Posts Tagged ‘health care’

I have wide reading interests. One of my favorite writers is an economist/investment analyst named John Mauldin. I try to stay up on his email newsletter as much as possible. If you want some brain candy, I highly suggest you subscribe. Anyway, I thought this few paragraph excerpt from one of his emails was worth your reading. The world is going to significantly change, and it is my opinion that the average TV watching, sports-loving, debt is just part of life person is going to be in for changes that I don’t think they are ready for.

The first transformational theme that I see is the emerging failure of multiple major governments around the world to fulfill the promises they have made to their citizens. We have seen these failures at various times in recent years in “developed countries”; and while they may not have impacted the whole world, they were quite traumatic for the citizens involved. I’m thinking, for instance, of Canada and Sweden in the early ’90s. Both ran up enormous debts and had to restructure their social commitments. Talk to people who were involved in making those changes happen, and you can still see some 20 years later how painful that process was. When there are no good choices, someone has to make the hard ones.

I think similar challenges are already developing throughout Europe and in Japan and China, and will probably hit the United States by the end of this decade. While each country will deal with its own crisis differently, these crises are going to severely impact social structures and economies not just nationally but globally. Taken together, I think these emerging developments will be bigger in scope and impact than the credit crisis of 2008.

While each country’s crisis may seemingly have a different cause, the problems stem largely from the inability of governments to pay for promised retirement and health benefits while meeting all the other obligations of government. Whether that inability is due to demographic problems, fiscal irresponsibility, unduly high tax burdens, sclerotic labor laws, or a lack of growth due to bureaucratic restraints, the results will be the same. Debts are going to have to be “rationalized” (an economic euphemism for default), and promises are going to have to be painfully adjusted. The adjustments will not seem fair and will give rise to a great deal of societal Sturm und Drang, but at the end of the process I believe the world will be much better off. Going through the coming period is, however, going to be challenging.

“How did you go bankrupt?” asked Hemingway’s protagonist. “Gradually,” was the answer, “and then all at once.” European governments are going bankrupt gradually, and then we will have that infamous Bang! moment when it seems to happen all at once. Bond markets will rebel, interest rates will skyrocket, and governments will be unable to meet their obligations. Japan is trying to forestall their moment with the most breathtaking quantitative easing scheme in the history of the world, electing to devalue their currency as the primary way to cope. The US has a window of time in which it will still be possible to deal with its problems (and I am hopeful that we can), but without structural reform of our entitlement programs we will go the way of Europe and numerous other countries before us.

The actual path that any of the countries will take (with the exception of Japan, whose path is now clear) is open for boisterous debate, but the longer there is inaction, the more disastrous the remaining available choices will be. If you think the Greek problem is solved (or the Spanish or the Italian or the Portuguese one), you are not paying attention. Greece will clearly default again. The “solutions” have so far produced outright depressions in these countries. What happens when France and Germany are forced to reconcile their own internal and joint imbalances? The adjustment will change consumption patterns and seriously impact the flow of capital and the global flow of goods.

This breaking wave of economic changes will not be the end of the world, of course – one way or another we’ll survive. But how you, your family, and your businesses are positioned to deal with the crisis will have a great deal to do with the manner in which you survive. We are not just cogs in a vast machine turning to powers we cannot control. If we properly prepare, we can do more than merely “survive.” But achieving that means you’re going to have to rely more on your own resources and ingenuity and less on governments. If you find yourself in a position where you are dependent upon the government for your personal situation, you might not be happy. This is not something that is going to happen all of a sudden next week, but it is going to unfold through various stages in various countries; and given the global nature of commerce and finance, as the song says, “There is no place to run and no place to hide.” You will be for ced to adjust, either in a thoughtful and premeditated way or in a panicked and frustrated one. You choose.

 

Read the whole piece over at Mauldin Economics.

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Is the IRS targeting Tea Parties?

From that extreme right-wing news organization the New York Times: Obama is using the Espionage Act ‘to silence and prosecute federal workers.’

