Billionaires for Wealthcare

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Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby Individual » Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:48 pm

Saw this video on Youtube:



Then found their site:

http://www.billionairesforwealthcare.com/

Pretty funny stuff.
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby BlackBird » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:56 pm

Image

:coffee:
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby poto » Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:39 am

I just want to say that based on my own personal experiences with government-run healthcare when I served in the military, I'm strongly opposed to the government running healthcare.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby adamposey » Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:54 am

poto wrote:I just want to say that based on my own personal experiences with government-run healthcare when I served in the military, I'm strongly opposed to the government running healthcare.

What do you mean when you say "government run"?
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby Individual » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:59 am

poto wrote:I just want to say that based on my own personal experiences with government-run healthcare when I served in the military, I'm strongly opposed to the government running healthcare.

If you look at public healthcare worldwide, it's better or worse in different areas, with different systems. My parents both served in the U.S. military and they're experience has been OK... Some problems, yes, but there are similar problems with private insurance... I had healthcare with my parents until I was 21, and I never had any problems. Nobody's suggesting such a public healthcare system would be perfect, only that it would ensure everybody is covered, at a reasonable price.
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby Individual » Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:00 am

adamposey wrote:
poto wrote:I just want to say that based on my own personal experiences with government-run healthcare when I served in the military, I'm strongly opposed to the government running healthcare.

What do you mean when you say "government run"?

"Public option"\"Socialized medicine"\"Public healthcare"\"Government healthcare"

It's all the same. No need to argue about these terms.
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby adamposey » Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:01 pm

Individual wrote:
adamposey wrote:
poto wrote:I just want to say that based on my own personal experiences with government-run healthcare when I served in the military, I'm strongly opposed to the government running healthcare.

What do you mean when you say "government run"?

"Public option"\"Socialized medicine"\"Public healthcare"\"Government healthcare"

It's all the same. No need to argue about these terms.


Unfortunately you just demonstrated the need for clarity on these terms.

There are 4 Major types of Health Care systems throughout the world. There is the Private system, Single-Payer, "Socialized system", and then.. us. In America we tend to call anything but our system "socialized," but this is simply not true.

Canada, our friend to the north, uses a single payer system. This is highly different from "socialized" medicine in that the delivery of medicine is entirely private. An appropriate comparison to make would be if everyone in America had medicare we would have the canadian system, largely.

The UK, our friend across the ocean, uses a system that we would call "socialized." It's HIGHLY controlled by the government in that doctors work for the government, nurses work for the government, etc., If everyone in America had the same kind of health care as the VA offers, that would be "socialized."

The private system is, well, sort of what we all think America has. But the Private system would leave the young, the elderly, and the poor to get very sick.

And then we Have the American system which is basically a combination of all three of these. We have Single-Payer for Medicare/Medicaid (and the people who use it love it), we have "socialized!" medicine for people in the military and for the Native American reservations, and so forth.

So.. to say all these things are the same is a little disingenuous as they're certainly not the same. The public option really more closely fits the idea of "single payer" but in reality it is not. The Public option would be an entirely new factor to consider. So, when I ask "What do you mean by government run health care?" this is what I mean. I'm not asking for an argument, I'm asking for a clarification.
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby poto » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:43 pm

Sorry I should have tried to clarify a bit. I'm not completely opposed to government involvement in healthcare, I simply don't have confidence that the U.S. government is capable of administering healthcare better than the private sector at this time. Maybe in the future that will change, I know I'd love to have free healthcare and I've love to see free universal healthcare for everyone. Currently however, I feel that the U.S. government is too incompetent and corrupt to run it effectively.

Also, on Canada and medicare. Canada's healthcare system isn't perfect and a lot of good doctors have defected to the U.S. because of salary caps and bureaucracy. There's also waiting time issues. A guy I know from Canada broke his wrist a while back and had to wait over 8 hours in the emergency room to get treatment. Canada is also a much small country population-wise, so there are issues of scalability. What works on a small scale often gets bungled as it grows larger. Medicare has it's problems, it's unfunded obligations are in the tens of trillions of dollars and it will have to start cutting benefits drastically in coming years if something isn't done to fix it. IMHO, medicare, while it does benefit many people, has not proven to be sustainable over the long-term.

