Thursday, March 20, 2014

Generic Key West

It puzzles me how my neighbors seem to not notice odd things about how our lives are ordered for us. I wonder how it is Canadians can flood Key West in winter, driving expensive cars, owning or renting homes in some of the most expensive dirt in Florida, and yet they live in a world we cannot afford. To hear the Republicans tell it, Medicare for all would bankrupt the US, like being bankrupted for blowing up Iraq and Afghanistan was a good deal, yet Canadians can afford the dreaded "socialized health care." How does that work? Note they get to live pretty well and if they get cancer they don't bankrupt their families? Or organize bake sales to make a pathetic gesture toward their uninsured neighbors? They aren't clamoring to be forced into the private insurance racket. Weird huh?

This sticker, Slow Down This Ain't The Mainland doesn't do much for me, not least because this part of the world isn't really laid back. The saying originated on Maui where people they say really do live at a slower pace. In the Keys the umbilical cord that connects Key West to Miami generates a mainland attitude. When I'm stuck in traffic on Highway One dawdling behind vacationers enjoying the views I wonder how cool they'd be if they dialed 911 and got a recorded message telling them we'd be answering 911 when we got to work. Try that on for laid back when you get a sudden urgent need for an ambulance or a cop...the other thing I find is that the so-called laid back drivers blow a fuse when you pass them. They don't slow down, pull over and let the worker bees get a move on. No they speed up when you try to pass them and they are about as laid back as a bunch of hornets whose nest just got poked with a stick.

I saw this splendid bonsai and because I was in an enquiring mood I wondered how it is I kill anything I try to grow. And if I don't kill it an iguana will. I tried to keep a bonsai once. It died.

I've photographed these penguins before but it's been a while and they are still cute. They decorate a gate in the meadows.

I really liked these two bicycles. I am not sure if I should admire people who ride color coordinated bicycles or if I should shrug them off because sooner or later they will get stolen or wrecked or something and all that it envy. In the end I am about as useless at landscaping as I am at coordinating my life's accessories. Rust and heavy use is my style.

Here we go, a Key West pick up. If you can stand the crowding and the noise and the dreadful quality of most of the housing you too can live by bicycle and something like this will become your model T runabout.

I drove by the college on day with sunshine and high wispy clouds. I spent six years on and off studying marine bits and pieces in that building. It's supposed to get rebuilt as. A new super modern facility. Idiotically I have a lot of nostalgia for the desperately hot classes of Fall - September in the lab was desperately muggy fiddling with grease and nuts and bolts your feet boiling in protective boots. Yet we had fun.

It's life lived in the fast lane, kind of, not on the mainland.



Anonymous said...

Canada doesn't allow the illegals we do. why don't you relinquish more of your paycheck to those who don't pay taxes? if you are not an entrepreneur and you have had no direct experience with making a payroll yet keeping profitable, then keep your musings to yourself. believe me, socialist ignoramus, if your status changes to one who provides a payroll, your opinion regarding healthcare would also change.

this country cannot support a bunch of let's-get-something-for-nothing bums. your comparison of our country to other restrictive
countries is ridiculous.

I know of a person who lives almost rent-free yet drives a jaguar convertible, courtesy of of our government. I, on the other hand, struggle with simply staying in business as a once well to do physician.

teachers and government workers know absolutely nothing about the way things really work.

I am tired of supporting you and your wife.

Anonymous said...

Um, who exactly are the people in this country not paying taxes?

Conchscooter said...

Corporations. The one percent with offshore accounts. I pay every paycheck.
That, in one incoherent vomit, pretty much sums up why I prefer people to dogs.
Everyone does better when everyone does better. But then blacks browns and migrants do better and we can't have that in a proper "Judeo-Christian" country. Family values don't you know.

Anonymous said...

Michael is right - the corporate federal income tax rate is 35%, yet many major corporations (GE, Apple, Exxon) pay little to no taxes. In some instances, they get refunds! A common practice is to offshore their profits in shell holding companies in tax favorable jurisdictions - aka tax havens -- until the gov't gives in and offers an amnesty to repatriate such profits at little to no taxes so it will "create jobs" and "stimulate growth" when in reality all that happens is dividends are issued and the 1% gets richer.

I emplore you to watch Robert Reich's documentary - Inequality For All. By way of background I am a republican, a 3%'er (close enough to be considered a capitalist pig to outsiders) and watched the plights of a business owner first hand growing up. Yet I respect and understand Michael's "socialist" views and agree with many of them. Sadly, our society - from the top down, inside and outside of governement - no longer attempts to see the others' views.

