Any federal intrusion in to the health care marketplace is unconstitutional. There is nothing in the Constitution that allows the federal government to regulate this industry. However, there have been over 80 years of government interference that have caused the mess we have today and it is important to understand where we went wrong. Once we do, we can figure out how to get it right. So here is a brief timeline of the history of America’s health care industry.
Well that’s a big scary chart. Zerohedge pulled numbers on the biggest 25 banks in and it’s anything but reassuring:
With 9.283 Trillion in depositor funds, it would take only a .002% net shortfall in the banking system to completely exhaust the fund. Let’s assume the banks want to donate 10 years worth of contribution to the fund all at once, right now. That 145 billion would cover a 0.015% devaluation
So far we’ve only talked about the tiny blue bar and the little green bar. The big red bar is another animal entirely, and it’s time we addressed him.
In theory, funds deposited with a broker or in a bank are still your money. In practice, this is not really the case.
Both Knight Capital and MF Global have been caught with their hands in the customer cookie jar after they grabbed whatever funds they could to keep operating for just another day. In the case of MF Global it was a large burst right at the end, but at Knight Capital this was a systemic practice for years.
The problem, as Karl Denninger likes to say, is excessive leverage. In a low interest environment where bailouts are the norm for the largest institutions, there really is no reason to not bet big because if the screw-up is large enough, there’s always rescue waiting.
That scary red bar is the collected debts of those 25 largest banks, and it totals almost 300 trillion dollars, or about 32x total deposits.
I think the chart and numbers say it better than I ever could.
People still have no idea about this. Zero.
DEBATE IS OVER! KRUGMAN WINS!
Healthcare makes money off of human pain in the same way that relationship counselors make money off of human conflict, which is the same way that farmers make money off of hunger, armored car companies make money off of fear, gyms make money off of dissatisfaction, bars make money off of loneliness, movie theaters make money off of boredom/lack of stimulation, and pornography makes money off of horniness.
The entire point of making money off of pain is that the pain GOES AWAY. The ability to make money by curing people is a boon to society and shunning that fact can only lead to more pain.
Ultramarine, a moderator on the “I bet Ludwig von Mises can get more fans than John Maynard Keynes” Facebook page, in the response to the Bill Maher quote: “If conservatives get to call universal health care “socialized medicine,” I get to call private health care “soulless vampires making money off human pain.”
Maher argues not everything needs to make a profit. How about this crazy idea - you spend your money on whatever you want, and I’ll spend my money on whatever I want, and everything will be OK.
If your motive in developing medicine is to cure or otherwise assist ill individuals, then it won’t matter to you if you’re going to be the sole profiteer or not. If your motive in developing medicine is to make a buttload of money, then you might want the government to help you enforce a monopoly.
Bottom line, if you provide a product that is effective, people will purchase it. If someone tries to replicate your work and either improve quality or cut costs, that is only benefiting consumers, and will drive the original firm to compete or bust, which is how free markets operate. This idea of protectionist markets, where we have to look out for business interests at the expense of consumer interest in regards to IP is just another symptom of statist corporatism. Business ventures are supposed to be risky. There shouldn’t be a guarantee that if you have enough money, you can ensure your business won’t fail, and if by chance it does, your buddies in the government will pull money out of thin air and bail you out.
Turn on the TV and you’ll see what medical IP gets you - numerous prescription drugs that don’t do much of anything and have ridiculous side effects that you need to take additional medications for. Do you have allergies, or how about mild depression? Take Blastofaxorpane and you might feel better, or you might have spontaneous cranial hemorrhages.
Seriously though, if you believe patents are the lifeblood of innovation, where is your evidence? My contention is there isn’t any.
My favorite part of Obamacare is the unintended consequences. For instance, my partner is a full-time student and works as a waitress at a corporate chain restaurant nearly 40 hours a week. Under Obamacare, corporations are forced to buy health insurance policies for their workers if they number 50 or more and work more than 30 hours a week. To combat this, corporations are simply cutting the number of hours their employees are allowed to work. At my partner’s job, they’ve installed computers that will not let you clock in if you’ve already worked 25 hours in a pay period. So now my partner has to get a second job in order to make up for the wages she will be missing out on due to the fact her hours have been cut at her primary place of employment. And she also won’t be getting health insurance from either of these employers as she isn’t working enough hours, so will be forced to purchase a health care plan on her own, or face paying a penalty. Meanwhile she’s paying more in taxes to subsidize the costs of the legislation that is already forcing her to get a second job, and also to buy health insurance or pay a fine. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act should have been named Slavery Expansion and Earnings Confiscation Act. “The land of the free” is and always has been a complete illusion.
