Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

US Elections

No not really certainly not on the scale you folks are having to hand out, Our issues with the EU is the amount of money we give them, They introduce laws that override our judicial system, Introduce silly rules about the size and shape of bananas that can be sold meaning that tons of produce is wasted. These rules don’t just apply to bananas but you get the picture.

The price of dairy product soared back in the 70s as the EU insisted on paying farmers a subsidy to produce more. We had a butter mountain of unsold dairy produce kept in refrigerated warehouses. In the end they cut this stockpile by giving it to the elderly, Much of it ended up on the black market. As the EU grew in size we Brits were paying to fix roads in Malta and cash handouts to other countries.

The list of issues are too many to post here and pretty much cover every business, manufacturing and service industry. On top of that we had an open door policy on migration from the EU. Which came with it’s own set of problems.

So no matter which side of the big pond we live I think it is fair to say we don’t really trust what our politicians tell us. They do what they do for their own financial gain and don’t give a hoot for Joe Public.

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Well, yeah buddy, that’s exactly the kind of stuff we have to put up with too. You get it.

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You go girl!!!

And very sorry for your health expenses Mags! It’s not right and that can effect many people for the rest of their lives. Hope you’re doing well now after all that!


And that’s in a country generally considered to be on the up and up. Imagine being in a country where everyone knows and accepts that… it’s actually easier honestly, cuz it’s so obvious you expect it…


Nailed it. Our biggest problem is that we have an education system that brainwashes us from childhood to believe in the benevolence of government.


You can thank socialist John Dewey for that.


Free? Nothing, my friend is free!
What percentage of your income go to taxes?


The more local the government the better. The individual has more of a say.
As distant government gets involved the more everything costs and gets messed up.
Rules which are not relevant get made. Which then causes new rules to be made to deal with bad rules.


Brexit summed up in one sentence.

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Hi @Peg_E

So just to clarify. The NHS is FREE at the point of delivery. i.e If I become ill and need a doctor, an ambulance, surgery (excluding dental surgery - but this is part funded by the NHS), prescribed medication from the drug store, no one asks me for insurance or payment.

Currently basic Income Tax is set at 20% more for higher earners
National Insurance Contributions 12% of income
Value Added Tax (on most purchased items) 20%

I am in retirement now. So I no longer pay NI and although I still pay Income Tax the amount I pay is much reduced. National Insurance Contributions which I paid during all the years I worked go towards maintaining the NHS as does some portion of Income Tax. However I am repaid some of my NI Contributions as part of my State pension.

So, Yes it’s true there is a charge but in no way do we have to pay out the vast sums you guy’s do in the US.

I see ALL Governments wasting vast sums of cash on some pet projects But it’s up to the People to instruct the politicians what the People want and whats best for the Country, and as @Mark_Rocka pointed out the vote on Brexit and the most recent General Election told the EU and the Labour, Liberal and SNP Remainer’s in no uncertain terms that when you call a referendum you need to listen to the People and stick with the result.

In the UK, Government Ministers are the Servants of the People. If the people don’t like what the Government is doing they Lobby politicians, express No Confidence in the Government if that doesn’t work they vote down the Government at the General Election.

If the cost of medical insurance is crippling your country then the People need to instruct the politicians that things need to change.

Footnote. One other important point about NI Contributions If I was out of work I would receive unemployment benefit, and other benefits depending on my circumstances for a defined number of weeks. I still would have full access to the NHS service at no cost…

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Yes I am witnessing this happening right now on the US News Media Channels. Pretty brutal from where I am sitting. But I’ll keep my powder dry, no wish to get involved that debate. All I will say is Speech doesn’t appear to be all that FREE in the US these days.

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I don’t think this is as easy as it sounds. It may well be near impossible, at least in the US. Our government is so in bed with the media outlets that millions of people can be programmed to think a specific way in no time.

In hindsight, going to war in Iraq SHOULD have been a big NO from the people. There was no evidence of the claims. And yet, similar tactics were used to take us in to Yemen, Lybia, Syria, etc.

There’s no reason the US should have been at war for the past 18+ years. In fact, Bush, Obama, and Trump all ran on anti-war platforms, yet here we are.

I just don’t know how you prevent the manipulation that keeps electing these terrible representatives.


We swallowed the same bitter pill on Iraq Tony Blair spun us a yarn but he was caught out and removed from office by the people.

I think the people need to stop listening to the political hype and start thinking what is right for their children and their own environment. When folk do that they are more inclined to choose better representatives.

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Surely you all realize that our govt. is wholly owned subsidy of corporate America, right?

