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Is Socialized Medicine a Bad Thing?

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Published on Feb 25, 2008

In this trailer to Sicko, Michael Moore offers an overview of the Norwegian health care system as compared to our system. Is socialized medicine really such a bad thing? I grew up as a staunch conservative Republican and anti-communist, but I can't see turning our back on people who have diseases and injuries. I also can't see the harm in a "socialized" methodology. When it comes to mission-critical, important public services, I think the government should run them, because that way we (the public) have control, and there is a refreshing transparency about the system. The Post Office is a socialist institution, and I'm very happy with it. (Can you imagine mailing a letter across the country for less than a dollar, if the Post Office were private? First class mail is a bargain, even if the rate were doubled.) The Highway Department is socialist, and it's pretty good, although there is movement underway to privatize it. Then you have the military, and if anyone argues against socialism, then of course they have to argue against a standing army, navy and air force. So in regards to critical public services, socialism can be beneficial. When it comes to consumer products and services, then let's go with the capitalist model. Let's not get hung up over ideology, which gets in the way of rational thinking. The important thing is to receive the maximum benefit from our efforts, avoid human suffering, and promote human happiness. I think we can learn a great deal from countries such as Norway. Instead of condemning them as "welfare states," maybe we should look at measures such as infant mortality rates and average lifespans.

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