The main reason I tend to disagree with some of your posts is that you mostly aim high. I agree with a lot of what you say, but remember, a lot of the fraud and abuse is committed by those at the bottom. There is a lot of people thinking "what's in it for me", or "How can I get the most out of the system". People are relying on the state too much, and not trying to work things out for themselves. To fix the system you have to aim at both top AND bottom. It won't work trying to fix only one.
I can't speak for Canada as I have never been there, and don't know anyone from there. But I'm from Ireland, and there is a lot of abuse in that system. If you don't have to pay for it, just go in for any little thing that you might not even go to a Doctor here with. There are waiting lists for most treatments, not enough nurses, and poorer outcomes then those in the US. I know people who work in the UK, and its the same, if not worse there. And there is no shortage of money being pumped into the system.
When I came to The US I had $1000 to my name, a bed in my brothers place and what I could carry with me. I worked at slightly above minimum wage, and had a little above high school education. I moved from job to better job, and got myself an education. I'm now an RN with my own house, and doing OK. I say all this to show, if I can do it, anyone can. I am nothing special. I believe in the strength of people. Let them do it, and kick others in the backside and force them if they won't. If they are spoon fed, why should they move on. All that said, those who truly can't do it should receive help. That is what a safety net is for.
Lamaze, I'm going to stop here again. I don't want to get into another tit for tat as I believe you truly believe in what you say, and care deeply about the needy. I even agree with much of what you say, and respect you for it. But I think people should be encouraged to stand on their own two feet where they can, and be helped where they truly can't.
See you again on other Threads.................. Nialloh