The Obama administration, which promised during its transition to power that it would enhance “whistle-blower laws to protect federal workers,” has been more prone than any administration in history in trying to silence and prosecute federal workers.

Obama administration will cut health care benefits for active and retired US military.

3 prominent economists warn of economic 9/11. It’s not a bad idea to consider disaster preparedness. You don’t have to go crazy, but some small amount of food storage, guns, ammo, water, etc. does not hurt you.

NY-26 Democrat Representative Kathy Hochul demonstrates that she cares nothing about the constitution.

 

Internal Homeland Security memo says that the Occupy movement might get violent. Gee, you think?

Gallup: 72% think the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

 

I just wanted to remind everyone to vote in the August primary tomorrow in Missouri, if you can tonight please call a friend or family member that you think may not make it out, hold them accountable.

Clay County ballot is available here if you have not seen it or want to take a copy with you tomorrow to go to the polls. http://www.claycoelections.com/pdfs/aug-3-2010-primary-pr-list.pdf

If you are in Clay County please make sure that you vote for Jay Jones for Clay County Auditor on the Republican ballot. For those that have not followed this William James Norris is the other Republican candidate and a bit of a problem. What we know so far is that he let his CPA certification lapse and is not certificated in the state of Missouri or Kansas. There is some confusion about his actual graduation from William Jewell, it appears that the registrar has no record of his degree. He claims otherwise. If you research his name on Missouri CaseNet you find he has a bit of a sordid past, two restraining orders against him. The first was levied against him in Trenton, MO and it was reissued down here in Liberty at the same address he has listed on his ethics documentation with the state for his election run. Mr. Norris is only 26 years of age with limited job experience, he refuses to answer tough questions about his past and has not involved himself in any real manner in Republican politics in the last 2 years. The problem is he has signs up everywhere and sits at the top of the ballot. Please let your friends and family in Clay County know about this race. Mr. Jones on the other hand is a man that has had a long career in dealing with financial roles, is certificated as a CPA, and is someone that I believe will make a great Auditor here in Clay County.

Please vote Yes on Prop C. Mr. Obama’s birthday is August 4th, let’s send him a wonderful birthday gift from the Show-Me State by passing Prop C!

Other recommendations:

I will be voting for Chuck Purgason in the primary race for US Senate. While I believe Mr. Blunt to be a decent person I believe as a candidate he has lost his way in some specific instances. Approving No Child Left Behind which was the largest expansion of the Federal Department of Education ever, voting for the Bush bailout, his earmarking has been out of control, and receiving campaign funds from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I believe the only way to get real change in WADC is to send Mr. Blunt a wake up call and vote for Chuck Purgason.

I will be voting for Allen Icet in the primary for State Auditor. I really don’t think there are great options here, but I think Mr. Icet is the best choice. I have met and talked with both candidates, Mr. Schweich was a bit of an elitist when I talked with him and lost any chance of ever receiving my vote after he visited with me at the Clay County Pachyderm club. Plus the fact that he promised to follow up with me and then refused to do so is an indication of someone not willing to work for a vote.

Why anyone is challenging Sam Graves in US House-6 I will never know, but of course will be voting for Mr. Graves in this race. He has done an outstanding job in WADC for us and had the courage to even vote against the Bush bailout.

In Missouri House-35 I will be voting for TJ Berry. I met with both candidates and felt that TJ was a better choice, nothing wrong with his opponent though.

I will be voting for Lydia McEvoy in the Collector of Revenue primary, Mr. Doores failed to return his candidate survey to the KC Star and was defeated by Sandra Reeves before. I think Ms. McEvoy stands a better chance of beating Ms. Reeves in the general. She is top of the ballot as well.

I will be voting for Mike Ebenroth for Recorder of Deeds. The story of Mr. Lawson arrival on this ballot is a strange one. Originally filed as a Democrat for Presiding Commissioner and then somehow forgot to file his paperwork with the ethics commission. No way should this guy be elected.