Okay, I'm not sure I can continue to lead this group. I see the logic and benefits of socialized medicine. That being said, I would much rather see the insurance companies go away completely rather than having state run insurance. But I wonder if, because there is so much money in health, if we're not just equating humans to money. Is that right? No. These are not wallets they are people. Not every illness is a consequence of behavior, in fact the majority of them are not. Yet we are fed the line that no one else should have to pay for the illnesses of people who smoke or eat a lot. Yes obesity is a problem, but not the huge problem we've been told it is, and the smallest number of people smoke now than ever.

I have seen some evidence to make me wonder if the cancer epidemic isn't the fault of irresponsible large corporate spin with regard to how certain hormones might effect people in the long term when added to food. As a consequence the public never demanded a change. I don't know. I want to think that the invisible hand of the market will take care of these things, but when the companies get too large aren't they then too big to fail? If the invisible hand of the market did smack these large businesses down, wouldn't the government just prop them back up in the alleged public interest? We have now set a precedent for this.

So there is no accountability.

I am not a statist, but shouldn't we use those entities that make the law (i.e. the government) enforce the law? I guess if these companies didn't have more money than some countries and states; enough to buy and sell everyone in the congress, we could trust them to take care of the problem.

Personally, and I know what you're going to say, I'm trying to buy locally. Getting rid of credit cards and quite possibly my account at a major bank. Buying in cash so I don't overdraw. And getting out from under car payments and the like.

I can't guarantee that the people I buy from won't shop at Fred Meyer or Target, but at least I can change me. I guess I'm voting with my dollar.

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Parallax,

I understand your turmoil, I have gone through it myself, so maybe I can help.

If there were free and open markets, we wouldn't be talking about these issues.

Regulation is used to provide cover and safety for those being regulated. Industry doesn't just lobby to kill regulation, but more often they are paying for the privileged of writing it themselves.

I was once a socialist myself, so I know that world very well. Are some of the ideas and ideals of Socialism appealing? Sure, however they always forget to factor in the human component into their logic. This is also true of Communism also. But when they fall apart they fall back to rely on using force to mold the individual to the wishes of the collective.

One of the major problems I see today is the level of Corporatism in government today. Legally corporations are seen as paper people. With this status they acquire all the rights due a citizen, yet they are subject to none of the responsibilities of a citizen. This one fairly simple change would vastly change how business is done in this country. If a corporation and the leaders were held responsible for any illegal acts they committed you can bet they would clean up their act. As it is right now if they don't pollute over the limit, they are allowed to pollute and damage others without fear of any penalty.

I could do pages on this but it comes down to this; it is not a crisis of "faith" you are experiencing, rather a sorting out of values.

Good Luck.
Thanks for your kind words. I think that maybe Corporatism is what I'm most frustrated with. I know socialism isn't the answer. How we think about corporations (legally) is. I know that my boss thinks of people as nothing more than money. We run a medical clinic. I'm now on antidepressants just to be able to not cry when we have to suspend medical care to a diabetic or who doesn't have transportation and lives 2 blocks away (which is 30 miles away from any other clinic as we're a rural health clinic) meanwhile they give their church members free health care or prescriptions on demand over the phone because they can't afford the visit.
That, unfortunately is how life goes. People do shitty things to each other and justify it for one or another reason. However all you can do is what you can do. None of us can carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. And I find it funny that so-called "Good Christians" seem to behave in this manner more often than my non friends.

I have always believed that the more we pay to the government the less the needy receive. People use the excuse they pay enough in taxes to provide for "those people".

No don't get me wrong I am not Mother Freakin' Theresa, but we all should help to make our communities better places to live as a matter of the livability of that community.

Keep on fighting!

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