US politics and stuff

briantrumpet
briantrumpet Posts: 17,319
edited February 2023 in The cake stop
I thought it might be better to have one thread about US stuff...
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  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,319
    If you were wondering about healthcare costs, apart from drugs, this might have something to do with it... note, "average"

    https://www.kaptest.com/study/mcat/doctor-salaries-by-specialty/

    Here are the top medical specialties, ranked by average income:

    Plastic Surgery: $576,000
    Orthopedics: $557,000
    Cardiology: $490,000
    Otolaryngology: $469,000
    Urology: $461,000
    Gastroenterology: $453,000
    Dermatology: $438,000
    Radiology: $437,000
    Ophthalmology: $417,000
    Oncology: $411,000
    Anesthesiology: $405,000
    Surgery, General: $402,000
    Emergency Medicine: $373,000
    Critical Care: $369,000
    Pulmonary Medicine: $353,000
    Ob/Gyn: $336,000
    Pathology: $334,000
    Nephrology: $329,000
    Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: $322,000
    Neurology: $301,000
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,319
    I find pretty much everything about the US baffling. I remember the stat that in the year the Guardian was following the deaths by shooting *by* US police, there were more deaths in the first 35 days of the year than in the UK in 35 years. And nothing is done about it.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 39,822
    Says it all that plastic surgery is valued getting on for twice as highly as emergency medicine (I know plastic surgery is more than cosmetic but I suspect the cosmetic element is where the money comes from).
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d27gTrPPAyk
    This might help if an English man is considering living in New York.
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,166
    Our company is American owned and our current MD is American. He's been here before and has come back so he knows the UK and we know him. When he first came back I made a comment that our politics is as batshit as theirs now. He replied the difference was the crazies over here don't have guns. He reckoned Trump's lot could easily have gone right over the edge.
    The gun issue is the thing I find most bewildering, the fact that a friend's kid's have gun drills at school rather than fire drills beggars belief. It's completely insane.
  • JimD666
    JimD666 Posts: 1,857

    Our company is American owned and our current MD is American. He's been here before and has come back so he knows the UK and we know him. When he first came back I made a comment that our politics is as batshit as theirs now. He replied the difference was the crazies over here don't have guns. He reckoned Trump's lot could easily have gone right over the edge.
    The gun issue is the thing I find most bewildering, the fact that a friend's kid's have gun drills at school rather than fire drills beggars belief. It's completely insane.

    https://bulletproofbackpackusa.app

    words failed me when I found that. There are many, many others
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,319
    'Mt First Rifle", from Crickett.com (who specialise in children's rifles, and one of whose killed a 2-year-old in 2013).




    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/05/crickett-rifle-marketing-kids/

    Part of the nation is absolutely certifiably nuts, and the other part is too afraid to do anything about it. There have already been about 75 mass shootings since the start of 2023.

    https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting
  • They're not allowed alcohol until 21 years old though, so it's pretty safe.
  • I have a bit of knowledge on the US as that is my academic background.

    Being very simplistic, there are two themes that run through American consciousness; individualism and paranoia (the two are often connected). When you view American culture through this lense it helps to explain a lot.

    Most Americans are raised to believe in the absolute power of the individual with a deep mistrust of government intervention. Right to own a gun, right to protect yourself, keep your money without being taxed, pay for your healthcare but not others (welfare in general is anathema to many Americans).

    With the focus on the individual comes the paranoia, the fear that 'someone' is out to take what is yours (again, usually the govt.). Lots of 20th C events also stoked this, Cold War Paranoia really had a huge impact post WW2 on the American psyche.

    As a result many Americans are fearful. Guns plus paranoia often equals shootings (particularly cops).

    Far more complex than my crude analysis above, but perhaps it gives a bit of insight.



  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,319

    I have a bit of knowledge on the US as that is my academic background.

    Being very simplistic, there are two themes that run through American consciousness; individualism and paranoia (the two are often connected). When you view American culture through this lense it helps to explain a lot.

    Most Americans are raised to believe in the absolute power of the individual with a deep mistrust of government intervention. Right to own a gun, right to protect yourself, keep your money without being taxed, pay for your healthcare but not others (welfare in general is anathema to many Americans).

    With the focus on the individual comes the paranoia, the fear that 'someone' is out to take what is yours (again, usually the govt.). Lots of 20th C events also stoked this, Cold War Paranoia really had a huge impact post WW2 on the American psyche.

    As a result many Americans are fearful. Guns plus paranoia often equals shootings (particularly cops).

