Monday, June 22, 2009

Logic and health care

It's truly laughable to me to hear some of these criticisms from people on health care reform. "Oooh, someone will choose your coverage and you'll have wait times." Someone chooses my coverage and I have wait times now. "Well, it'll hurt the insurance industry and they won;t be allowed to adjust to the market." If these folks were more concerned with serving the market over serving their executives, we wouldn't have this problem now would we?

Come on folks, this is common sense. If people understood how much they are taxed on their average paycheck due to deductions from their health care premiums (and I don't care if it goes to a corporation instead of the government, if it comes out of my paycheck, it's a TAX), combined with the extra taxes that are required to pay for the health care of police, fire, teachers, and other public employees, it becomes quite clear that public health care will SAVE MONEY. It also takes out the uncertainty of having coverage dropped or premiums jacked, which distorts business and consumer decisions. And oh yeah, it means elected officials are the ones accountable for how the health care ystem works, not for-profit corporations. When it comes to necessities, it's big government > big corporate any day of the week.

Didn't they teach this to these free marketers about how people and firms make decisions. You know, some time around week 3 of Econ 101?

Obama was elected because he took liberal positions on war, corporations and inequality, and religious fundamentalism. Listening to those who won't work with you is not the way to go, and if he stays on this route, he will lose folks like me, which he needs a lot more than any back-stabbing corporate.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Visit to the Rust Belt

Went to a fun wedding last weekend in Hammond/ Whiting, Indiana. It's always nice to see good people get the celebration they deserve.

It was quite remarkable to drive along Highway 41 in Hammond. Seemed like the land that time forgot. Most of the signs were from 20-25 years ago, with no real changes in sight. The relics of the past, with the small lawns and tight streets, are very intriguing, and reminiscent of parts of Milwaukee. Reminds you that a lot of these problems didn't just start when Bear Stearns died, and it makes me wonder if we ever get any version of it back. Having a society based on consumption ain't such a good thing when there's no income and future prospects to consume.

I've been getting this wary feeling that these "green shoots" will be short-lived, and that people get impatient that a long-term problem hasn't been solved in a few months. This country's dumb enough not to see the big picture that an economy based on Ponzi schemes and other bullshit takes a long time to dig out from. If this country does have the sack to take it, we'll come out a lot better, but if we go for the cheap laugh, we are jacked.

Maybe it's the prospects that I see in our state and local budgets, but the second punch is coming in the form of lost services and the needed raise in taxes. Again, maybe it makes things leaner and meaner by 2012, but will the average doofus have the patience to get it.

Then again, I will take one comparison with the last time this country had double-digit unemployment- a killer year from the Milwaukee Brewers. Obviously it's still early, but I like this start, and if J.J Hardy and Corey Hart start hitting, or another starter can get added, this could be a lot of fun. And a lot more interesting and entertaining than some other things that I waste too much time on.