Matthieu Miossec

Doctoral Student - Genetic Medecine (Congenital Heart Disease),

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What are a few things your country could learn from other countries?

There are many ideas which a country may too readily vilify or praise without looking outside of its own borders where some of these ideas will have been tried and tested. Look outside your country and go hunting for great ideas.

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    Sep 3 2011: - Entrepreneurship from California
    - From Japan: their moral lessons about friendship, being there for each other, following your own path in life (and taking up responsibility for it), their 0 tolerance for crime/violence (making their cities the safest of the planet), discipline and robotics
    - From Asia, South America and Africa: eating insects
    - From Germany and northern Europe: low corruption, correctness and sane ecology
    - From Almost all countries: their cuisine
    - From Almost all countries: how to form a government ;-)
    - From Congo, North Korea and other countries: that we can praise ourselves we are far better of, and should not complain as much.
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      Sep 3 2011: I do appreciate how cuisine is pronounced here in all countries, sir.
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      Sep 5 2011: Christophe,
      I wish you had included something to the effect, "-From the USA, the Preamble to the US Constitution, one of the greatest, yet unpracticed, ideas that exist." 
      Of course, I cannot expect such an unheralded idea to be promoted outside the country. However, if non-Americans promoted America's Preamble, Americans might notice it.
      It calls for Abraham Lincoln’s vision: governance of the people, by the people, and for the people.
      Phil
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    Sep 23 2011: That bull fighting is savagely cruel and should be banned once and for all.

    EDITED:

    LAST BULLFIGHT IN BARCELONA LAST NIGHT, SO WE MIGHT SLOWLY BE GETTING THERE!
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    Sep 15 2011: Their language
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    Sep 22 2011: The thing China definitely needs to learn from other countries, like Ameica, is about food safty. In the recent years, these scandals about food safty in China have scare our people. From poisoned baby formula to the recent drainage oil,a general epithet for the oil recycled from the garbage,which is infamous for its low quality. Our authority should learn how to supervise and scrutinise the food when it's in the process rather than solve the problem when it has already harmed our people.
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      Sep 22 2011: Hang in there, Jessy. As a parent, I can't imagine how frightening it is to be concerned about your food supply. I do hope the government finds a way to instill confidence in this area.
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      Sep 23 2011: Ni Hao Jessy,

      I live in China and the quality of the food here is a real concern.

      Not as an excuse but as a partial explanation: I think it's hard to imagine just how difficult it is to "manage" 1,300,000,000 people. The opportunities for wealth-creation are huge in China, and some people try to take advantage of the opportunities by cheating.

      Things will change. Slowly. But they will change.

      Is there anything you can do that would help improve the situation?

      My wife and I are considering importing oil from Canada. It's not a long-term solution but it's something we can do.
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    Sep 9 2011: Hi everybody,

    First, by "learn" here I mean "would be great if my country adopted best practices of ... but it never did"
    I wish it did.
    But it's complicated.
    Even when it comes to the best idea or practice, we have to understand - what works for one country doesn't work for another. And sometimes it shouldn't.
    And many roads lead to Rome - where "Rome" is the place where everyone is happy, healthy, wealthy and moral.
    So, we adopt practices - it takes ages to shift and evolve. We adopt ideas - it takes ages to soak in. (Agree with Frans! - it doesn't happen automatically, overnight) With some ideas and practices it's easier, some - impossible, depending on the size of the gap and - the common sense.
    Theoretically, however, I wish my country Russia could learn how to respect the human right of an individuum, to tolerate the differences, to focus on improving the environment and quality of life, to preserve green - from my country the Netherlands.
    My country the Netherlands ... I wish it could learn how to feel and share with others, to live as a community, to bring ethics into daily matters, to dig deeper into human soul - from my country Russia

    And then comes health care, technology, laws, windmills and roads.

    We are - the countries, aren't we? I think we are learning, slowly. We started with cuisine :)
  • Sep 6 2011: i think every country, including my home country australia, would benefit from implementing japan's employment policy. employment levels are legislated: if your company makes X amount of money you have to employ Y number of people, and not only is there a minimum wage but also a minimum bonus, so that if a company does especially well, it's not just the CEO getting the bonus but all the employees are rewarded for their hard work in carrying out the CEOs orders.

    the results of this are great service. with plenty of staff customers aren't kept waiting, staff are happy being adequately compansated and having enough other workers to share tasks so they're not exhausted by the end of the day.

    i'm sure some of you will be thinking "that must be incredibly expensive for comapnies! certainly it kills the economy!" but actually the reverse is true. with so many people earning reasonable salaries, you also have lots of people with money to spend, which means better sales figures and more company profits. every dollar spent on wages comes straight back into the economy meaning not only are people happy but all companies and the country as a whole does well too - japan is the world's third biggest economy even though it has no natural resources, importing all raw materials and even 60% of its food!

    truly it should be clear that rich people don't create jobs, consumer demand does.
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    Sep 6 2011: Nigeria could learn how to utilize it's Knowledge potential... and not just rely upon its natural resources. They could learn from the likes of India, how they can even export their know-how, and make it a viable income model. They could learn the unlimited benefits of providing food for itself, exploring its agricultural potential... and not importing billions of dollars worth of food every day. We could learn a lot from other countries!
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    Sep 23 2011: This may have been mentioned already, but I believe that some aspects of Switzerlands Direct Democracy should definitely be implemented in other democratic nations. The US has some programs working on this, such as the recent establishment of the "We, the People" Petition Feature on the White House Website.