    Far more complex than my crude analysis above, but perhaps it gives a bit of insight.




    That's the part of the population that is certifiably nuts. It's unfortunate that it's the part of the population with the guns, as the two don't mix well. But it also explains how they/we have got to the point where the can claim that black is white (and hence Trump): there is so much counter evidence that gun control works (as opposed to "Good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns"), but yet the gun lobby still controls the narrative, despite a sizeable majority being in favour of some sort of stronger gun control (albeit still at a level that would be considered outrageous here).
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,248
    edited February 2023

    I have a bit of knowledge on the US as that is my academic background.

    Being very simplistic, there are two themes that run through American consciousness; individualism and paranoia (the two are often connected). When you view American culture through this lense it helps to explain a lot.

    Most Americans are raised to believe in the absolute power of the individual with a deep mistrust of government intervention. Right to own a gun, right to protect yourself, keep your money without being taxed, pay for your healthcare but not others (welfare in general is anathema to many Americans).

    With the focus on the individual comes the paranoia, the fear that 'someone' is out to take what is yours (again, usually the govt.). Lots of 20th C events also stoked this, Cold War Paranoia really had a huge impact post WW2 on the American psyche.

    As a result many Americans are fearful. Guns plus paranoia often equals shootings (particularly cops).

    Far more complex than my crude analysis above, but perhaps it gives a bit of insight.



    I briefly followed a YouTube blacksmith from Norfolk who moved out to Wisconsin (IIRC) for a year or so to team up with an American friend. It was all relatively normal stuff about blacksmithing and other metalworking projects with a bit about the local landscape, and then in one video his friend took him to the local gun range. As a window into that underlying paranoia it was quite startling - I think the comment was "...coz you never know who's going to come through the front door..." when it was an hour's drive through empty plains to the nearest town. This otherwise normal guy barely out of his teens absolutely believed that he was in mortal danger if he wasn't highly proficient with a handgun.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • As a window into that underlying paranoia it was quite startling - I think the comment was "...coz you never know who's going to come through the front door..." when it was an hour's drive through empty plains to the nearest town. This otherwise normal guy barely out of his teens absolutely believed that he was in mortal danger if he wasn't highly proficient with a handgun.


    There is a long historical narrative about how people got into this mindset which is pretty interesting. A lot of the academic theory traces it to the post McCarthy era (although I think you can see the seeds of it right in the early years of American independence). There is an early essay form the 1960's called "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" which was pretty influential in arguing that post McCarthy politics (within the conservative right)became style over substance, using fear and anxiety to influence people. When you look at Fox news today and the rise of Trump, this is pretty much the playbook it seems!
  • laurentian
    laurentian Posts: 2,349
    I once read something along the lines of the fact that the NRA has huge political sway (and therefore politicans who will fight for the "right to bear arms" part of the constitution) due to the huge amount of money that they pump into their favoured political parties/campaigns.

    If only those opposed to the current state of affairs were to form an "anti gun" equivalent of the NRA that could raise more money and throw it at the politicians, they would go a long way to better gun controls in the US.
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 25,221
    Annoying how politics boils down to how much money you have.
    Nothing to do with principle.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • There are two separate issues I think, political influence and cultural values. The NRA spend huge amounts of lobbying money and hold huge sway over Republicans, handy when it comes to gun control laws. Their actual membership is comparatively small though, around 3 million Americans, compared to the number that own guns (closer to 100 million who report gun ownership).

    They do hold significant political influence, but the cultural desire for gun ownership goes far beyond the NRA. It is hardwired into the DNA of many Americans. I suspect even if you dissolved the NRA, gun ownership would still be huge, shootings would still be prevalent and getting stricter gun laws passed would be nigh on impossible.

  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 39,822

    I once read something along the lines of the fact that the NRA has huge political sway (and therefore politicans who will fight for the "right to bear arms" part of the constitution) due to the huge amount of money that they pump into their favoured political parties/campaigns.

    If only those opposed to the current state of affairs were to form an "anti gun" equivalent of the NRA that could raise more money and throw it at the politicians, they would go a long way to better gun controls in the US.

    Someone needs to be making money from the lobbying for it to be worthwhile though. No-one makes anything out of guns being banned.
  • laurentian
    laurentian Posts: 2,349
    Pross said:

    I once read something along the lines of the fact that the NRA has huge political sway (and therefore politicans who will fight for the "right to bear arms" part of the constitution) due to the huge amount of money that they pump into their favoured political parties/campaigns.

