convenient/likely that on average for a large population/sample there will be less accidents. Now, you could argue that no trafic light is needed because drivers "just have to make the proper decisions" (all the time in all situations) to avoid accidents at the intersection, and say that the accidents are a case of bad descisions, but that would be missing part of the bigger picture(Macro perspective).

    The best situation is for individuals to make the better decisions and for society to make it easier to do so.

    In the US Crime is often seen from a micro perspective imo; He's the guitly one, jail will make him think twice the next time, we need harder sentences, look at that criminal, etc. Yet the inmate population is soaring and crimes still occur, while in the Netherlands which has a more preventive(macro perspective/environment) approach is closing down prisons for lack of criminals. Each criminal in the Netherlands is still responsible individually, but the social environment is organized in a way that makes crimes less likely in general.

    Hope this helps see another point of view

    we should buy people a gym membership. Absurd
    Agreed.
    What can be done from a macro perspective is to design/organize cities so that it is more convenient/safe/practical to walk and ride a bike/bus in everyday life. There are some places where most of the urban system is designed strictily for the car and makes walking and riding impractical, where as other places are organized to make it practical (in some regions its very practical to go to work with a bike and most offices have showers for employees).
    I'm all in favor of safe streets and everything, but don't try to cast it as a health care issue. It isn't. As I mentioned before, I am doing the 5bx program, and that can be done in your own home, in 11 minutes. In fact, it's more convenient and environmentally friendly, because you don't have to go anywhere. It's all you need to achieve a high level of fitness.
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  17. #16 Re: health, the individual & society 
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    As a type of libertarian myself, although not especially biased towards capitalism like you, I think it's up to each individual to maintain their own health.
    ...
    Health care is just one more thing that is an overcompensation for something we as individuals should be doing ourselves.
    That is only true to a certain extent. There is more to health than just lifestyle. A lot of it is genetics and some of it is luck (e.g. accidents). You could be doing everything right and still get sick.
    I do think it's very important for people to do what they can to be healthy, but that is not a good argument against providing people with health care, imo. Some people can't help but get sick, and some people can't afford health care. Besides, health care is important not just for curing the sick but also for keeping people from getting sick in the first place (for example, if cancer is caught early the chances of survival are much better).
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  18. #17  
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    http://thescienceforum.com/posting.p...=reply&t=20835

    "Cause Number of deaths resulting

    Smoking 435,000 deaths or 18.1% of the total deaths

    Overweight and Obesity 365,000 deaths or 15.2% of the total deaths.

    Alcohol consumption 85,000 deaths or 3.5% of the total deaths.

    Infections 75,000 deaths or 3.1% of the total deaths.

    Toxic agents 55,000 deaths or 2.3% of the total deaths.

    Motor vehicle collisions 43,000 deaths or 1.8% of the total deaths.

    Incidents involving firearms 29,000 deaths or 1.2% of the total.

    Sexually transmitted infections 20,000 deaths or 0.8% of the total.

    Illicit use of drugs 17,000 deaths or 0.7% of the total deaths."



    We don't have to choose between treatment, or prevention in our health care system. We can have both, in a ratio that science shows us is most cost effective.
    Dick, be Frank.

    Ambiguity Kills.
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  19. #18 Re: health, the individual & society 
    gc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Now, what is this cheap food the poor people are eating? To me, it still looks like a bad decision problem, not a money problem.
    I would say that one of the biggest factors for eating healthy is not so much money, but free time. It's a lot easier to grab a burger at McDonalds or microwave a pizza pop than it is to prepare a proper meal (and doing the dishes afterwards!). Fresh fruit and vegetables don't require much preparation, but they only last so long which means it takes time to go to the store frequently, especially if you don't own a car or live near a supermarket.

    That begs the question, who has more free time, rich people or poor people? On the one hand, high paying jobs such as doctors, lawyers, business executives etc. often have long hours.
    On the other hand in households with one person earning a high salary, the other spouse can stay home and cook meals. In cases where both spouses have a high paying job, they can hire someone else to help out. In poorer households, both spouses often work, sometimes more than one job. In a single parent household, it's even worse.

    That could be one reason why poorer households eat less healthy. It's just a thought, I'd need to see some statistics to back it up with evidence.
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  20. #19  
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    Oh, and this doesn't apply just to nutrition. Apparently society is more healthy during times of recession, presumably because more people are out of work. That leaves more time to exercise, visit the doctor, care for a sick loved one, etc...
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