I do think it's interesting that we established a single payer healthcare system for the Iraqi government, while there's a lot of opposition to doing the same thing here at home. :juggling:
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby pink_trike » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:00 pm

The flag that Blackbird posted should more accurately be a composite flag representing all the nations on the globe. The Corpocracy respects no national borders and is doing it's best to erode them and any nation's resistance to its power. The Corpocracy has it's tentacle deep in every nation with every nation's full cooperation, and it respects the sovereignty of no nation, including the United States. It was born in the U.S. but it's a separate global entity now.
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby msmedusa » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:14 pm

I live in the UK and have healthcare provided by the government. In principle our contribution to health care is taken at source from our wages by means of National Insurance contribution alongside deductions for tax purposes. Those who are claiming unemployment benefits or disability benefits do not pay National Insurance contributions ; their National Insurance 'stamp' is paid by the government.

In theory we all recieve 'free' medical care as and when we need it. This historically applies to any form of care we may need from [i]'cradle to grave[/i]'.

We can of course ; pay into private health schemes (often offered as an incentive within an employment package) if we so chose. This guarantees us a 'speedier service' and a virtually 'next day' operations if needed .. and a private room with fluffy towels!! :jumping:

However,problems have arisen in our National Health service because the demands on it far outweigh the contributions paid in from the wage earning public (alledgedly :thinking: ) It may be suggested that maybe a bureaucratic nightmare of corruption and mis-managment may be as much, if not more to blame. :thinking: Whatever the cause though, the health service is buckling under the strain of higher demand and increasing overspending.

The government (in its wisdom ) have flagged up the demographic changes and increasingly ageing population as a particular drain on the health service. As a result they have re - appraised their policies on care of the elderly in an attempt to lessen the burden of increasing Health Service debt.

Their change of policy meant that for the first time the elderly were expected to pay for their own care, despite having paid National Insurance contributions all their working lives. Elderly people needing care within a care home were means tested to assess their ability to pay for their own care. If their finances indicate they had the ability to 'foot the bill' they had to pay the whole bill, both medical and otherwise. Otherwise they paid partial contributions until they reach a threshold where they were finally offered free health care.

This has created a distressing situation in which the elderly ( who had witnessed the birth of the National Health Service with its assurance of 'cradle to the grave' provision ) are faced with the burden of huge bills for care and as a consequence being forced to surrender savings and sell their family homes to cover their fees. Many critically ill elderly people have to face the dual distress of pain and poverty. In my particular area the care home fees average at about £650 per week so you can imagine how quickly their money vanishes!

My own father watched his life savings seep away to nothing, at which point he then had a 'charge' placed on the deeds of his house. On his death he owed the government £89,000 which they intended to re-coup from the sale of his home.

I read somewhere... that you can judge a society by the way it treats its elderly.

Enough said. :weep:
Last edited by msmedusa on Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby BlackBird » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:47 pm

pink_trike wrote:The flag that Blackbird posted should more accurately be a composite flag representing all the nations on the globe. The Corpocracy respects no national borders and is doing it's best to erode them and any nation's resistance to its power. The Corpocracy has it's tentacle deep in every nation with every nation's full cooperation, and it respects the sovereignty of no nation, including the United States. It was born in the U.S. but it's a separate global entity now.


Here's an interesting list of the top 100 'economic entities.'
I can't see an end to this, it will go on and on until some natural disaster wipes us back to the stone age.

I could moan and groan about the fickleness of the greed machine for hours but let's keep it simple:

In Economics we say: "There are unlimited wants, and only limited means."
In Buddhism we say: "The more you want, the more you suffer."
In truth then: "The world is suffering."

The more I think about it the more I want to go have a sit.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby adamposey » Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:19 am

poto wrote:Sorry I should have tried to clarify a bit. I'm not completely opposed to government involvement in healthcare, I simply don't have confidence that the U.S. government is capable of administering healthcare better than the private sector at this time. Maybe in the future that will change, I know I'd love to have free healthcare and I've love to see free universal healthcare for everyone. Currently however, I feel that the U.S. government is too incompetent and corrupt to run it effectively.