    Other than that, as a High School Senior and soon-to-be College Freshman, I wouldn't mind if the US considered some form of Swedens Educational System. The debt american students are expected to accept is ridiculous and, frankly, I find it sad that a nation whose citizens are known for their (sometimes delusional) Patriotism fails to provide attractive alternative payment plans. Education is a crucial part of our lives, and we seem to care more about fighting distant wars against a nearly invisible enemy than encouraging academic excellence.
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    Sep 23 2011: I think a lot of countries could learn a lot from Costa Rica.
    They dissolved their army in 1949.
    Around 95% of all their energy comes from renewable sources.
    Their life expectancy is 77, yet their GDP is only $11,500 (compared to USA's 78 @ $48,600) and according to the Happy Planet Index, they are the most happy country on earth (8.5 life satisfaction compared with USA's 7.8)
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      Sep 23 2011: Did you know that Canada is now paying for Costa Rica's police force? This is a fact. It was front page news in our Canadian newspapers about a month ago. Because it is hard to believe, I am including a link:

      http://www.calgarysun.com/2011/08/11/in-costa-rica-harper-talks-trade-and-hockey
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        Sep 24 2011: That's interesting but you've twisted the fact from the article: "The program provides up to $15 million a year to help Latin American countries fight and prevent crime". That doesn't mean Canada pay for Costa Rica's police, it means Canada will give them a few $million to help them out and so they can reassure tourists that there is Canadian approved policing.
        It's really not that un believable when it coincides with a bunch of trade negotiations between the two countries. From the same article: "Through today's commitments, we are helping Costa Rica to become a safer place for its citizens and for travellers and businesses from abroad, thereby protecting our interests in the region and ultimately at home."
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          Sep 24 2011: Hi Charlie, thanks for the clarification. I did not read this particular article but I read several
          others. What you have said is true to a point, however, this newspaper is very pro-government and pro Harper who originates in this province so this article is spun to make the pill go down easier for Canadians. I still think it is really odd that Canadians are paying for policing in other countries.
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    Sep 20 2011: Learn from criticism made by other countries. It's like only Brazilians can criticize Brazil. Not a good thing.
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    Sep 20 2011: I am from India and one thing I wish we learn is "fairplay" ...
  • Sep 16 2011: What I think countries should do is to promote TED talks because it is just amazing the things I read on this site . No I don't work for this site , I just find the people here ... so unique , so different but at the same time , so wonderful . I just enjoy reading their comments , and I do my best to try and understand how they look at certain topics such as this .

    I guess I'm asking for countries to be more open minded to what other countries think simply because we all think differently , and thus making decisions from a wider perspective which may result in a win win situation rather than the usual , everyone's equal , if someone wins , another has to lose economist's point of view (Sorry if I've offended anyone because of certain words I've used in this paragraph , specifically economist)
  • Sep 14 2011: In business, Korea has to learn the freedom of ideas.
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    Sep 10 2011: I keep coming back to this conversation but each time I do I can't think of anything... It's hard to think as you are asking us to do, Matthieu! We are almost always thinking in the opposite way... But finally I locked into what I like about the few countries I know well enough to actually comment on.

    What I like about the English is their ability to express themselves in a way that draws me in.
    What I like about the Irish is their doomed, fatalistic sense of humor.
    What I like about the French is their flair for perfection.
    What I like about the Mexicans is their earthiness.
    What I like about the Canadians is their innate sensibility.
    I wish we Americans had more of a sense of history.
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    Sep 6 2011: My country, Bulgaria, can learn how to make great road construction from China and Japan and we can learn how to improve our tourism sector by Turkey and Greece. We have great nature but lousy roads and bad tourist service!
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      Sep 6 2011: The roads in China are pretty good! Much better than the roads in North America.
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    Sep 5 2011: What nations (actually the people living in sundry 'nations') could learn from people of other nations is probably unlimited. Unfortunately what's true on an international level reflects what happens in any town or village... folks put learning very far down on their list(s) of priorities. Even within families most parents resist learning from their children -- and the children resist learning from their parents. Humans simply don't like to learn from others. There are exceptions, e.g. children up to the age of 12 or so come to mind. So WHAT people COULD learn is a question that simply highlights what most people refuse to do. And somehow that seems to be a 'human universal', mimicking 'learning from the past' which most humans also refuse to do. This aspect of 'being human' may result in tragedy, but that's a topic for someone else to worry about -- or so most folks would say.
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    Sep 4 2011: Nations could learn from each other by exchanging ideas on how to preserve written justice yet maintain respect for each person’s opinion. I chose the words “justice” and “respect” to separate from “law” and “tolerance,” respectively.David Gibson’s article, “A ‘Christian’ Europe Without Christianity,” Religion News Service, August 11, 2011, perhaps unintentionally, supports separation of State from Church. Gibson claims that atheists are teaming with Christians to preserve European culture, in fear of Islam.In this case, Europeans could deeply study the Preamble to the United States Constitution, which claims seven secular goals to be committed to and trusted by We the People. We the People is an uncelebrated product of the phrase “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” (the US Declaration of Independence, 1776) plus the debates eleven years later.The 1787 Founders were autocrats in a closed building with closed windows in the heat of summer so that the public could not hear their debates. However, when sufficient states ratified the Constitution and the government started operating (1789), elected politicians began to ‘Christianize’ America, and thereby weaken the US Constitution. Democracy has stymied the republic.I cannot imagine one of my neighbors denying a Muslim family the opportunity to become beneficiaries of and contributors to American governance. Yet, it is commonplace to hear/read, regarding different cultures, “This is America: love it or leave it.” Many Americans resist separation of Church from State. Abraham Lincoln’s vision, “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” has not materialized.Many Americans could benefit from profound discussion of what the US Preamble could mean to citizens of another country; they might perceive what the Preamble could mean to America’s future: seven worthy goals, including justice and respect for each citizen.Phil
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    Sep 4 2011: I'd love to see my country embrace multilingualism and I'd love for non-native language learning to start in Kindergarten!
  • Sep 4 2011: Hi my name is Jayson, I'm 18 and I live in the Caribbean country of Trinidad and Tobago/

    My country can certainly learn how to deal with its problems with youth criminal activity by administering systems that have worked abroad; this is not to say we should indiscriminately apply solutions lauded by other countries, but its become evident that we are too inexperienced, too young a democracy to deal with these social issues without re-inventing the proverbial wheel. How do other countries get their youth motivated and inspired in nation-building activities? I once spoke to a Canadian mother living in my country who lamented the fact that there were so few volunteer programs that her children could join to develop that same sense of social responsibility and desire to help develop the place.

    I believe in self determinism and all that in-so-far as we do not forget that we live in a 'global' world, a connected world, where the knowledge and tools are at our finger-tips. Young countries sometimes need to learn to swallow their pride and ask for all the help they can get. And to end with an overused cliche: Rome wasn't built in a day!

    Thanks, great topic.

