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AngelRho
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06 Jul 2021, 2:08 pm

magz wrote:
TheRobotLives wrote:
magz wrote:
Speaking of debt...
Quote:
According to financial experts, the percentage of Americans in debt is around 80%. 8 in 10 Americans have some form of consumer debt, and the average debt in America is $38,000 not including mortgage debt.
https://shiftprocessing.com/american-debt/
Doesn't really sound like much freedom.
The only question is who owns the cage...

These debt statistics are meaningless because they include mortgage debt.

A person can be living in a $750,000 home, and owe $100,000 on it.

It doesn't mean much.

Quote:
As of 2020, approximately 44% of U.S. consumers have a mortgage.
https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-expe ... ery-state/
That means most of those 80% are not mortgages and certainly not almost-paid-off mortgages.

Consumer debt (not including mortgage, student, medical debt) is almost always completely avoidable. The things I saw as a bankruptcy paralegal were mind-boggling.

Credit scores don’t amount to much when applying for credit cards, which you can use for grocery shopping and then discharge through bankruptcy. Many clients that I saw would file another Chapter 13 at the earliest opportunity after completing the max 60 months of a previous one. What blew my mind back then was how credit card companies would approve them for credit cards at all. I remember once I got a credit card with 0% that I maxed out, collected rewards, made minimum payments. My plan was to transfer the balance to another 0% card after the 12 month period was over and continue to earn cash on it. I was right on schedule and waited about a month or two before attempting to apply for a new card. I was in shock that I got declined, I’d never heard of that happening, and my credit score was high. It still is, unfortunately... I lost my job shortly after and had to come up with a way to pay it off quickly while I still could. That’s why I was so confused that people could so easily get credit cards they had no intention of paying off. Not only that, but these people had a HISTORY of chain-filing bankruptcy and still getting approved, but all I wanted to do was a transfer and keep paying my card down while getting cash back. Wouldn’t it make better sense to stick with a customer who you wouldn’t make money on rather than a bad-faith customer you know you’ll lose money on?

Debt in the USA is absurd and weird. I loosely follow Dave Ramsey’s strategies for managing debt. In about a year and a half I intend to pay off all my wife’s student loans, and we should be free of medical debt by then as well. We have a cheeeeeap mortgage. The reasoning behind the mortgage is that it is cheaper than paying rent on a 30 year plan. If I change jobs, I can afford two mortgages until one house gets sold, and any equity we have can easily go to realtors’ fees. We have no intention to actually pay it off, though owning real property is kinda cool. But if rent was actually feasible for us, we’d gladly get an apartment instead. Used cars, though, are easily affordable. Pretty much anyone in the USA can get a ride without going into debt.



AngelRho
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06 Jul 2021, 2:13 pm

magz wrote:
AngelRho wrote:
magz wrote:
@AngelRho that sounds like a really, really bad system if we consider that what we really need is
- patients getting treatments,
- equipment kept operational and up to date,
- medical professionals getting decently paid.

It seems your medical insurance system is wasting even more resources than a typical state-operated healthcare system.

No, because the majority of times insurance does pay once the deductible kicks in, plus Medicare/Medicaid. No matter what, patients ALWAYS get treatments. There are also many wealthy donors and charitable organizations along with programs that do fund hospitals and research, not to mention private companies in biomedical research, pharmaceuticals, and so on. Doctors who do well, of course, can afford their own equipment and pay off their own student loans and live in hilltop mansions besides. What you have to understand is that when bills go to collections, even if it doesn’t earn as much money for providers, it still offers those people a steady income. Pennies on the dollar from collections still beats nothing, and there is an impressive load of money to be made from non-paying patients.

What ends up happening is a realization of how much medical care is truly worth: not really that much. It balances out because insured people end up paying for those who can’t pay, hence why for middle and high income families health care costs are sky high. Those who can’t pay get stuck with the same bills, except providers can’t actually collect on it. Don’t underestimate how well hospitals and doctors are doing under this system. They are quite well off. The lowest income people can still get on a government program to cover expenses. Doctors and hospitals still get PLENTY to eat.
The wealthy pay to balance off the poor? Sounds like a bad word starting with S :P
And neither-poor-nor-rich folks bankrupt on it - that sounds quite unhealthy.

I speak truth. For providers to stay solvent they have to have an income from what they do. If there are non-payers, the cost goes up for those who can pay. Non-payers can’t pay, anyway, which leaves wealthier folks to cover the cost. Don’t forget, too, that there are government programs out there to help many of those who can’t pay. Non-payers are the exception, not the rule. My point was that people who are unable to cover medical expenses still have access to care whether they can pay or not.



AngelRho
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06 Jul 2021, 2:43 pm

magz wrote:
TheRobotLives wrote:
GGPViper wrote:
TheRobotLives wrote:
2. Soldiers are celebrated for fighting and dying, so Americans can have individual freedoms.

So, what American individual freedoms were US soldiers fighting and dying for when the US invaded Iraq in 2003?

Think of it like a pep talk.

Military leaders: Saddam and his network of terrorists threaten our way of life.
Military leaders: They hate our country, hate our freedoms.

George Bush: "The terrorists who attacked us and the terrorists we face murder in the name of a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance and despises all dissent".

George Bush:"This nation will not wait to be attacked again. We will take the fight to the enemy. We will defend our freedom".

Full text: George Bush's Iraq speech
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/jun/29/iraq.usa

In other words: "freedom" as a popular propaganda buzzword.

I think that invading another country is a poor life decision. The proper role of government is to protect its own civilians, not meddle in foreign affairs.

I believe if a nation chooses to invade another nation, it best should do so with the intention of expanding its own territory, else invaders are tasked with building their own new nation. If neither conquerors nor natives stand to benefit from invasion, then doing so is stupid. The United States is such a nation that vastly improved lives of both native and colonist. Nothing good can come from the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan. Our partnership with, say, Seoul has proven mutually beneficial. No such relationship has developed in the Middle East. I say let them go, strengthen our presence on our own soil. And if anyone attacks us, show no mercy. But if you have no designs on conquering a nation, don’t bother trying to occupy it.



zacb
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13 Jul 2021, 7:45 pm

shlaifu wrote:
this is incredibly funny. if you join the navy - or army - you get told what to do, refusing to follow orders will get you punishment, and you take part in the killing of innocent people. therefore you get fed and receive housing and some money. sounds like the soviet union to me.


You are not wrong.



zacb
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13 Jul 2021, 7:47 pm

thinkinginpictures wrote:
Mr Reynholm wrote:
The Navy MMAs have got it right. Anarchists, socialists and neo-Nazis are essentially political terrorists. We have plenty in DC right now.


You forgot to mention Republicans and Conservatives, as being even worse political terrorists.
They are more than political terrorists btw. They are real terrorists, as they've attacked the Capitol and were prepared to kill innocents:

Image


Congresscritter innocent? XD don't make me chuckle.