Also, on Canada and medicare. Canada's healthcare system isn't perfect and a lot of good doctors have defected to the U.S. because of salary caps and bureaucracy. There's also waiting time issues. A guy I know from Canada broke his wrist a while back and had to wait over 8 hours in the emergency room to get treatment. Canada is also a much small country population-wise, so there are issues of scalability. What works on a small scale often gets bungled as it grows larger. Medicare has it's problems, it's unfunded obligations are in the tens of trillions of dollars and it will have to start cutting benefits drastically in coming years if something isn't done to fix it. IMHO, medicare, while it does benefit many people, has not proven to be sustainable over the long-term.

I do think it's interesting that we established a single payer healthcare system for the Iraqi government, while there's a lot of opposition to doing the same thing here at home. :juggling:


I think these points about waiting lists, etc., are really interesting. First of all, yes, every bureaucracy in the world has its hangup, whether private or public. That's without debate. You're right that the Canadian system DOES have some waiting times, however, these waiting times exist for things that are largely non-essential. I have waited in an emergency room with a broken wrist until I had shock set in (I was waiting for over 5 hours) and then I spent 3 more hours waiting in a bed for a nurse/doctor to give me x-rays. I entered the hospital at around noon and didn't leave until almost 9 pm. So let's not pretend the American system has no waiting lists. Rationing and deficiencies will happen no matter what. The real question is: Who's deciding how that rationing happens? I trust the government to make decisions based on public health, rather than shareholder profit.

I think what is most interesting that you bring up is scale. Interestingly enough scale in the size of the American population would make our single-payer system one of the most efficient and cost-effective in the world just by virtue of size. Think about it this way. Single payer is essentially a government insurance monopoly. What does insurance do? It spreads risk. How does it spread risk? It divides the risk amongst people in the pool. What this means is that the more people there are in the system, the cheaper and more effective it will become. It's easy to point to medicare as an example of how this fails, but let's take a very close look at it.

What is medicare? Insurance for the elderly, right? Who gets sick the most in our country? The elderly. Yes, the insurance companies look very nice by comparison because they were more than happy to ship off the most expensive portion of their clientele into a system that lets the government suck up the cost. Medicare is a veritable handout to the insurance companies because it ONLY deals with the most expensive portion of the population, and it doesn't have enough people in it to properly spread the risk. If you expanded medicare to include everyone in the nation and fixed some other issues, the financial woes would largely go away. The reason it seems "unsustainable" is because it is an impure, and incomplete, version of a single payer system. ALSO Medicare and Social Security funds have been subject to RAMPANT predation by the corporatists over the last couple of decades (mostly at the hands of the republican ideology). Medicare advantage is an example of us privatizing medicare and them NOT being able to do it as cost-efficiently as the government used to, so... we paid them even more money. If it were a pure system by any rights it wouldn't have any budget problems that weren't easy fixes.

Also, on the matter of compensation for doctors, etc., you're absolutely right that if you're practicing medicine to get rich, America is the land of opportunity. We've got a lot of sick people! I think what you'd find if you looked at American practice and practice in another country were health care is not considered a commodity but a right, is that moving to America to practice is the difference between 1 car and 2, a million dollar home and a two million dollar home, etc. That's to say the doctor's weren't doing BAD in Canada, and they aren't doing BAD in the UK, but that they felt they could make MORE here.

I'm not saying that any system in the world is perfect, but I am saying that they do what we do BETTER and CHEAPER with more government involvement because Government ultimately has a desire to insure that the system works well, not that profit goals are met.
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby poto » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:48 am

Adam, you make some good points. I hope that your optimism is correct and that a single payer system would work out as well as you think it will. It's just my personal opinion and concern that it may not work out so well. Many things look good on paper or in theory, but they don't always do so well in the real world.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby adamposey » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:05 am

poto wrote:Adam, you make some good points. I hope that your optimism is correct and that a single payer system would work out as well as you think it will. It's just my personal opinion and concern that it may not work out so well. Many things look good on paper or in theory, but they don't always do so well in the real world.


