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...age? Unless we are willing to consume as much crap as we can (and forget about living in retirement) how can we save for a "comfortable" old age? If we begin spending to buy the new electronic stuff how can we afford the expensive health insurance (and support a large part of the population that is involved in "health care"). Those who manage businesses will be able to devote enough wealth for a comfortable old age, and, hopefully, convince us to part with our wealth for the latest crap rather than save for our last years. We need to let go of Medicare, and depend on private insurance. You can then chose between the latest electronic crap, or enriching your surgeon.

Old South End Broadway

"We need to let go of Medicare, and depend on private insurance."

Oh, brilliant. I'm joking, of course. You want me to abandon all my decades of contributions into a system that arguably works for the patient, and then depend on wallet-raping insurance that's obviously nothing I can afford to buy?

Why not just rob me at gunpoint? That's more honest.

No first world nation depends on the private insurance market, BUT US, and it's clearly failed us. We pay the most per-capita of all nations for health care, by a large distance over #2. And yet our system delivers about 37th in the world for quality of service.

We will never, ever be a true private care market, since we'd have to revoke all our laws about care. That means we'd just let people die outside of the ERs. OSEB, you need to stop pretending that's even culturally possible. In the larger view, you need to stop pretending further that we don't have a socialized-medicine system in the first place. Our mandated care system is already soc-med. It's just the most deceitful and expensive form of it ever invented. So what needs to happen is outright, official, socialized medicine run by the federal government on down.

I must repeat: We will never allow people to just lay dead outside of our hospitals and clinics. We are not barbarians. So we have to do something, and that something is only one thing: Socialized medicine. Exactly how Canada, England, Germany and other civilized nations do it, and how they do it results in far less per-capita expenses, which also arrives at a greater (often much greater) quality of care.

If that's something you're willing to shoot people over, then why not adopt France's system? France doesn't use soc-med. It uses a public option (you know, that thing that the Democrats refused to consider for Obamacare). And France is #1 in the world for quality of care, which it achieves at 55% of our per-capita costs. And people can't even claim "France doesn't have service-swallowing minorities like we do", since France most certainly does have those.

"system that arguably works for the patient, and then depend on wallet-raping insurance that's obviously nothing I can afford to buy?" No, I want my younger brothers (14 and 16 years younger) "to abandon their decades of contributions into a system that arguably works for the patient, and then depend on wallet-raping insurance that's obviously nothing I can afford to buy?"

They've already decided that they will not get Social Security (even though one works for the Postal Service and, under FERS, is supposed to fund at least a portion of his retirement from it). The other (who works for a "private enterprise") has been too busy raising a family to put much aside. When I look at the arc of my family's economic well-being we were best off in the 1980's and 1990's. My father got a pension of $55 a month after he was hurt (and started another job), and had to start over at 54 years of age. He retired at 62 (in 1978) when his company decided to move to Texas. Luckily, he had two boys under 18 for whom he received Social Security payments (as well as the $55 a month annuity).

If my brothers want their children to be freed from the shackles of Medicare and Social Security they will have to accept the burden of taking on the financial responsibility of their parents as well caring for their own children. Or else set mommy and daddy on the ice in Lake Erie.

Old South End Broadway

A progressive disconnect from these systems does make a certain sense. But no politician wants to do that. They are talking cutoffs.

I know already that families are going to have to give up this farcical idea of everyone having their own house. Even though housing prices will continue to deflate in this Second Great Depression, what's deflating equally fast is wages, and since most people use financing to obtain a house, that is obliterating home-purchasing power.

I own a duplex in the Old South End. It started as the property we rented. When a renter in the upper apartment got too crazy (he fired his gun out a back window in frustration for his wife's affairs) we bought it from the landlord. My brother moved into the upper apartment, and my parents continued to live downstairs. Since my parents had given us the money for the down payment they lived there without rent while my brother and I split the mortgage payment. I live in the house now with my mother, and have kept my original house as a "hedge" against bad times. If either of my brothers cannot make their house payments and lose their property they can move into the "little" house across the street. That seems to me cheaper than trying to pay their inflated housing payments. Right now I have someone living in it, but have told them that would have to move if either brother lost their house.

I was looking back through for my ancestors. I found quite a few. One of the things that struck me was in many cases men (and women) were living with their parents (even as these children lived into their 50's). In many cases they were unmarried, and were just so many "hands" to allow the family to survive. This was in southern Kentucky in the 1830's and 1840's. Some of us may have to adopt that kind of lifestyle (if they can).

Old South End Broadway

More hands per household will be needed for entirely different reasons than those used in our agrarian, labor-intensive, early 1800s society. This maturing Second Great Depression (which started in 2008) will force people to enlarge households purely to gain more incomes.

This is where typical American stupidity has landed us. We went from 1-income households (working husband) to 2-income ones (working couple), to the often unmentioned 3-income ones (where home equity was cashed out; a line-of-credit as income). People were also adding more jobs per person (much to the admiration of that twit George W. Bush).

Adding members to households will be not only survival adaptation, but some Americans will try to keep adding the number of incomes to the household just to keep up the spending and debt game. They will fail, of course, since the nation is now on a permanent course of deflation then stagnation. The end of cheap petroleum (coming right on schedule) is not going to produce growth, either. At least, not like you'd think.

OldSouthEndBrdy, you forgot to include "never" in your list of selections. Don't make no never mind whether there's a "conservative" or a "liberal" living in the White House.

Patience is a great virtue.

will see many of its new taxes,fees, regulations, and compliance go into effect. Health care will then be rationed .So, expect both health care and insurance costs to skyrocket.
Add to that around $1 TRILLION of bad college loans going bust in March.
Plus, another $ 1.2 TRILLION, added to the budget deficit in February.
Also, the IMF, will need TRILLIONS more from us to support European Socialism.

Therefore, unless R's can completely and totally reverse this Fascism, don't EVER expect a recovery before a MAJOR COLLAPSE !

THINK: Titanic....unsinkable, right ?

Health care will then be rationed.

Say what? Health care has always been rationed. You were never able to get as much of it as you wanted. Rationing takes place via price, or availability, or some combination thereof.

Every insurance company has a death panel. This has always been the case.