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critique requested -- why scandinavian states have better run social programs

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i was talking to someone i barely knew when this came up.  denmark, norway, and finland have like 5.5MM each.  sweden has 10MM.

my assertion: the geospatial component of serving doctors over such a small population concentration coupled with what has been historically a homogeneous racial population makes it easy to get cultural buy in to spending everyone's tax dollars on everyone's public good of healthcare and transportation.  there are other reasons; defense budgets of each of these countries is pretty low as a percentage of GDP (1963, the highest year of the past 56 years for sweden, it was 3.68%), norway has vast energy reserves, etc...

but my takeaway is that it's easy to sell the public on taking care of each other when the public looks like each other.  america's regrettable tradition of racism and proclivities for labeling sections of the population as lazy and indolent are a huge contributing factor to the cultural opposition to things like socialized health care.  as such, we should be careful when saying "oh the US needs to be more like denmark!"  well, yeah...  overall, sure.  but practically speaking there are hurdles we have to deal with that they don't.

i realize there's more to it than this, but i do maintain that this is a contributing factor.

i mentioned this to someone and when i got to 'racial homogeneity' he began arguing with me that today's statistics don't paint that picture.  granted.  but the history of these policies predates the current influx of human migration.  and since cultural swells take time to break, it makes sense to me that today's attitudes are largely informed by the past 20 years.  and 20 years ago by the previous 20 years.  so you don't have to go back far in time, policy wise, to get a mentality that is informed by a particularly homogeneous (and small) population.

he practically accused me of racism and stormed off.

what does mwcboard think?

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8 minutes ago, AndroidAggie said:

i was talking to someone i barely knew when this came up.  denmark, norway, and finland have like 5.5MM each.  sweden has 10MM.

my assertion: the geospatial component of serving doctors over such a small population concentration coupled with what has been historically a homogeneous racial population makes it easy to get cultural buy in to spending everyone's tax dollars on everyone's public good of healthcare and transportation.  there are other reasons; defense budgets of each of these countries is pretty low as a percentage of GDP (1963, the highest year of the past 56 years for sweden, it was 3.68%), norway has vast energy reserves, etc...

but my takeaway is that it's easy to sell the public on taking care of each other when the public looks like each other.  america's regrettable tradition of racism and proclivities for labeling sections of the population as lazy and indolent are a huge contributing factor to the cultural opposition to things like socialized health care.

i realize there's more to it than this, but i do maintain that this is a contributing factor.

i mentioned this to someone and when i got to 'racial homogeneity' he began arguing with me that today's statistics don't paint that picture.  granted.  but the history of these policies predates the current influx of human migration.  and since cultural swells take time to break, it makes sense to me that today's attitudes are largely informed by the past 20 years.  and 20 years ago by the previous 20 years.  so you don't have to go back far in time, policy wise, to get a mentality that is informed by a particularly homogeneous (and small) population.

he practically accused me of racism and stormed off.

what does mwc think?

I think you are spot on.  These countries have historically been pretty homogeneous.  Same race.  Same religion.  Similar values.  That made it much easier to have a social contract and set up these socialized health care systems, and other social programs.

Well, that is all being turned on its head now.   There are big problems appearing along racial lines, religion, with new immigrants.  Some of these immigrants are more "takers" than "contributors" right now (not always their fault).  Right wing, anti-immigrant movements are not exclusive to the US.

 

 

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Another documentary worth watching.

Shows how some of the Germans are getting angry and resentful toward the inflow of immigrants.  It helps when the immigrants learn the language.

 

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Our population, culture, and race makeup as you mentioned is nothing like those countries. Another huge factor is they spend very little on defense and thus that additional money goes into health care and other programs. If we were a small country that was not a threat to anyone we could also do things a lot different. 

A better comparison would be with countries with a large population such as China, Russia, India, and Brazil. We are light years ahead of those countries in regard to health care. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/07/world/asia/chinas-health-care-crisis.html

https://www.expatica.com/ru/healthcare/healthcare-basics/russian-healthcare-the-russian-healthcare-system-explained-104030/

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as far as socialized healthcare, I don't think race is much an issue at all. I think its much more high urban density / small density - rural, employment and age issues.  The immigration aspect is much more of why should non citizens be able to come in and get subsidized healthcare when so many US citizens are already lacking in healthcare.  

Obviously a smaller homogeneous population will have a similar opinizon of what they want and easier to agree on it vs a large diverse population.  In the US a gov't run healthcare system would be rife with waste and inefficiencies.  Gov't should assist on healthcare such as infrastructure, equipment, medicine.  Not try to run healthcare.  

