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Loopy froots live here

And Then There Was Silence

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I'm in a sad mood. It's "that time of the month", which is why I'm sad. But I project my sadness on to things that wouldn't otherwise make me sad. So when you read the following, I'm not sad BECAUSE of these.

Perth suffers from urban sprawl. Meaning that more people want to live in Perth because WA is having a resources boom and there are heaps of high paying blue collar jobs. So people bring their families to Perth and want to buy a whole house and land thing, but the only way to do that without spending half a million is to buy outwards of the city. When my parents bought in Perth in '98, they spent $200,000 for their house in Duncraig in the Northern suburbs. The median house price in Duncraig is now $511,000 with Mum and Dad's probably being worth about $650,000. In the last ten years, it has tripled in value.

So, we went to a housewarming yesterday in the suburb of Wellard. There's a display village in Wellard and we looked at some of the houses there. Wellard is maybe 40mins from the city and the houses we were looking at were about $450,000. Houses in the suburb we're currently in go for about $650,000.
We are renting a 3 bedroom house for $310p/week. That is the cheapest by a long way. Other 3 bedroom houses for rent around are over $400 a week.

My point with all this is that I'm sad. I'm sad that it's so expensive to live in Perth. We're going to the country next year and housing will be provided by the Department of Education. But then we'd like to move back to Perth so James can go to Trinity Theological College. It makes me sad to think that we'll probably have to live a while away from our church and college. It makes me sad to think that it's going to be so hard to buy OR rent. Either way, it'll be a struggle. That makes me sad.

But it doesn't MAKE me sad. I'm just projecting my sadness on to this issue that wouldn't normally make me sad. I know God provides. Just trying to crack into the market will be a huge financial undertaking and it's kinda sucky.

On the other hand, I was reading some stuff about how the lack of national health care in America means people go bankrupt fighting cancer. I am SO thankful I don't have to worry about that!! I am also SO thankful that my student loans don't have interest and are only paid back when I earn over a certain amount!! I am SO thankful for the strict gun laws!! I am SO thankful I don't live countries where I'd fear for my life!!

Putting my struggles into perspective, I'm sad that there is so much wrong with this world.

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With a real job it shouldn't be too hard to find somewhere to rent that's affordable pretty much anywhere you want in Perth, but yeah buying a house is kinda out of the question right now unfortunately. At least we aren't building apartment buildings everywhere.

uh... yes we are. There's this whole new development happening in Cockburn Central (pronounced co-burn to non-Perth readers) with all these apartment buildings springing up around the train station.

Yeah but not like everywhere in existing suburbs.

Oh Kat! House prices are so lame. It's so bad in Sydney that I have already resigned myself to the fact that we will never achieve the great Australian dream - not here!!

I am consoled by hearing it's bad for you too. We can be non-home-owners together :D

I wouldn't say people go bankrupt fighting cancer in the US because of the lack of national healthcare. Our healthcare system is set up differently and people fail to use it appropriately, just like credit (and to be fair there are some serious flaws that cause problems for some people - but not the majority). Poor planning and misuse are what cause financial problems in most situations, I'd say. Getting healthcare through an employer in the United States is easy. For example, you only have to work 20 hours a week to receive healthcare from Starbuck's. I am fairly certain it's free, which is not always the case (my insurance is free but my husband has a deduction out of every paycheck for himself and dependents). A typical insured person will pay 20% of the cost of care across the board while the insurer pays 80%. So yes, 20% for cancer treatment could cause a big strain on finances. But we make more money and our government takes less money in taxes than nearly any other developed country, so we should be able to prioritize our health over other things that cost money. It's just a decision we have to make, and many people don't want to.

This thing about student loans not having interest and only being paid back when you make over a certain amount, however... that sounds amazing!

Yet that is totally a foreign concept to me (hah!). When I broke my wrist, I didn't pay ONE CENT to go into hospital, get a bed and room to myself, wait a couple of days for surgery, get surgery, get follow up treatment, get surgery a couple of months later to take the plate in my wrist out and spend more time taking up a bed in a hospital.

There are personal anecdotes of people who drag themselves to work in the midst of cancer treatments so that they'll stay covered by their work's healthcare. Of dependents left with nothing because now their provider is dead and they used the saving on health treatments. I hear what you're saying, but coming from the privilege of nationalised health care I currently have, I think your system is totally messed up!

I would far far prefer to pay higher tax and get the benefits Australia affords its citizens, than pay no tax and be left in the lurch come crunch time. A friend doing vet at Murdoch from America has taken out MASSIVE student loans to pay for her course and then MORE loans so that she can afford rent and food while she's here. I cannot comprehend spending so much money on education!! Massive, like, hundreds of thousands of dollars massive!! I get interest free government loans for my university education and it's paid back to the government straight out of my pay packet like tax. I get government welfare payments (Centrelink Student Allowance) to cover most of my rent and bills that is NOT a loan and isn't paid back. I get free health care. People who earn more money, pay a higher percentage of tax. But I'm happy to do so because it makes for greater benefits for everyone.

I get that America works for you, but it doesn't work for me :)

You bring up a part of the system that is totally broken and makes me really angry: student loans, because medical school is so expensive and malpractice insurance is so costly once a dr enters the workforce, many of our drs are totally broke. They are selecting fields they're not passionate about because they pay better and some fields, like gynecology, are hard to fill because the insurance is so much higher. It's absurd. Furthermore, rather than open a pratice, they work for clinics and hospitals funded by pharmaceutical companies and pay based on the number of patients seen in a day rather than quality of care. I have a naturopath, rather than a doctor, for this reason, as my primary care provider.

You are right that it's working in Australia and that our system is broken. But I feel strongly that we can't jst implement that system here. It goes against so many of our founding principles and I am not sure our hospital systems could handle such a giant change. I would like to see reform on the insurance side, not the healthcare side.

You're right, our system just can't be implemented in America. But our system is NOT totally nationalised. We have private health cover and a huge bulk of the population goes for private cover because (1) there's no waiting times for elective surgery, (2) they get their choice of hospital/doctor and (3) optical and dental are NOT covered by the public system. I have extras cover with a private health fund to cover those things and I pay about 60-80% of fees.

All that stuff you've just cited about a broken system makes me angry too. There should be a way to implement a kind of national health care system in America slowly and gradually to combat these problems.

On a tangent, I've heard some Christians opposed nationalised health care because it's paid for out of taxes. The claim is that generosity should be from the heart and not from the tax. But that makes me angry for several reasons. (1) Can't people be generous in voting to support it and joyfully paying tax? (2) Can't a government be generous towards its people by providing that service? (3) Why are there so many people struggling with health issues if the solution is meant to be the generosity of Christians? Where are all the generous Christians? I'm NOT accusing you of this. But stating how I feel about it and wanting to know your opinion :)

Oh yeah - I totally agree with your assessment of Christians and government. There's no reason why people can't be taken care of from the generosity of Christians. Our tax money and vote should always reflect the most compassionate response to needy people. Obviously, that's not the case.

In Spain it's both private and public too. Our coworkers go to public clinics for colds and even pregnancy, but when they break bones they usually go to a private doctor. The doctors might be the same but the time they can spend with the patient is longer, which is usually better.

You always make me think, Kat!! :)

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