    Jayson
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    Sep 3 2011: How to provide health care for all citizens seems like something the US could (should) learn.
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      Sep 4 2011: Mr. Bruni, it would be interesting learn your idea of a country that meets your objective, "provide health care for all citizens," then learn your information 1) on how that country's medical provisions are assured economic viabilty, and 2) how the quality of health care in that country compares with the health care America provides its citizens and non-citizens.
      I have the impression that medical care in America is the best in the world--that when you go elsewhere, quality, scheduling, and treatability versus age suffer and are expected to decline as economic viability declines.
      • Sep 4 2011: Don't forget about the people, who are not in the system.

        google.de results for "uninsured americans" = 50 Million, roughly 20%.

        compared to "uninsured europeans" = no result.
        (ok, Europe is not really a nation, but none the less ;-))

        Also, you may find some of these npr articles interesting:
        http://www.npr.org/series/91972152/health-care-for-all
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        Sep 4 2011: America does not have the best healthcare in the world, whatever metric you chose to use. Have a look at countries that implement universal healthcare. France's healthcare is particularly renown for its excellence (it was number 1 in the WHO's 2000 ranking).

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_system#Cross-country_comparisons
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          Sep 4 2011: Interesting, and together with the NPR series promising. Thank you. Phil
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          Sep 6 2011: health care in america is something like 17% of gdp so why would they change? the more sick and dying the better it is for there healthcare sector and the better the gdp looks
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          Sep 7 2011: @ Matthieu. I just read a great book that outlines how the managed healthcare in the USA propagandized the American population into believing that lie. It was written by one of the guys who actually worked on the deliberate PR campaign.
          Thanks for contradicting that propaganda here on TED and for making it clear that America does not have the best healthcare in the world. As long as they continue to believe that manufactured lie, so many of their citizens suffer without healthcare.
        • Sep 7 2011: I would argue that U.S.A. has the best Heathcare that money can buy. Unfortunately, one needs a rather large amount of money in order to reach the "best" status.
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          Sep 8 2011: The name of the book is:
          Deadly Spin: An insurance industry insider speaks out on how corporate PR is killing healthcare and decieving Americans.

          Worth reading.
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          Sep 8 2011: QUOTE: "I would argue that U.S.A. has the best Heathcare that money can buy. "

          As you say, if you can afford it, you can get good healthcare in America. But I wouldn't say it is "the best." One of the best, definitely. The best ... probably not.
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          Sep 22 2011: Health promotion and primary care should be important components of healthcare in the United States. Some of the health issues in the U.S. may be different than those in France. An unhealthy diet, tobacco use, and lack of exercise can lead to problems we often see in the States like type II diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, lung disease, metabolic syndrome, etc.
        • Sep 25 2011: I always thought Cuba had the best healthcare system in the world? Correct me if I am wrong but do they not also have one of the best education systems in the world as well. I believe around 80 - 85% of the population owns their house with the outstanding being that of doctors and nurses who have accommodation provided for them wherever they are based.
        • Sep 29 2011: America does have the best technology, although it is sad that we don't have healthcare for all...........................................
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        Sep 5 2011: Well for starter we have about a third of the population who do not have access to healthcare. Yes in emergencies they can get vital needs met, but most likely will be bankrupt shortly there after. As for a routine visit or, good luck with that. Now if you have coverage most likely it is paid through your job. This contributes to a stagnant economy. Many people who would change profession for what ever reason have the the idea of no health care coverage hanging over there head. It also is not good for business who have to pay for it, and compete with companies in other nations who do not have this added expense. Because of this many companies who provide benefits (a dying trend) hire few people and work them with quite a bit of overtime which is cheaper than providing a healthcare package. Oh and forget about any vacation time with this sort of setup, which increases stress levels for the population as a whole which in return is unhealthy.

        Now the funny part is we spend about twice as much as most other industrial countries that provide service for all. This is why I responded to Matthieu question by saying we could learn to provide healthcare to it's citizen from other countries. Perhaps I should have been a bit more specific and said we should learn to fund a healthcare system that provides all it's citizens.
      • Sep 5 2011: I'm an American college student. Health insurance is a luxury and a dream to my demographic. We do have the best quality which is pathetic and pointless since we can't use it. I can't describe to you the fear of getting sick and not being able to speak treatment outside of life treating emergencies, which is hard to get anyway. ANYONE in the U.S who has healthcare has been screwed over by them. IT IS INSANE here its like having a life preserver dangeled in front of you while your drowning. Docters drive up health care costs without a care, Nurses get crap wages, I would rather die from cancer at 75 than 4, A reality I have witnessed in my lifetime, purely do to lack of income.
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          Sep 6 2011: My three children paid for medical insurance while they were in college, and it was reasonable at the time. What's happened in twenty years?
        • Sep 6 2011: i don't have any figures to support this, but i do know that many of the world's biggest companies are insurance companies, and they must be making their profits from selling insurance, and also they are obliged to satisfy investors by making each year's numbers better than the previous year's.

          also you have all the litigation nowadays in america that didn't use to exist. this adds another vicious upward spiral since doctors need to buy increasingly expensive insurance against possible malpractice suits (even a perfect doctor must have insurance), which means costs go up, which means insurance costs go up even further.

          i think then logically the solution is to cap payouts for medical malpractice, and introduce an optional not-for-profit insurance system to act as an anchor. we have medical cover in australia, but the public system is 'bronze' level. if you want better service you pay for a 'silver' or 'gold' level private health insurance from a for-profit insurance company.
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        Sep 6 2011: Hi Phil,

        It's not an area I know much about but, apparently, you could learn something about universal health care by looking north.

        Canada's system is said to be quite good.

        I do have some first-hand experience with the Canadian system: About three years ago, I slipped and fell on some icy steps and broke my leg in two places. We called an ambulance; they picked me up and delivered me to the hospital where I was treated. I was in the hospital for two or three weeks (I don't remember the exact number of days) and I was operated on three times. There were complications that required skin-grafting and so on. I was released with a wheel chair.

        When the bill arrived, I had to pay $85.00 for the ambulance, and $10.00 for a splint. Everything else was covered by "medical."

        I pay about $60.00 a month for the service. Regular check ups and non-emergency treatment is also covered.

        I don't know how that compares to other countries' plans but I am grateful for, and satisfied with, the Canadian system.