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In the case of Norway, they have the oil money and used it wisely.

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57 minutes ago, AndroidAggie said:

i was talking to someone i barely knew when this came up.  denmark, norway, and finland have like 5.5MM each.  sweden has 10MM.

my assertion: the geospatial component of serving doctors over such a small population concentration coupled with what has been historically a homogeneous racial population makes it easy to get cultural buy in to spending everyone's tax dollars on everyone's public good of healthcare and transportation.  there are other reasons; defense budgets of each of these countries is pretty low as a percentage of GDP (1963, the highest year of the past 56 years for sweden, it was 3.68%), norway has vast energy reserves, etc...

but my takeaway is that it's easy to sell the public on taking care of each other when the public looks like each other.  america's regrettable tradition of racism and proclivities for labeling sections of the population as lazy and indolent are a huge contributing factor to the cultural opposition to things like socialized health care.  as such, we should be careful when saying "oh the US needs to be more like denmark!"  well, yeah...  overall, sure.  but practically speaking there are hurdles we have to deal with that they don't.

i realize there's more to it than this, but i do maintain that this is a contributing factor.

i mentioned this to someone and when i got to 'racial homogeneity' he began arguing with me that today's statistics don't paint that picture.  granted.  but the history of these policies predates the current influx of human migration.  and since cultural swells take time to break, it makes sense to me that today's attitudes are largely informed by the past 20 years.  and 20 years ago by the previous 20 years.  so you don't have to go back far in time, policy wise, to get a mentality that is informed by a particularly homogeneous (and small) population.

he practically accused me of racism and stormed off.

what does mwc think?

A few other things:

First, the population density of all of those nations is much higher than that of the US. Denmark's population density is between New Jersey and Massachusetts. That makes providing services a lot cheaper. They get more bang for their buck.

Secondly, there's essentially no need for federalism in these nations. We don't do federalism because it is inherently better; we do it because we are big and diverse. They don't have to pay for national and state level stuff, all of their programs are at the same level and so they have large savings that way. They don't have to pay for programs that benefit... 20% of metros, for example, that they are saddled with because someone made a one size fits all program for all of Europe.

Third, the capitals of all of these nations are large and fairly centrally located and are by far the dominant metropolis int he country. The lawmakers live in the results they create. That means they're far more grounded, actually knowing the people they affect, and it means they can see problems firsthand - they are far less out of touch. Stockholm county is something like 20% of Sweden; New York is something like 6% of the population of the US and the government isn't there, it is in 2% DC metro. They're not making a solution for... Phoenix that gets implemented in Minneapolis.

Fourth, we just had a big baby boom in millennials. That means that we had a big need for social spending with less taxpayers. Denmark at least has essentially a negative millennial population - their demographic pyramid shows a dip in that area. They had more taxpayers and less social spending obligations. This is a bigger deal for a lot of budget issues in the US then we give it credit for.

Image result for denmark demographic pyramid"Image result for us demographic pyramid"

Essentially the Scandinavian nations are like the Patriots, or like the house (as in a casino "house"). Their social spending, compared to us at least, has little advantages here and there they ruthlessly take advantage of that add up to meaning that they win at it over and over in the long term. 

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7 minutes ago, pokerider said:

as far as socialized healthcare, I don't think race is much an issue at all. I think its much more high urban density / small density - rural, employment and age issues.  The immigration aspect is much more of why should non citizens be able to come in and get subsidized healthcare when so many US citizens are already lacking in healthcare.  

Obviously a smaller homogeneous population will have a similar opinizon of what they want and easier to agree on it vs a large diverse population.  In the US a gov't run healthcare system would be rife with waste and inefficiencies.  Gov't should assist on healthcare such as infrastructure, equipment, medicine.  Not try to run healthcare.  

He's saying that race is an issue as in people are a lot more willing to vote for taxes that are spent on 'people like us' instead of 'people like them who don't assimilate'.

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2 minutes ago, happycamper said:

He's saying that race is an issue as in people are a lot more willing to vote for taxes that are spent on 'people like us' instead of 'people like them who don't assimilate'.

Yes, and I'm saying race is not much an issue.  The "people like us" - is now much more drawn on urban / rural, age, employment and education factors than race.  

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Just now, pokerider said:

Yes, and I'm saying race is not much an issue.  The "people like us" - is now much more drawn on urban / rural, age, employment and education factors than race.  

How do you feel about Colin Kaepernick?

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@happycamper

Secondly, there's essentially no need for federalism in these nations. 

yep...