I am tired of people thinking “businesses” or “corporations” owe their workers anything, like a “fair wage” or “benefits”. They don’t. You are voluntarily entering into employment. You voluntarily accept whatever shit you get. If you don’t like it, go do something else, find a different job, find an entirely different way of living your life, or unionize. But do something. You are solely responsible for whatever choices you make. If you choose to settle down in one place and have kids and now you can’t find a job that pays enough to support your family and you can’t/don’t want to move, that is your own problem that you’ve created for yourself. Individual responsibility is sorely lacking. Nobody owes you the means you require to care for your family.
Property is theft, and we live in a neo-feudal society. We need to collectively evolve beyond the strictures of the environment we’ve created. Trying to reform it by tinkering with the minimum wage or being content with simply widening the “safety net” is not going to cut it, and neither is trying to get more taxes on rich people and corporations. The entire system is fucking broken, stop legitimizing it by working within it. Abolish the state. Grow up.
The startling news that Germany is repatriating its gold reserves from the United States and France has got precious metals speculators worried that this is the first major sign that trust between central banks across the globe could be deteriorating.
After all there is much anxiety in financial capitols about the future of the Euro as well as the feeling that the almost constant printing of new dollars to keep America running portends a terrible crisis down the road. And that crisis in the value of paper money makes physical possession of gold a no brainer. Gold, after all, has moved up every year for the last 5 years, from $900 an ounce to $1800 an ounce before slipping under $1700 an ounce. Germany has also reversed its 2011 policy of keeping gold abroad to ease the raising of foreign currency. Nativism and the uncertainty of Europe’s monetary stability warranted getting the gold back.
Still, the hobgoblins of internal finance can produce any nightmare scenario about gold, the precious metal that played a part in the 1930s depression, in the political controversy over the return of the gold standard, and the bugaboo of the Armageddon set always ready to flee with their gold coins to a cabin the woods. Gold spiked to $800 an ounce in 1980 when it was considered the hedge against double digit inflation. It has always been the way the super rich in politically unstable nations hedged against nationalization or fleeing the cops.
In what many may perceive as an emotional outburst, Tyler Durden, the outspoken, gutsy blogger from Zerohedge, called the German move “a momentous development, one which may signify that … the central banks don’t have faith in one another.”
A rather strong statement in the light of the rational theme in German public opinion reckoning that the gold is much safer in the Bundesbank than at the New York Federal Reserve, where the vaults could become flooded by the next Sandy. You should know that the Germans felt their gold was safer in New York than in a place where it could be seized by the Soviet Union, if they had ever invaded.
Still, it is momentous that the New York Fed has the largest known depositary of monetary gold– some 23% of the globe’s gold bars, including half the hoard of the Netherlands and considerable holdings from other nations. Germany will feel a lot more secure counting its own gold bards, rather than depending on an audit from the central banks of France and the U.S. Mark it down as the strongest European power flexing its perfect right– and setting off a wave of speculation. Are foreign gold reserves safe in New York- or could they be expropriated? Very doubtful. Could the the New York Fed be lending out gold bars as security for sovereign loans? I reckon that’s illegal.
But, unless the US gets its fiscal ship in shape, there could very well be more repatriation of gold back to the homeland. Which would be at the very least another bruise for the psyche of the most powerful nation in the world. You should know that several gold hoarders I know own certificates from Swiss cantonal banks that can be converted into gold bars at any time– and any time has been the motivation for those private vaults in havens like Switzerland– just in case of a terrible emergency.
“Never underestimate how far any government will go in time of crisis,” gold guru emailed me today. After all, the US outlawed ownership of gold for 40 years. Germany decided it was safer to secure its gold at home” rather than depend on unpleasant surprises down the road.
The US is like your crackhead cousin. Why would you keep lending him money? And you sure as shit are not going to store anything at this place.
