Wednesday, April 27, 2005

US Socialist Democratic Model

I have been reading about Sweden's socialist democracy for some time now and I thought that I would try and consolidate some of my ideas on what I think should be implemented in the US. Here is a brief run down of those ideas (More to come later).

Raise taxes. Decrease the tax deductions for having children. Set up government funded day care services so all children age 0-5 will be taken care of so the parents can work. After school programs such as sports and day care will be made mandatory for schools K-8. Increase teachers' salary. This will neither reward nor punish people for having children. The children will be taken care of and educated properly and in a better environment more suited to nurturing ideas of self worth and the importance of knowledge than most inner-city schools are currently capable of accomplishing.

Establish more affordable housing neighborhoods and appartment centers. Set up social programs aimed at helping the poor get loans to purchase homes and learn how to manage debt and other money issues. Just because this is a socialist model does not mean that it is also a communist model; privately owned property is a key aspect of capitalism and should not be excluded from a democratic socialist model. What does need to happen in a socialist model is for the government to support the people who need help, thus the need for affordable housing and more social programs.

Lastly everyone should be insured for health care. Insead of following Sweden's example on this it might be easier to look north a bit at Canada. They have a higher life expectancy than the US and are about equally satisfied with the treatment recived by their doctors, as compaired with insured Americans. More information about this is found on Wikipedia. Health care is obviously important and the fact that there is no guaranteed health care system in the US seems ridiculous to me. Almost all other European countries have some kind of health care for all their citizens. The main argument against this is that most people would automatically get an HMO plan rather than a PPO because HMOs are cheaper. I still think it would possible for you to choose to have a PPO if you were employed. Your company could check some box while filling out their tax return that they have a specified number of employees that are recieving PPO health care package and in that case you would get a deduction. I'm not very familiar with how other countries' helath care systems work so that is all I can say on this topic for now.

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