Quote

The central government plays a relatively limited role in health care in Denmark. Its main functions are to regulate, coordinate and provide advice and its main responsibilities are to establish goals for national health policy, determining national health legislation, formulating regulation, promoting cooperation between different health care actors, providing guidelines for the health sector, providing health and health care-related information, promoting quality and tackling patient complaints.

and also

Quote

The 5 regions are responsible for hospitals and general practitioners. They are financed mainly through income taxes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_in_Denmark

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also i should note that i'm perfectly happy, willing, and interested to explore socialized solutions to problems that plague us.  sensible government funded programs for mass transit, health care, education, etc... affect us as a whole.  and insofar as "where there's a will, there's a way" applies to just about everything...  i think that culturally we lack the will to make it happen.

scandinavia has something of a leg up on us, but imo that doesn't mean we should refrain from trying to achieve the success they've achieved.  we'll just have to use different means to get there.

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Illuminating conversation that has yet to turn nasty. Well done @AndroidAggie. Let's see how many posts we make it until someone is called: stupid, commie, racist, homophobic, etc... 

I've learned a lot reading the articles and the points made by all. Now my brain hurts and I have to return to playing snake on my phone. 

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Actually each of our individual states can take on health care for the citizens of that state if they choose. Some have tried, but it hasn’t taken hold nationwide. 

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1 hour ago, AndroidAggie said:

i mentioned this to someone and when i got to 'racial homogeneity' he began arguing with me that today's statistics don't paint that picture.  granted.  but the history of these policies predates the current influx of human migration.  and since cultural swells take time to break, it makes sense to me that today's attitudes are largely informed by the past 20 years.  and 20 years ago by the previous 20 years.  so you don't have to go back far in time, policy wise, to get a mentality that is informed by a particularly homogeneous (and small) population.

what does mwc think?

I disagree.  If homogeneity was what mattered - Utah and Idaho would have state-run systems (or at least expanded medicaid).  

Washington State is pretty racially diverse and has one of the more inclusive state healthcare programs (2 million of the 7.5 million population are on Apple Health (medicaid)).  

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3 hours ago, bsu_alum9 said:

I disagree.  If homogeneity was what mattered - Utah and Idaho would have state-run systems (or at least expanded medicaid).  

Washington State is pretty racially diverse and has one of the more inclusive state healthcare programs (2 million of the 7.5 million population are on Apple Health (medicaid)).  

i appreciate you expressing this thought.  honestly.

the utah and idaho mormon systems do have a -- ahem -- theocratically state run system for welfare, tho.  not healthcare, mind you, but i know tons of people on church assistance for rent and food.  which means people who pay their tithing are aware that they are doing it to take care of their own and speaking personally, that does contribute to the willingness to pay money to an organization.  especially when that reeks of potential exploitation of the foolish religious masses.  when those families receive those dollars, i gotta imagine that frees up dollars for healthcare.  so the utah and idaho populations, imo, still support my point about willingness to pay into the pot.  most mormons in utah that i knew had a strong disaffection for the govt and felt that paying into the pot to help others was a good choice but that the govt's pot was a foolish way to do it.

the washington state one tho, you got me.  what do you think contributes to the willingness of its residents to buy in to the system?

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6 minutes ago, AndroidAggie said:

The washington state one tho, you got me.  what do you think contributes to the willingness of its residences to buy in to the system?

I think a lot of it has to do with the economy - which is one of the best if not the best per capita in the country.  The state is very left-leaning with a high-density core in the Seattle metro.  Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing, Costco, etc. provide a huge tax base.  So there is the thought that "they" are paying for it. There is no state income tax, just a really high sales tax.  And the state running deficits makes it seem not so bad (Same person in Idaho vs. Washington would pay more taxes in Idaho due to that state keeping a pretty balanced budget and Washington having billion dolllar deficits).  

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1 hour ago, happycamper said:

He's saying that race is an issue as in people are a lot more willing to vote for taxes that are spent on 'people like us' instead of 'people like them who don't assimilate'.

I don't think its quite how you are framing it...

It's more like saying "we all agree to do this, and we are all in this together"....  So, in Scandinavia, everyone has their 2 kids, their Volvo, is highly educated, pays taxes, agrees on everything.

 

Then you get a wrench thrown in it when the Muslims come en masse, with their 6 kid families, lower employment level jobs, low to no payment of taxes, and don't share the same language / religion.  They aren't contributing the same.

Breeds resentment ("they aren't like us", and the question becomes, is this sustainable if not everyone is pulling the same weight?

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