Or maybe you just had a bad cup of coffee this morning and got a little cranky. It happens

Sandi said...

univeral health care is fairly simply.. Canadians are taxed for that...its not a perfect system by a long shot, and there can be long wait lists for elective surgery.. however its better than no health care, which a lot of Americas suffer from..

Sandi said...

univeral health care is fairly simply.. Canadians are taxed for that...its not a perfect system by a long shot, and there can be long wait lists for elective surgery.. however its better than no health care, which a lot of Americas suffer from..

Trobairitz said...

Having lived in Canada and the USA I'd say we are doing healthcare wrong down here, but yet, I still live here.

It would be nice if we could look at what works, and what doesn't in other countries and tailor a system that would trump them all, but then where would all the profit be for those large corporations and HMOs. Nowhere, and that is the problem. Take profit out of healthcare.

I say tax those 1%ers at a high rate, but I am sure that will never happen either.

Thanks for the post Michael. Too bad a commenter had their panties in a bunch.

Anonymous said...

i like you Michael, I really do. we have a lot in common. however, I don't know how much longer I can keep my doors open to my patients. between the economy and reimbursements from insurance companies things are outrageously tight. I may sell everything and just trade my stocks and live well that way. but then, I'd be stealing other people's money.

Anonymous said...

3%'er here again....

Now I believe your misplaced anger is properly redirected. The gov't has not driven your profession into the ground - the medical industry itself has.

It is no longer a profession that puts the patient first - as when the doctors were in charge. The medical industry is now run by business men and women, worried more about profits and answering to shareholders. Not to mention the impact of the (still private sector) insurance companies.

My father, a doctor, recently retired and is now living in Sugarloaf Key. The one thing he kept after selling his practice is a denial letter from a patient's insurance carrier, reminding him what happened to his once noble profession.

It floors me when people want to blame the gov't for everything, yet every single day benefits tremendously from its services they receive and don't even realize it. How was your drive to work? On that road the gov't built....

Anonymous said...

Ah, it's been awhile since a good social policy / political debate. Thanks for the post today!

Rounds 1 & 2 to the 3% socialist masquerading as a do-good capitalist.

Doc's camp - round 3. You're up.

Bryce Lee said...

For those concerned about "their"
US tax Rates here with are the taxation rates for individuals in Canada for the previous year 2013 for which are now being filed: Note this does not include provincial tax rates which are usually 50 percent of the federal rate, compounded (except for Quebec which does their own tax method).

15% on the first $43,953 of taxable income, plus {with the provinical rate
this would be half of 15 percent of 7.5 percent for a total tax of 22.5 percent). Same for the other rates.
22% on the next $43,954 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $43,953 up to $87,907), plus
26% on the next $48,363 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income over $87,907 up to $136,270), plus
29% of taxable income over $136,270.

Keep in mind the rate compounds each time you go up a notch.

As a person on pension the maximum I am allowed to earn per year (from pensions and interest bearing monies
is about $54,000. Over that then I have to prepay my income tax on a quarterly basis, based upon
the amount earned in the previous taxation rate.

In addition to the above we in Ontario have a Goods and Services tax of 13% (8% provincial, 5%) on virtually all goods sold and on fuel there is an additional 12 percent tax as a general road maintenace tax.

Canada is currently the third most heavuly taxed country in the world. We have a geographic area larger than the United States and yet our population is around 35-million at most.

Medical services are free however free means the province pays the shot. The service may not be the fastest and you may have to wait in line if something more urgent appears however you sill be attended to, eventually.
You will be treated, you might end up on a gurney in a hallway due to lack of beds or maybe in a ward, however you will be tended to.

Much prefer this system.

Anonymous said...

Which system is it you prefer?

Here in the US the wait in the ER is also quite long, at least in most larger cities. Typically several hours if it is not a life threatening situation. Not always a horror story, but rarely the cakewalk often described by those who wish to distort the reality of the system in America. It can be even worse in VA hospitals.

Anonymous said...

the government built the road? really? the government doesn't build anything. people do. and not government people. private businesses built the road.

think. think.

dennis cleveland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Singing to Jeffrey's Tune said...

I think the first poster has forgotten he has the choice to become the dreaded socialist government work instead of an entrepreneur with tax rolls. Trade offs on both sides.

Conchscooter said...

Exactly. Trade offs.
We are all in this together.

Think think.