        As far as I know, everyone in Canada - even the destitute - qualify for coverage.
        • Sep 6 2011: i think an important point in thomas' story is that after healing, he got back to work and paying taxes, no doubt much more than the treatment cost the government.

          a lot of opponents to public healthcare cite the cost, but it's actually more expensive not to give healthcare away for free:
          a sick person needs welfare and other care, but a healthy person works, pays taxes, and spends their salary, all of which contribute to the economy instead of burdening it.
        • Sep 6 2011: I've had a similar experience in australia, tore my acl playing football and had a reco. i pay $0 a month for my governmant health care and only had to pay for the crutches everything else including the opp was covered
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          Sep 6 2011: There's nothing like first hand experience. And I appreciate Ben's point about getting working people back to work. Yet I wonder about the long term sustainability of universal health care. How does it impact personal responsibility?
          I am retired and consider it my duty to myself to 1) regurlary exercise and 2) manage what I eat and drink. Of course I don't smoke. In fact, when an ailment comes my way, the first think I think of is, "How can exercise rid this problem?" For example, I knead a sore finger loop to release the tendon and avoid trigger-finger surgery.
          My family needs me alive and well to cope with events like tropical storm Lee this past weekend and other practical and social matters.
          The question of giving up my cancer treatment four a four year old (see Joe Fletcher's comment) is perplexing. Seems like you'd need euthanasia for me. But then, what about my family? I would not volunteer.
        • Sep 7 2011: phillip i think that's a great point and i agree we don't want a system that absolves people of responsibility. in australia the government plan is only the most basic bread-and-water type cover; it'll keep you on your feet but will never be a 'desirable' level of insurance cover.

          there have been discussions in australia about making those who choose lifestyles that lead to poorer health make a larger contribution to the system, but really they already do. the tax on tbacco products is very high, so smokers have already paid for their emphysema medication long before they get the illness, and fresh food is exempt from tax whereas instant and other prepared foods (which are more likely to lead to disease associated with obesity) attract a 10% tax.

          i'm not sure what you mean by giving up your cancer treatment for a four year old? i think joe was referring to the fact that a 4-year-with cancer will die if they are denied health insurance, however if they have it they can get treatment and life a good long life even if they do finally succumb to the disease at 75.
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          Sep 8 2011: I would like to agree with and support Thomas' story and respond to Philip's points re: personal responsibility. I am Canadian.
          I am a very grateful Canadian. Our religious leaders led us into Universal healthcare in the 1930's. A man named Tommy Douglas (actor Keifer Sutherland's grandfather) is considered the greatest Canadian ever for helping us to understand that like education, healthcare is a necessary and important responsibility that Canadians share with one another. I think most of us take responsibility for our health but I also realize that some people in every society are less able and less mentally healthy to do so. This is a red herring because most mentally healthy people realize that even if healthcare is free, the personal cost of illness is too high.
          I have never faced financial hardship due to healthcare costs even after giving birth to 5 children (who grew up strong and healthy and are now tax payers themselves) and having a bout of cancer. When I was finally diagnosed, I was given surgery within 10 days of the diagnosis, given surgery by a world class surgeon who specialized in my form of disease, was released from the hospital and given nursing care at home to help to close the wound and I NEVER paid one cent out of pocket. I am able to be a well employed and contributing member of society without any financial crises because I was sick. More than 5 years later, I am healthy and productive and very grateful to my country and to my fellow citizens.I am proud to live in a caring society and we pay far less of our GDP to healthcare than is paid in the USA and everyone- no matter how poor- has universal access to healthcare. If you are sick- you are cared for- PERIOD.
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          Sep 22 2011: Debra, thank you SO much for sharing that story. I see you on these conversations regularly and am so glad for your fellow citizens to help get you back on your feet so you can share your insights.
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        Sep 22 2011: Great point, Phillip. Too many of us take a hard line on one side or the other on this issue. Several of my family members and friends are in the medical field or related to its research in some way. While I would rather be in the U.S. if I had cancer or a rare illness, for day to day health care, I don't think the we do all that much better than many other industrialized countries. A simple examination of statistics like life expectancy and infant mortality doesn't show a huge discrepancy either. I wonder, though, how much of that is due to cultural influences and lifestyle choices (we're not exactly known for a stress-free, organic existence :) These are all difficult questions, but worth exploring.
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          Sep 22 2011: One of the most rewarding benefits of working hard on your own fitness and healthy diet is that it influences people who know you. They can see in your body and conduct and expressions how much it helps, motivates, and inspires you. I am 68 and just got off the phone with a guy, Kishon Seth, who is 76 and almost thrives on calling me nearly daily. We are laughing about how much the stock market is falling and our retirement funds are shrinking but we focus on our fitness practices of the day, congratulate each other and re-commit to our duty of staying out of the hospital. He celebrates a recent triumph over syatic nerve problems and refers me to a book titled Back Prescription. He and I both share these attidues with as many people as we can. The only negative is that few listen.
  • Sep 3 2011: Dear Matthieu