Skepticism of our government is an entirely healthy thing. I, like you, am not certain our government is capable of true health care reform in its current state. Not because it is somehow ideologically challenging, or even technically challenging, but because the reality of our government is that, for the moment at least, congress can be bought, sold, and repurchased many times over by the most powerful industries in our nation.

Reform is hard. True reform is harder. In theory a government health care system is as close to perfect as we can get (if we define perfect by EVERYONE being able to see a doctor and get essential surgeries and procedures) just because of scale. In reality our government runs the risk of having all campaign funds being pulled out from under it, and the billions of dollars in advertising that could be purchased by these companies unleashed, if they it does not tread very carefully. We live at the door of a corporatocracy with the corporate state and the public state colliding on matters such as these. The corporate state is a predator on the public state, it is a shadow government and a puppet master all at the same time. It's very dangerous, and it will prevent our government from doing the best it can in any situation.

Your cynicism of our government is not truly misplaced, as it has earned it, but I think your rationale may need a second look. Government is not bad for it's own sake. It must be controlled by men, and given power by the people.
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby poto » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:36 am

adamposey wrote:Skepticism of our government is an entirely healthy thing. I, like you, am not certain our government is capable of true health care reform in its current state. Not because it is somehow ideologically challenging, or even technically challenging, but because the reality of our government is that, for the moment at least, congress can be bought, sold, and repurchased many times over by the most powerful industries in our nation.

Reform is hard. True reform is harder. In theory a government health care system is as close to perfect as we can get (if we define perfect by EVERYONE being able to see a doctor and get essential surgeries and procedures) just because of scale. In reality our government runs the risk of having all campaign funds being pulled out from under it, and the billions of dollars in advertising that could be purchased by these companies unleashed, if they it does not tread very carefully. We live at the door of a corporatocracy with the corporate state and the public state colliding on matters such as these. The corporate state is a predator on the public state, it is a shadow government and a puppet master all at the same time. It's very dangerous, and it will prevent our government from doing the best it can in any situation.

Your cynicism of our government is not truly misplaced, as it has earned it, but I think your rationale may need a second look. Government is not bad for it's own sake.


How can you be certain that the current reform efforts are not driven by corporate lobbies? For example, I have heard that the Baucus Bill was written entirely by the healthcare lobby, and I'd say it's likely that much of the other legislation has been similarly influenced.

Also, I'm not sure if I agree that government is not bad. I view government more a as necessary evil, and on that note I am weary of expanding that necessary evil to include my healthcare.

adamposey wrote:It must be controlled by men, and given power by the people.


Why do you think giving the government more power would be a good thing?
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby fig tree » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:54 am

poto wrote:Canada is also a much small country population-wise, so there are issues of scalability. What works on a small scale often gets bungled as it grows larger.

Canada has more of a health-care bureaucracy than it needs because of the way that it divides up the responsibility between the provinces and the federal government. The funding is complicated by various kinds of transfer payments. Quebec feels it should be allowed to do things differently and so on. If with 10 times the population we got more than 10 times the bureaucracy it would only be because we set it up in a dumb way.

A lot of the criticisms people make of non-U.S. countries' systems have some truth to them, but if you compare them with the system in the U.S. it is somewhat amazing how badly ours works. Every time I look at statistics like at http://ucatlas.ucsc.edu/spend.php it amazes me how much of an outlier the U.S. is. We have huge inequities that make the actual situation worse than most of the statistics make it seem.

I think a lot of the people who find the British system and the Canadian system disconcerting because the government is involved more than they like, would be quite happy with a system like the Swiss or German one. The main obstacle in the way of our settling on some much better system is that people who are making a lot of money in the current system are paying to keep the discussion focused on options that protect their profitability, and too much of the public is not able to see through the ruse.

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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:57 am

Greetings,

The Australian system is mixed, and despite the occasional criticisms, is held in reasonably high regard by the public.

Is saddens me the way conservatives in the U.S. try to terrify the populace over the horrors of a 'socialized!' health system.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby pink_trike » Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:32 am

They're spending 5 million dollars a week to combat health care reform. Imagine the amount of profit they are trying to protect if they are willing to spend 2.4 billion dollars a year to do so. This is a war on the American people.