Virginia is one step closer to breaking ties with the country’s monetary system.
A proposal to study whether the state should adopt its own currency is gaining traction in the state legislature from a number of lawmakers as well as conservative economists. The state House voted 65-32 earlier this week to approve the measure, and it will now go to the Senate.
While it’s unlikely that Virginia will be printing its own money any time soon, the move sheds light on the growing distrust surrounding the nation’s central bank. Four other states are considering similar proposals. In 2011, Utah passed a law that recognizes gold and silver coins issued by the federal government as tender and requires a study on adopting other forms of legal currency.
Virginia Republican Del. Robert Marshall told FoxNews.com Tuesday that his bill calls for creation of a 10-member commission that would determine the “need, means and schedule for establishing a metallic-based monetary unit.” Essentially, he wants to spend $20,000 on a study that could call for the state to return to a gold standard.
The gold standard is a system under which a country ties the value of its currency to gold, setting a fixed price at which gold can be bought or sold by the government.
“We’re not going to be printing money with Dave Matthews or Jeff Davis on the front of it,” Marshall said, referring to two famous Virginians.
Marshall said he wants to inject competition into the national economy and force the federal government to change its current policy – one he believes will lead to hyperinflation and instability. He also thinks Virginia should be armed with an alternative currency in case it comes under a cyber attack. Many of Marshall’s arguments are similar to ones made by the Tea Party.
In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt suspended the gold standard to counter deflation brought on by the Great Depression. The country continued to exchange gold internationally until 1971 when President Richard Nixon ended the practice.
Marshall’s commission would examine the impact of the Federal Reserve’s intervention in the banking and credit markets that have resulted in near-zero returns on savings accounts and retirement accounts.
“We’re not immune from the consequences of human behavior,” Marshall said. “At some point there is going to be a dollar that breaks the camel’s back.”
“This is like planning for the Titanic,” he said.
Not everyone agrees.
“He’s descending into serious la la land,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mark Sickles told FoxNews.com.
Sickles said he doesn’t think Marshall’s plan will make it through the Senate. He said the state should not be shelling out thousands of dollars in taxpayer money for the study when there are other pressing problems like unemployment and cuts to higher education that need immediate attention. He argues that Virginia has held a triple-A bond rating with Moody’s since 1938. While that’s true, the state has been placed on the downgrade watch list three times.
Last year, 11 states had considered bills involving the gold standard. The raft of negative public sentiment against the central banking system even caused Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to speak out against the idea during a series of lectures.
“Since the gold standard determines the money supply, there is not much scope for the central bank to use monetary policy to stabilize the economy,” Bernanke said during a speech at George Washington University last year. “Under a gold standard, typically the money supply goes up and interest rates go down in a period of strong economic activity — so that’s the reverse of what a central bank would normally do today.”
The US military budget for 2012 was ~1.5 trillion dollars, of which defense R&D received $80 billion. US government funding for nuclear fusion research for 2012 was $248 million. We spend 32,841% more on new ways to kill people than new ways to sustainably produce electricity.
Crisis averted, everyone! The fact that every westernized nation has ridiculously large external debt and we are all slaves for fake money doesn’t matter! Everything is gonna be OK!
That’s a great fucking question.
because that’s not how the economy works you idiot
Pretty sure that’s exactly how the economy works because that’s what the statists have been doing since we depegged from the gold standard. How did we magically accumulate 16 trillion in debt, yet we still manage to have money going around? Read a book and grow up.
And to everyone else who reblogged and added a comment with a lesson in economics, that’s not the point of this post. We all know more money = inflation, but that obviously doesn’t stop the statists. The point is there is no need for taxation when the government is 16 trillion in debt and is never going to stop. It’s all just a sham. But keep clinging to the notion that if we just get back on the gold standard and control the money supply everything will magically be fixed. Economics is bunk because we live on a planet with finite resources, and we have a system predicated upon infinite growth. If all you’re trying to figure out is how we can develop new ways to maintain our hydrocarbon-dependent infrastructure and feed 7 billion people, in a few years you’ll be facing the same problems, only compounded by a higher demand for hydrocarbons and a couple billion more mouths to feed. The entire system needs to be tossed out. We fucked up.