    I like your subject, in fact I love your subject. I like mentioned that every country in this world has some specific rules which are really surprising for another. Cultures, habits, ceremonies, education and families. idea sorting in any countries are different. In any place, opportunities are uncountable and this is a gift for all of us. :)
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    Sep 3 2011: From Singapore : Cleanliness , excellence in execution even with government bureaucracy, public safety from crime
    From Japan : How to become economic giant with low natural resource and points as described by Christophe
    From Switzerland : Protection of environment despite of being home of lot of global chemical giants
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    Sep 3 2011: My country could learn a lot from a country like England.From what I see, the English people did a good job at preserving their historical monuments and buildings.My country is a developing country,so, we tend to destroy 'old stuffs' just to make way for new ones (if you know what I mean).Some buildings/monuments in my country are still worth preserving.It would be really amazing if we could preserve those buildings instead of making modern new ones.
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    Sep 2 2011: I've never heard of countries that could learn.
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      Sep 2 2011: Have you heard of the Sun going up and coming down? Have you heard of the wind singing? Have you heard of parties making decisions? I'm truly sorry if you think your comment was witty.
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        Sep 2 2011: What I wanted to point at is that people can learn and every country has a variety of cultures and opinions within their borders that goes from stupidity to the opposite.
        As parties reflect the society it isn't much different there.
        Another thing is that I've seen that the same discovery is sometimes made in different countries with decades in between. Information doesn't cross borders automaticallly or it is a form of plagiarism.
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      Sep 13 2011: Even though I am new, I have seen many of Frans Kellner's comments, and have never detected insincerity. Let someone site a country that has learned.
      My country hides the greatest political claim. It surpasses United Nations statements in simplicity and completeness.
      It states: people who want unity, justice, tranquility, defense, prosperity, liberty, and continuity, hereby establish governance of this nation. See the real words in the Preamble to the US Constitution.
      This gift to the world is suppressed by many Presidents in fine Machiavellian style, but especially by one of the most celebrated Presidents. He imagined “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” even though it has yet to appear. He blamed God for the US Civil War; I appreciate his opinion but can only speculate its meaning. His legacy adds to the suppression of We the People.
      Many Americans suppress triumphs in history. For example, recognizing the evil of the 1692 “witch” executions (19 hanged, one pressed to death, 4 to 17 died in prison) are labeled “Salem Witch Trials.” Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Divinity School Address,” is excluded from lists of his essays published by religious institutions. Because the majority of Americans wait for God, We the People remains obscure if not imaginary.
      America leads the world in bemusement by religious freedom. America leads the world refusal to embrace the rule of law according to We the People.
      If you ask one from the American majority what they are doing Friday, they are likely to respond, “Why? What’s special about Friday?”
      You respond, “America celebrates September 17!”
      “What’s that?”
      “It’s our annual Constitution Day.”
      I want revolutionary reform.
      I have witnessed for my country--which I love. Perhaps others would speak of other countries learning/not.
      Phil
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    Oct 1 2011: As I am originally from Germany, my country has a history of and bad experiences with nationalism (I am writing about Germany here but this is applicable for the whole Western society, mostly for them which were directly involved in the second world war).
    When I went to India in July, I got the chance to talk to some Indian men, mostly my age of 17, 18.
    We asked them if they are alright with the increase in female education and their suprising response was something like "As long as it is good for India, it is good for us as well".
    My point is that they have a totally different and refreshing approach of nationalism viewing their young country as a community (though it is devided into several different states from which most of them speak a very different dialect) and not as something superior to another country. I would take this even further and claim that if we (the European countries) do not see ourselves only as German/French/Polish but also as European, the Euro crisis would have happened on a smaller scale because the self interest of a country lies behind the greater good.
  • Sep 25 2011: Storytelling in the home.

    I do not mean reading books, I mean the oral stories passed down the generations. While working at a hotel that people stay for long stretches I have the pleasure of making friends from different parts of the country and many people from India. One of the guests shared with me many stories his grandfather would tell him as a child. I would always ask to hear them- Would love a book with all of the tales that his grandfather once spoke to him, it would be such a delight
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    Sep 25 2011: Afghanistan is rich in natural minerals like Copper,Iron & etc, but we havent been able to make anything from it yet. So my country badly need some great ideas to get mining industery started.

    I dont know why so many countries give donations which does not work on the long run rather than helping Afghanistan in mining industery.
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    Sep 22 2011: Hi Matthieu
    From my point of view, we can learn how to use ICT meaningfully. For this I feel that I can leave my country to learn in your country.
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    Sep 22 2011: I wish we had better public transportation infrastructure in the United States. It is wonderful how trains are connected in Europe.
  • Sep 20 2011: I feel, And this is my personal opinion, That my country the United States of America, could learn the difference between control and slavery, in reference to the freedoms that we "Possess". Again this is only from my perspective, but i personally feel that certain business' such as insurance or banking, policies and regulations should be controlled through the government, so that these companies to not Enslave the US population that is Below the Middle class line. Forcing families out of their houses because of huge rate increases, Insurance that is affordable or even payed for by tax money. I would love to hear the justification that the other side of my argument has, but from my level of thought i can not comprehend any possible reason other than personal gain...
  • Sep 20 2011: [] what it means to be a community
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    Sep 16 2011: I'm from Sri Lanka and apart from many serious lessons such as, the downside of having a super powered regime in the country and it's consequences. The best lesson my fellow countrymen can learn is experiencing different kinds of food. The daily diet of an average Sri Lankan is basically limited to rice and curries. They really need to expand their taste buds.
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    Sep 15 2011: Hello there. I'm from Tbilisi,Georgia.

    I think that Georgia must learn how to be progressive,active in there life, work, life aims an etc.

    I want too talk about this problem widely.

    A lot of Georgians are complex, or people who imagine about there self a lot. This facts don't let the go further. To change this situation , they must watch on other countries It might be USA,UK,Europe or simple other modern and progressive country.

    Thanks.
  • Sep 15 2011: i've often wondered how people can look at other countries WITHOUT learning. We can all of us individually, learn something good and yet I don't believe that we can expect our country as a whole to take on any of the attributes of other countries simply because we admire them. For instance, I absolutely love the easy going, friendliness and happiness of the citizens of the Riviera Maya in Mexico. I probably bring part of that attitude back home after visiting there and it makes me and possibly a few more people feel good. I'll try to keep that feeling in me and maybe others will catch it from me. I don't know that we can truly learn anything without extended visits and immersing ourselves in the cultures of others. We must be careful about "learning" through the biased news organizations from our country.
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    Sep 14 2011: Hi every body , I answer to your question in two parts :
    1.Things my brothers and sisters in Islam has to learn from people in other country who has : being active in society , trade and technology
    2.To rulers of Muslim's countries : It's better to ask what are a few things they could not to learn from Imperialistic politicians.
    Thanks for your question bro.
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    Sep 13 2011: Hello, I hope our future, towards the concept of no borders!
  • Sep 9 2011: I think that is interchangeable, while I was on few day holiday abroad I noticed some things that could be improved/optimized there (by "exporting" certain ideas/solutions from country in which I live) and also things that could be improved/optimized where I live by "importing" ideas from country in which I was on holiday to one in which I normally live. It would be nice if someone analysed pros and cons of infrastructure/systems worldwide and compile optimal solution from them.
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    Sep 9 2011: I live in Australia, and whilst I am grateful to be living in such an amazing country, there are policies and customs I would love to learn from other countries.