"The business of America is business." President Calvin Coolidge
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby Annapurna » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:40 pm

I'm used to having a mandatory health insurance all my life.

It's great.

Sometimes I think many Americans, like Islam, dread change, and insist on keeping even outdated models which seem backwards to the rest of the (advanced) world.

No wonder so many here wonder and worry about America these days, so sorry to say.
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Re: Billionaires for Wealthcare

Postby adamposey » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:51 pm

poto wrote:How can you be certain that the current reform efforts are not driven by corporate lobbies? For example, I have heard that the Baucus Bill was written entirely by the healthcare lobby, and I'd say it's likely that much of the other legislation has been similarly influenced.

Also, I'm not sure if I agree that government is not bad. I view government more a as necessary evil, and on that note I am weary of expanding that necessary evil to include my healthcare.


Why do you think giving the government more power would be a good thing?


I understand where you come from on the view that any government is, to some extent, a bad thing. Historically, this is not only not true, but without precedent. Even the forms of government that we consider to be evils, or at least misguided, have made indisputable contributions to human history. The only reason we tend to disagree with the idea of governance is that it must infringe on the absolute freedom of the individual by design. If you are an anarchist, or an individualist, then this is a point of view that I understand, but can't easily agree with.

There have been periods in human history of relative anarchy. There have been periods of massive empires, and small kingdoms, and city states, and so forth... there is one thing that seems to have ALWAYS been true of human civilization: We are not individuals wholly. Even in relative anarchy societies formed, tribes formed, then small towns formed, and eventually a government. Government in some form (even by a religion) is a fact of human history and is something that has helped insured the survival of our species through massive natural disasters, climate change, and war. More recently, where there was not government there was the church. Where the church was not, there were aristocrats, and so on. This is true of all societies of which I am aware.

So, historically, there is no precedent to believe that the individual will ever experience complete freedom lest he go to the woods and seclude himself from all humanity, never to be seen or heard from again. Acknowledging that, we then have to decide "what power structure shall exist?" I say that government is a functionally good system, particularly in the last century or so, as the world becomes more Democratic Republican in nature. The real problem with OUR government is that it created a cosmopolitan society that gave birth to a brand new kind of power structure: The mega corporation. These corporations replace the functions of the church of the middle ages, in most cases, by providing us goods and services. Whereas the church at least had to pretend that it was doing so for the sake of the common good, corporations have no need to make such distinctions—Pure profit is the goal.

The mega corporation is, by design, a government and it behaves as such. This is allowed because of a popular movement in the states that REALLY culminated in the 80s (continuing until today even) that essentially shrank the size of government in many areas in favor of private enterprise. Reagan's revolution really marked the beginning of this as a movement.

In my mind the choice is not "shall I have a power structure over me?" but "What will it look like?" and I, personally, side with the power structure of our government and our society. The corporations will return us to a society just short of feudalism in nature, if we allow it. Government must be grown to take away these functions from the corporation and to end the infringing on the rights of society at large, and on the individual. That's why government needs to be larger, and more powerful.

EDIT:

I would also like to add that from the point of any economic conservative the Mega corporation is a heretical establishment. I don't personally practice economic conservatism, but if you believe in free markets you must find the mega corporation offensive for they threaten the nature of the markets, and they have shown recently that they have the power to manipulate the markets and break them if they so desire.

Point #2: the only thing that has saved our society thus far from the undo influence of existing megacorporations is that these predatory agencies are currently involved in a veritable turf war. They do not agree, and thankfully, right now they counter each other in many ways. The big pharma do not necessarily want the big Insurance industries to do well, and the hospitals don't really want either to do well, and the doctors might side with insurance sometimes, and pharma other times, and so forth.

I still propose that the legalized bribery of congress and the existence of these massive organizations of profit must be ended in order to protect our democratic republic. Let us not forget that Democracy is derived from the greek: demokratia. Which breaks down to "common people" (demos) and "kratia" (power, strength). Megacorporations are the enemy of Democracy and the will further inhibit our rights is allowed.
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