    If only those opposed to the current state of affairs were to form an "anti gun" equivalent of the NRA that could raise more money and throw it at the politicians, they would go a long way to better gun controls in the US.

    Someone needs to be making money from the lobbying for it to be worthwhile though. No-one makes anything out of guns being banned.
    . . . the political recipents do . . . that's kinda the point
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 39,822

    Pross said:

    I once read something along the lines of the fact that the NRA has huge political sway (and therefore politicans who will fight for the "right to bear arms" part of the constitution) due to the huge amount of money that they pump into their favoured political parties/campaigns.

    If only those opposed to the current state of affairs were to form an "anti gun" equivalent of the NRA that could raise more money and throw it at the politicians, they would go a long way to better gun controls in the US.

    Someone needs to be making money from the lobbying for it to be worthwhile though. No-one makes anything out of guns being banned.
    . . . the political recipents do . . . that's kinda the point
    Sure, the point I was making is that with an anti-gun lobby there is nothing they financially gain in order to fork out money to the politicians. With the gun lobby there are all the people making money from gun sales. In the same way the car lobby is always strong whereas public transport, cycling, pedestrians struggle to get their voice heard.
  • laurentian
    laurentian Posts: 2,349
    Pross said:

    Pross said:

    I once read something along the lines of the fact that the NRA has huge political sway (and therefore politicans who will fight for the "right to bear arms" part of the constitution) due to the huge amount of money that they pump into their favoured political parties/campaigns.

    If only those opposed to the current state of affairs were to form an "anti gun" equivalent of the NRA that could raise more money and throw it at the politicians, they would go a long way to better gun controls in the US.

    Someone needs to be making money from the lobbying for it to be worthwhile though. No-one makes anything out of guns being banned.
    . . . the political recipents do . . . that's kinda the point
    Sure, the point I was making is that with an anti-gun lobby there is nothing they financially gain in order to fork out money to the politicians. With the gun lobby there are all the people making money from gun sales. In the same way the car lobby is always strong whereas public transport, cycling, pedestrians struggle to get their voice heard.
    Ah, right. I see what you mean . . . apart from having a safer place to be in some decades time, you're probably right.
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,319
    Pross said:

    Pross said:

    I once read something along the lines of the fact that the NRA has huge political sway (and therefore politicans who will fight for the "right to bear arms" part of the constitution) due to the huge amount of money that they pump into their favoured political parties/campaigns.

    If only those opposed to the current state of affairs were to form an "anti gun" equivalent of the NRA that could raise more money and throw it at the politicians, they would go a long way to better gun controls in the US.

    Someone needs to be making money from the lobbying for it to be worthwhile though. No-one makes anything out of guns being banned.
    . . . the political recipents do . . . that's kinda the point
    Sure, the point I was making is that with an anti-gun lobby there is nothing they financially gain in order to fork out money to the politicians. With the gun lobby there are all the people making money from gun sales. In the same way the car lobby is always strong whereas public transport, cycling, pedestrians struggle to get their voice heard.

    And throw in the very credible suggestions that the Russians poured/pour money into the NRA, as anything that destabilises Western democracies is good news for them (see also Brexit, etc.), and along with the big business of gun sales and the place of guns in the psyche of the US, and now the 9/3 split of the Supreme Court who seem to make up new stuff on a whim using the US Constitution as their bible, and it's no wonder it's hard to get beyond "thoughts and prayers" and "now's not the time to be playing politics with guns".

    There were another five mass shootings yesterday.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,319
    Nothing to see here, except a Farridge equivalent in the US suggesting the end of the United States as it currently stands. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 39,822
    “Everyone I talk to says this” = “I only talk to people who share my point of view”
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 71,571
    edited February 2023
    Pross said:

    “Everyone I talk to says this” = “I only talk to people who share my point of view”

    Well that’s not true. If only.
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,319
    Breaking news: US lockdowns apparently had a big impact on maths & reading ability... well, of a certain Republican, anyway...

  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 71,571
    Quite curious the house voted to ban ESG considerations from investment decisions, which if you think about it, is totally mad.

    They're literally trying to ban looking at certain data points to inform your investment decision.

    So if you are interested in your carbon footprint of your investments for example, your fund manager will be *banned* from telling you what it is!

    It'll get vetoed by biden so it's political theatre, but still. How anti-intellectual do you want to be?
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,248
    This is the country in which someone tried to legislate for a different value of pi, so it seems very much in character.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,319
    Florida Republicans apparently sponsoring a bill to eind up the Florida Democratic Party... what could go wrong?