    For the distribution of income, I think Australia could learn a lot from countries like Sweden. Whilst I'm not sure of the specifics, I understand that companies from Sweden can only pay CEO's a total of 4 times as much as the lowest paid worker in the company. I feel that there is too much control exerted from the rich, evident when our government backed down from an extra tax on mining, as the giant mining moguls flooded the media with anti-tax advertising.

    I think Australia could also learn a few lifestyle factors, such as having an afternoon siesta (like in Spain, several scientific journals have been published on the benefits of a 20-30 minute afternoon nap) and respecting our food and taking our time to consume it (like in China).

    Having also previously served in the Army, I think mandatory service would help Australian citizens in a myriad of ways, and as I understand, mandatory service has been implemented in Greece, Germany, Italy and many other European countries. Feel free to reply as I love a good discussion :)
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      Sep 10 2011: Nicholas, I enjoyed your post. I would say, though (revealing my bias as a mother and as a peace=nic) that I might support your idea of mandatory service to country if it were not military service.
  • Sep 9 2011: To Ben, yes that is what I meant, wasn't very clear I had a couple of tears in my eyes at the time. Phillip, I understand that this is a topic that brings out anxieties, and worries, I do not endorse that cancer treatment should be withheld for anyone of any age, It wouldn't be truly universal if it did. Under the current system there is no guarantee for anyone of any age. I don,t understand how you can conclude that not receiving treatment at 75 is euthenasia for some reason and it wouldn't be to anyone who cannot afford insurance. Also insurance companies are incentivesed not to pay for your care. A nation state has a vested interest in you being alive, at least relative to a for profit private institution. If you want your own private insurance fine, but why not have universal healthcare for everyone as the base? Would that be unreasonable?
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      Sep 13 2011: Joe, forgive me for not responding sooner; I've been distracted with cleanup from tropical storm Lee.
      No.No. I did not mean not treating cancer at 75 was equivalent to euthanasia. I meant that to persuade me to dedicate my cancer treatment to the 4 year old, I would want the option to choose ethanasia.
      Cancer is painful and pain killers are hell ! What's worse is knowing your dependents may find themselves without your help.
      But my personal nightmare is not the point anyway. The point is, there must be sustainable viablity in provisions. The nation state that has decided everyone must remain alive cannot survive its policy.
      But to address your specific question--is the univeral healthcare for everyone you are referring to unreasonable--that circles back to my earlier question. Will history show it is sustainable?
      I do not know and would think you do not know, either.
      As for me, I work hard to stay fit and eat for fitness, hoping to stay out of the hospital.
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    Sep 7 2011: Canada can learn so much from other countries and we do learn a lot through our immigrants which constantly enrich us.
    For starters and off the top of my head:
    From Nordic countries we can learn a lot about how to use more of our country and work with our weather.
    From countries like China and India we can learn about the issues we will face as our own population expands.
    From Rwanda Canada could learn how to get more women in government.
    From South Africa we could learn how to heal our injured Aboriginal minorities.
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    Sep 6 2011: So much...

    Americans turn every piece of rock into a touristic destination while we have more than zillion ancient places.

    Germans and Japanese work hard even if they don't need to we keep celebrating 3 religious holidays with a bunch of nationalist ones an still take day offs just to rest.

    Brits always find a way to get out clean in a political mess they created in the first place while we get into mud and loose more than we plan to gain every time.
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    Sep 5 2011: its a nice topic fascinating as well as interesting . yep you are right Matthieu there are lot of things that one country can learn from another country here we are in post modern era . we can learn so much more from other people from other nations . environmental problems are here more of it in Kathmandu it is becoming day by day we can learn from other countries to make Kathmandu a less pollutic city .
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    Sep 5 2011: I appreciate the points you have made. I am retired and feel threatened by the age limitations being placed on healthcare, such as no cancer treatment after age 76. However, I have two working daughters and want them to have a good future as well.
    Regardless, your comments along with Lucas's and Matthiew's alerted me to the data, which will help me in future questioning and voting.
    Thanks to Matthiew for the question and you the original response.
    Phil
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    Sep 5 2011: I'm from Haïti a third world country. Despite poverty, lack of education, I do condamn any form of brutality at any level. My country should learn to behave in a more civilized manners when strike by any adversity.

    On the other end, I am a proud Canadian, just love Canada, this is the best country in the world in my view. My new country should be a catalyst as to end world poverty.
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    Sep 5 2011: actually my country needs a lot :-)
    education in Denmark is great,there many ideas in education as the open school.there is no classes,no walls and the children are in more free environment unlike most of schools around the world, unlikely I don/t remember the name of the school.
    Also the bikes in Copenhagen is nice idea,the bike station, bike roads ,bike elevators, it's cool
    the Global Competitiveness Report shows every country and its rate, it's useful when your country has a defect and you want to know the best country you want to take the ideas from it
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    Sep 4 2011: 'one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.'
    i wish australia could express unity such like america.
    cept without the greed.
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      Sep 4 2011: Benny,
      I like your rejection of "greed" and was inspired to respond by mistakenly reading "creed."
      I don't think Americans are unified on either greed or the creed. Although the monotheists would each categorize me as an atheist, I am not. However, I cringe when asked to recite the pledge with its prayer, "under God." I cringe because I know there are fellow citizens who do not want that 1954 modification of the pledge and empathize with them.
      This and other theistic, American propaganda is part of what inspires me to try to understand, practice, and promote the Preamble to the US Constitution--one of the greatest, yet most unheralded sentences I know. Associated, united under the Preamble, people could respect other citizens' motivational and inspirational choices and means of coping with uncertainty.
      No one needs to coerce anyone to say "under God." Also, the prayer "under God," weakens We the People, defined in the Preamble.
      Phil
  • Oct 2 2011: what real democracy means....i wish my country (politicians in particular)...
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    Oct 1 2011: I'm from the USA, so I believe the number of us could learn something from the strong emphasis on family that occurs in the many cultures outside of the US.
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    Sep 29 2011: In Australia voting is mandatory. As such, they have excellent social systems. I am all for mandatory voting, of course we would have to ammend the Constitution.
  • Sep 25 2011: ted
    "what are a few things your country could learn from other countries?"

