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Blog Directory Del's Perspective: 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Something's Rotten (Part II)

In part one of this story, I related that the health industry is surprisingly vowing to lower cost for we the people on our premiums. I smell something rotten and it's the source...the industry itself. Matt Wion, a fellow blogger, summed it up succinctly when he said it was a case of "Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts". He is absolutely correct and here's why:

Governments and businesses have put into play a policy known as "Marketplace of Ideas". In it's simple version, an industry for example, simply throws out an idea into the media. Usually they will sugar coat or play on God, Guns, Gays in order to gauge the public reaction to the concept. They twist wording, use confusing math, or sugar-coat a story to see if the public will run with it.

Political parties along with their think tanks will use wedge issues such as gay marriage, abortion, or estate taxes. They know that the individual issue affects a very small number of citizens, but with the help of demagogues they flame the controversy as high as it can get to create vivid excitement.

In the case of the 6 large insurance corps, they threw out large numbers, talked about generating "perhaps" 2 trillion $$$ over a decade. But from where? From the savings of 1.5 of their gross earnings. They fed the idea to the Prez and he's falling for it like a missile over Baghdad. The White House using spin doctors, threw it to the press and voila...there you have it: Big Business will save their greedy profits, they'll not fall prey to a national health plan, and they will look like Batman coming to save Gotham.
More befuddlement comes with fuzzy math. The industry says it can save the policyholders up to $2,500 a year in premiums to boot. Sounds good, doesn't it?

First, they vowed they would "try"...nothing concrete (off that hook);
Second, they didn't say anything about how they arrived at the math (off that hook, too);
Third, the little burr under the saddle, how can 1.5% of their profits equal $2 trillion over 10 years? It can't! Just look at the current GDP compared to the last 5 years and you will note a slow growth for the whole country, but they want you to believe they alone can achieve it;
Fourth, they mentioned nothing about inflation (if they can't reach their lofty goal they have a built in scapegoat); and,
Fifth, they conveniently omitted how they would generate the monies: lower payout to Drs./hospitals/increase in deductibles, etc.

The press needing news w/out investigating, buys the whole concept lock, stock and barrel.

See what a great tool the "marketplace of ideas" is?
Perhaps you will remember when Dubya wanted to dismantle S. Security. He threw the idea into the marketplace, but in that instance the press did their homework and riled back. This time there isn't a whimper.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Something is Rotten in the State of ________! (Part 1)

Okay, I am not Marcellus who spoke of corruption in the State of Denmark in the wonderfully written Hamlet. The old Bard had it right when he spoke of rotting from the head down. In this case, the health-care industry.
Amazingly, six giants of the industry promised (vowed) to find a way to lower health-care premium costs to about $2,500 per year for a family of four. In a vaguely written letter to Prez. Obama, they boldly stated that such a reduction could save over $2 trillion in 10 years. Suggesting that they (heroically) will save the nation's deficit.
This is where is gets confusing. Maybe you can help me get the concept. Here I have degree in economics and I am still wagging my head in bewilderment. So maybe you could can clear up the math for me.
They said they will find a way to squeeze 1.5% from their savings per premium per year to generate this huge sum. That's right 1.5%. Oh, Boy!
Follow me on this: My health insurance cost me a little more that $12,000 per year. This great industry says it will pull a whopping $120 from that sum and put it in a fund to help generate $2 trillion.
Every year my premium costs explode in increments of $500 to $1,000 units.
Are they saying they won't increase health care cost over the next ten years and hold all variables?
That's the problem. They aren't saying a damned thing. Much like Marcellus, I suspect something is rotten because I smell a huge damned rat

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Political Power the Old Fashioned Way: Populate

A new group in the political hunt. They call themselves "Quiverfull". The name is based on Psalm 127 , which says, "Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."
This small group has a population of approximately 10,000 but the conviction they hold is that having more children will help spread the message of Christ. Spokesperson Kathryn Joyce says the members have high ambitions, including political and social change. Joyce said members believe, "If everyone starts having eight or 12 children, imagine in three generations what we'll be able to do. We'll be able to take over the halls of Congress, we'll be able to reclaim sinful cities like San Francisco for the faithful, and we'll be able to wage very effective massive boycotts against companies that are going against God's will."

Perhaps the Dugger family out of Springdale, Arkansas comes to mind. Maybe you've watch their (perfect word here) reality show: 18 And Counting.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Press and Question of Ethics

Yesterday's editorial out of the Washington Post pushed the limit of ethics in my view. The editorial staff fell on their collective sword for the voucher program in Washington, D. C.
Yep, I am a former teacher. Yes, I do champion for "all kids", and no I don't apologize for it.
So what did they clamor for? They pushed, and I do mean pushed, for concept of allowing D.C. to give a whopping 2.5% of the student population a $7,500 voucher per child. This out of a total population of more than 65,000.
So, why am I bitching about this? Well, first why would the Post station itself as nothing less than elitist? Why not demand this government to properly fund pubic schools for all students.
The Post conveniently left some major details out of their rationale for their promotion of vouchers:
1. Will private schools accept children with "special needs"?
2. Will the parochial schools admit students with disciplinary histories?
3. Will the private ( let's say Catholic Schools ) schools willingly admit children from Islamic/Hindu/or Moonies backgrounds?

The Post believes it is acceptable to kick $7,500 toward a tiny 1700 students albeit the fact that so many other kids will suffer(?) under their existing school program.
Let's see: Why wouldn't they come out in favor of appropriate funds for all of the kids in D. C.?
Why the elitism? Why not come out an push Congress to stop the violation of the Church and State Program that they current endorse.?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Where's Steven Galson When We Need Him?

Quick! Who is the Surgeon General and why haven't we heard from him?
It is bothersome to me that we pay some respected physician to be the spokesperson for the U.S. in matters dealing with health and no one has a clue as to where he is.
Where is the guy?

Why hasn't the press hounded the feds about his existence?
One would think that now, right now, is the time for the guy to surface and work to soothe our fears regarding H1N1. See what I mean? We're calling this virus the Swine Flu when such a term is incorrect. Using such a term is having ruinous outcomes for agri-business as well as the small farmer in your region.

I don't have a problem with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, but I do have concerns when I hear him acting in the capacity of the Surgeon General trying to ease my woes regarding a serious issue.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bar stool Pundits Sippin' Tea

Aah, those red states have given way to Tea Parties and no longer joke about the red Kool-aid. No one should underestimate the power of those of the conservative bent to call forth more venom and hate.
The bar stool pundits would have average Joe or Jane that the purpose of the "parties" was to push forth the idea that our taxes "are way too high" and that all concerned should join in the rallying against Prez Obama's economic program. The sad truth is the trickery of it it all. At the top of the "Tea Party" call for revolution stands Robert Murdock and a well-funded organization known as FreedomWorks which brags a membership of over 700,000 activists . The right-wing rhetoric spewing forth is the same old sound good bytes about cutting taxes and deficits, and of course the same old chestnut about cutting taxes to the rich, and while you're at it "deregulate the damned economy". Now the new hue and cry is to bring and end to the estate tax. (Lest we forget the estate tax has been raised to $10,000,000 instead of the old $7,000,000)

The months the angry propaganda on talk radio and Fox News (Owner Robert Murdock) brought forth the April 15th "tea parties. Yes, the gullible of all stripes came and heard the same untruths and the subtle call to revolt. The program directors had the audacity to compare their whiny complaints to the events that led to the American Revolution. What an insult to our history! What an offensive display of the 1st Amendment....assemblage to promote the causes of the wealthy.
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