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Andrew Huff / July 22, 2009 12:16 AM

Question suggested by Amanda. If you've got an idea for a Fuel question, email it to us at inbox @ GapersBlock.com

flange / July 22, 2009 9:12 AM

but this isn't the case. like with roads, police, and parkland, "rich" and "poor" have little to do with it; those who don't use it subsidize those who do. rich and poor on both sides.

David / July 22, 2009 9:27 AM

Christ, that's a loaded question.

If you're referencing the Obama health care plan, then yes, I do believe that people making more than $280K should be taxed at a slightly higher rate to allow people who otherwise wouldn't have coverage to be covered.

But the very way you've structured your question, by creating a tautology, means that you're never going to get a nuanced answer. Exactly who would refer to themselves as "rich" or "poor?" I've never heard anybody describe themselves that way. So in the conception of this question, you have one nonexistent group subsidizing another nonexistent group.

In conclusion, fuck those richies.

Eamon / July 22, 2009 10:28 AM

I'm rich. And yes, absolutely. Every rich person got that way because someone helped them out somewhere along the road, and it's ignorance or hubris to think otherwise. Return the favor.

Zach / July 22, 2009 10:35 AM

Well, since it's basically middle class (from the lower to the upper) consumers who are "subsidizing" the wealth of the "rich," I think it's only fair that they at least subsidize our health care.

Most wealthy people have gotten where they are because they work for or own a company or organization that sells a product or service to middle class consumers. Without a healthy base of consumers, they lose customers. Healthy, happy people are far more likely to go out and buy things they don't need or spend more money on the things they do need.

I don't think the wealthy should look at it so much as a subsidization, as they should look at it as an investment.

Mucky Fingers / July 22, 2009 10:42 AM

Exactly who would refer to themselves as "rich" or "poor?" I've never heard anybody describe themselves that way.

If you've never heard anybody describe themselves that way, then you are comfortably nestled within the middle-class and have little experience interacting with either demographic.

Believe me, rich people refer to themselves as rich (they just call it "wealthy" or "having a bit of money"). Poor people know they're poor and will tell anyone who will listen. These two groups are in the minority, though - which is why you seldom hear this language. The majority of Americans fall within various ranks of middle-class or working-class incomes.

C-Note / July 22, 2009 11:28 AM

Probably, but not in the way you mean. I'd be all for it if it were accomplished by way of the FairTax, instead of by way of federal income tax.

Dennis Fritz / July 22, 2009 11:42 AM

The question itself is ideologically loaded. It implies the rich are more deserving of health care because they can pay their own bills, while the poor are less deserving because they cannot.

Bullshit.

Health care is--or ought to be--a basic human right. The fact it is doled out according to ability to pay is a scandal. The US has far and away the highest health care costs of any advanced nation, while suffering some of the worst health outcomes. That this "debate" can even go on in the 21st century is ludicrous.

The ONLY way to ensure quality health care for all is to make sure everyone, rich and poor, HAS to use the same system. The rich may not care at all about the poor. However, if both the rich and the poor and required to use the same health care system, you can bet your ass it will be a good one.

Dennis Fritz / July 22, 2009 11:42 AM

The question itself is ideologically loaded. It implies the rich are more deserving of health care because they can pay their own bills, while the poor are less deserving because they cannot.

Bullshit.

Health care is--or ought to be--a basic human right. The fact it is doled out according to ability to pay is a scandal. The US has far and away the highest health care costs of any advanced nation, while suffering some of the worst health outcomes. That this "debate" can even go on in the 21st century is ludicrous.

The ONLY way to ensure quality health care for all is to make sure everyone, rich and poor, HAS to use the same system. The rich may not care at all about the poor. However, if both the rich and the poor and required to use the same health care system, you can bet your ass it will be a good one.

mike / July 22, 2009 11:51 AM


Yes, we subsidize everything they do and happily do it because they have us convinced that one magical day we will be them.

Also, and really, the question in uninformed. All Americans will be paying into a system that will benefit most Americans.

Good Luck / July 22, 2009 1:16 PM

It is an interesting question because it touches on similar arguments made over 150 years ago on the morality and legality of slavery.

The abolitionist movement's belief, in short, was that every human was entitled to the benefits of their labor, this right was protected under the constitution, and that every man was created equal and had natural rights. The institution of slavery oppressed these natural rights by allowing one set of men to take the fruits of another's labor involuntarily.

Abraham Lincoln, from the Lincoln Douglass debates:
"Now I ask you in all soberness, if all these things, if indulged in, if ratified, if confirmed and endorsed, if taught to our children, and repeated to them, do not tend to rub out the sentiment of liberty in the country, and to transform this Government into a government of some other form. Those arguments that are made, that the inferior race are to be treated with as much allowance as they are capable of enjoying; that as much is to be done for them as their condition will allow. What are these arguments? They are the arguments that kings have made for enslaving the people in all ages of the world. You will find that all the arguments in favor of king-craft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden. That is their argument, and this argument of the Judge is the same old serpent that says you work and I eat, you toil and I will enjoy the fruits of it."

The new "class warfare" arguments designed to pit one man's security vs another man's rights have all of the shallowness and moral absurdity as those in the past.

David / July 22, 2009 3:11 PM

Wait, what? Are you making a moral equivalence between slavery and class warfare? Despite the fact that both are addressed pretty miserably in the Bible, I don't believe the two have any commonalities.

To say that the arguments of both ring untrue is copping out of taking a stand at all.

Slavery was an evil on its face, and its proponents had precious little moral ground on which to stand. But saying that "class warfare" arguments are shallow and that we'll all (essentially) look back on this and laugh together is to deny one of the basic tenets of the American Dream: that with hard work and know-how, anybody can rise to the top and become rich. And we've been repeating that mantra for generations.

We now know it to be precisely that: a dream, and a fever dream at that. Rich and poor are not a false distinction. They may be imprecise words, but the state they describe is very real. With the top tier of Americans enriching themselves at the expense of the bottom four-fifths, the path we're on is untenable.

Carlotta / July 22, 2009 11:04 PM

Everyone should pay his/her fair share of taxes -- a topic which could set off another philosophical debate here. So, to answer the question without the nuances involved: yeah.

However, even without the current downturn which made the rich a lot less rich, there aren't enough of them to subsidize health care to the extent needed. Which means that a lot of us will end up donating to the cause, too.

madachode / July 23, 2009 8:06 AM

So what everyone is saying that if you are successful and worked hard for it, you are obligated to share your hard earned money?!! No way, this is a free country and everyone has their own choice to do whatever they want with their lives. If you choose to be a slug and not better yourself so that you can attain a job that provides health care as a benifit, so be it but don't start crying about your choice because it's too late. And if you really want to look into high health care costs, the "god" complex doctors and pharmy companies are the ones to scurtinize, not people who worked hard to be at where they are at today.

spence / July 23, 2009 8:53 AM

This question sounds like one of those Fox News polls that are completely useless, loaded, and politicized. Sorry Amanda, but your question sucks.

mike / July 23, 2009 9:43 PM

Good Luck and Chode, keepin' it real with their tool-selves.

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