Which is why we should be working diligently to remove as much power for the government as possible. Then it won’t matter who is in office. :wink:


@Archie…your sum is 52% you pay in taxes.
I pay about 25%. I have a profession that pays a good sum of my insurance. I am paying into Medicare to have when I retire (hopefully will still be some left after all the fraud that is happening)-that sum is included in my 25% tax rate.
I believe if they would let the free market open state boarders competition would bring down the cost of insurance.
The government in the US has set prices for what they will pay for services for Medicare, which in many instances is far less than the cost of the services. This has driven community hospitals out or they have had to join with larger corporate hospitals to make it.
To make up for the loss they probably do have to charge more, then insurance companies bargain with prices if they are a PPO (preferred provider hospital or doctor). The person who gets gauged the most is the hard worker without insurance or little insurance. He will get a discount if he can pay the bills right away. But who has a couple grand laying around for an broken arm, appy, gall bladder or whatever.
Our system is lacking. Rather than politicizing it and wasting time on fighting, it would be nice if congress actually listened and came up with a good capatilistic plan.
The cost for research for prescription medicine is huge. But it does make you wonder why we can go to Canada or south of the boarder and get Rx so much less. Most new drugs do have discount coupons the companies give out. But people dont know it and unfortunately they are not told by people @ the doctors office.
Hospitals right off thousands every year in lost revenue.
Kind of a disjointed post, but I write as thoughts come.
@MissMaggie have you looked into insurance coops for a better cost? I have some friends who use them and find it pretty good for their needs.


Hi @Peg_E

Our NHS is relatively new it was formed in 1948 the year after I was born so I have had a lifetime of access even though I have not had to use it a lot. I forgot to mention that every employer in the country has to pay some contribution to their employees NI. I think it’s called Employers National Insurance Contributions. It’s the law they have to pay. No ifs no but’s

Obviously I know nothing about what medical facilities were like in the UK before the NHS was formed, pretty dire I should imagine. The country had just gone through two horrific wars and hospitals would have been overflowing with casualties from both conflicts. On top of that there was the civilian population most of which, save for the very rich, were living in dire poverty with poor rat infested housing poor sanitation, no bread winners to bring home the bacon much like the Great Depression in the US after the Stock Market Crash which also had a huge impact here in the UK. .

On top of all that the UK & the US have had to pay out War Reparations for the conflicts in Europe and the Middle and Far East none of which were of our making but as we all know you have to fix the fence to keep the cattle safe to grow a new future.

The US has it’s fair share of issues right now and it’s not for me to stand on my soap box and tell you guy’s how to fix it. For one it would be a huge insult to all my friends over there.

Our NHS has it’s faults and it’s failings including many of the ones you mention in your post, but perhaps our health service model would be good for the US, The only way to bring about change is to talk about change and to encourage others to talk about change and you have the means to do that through social media.

The transition to a public health care system where everyone has access to free high quality care at the point of need should IMHO be the goal of every US citizen. You shouldn’t have the burden of worrying if you have medical insurance cover or the money to pay for your child or your granny whist they are parked on a hospital gurney waiting on a doctor to check to see if he or she is going to be paid.

Our NHS was introduced by a post war Socialist Labour Party Government but I strongly believe all the other political parties were keen to support this change. It benefited everyone and it was good for the nations health. Healthy workers meant more profits for industry. America is a rich nation perhaps the richest nation in the world and with the right government in place could improve the health and well-being of every US citizen.

If I was a US citizen the question I would be asking the government is. When and what are you going to do to bring about change? As a nation we should be caring for each other not for self or profit but for the well-being of all.

Sorry about the rant folks

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I’m looking into those now.

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Good discussion.
Not meaning to offend you, was just offering my thoughts.

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Against me better judgement, i’ll post, lol.

As for the insurance, as was stated above… NOTHING is free but your salvation. The national healthcare systems like to our north and across the pond are not free. someone is paying for them. If it’s the employer, well that’s less funds they have available to put in the paychecks of employees, so in a way, we are paying for it. I am all for helping those in need, but there needs to be a better vetting process for determining those truly in need of help. The bottom line is the best system out there is capitalism. If you have something that someone wants or needs, they will get it. If you have someone that provides a similar service, cheaper, you will get it from them. The ones that are willing to work the smartest & hardest. (That’s right smart AND hard, instead of smart NOT hard) will reap the rewards. It seems that a lot in our country aren’t willing to do this. Socialism is not a solution. Ask former USSR members. What drives people to be better?? There has to be a carrot out there to strive for that is attainable, and there has to be competition to get it. Take my work for example, I worked for 27 years in a non-union environment, the last 4 with a union workforce. Same industry. When I came here, I was AMAZED at how unqualified the workforce was for the jobs they were doing. Where I came from, training was a daily thing, here getting someone to train is like asking them to go get a root canal. Their thought is, its union. I don’t have to learn the stuff because when it’s my turn to be promoted, i get the job. Where I came from, whoever was the best choice to fill the position got the job. Knowing that, made you go out and train and learn and do the job better so you would get an edge on the other guy. It also made all the other guys do it to try to get the edge on you. so the net result was a much sharper, qualified, hardworking workforce. I say all this because unions are akin to socialism, and it just doesn’t produce the best of the best.
So, government taking over things, running things, administering things is a socialistic practice, like TAXES. I get that we need to pay our government to keep the country on track, but income tax isn’t the way to do it. Jack the sales tax up to 25%. 7% to the state and the rest to the feds. If i don’t want to pay taxes, i wont buy anything, which is impossible, lol. Everyone buys things, (like banjos, mandos, guitars!!!). plus, those that are skirting the system now, will be paying into the system. Drug dealers, illegals, everyone who works for money under the table, will all be contributors then, no way around it.

Wow, did I just type all that??? I didn’t know I knew that many words. I need a coffee!!!