    My personal relationship with American healthcare has been a mixed one, to say the least.  First let me clarify: I am healthy (that is H-healthy, not W-wealthy) and smart; i come from a middle-class background and have a good work ethic.  I have been to college, and describe myself as amiable, capable, and of intellectual tendency.

    My journey over the past five years has been a rather rocky firsthand experience with our health-related systems as they can be seen to contrive the defeat of the safety and wellbeing of individuals, of our very constituent citizens, rather than preserve and protect these most basic necessary items (percieve an illustration of "Maslow's Pyramid"; then throw it out the window).

    My concerns are with how we are Caring, for Ourselves in an improved, broadened and practical manner.  I believe these concerns must be self-incorporated on level with  our fundamental beliefs, as we act and function in the world... not only from and for Americans, but as something due instantly and irrevocably to all people in any and every place in the world...

    But, we in America do not have this foundational understanding yet, and this is of a most serious necessity.  This is not something Americans have to invent.  The components we need to consider exist in the world today.  Some of these we already possess.  The World could most certainly benefit in turn from the improvements of our very own ideals, and ideas, in this regard.
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    Sep 25 2011: - perils of aspirations and development
    - digital education to reach the last mile across the regions
    - cultural barriers are like white ants
    - collaboration and open innovation stories to replicate inhouse
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    Sep 25 2011: Eating dogs may be as innocent as eating cows.... learned this being in SoKor.
  • Sep 25 2011: I can not say that healthcare system in China is the best. But at least it can not be the worst. The likely consequence of getting good healthcare coverage would be lcoal residents (we usually call it "Hukou") or working for State Own Enterprises or international organizations. Hardly can you get good package without Hukou or working for some private companies. Take me for example, I am not Beijing residents, I can not enjoy the healthcare package in Beijing. However, I work for international organization, it covers all the healthcare coverage which apply to Beijing's or even better, personally think...
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    Sep 24 2011: I don't think it is particularly odd, because it will be a worthwhile investment if they expect to get stronger trade relations for a relatively tiny amount of money (for a whole country). Maybe? That's my guess.
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    Sep 23 2011: Something that Canada needs to learn from European countries, is how a hybrid private/public healthcare works. Being so close to America, and seeing the failures of the American form of healthcare... many people here are afraid of anything even remotely private when dealing with healthcare. We spend more per capita, then any other country in the world, and yet we are not even close to being at the top when it comes to results.

    We have long waiting lists, and people regularly die while waiting for an operation. The people who have money, cross the boarder and get the operation performed in America, as they have the money to do so. Rather then outsourcing our healthcare, and sending our money to other countries, we should be giving Canadians an option to have their operations performed in Canada.
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      Sep 25 2011: I could not possibly disagree with your assessment of this situation more Mike. This is the fun of TED however, in that we can both share our perspectives.
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        Sep 25 2011: Disagreeing is fun. It's the only way we are ever exposed to an opinion different from our own.

        From what I understand, currently surgeons are required to preform a minimum number of operations a week, in order to maintain their standing as a practicing physician. If they are unable to perform their duties, then they aren't fit to perform surgery. How I envision the hybrid system, is that if a surgeon chooses to, they may set up a private practice, and perform further operations, over and above the amount that is currently required. Every doctor would still be required to perform their public duties, but given the option to work more if they chose. The extra work wouldn't be performed in our public facilities, or on the publics time. The present system would continue to work as it presently does, while also having an extra layer added on top. Out of the profit earned in the private side, a large portion would be taken in tax to be used back into the public health services.

        Obviously this would only be an example... but if someone wants to pay for a private service and skip the line, charge them double the true cost. Tax it 50%, that way the person going private not only pays for themselves, but also pays for one person in the public side. Any doctor working in a private clinic, is still required to do their full duties in the public health care system. From my understand, a surgeon can presently perform those duties while working only 2-3 days a week.
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          Sep 25 2011: But Mike, most people in Canada are within 100 miles of the American border. They have utter freedom to jump the line right now. If we set up a two tier system it will certainly take time and energy away from the main queue of patients because its primary motive is to increase profits for doctors and for medical groups. The very presence of a two tier system erodes the fantastic universal healthcare system we have. I honestly ask you to produce evidence of how many people in Canada die waiting for healthcare. Those who do die are primarily victims of governmental policies which reduced the number of doctors over decades by eliminating position in medical schools.
          If there are lines for hips and knees (the thing that US propaganda usually focuses upon) they are long because your poor neighbour is actually going to get a knee or a hip instead of going without the help s/he needs for the rest of her life and s/he will not be bankrupt by the time s/he gets home from the hospital. That person can get back to being a productive member of our society.
          Could I ask you to consider reading a book called 'Deadly Spin" to see how this tactic fits into the plans of HMOs and PR groups in US corporate culture. I work for a healthcare company from the US which despises our system.
          I live in an area that is under served by doctors and yet when I was diagnosed with cancer, I was on the operating table with one of the world's best specialist in sarcomas within 10 days. I got all the help I needed including home care after ward. I am the mother of five kids and they have all grown up with every bit of medical care they ever needed and I never once had to ask if we could afford to get them help when they were sick.
  • Sep 23 2011: As a British student studying in the US, I have been amazed at the stance many Americans take on public transport such as Trains. Even in New York, with the most complete public transport system in the country, many people would rather drive to neighboring states to visit places such as Boston or D.C.

    The trains themselves need improving (especially their reliability), but it is the American mentality that it is inferior to take a train that has surprised me the most. I understand the theory that Americans see public transportation as a restriction to their freedoms, but an efficient public transport system has the ability to spread wealth, lower emissions, increase productivity and even increase personal utility if implemented properly.

    I am not suggesting that Britain has the perfect system, but for the most developed economy in the world I believe America really can and should do better. Big investment in upgrading and expanding the rail network could also provide a much needed boost to the economy as well.
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    Sep 23 2011: The UK National Health Service does not pay for HOMEOPATHY.
    This should be followed in FRANCE, but we're still struggling with all sorts of witchcraft.
    Get rid of cristals first, then Qi-Kong, Feng shui, and work your way up to homeopathy.

    You need no qualifications to call yourself a "homeopathe", and 70% of what you charge is paid by taxes.
    The homeopathic pills are 100% paid for by taxes.

    Nutty little country.
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      Sep 24 2011: Sadly, that is not correct: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8729588/NHS-spending-on-homeopathy-prescriptions-falls-to-122000.html but it's falling thankfully.

      I was truly shocked the day I discovered that France funded homeopathy through taxes. It was an unpleasant discovery I made upon having a heated exchange with an acquaintance whose mother works in the industry. Seems like pseudoscience is alive and well...
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        Sep 24 2011: Doesn't it just blow your mind? This is 2011, right? And France is the cradle of enlightenment...
        What is going on... I have no idea.
        "like cures like", "water has memory", awww come on! We know better than that!

        It's depressing. And I thought the UK had got rid of this completely... It's worse, isn't it? Admitting that it's witchcraft, thus reducing spendings, but not to zero because you might hurt someone's feelings...
        This is a big joke.
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          Sep 25 2011: Frankly it pisses me off big time. If some French and British people want to pay a ridiculous price for placeboes they can, we shouldn't have to pay for them. The worse is that many people probably wouldn't buy into it if it wasn't dispensed by their doctors.
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        Sep 25 2011: Exactly! And worse than wasting tax money, they're ensuring that the mass remains highly superstitious and defiant to rational investigation of reality.
        'Alternative' sounds great, this is another problem about it. And it isn't even alternative anymore. Everybody's buying it. It's just mainstream witchcraft and propaganda now.
        You're right about the frantic dispensing of these by doctors. My mom trusts her doctor more than rational thinking. It's a plague.
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    Sep 20 2011: Here is an amazing lesson that we could all learn from the Iroquois nation. I hope you all enjoy this!

    http://youtu.be/JOLauNtMMFI
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    Sep 20 2011: China herb can be learned.
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      Sep 20 2011: Jinwei, what do you think are the more important herbs that the people of the world can learn to use. I heard for example that an old chinese herb ling zhi can do wonders for your health.
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        Sep 24 2011: There are over 600 herbs in use today. They are the more important herbs that the people of the world can learn to use. Chinese herbs are usually prescribed as a carefully balanced combination.

        Formulae made from the roots, stems, bark, leaves or flowers of many plants, as well as some mineral and animal products. They are taken by over one billion people in Asia and have been used for thousands of years.

        Generally speaking, Chinese herbs are safer than western pharmaceuticals and rarely have unpleasant side effects. A professional prescribing Chinese herbs is usually able to eliminate or substantially reduce symptoms such as nausea, insomnia or headaches in a relatively short time, but deep healing may take a good deal longer depending on the type of illness and duration. Herbs are concentrated food—their effect is very subtle and they work by assisting Nature and the body's own healing abilities.
  • Sep 13 2011: I took sustainibilty, free market capitalism is built on lack os sustainibility, its based of consumptio n. It is amazing for growth I mean AMAZING, but sustainability, is the antithesis of free market capitalism. I am so glad you cleared that last one up, I was realy confused. U.S.A is the only devoloped nation without universal healthcare, and we actualy are not nearly as great as I thought read the cross national on healthcare.Actuly I like what you said bout eating right etc. Imajine if everyone was incentivised to do that. Lol Costa Rica has the best health care system on the planet, who woulda guessed that?
  • Sep 9 2011: For INDIA--- i would like to say INDIA should learn how to live without corruption and value the experts (not having higher degree but higher knowledge)

    ~Nik
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    Sep 5 2011: I know Americans can learn to be more active in their politics and beliefs like European countries are
  • Sep 3 2011: The implications of going into War from Afghanistan
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      Sep 3 2011: Looks like propaganda to me!
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      Sep 3 2011: I think we have nothing to learn from a man who employs mercenaries to kill his own people and who is being overthrown by popular protests (can't say his own people like him can we?).
      • Sep 3 2011: perhaps, but isn't it typical for an aggressor to declare some "lunatic tyrant" that the world needs to be saved from... is it not also typical for the current world powers to play the sort of black ops campaign eluded to in the video?

        I've only met one Libyan in my life, but he was singing gaddafi's praises about 10 years ago, in much the same way an American would have JFK. Besides mass-media which I don't trust any further than could throw, his is the only relevant input I've heard before this video.

        What creditable links do you have to prove the protesters are not influenced by the world powers? a quick google of "Lybia loan" will show you a shocking (if unknown) financial backing.
        • Sep 3 2011: Libya is a wealthy country, yet it's people are poor, under educated, have terrible health care situations, etc, etc. With a population of only 6 million people and the wealth of the country, do you really believe that Libya should not have been the shining example of Africa?

          How about basic human rights? How do you think that was under this Dictator? The man you met ten years ago...How old was he? I am assuming he never knew a different way of life and grew up with the propaganda.

          If you are going to try to educate people, I would advise ensuring that your information is credible to start with.
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          Sep 3 2011: How are you so out of touch with reality? NATO is only backing an honest desire of the people to move Gaddafi out. He got where he is by military coup. He organized the death of many of his opponents. Most importantly, he slaughtered peaceful protesters in ways that even Mubarack next door wouldn't have dared. We call him a lunatic because he is!
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          Sep 3 2011: Hitler had some really nice government policies too, didn't justify the killings. It's too easy when you only focus on certain things.
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          Sep 3 2011: I can't even believe we're even discussing this.
      • Sep 3 2011: Wow, for people claiming my facts are incorrect you sure are leaving your posts void of any. Have you been to Libya? You seem to think you know the people well, do they confide in you or is it just your moral superiority?

        I am out of touch on a great many things.... but if you think your fully in touch I'm sure your sadly mistaken. At least I try to keep an open mind - your biases are quite clear.

        I challenge your statements about Libya. For being undereducated, Wikipedia shows they have free and mandatory education (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_Libya - though it doesn't mention how that education compares) About the poor health care you mention wikipedia also seems to disagree with you yet again (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_in_Libya) Furthermore (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Libya) shows that they have such a shortage of people without jobs they need to import labor from other countries... Likely the starters of the rebelion.

        and FYI my friend was old (sorry to those who this statement makes feel ancient ;) ) at least 60+, I'm sure he's been through at least one pre-gaddafi regime, and he had been in canada a while to compare the different systems too.