Using Ted Kennedy to Pass Healthcare Overhaul

September 6, 2009

Democrats, including Chris Dodd and John Kerry, have been calling for bipartisanship following the death of Ted Kennedy, according to CNN.

Why they expect Congressmen to drop all of their principles and support such a destructive and unread bill, not anyone would dare guess. When Karl Marx, one of the greatest historical advocates of communism, died, not anyone expected us to change our capitalist ways. The question remains: How is this any different?

It is fair to consider Marx intelligent and well-meaning, as we can consider Kennedy. Their both being lifelong advocates of sweeping reform of which most of the population opposes on ideological premises stands as another striking similarity between these cases. Both individuals worked on getting their reform passed, for decades even, and all in vain.

So, while we honor the dedication and contributions of Ted Kennedy, we shall continue to disagree with him posthumously, contrary to the wishes of the Democratic Party.

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Obama can no longer claim to be non-partisan

August 19, 2009

Obama’s efforts at reform were never really non-partisan. While unification behind Obama as a man was once bipartisan, the revelation of his policies ended this trend.

First, he revealed his plans at economic stimulus. From the very beginning, there was a great opposition to this package. Economists debated the potential effectiveness of the bill, and many believed it would do more harm than good. Nontheless, Obama pushed it through, and the only criticism of the bill was that it wasn’t read.

Then came talk of another stimulus, which still appeared in the public eye as non-partisan despite its support and opposition being down party lines.

More recently, on the new healthcare reform proposal: According to CNN, Democrats are considering a loophole that would only require a 50% vote for this bill to pass, because they can’t even get all of their own party to support it. The Dems are officially unwilling to negotiate their bills and are trying to abuse their temporary majority by ramming tyranny down our throats.

The good news, though, is that the Democrats might not take this option, and may drop their public option initiative in order to pass their healthcare reform. Says Obama, “[the] public option… is not the entirety of healthcare reform”. So, even should this healthcare overhaul pass, we may be able to undo it given time.

Nontheless, anyone that even mentions that Obama or his policies are bipartisan are either not watching the news or entirely incompetant.

Recession Update: Economy Worsens

August 7, 2009

CNN made a decieving headline today: “Jobless rate down for first time in a year”. What is perhaps comical is that the only “jobless rate” that was down was the number of jobs being lost (“only” 247,000 jobs were lost in July). What the headline implied was that the unemployment rate had decreased, when in reality,  unemployment is still on the rise. Indeed, we are in the middle of the deflationary spiral. The same CNN article acknowledges that the national unemployment rate will likely increase to the double digits.

While it may be a little early to call Obama’s economic policy a failure (seeing as most of those “shovel-ready” projects will not begin until the end of next year), there certainly has been little to no recovery. In the middle of July, when the markets usually boom due to the spending of savings on family vacations, the only good news was that fewer jobs were lost than the month before and the unemployment rate fell 0.1%.

Obama’s manipulation of the the banking industry doesn’t appear to have done too much help, either. According to Fox Business, due to continued real-estate deflation and instability, banks are continuing to experience significant losses. Of course, Obama’s solution to this problem is another bailout, this time of the real-estate industry. Based off of our experience of past bailouts, the real-estate bailout will likely shift the instability elsewhere, while keeping the real problem in place.

Why are medical costs in America so high?

July 30, 2009

There are several reasons for the high medical costs in our country. First and most important, physicians are joined in one of the most powerful trade unions, the American Medical Association. This union campaigns for quality healthcare and regulations in the health industry. Why is this bad? Of course, because of the nature of big, powerful, and influential unions, labour costs increase. This effect is magnified when one’s ability to practice medicine is strongly limited by a lengthy educational requirement. So, in America, medical labor costs are especially costly. These costs are passed onto the consumer. Hence, we have high medical costs. There is also a lengthy argument about the AMA’s power in Capitalism and Freedom, Chapter 9, if one has the interest in further exploring this topic.

Second, the insurance system encourages irresponsibility. The collective nature of insurance is comparable to Hawaii’s old Universal Healthcare system, in which people bought all they want medically because it was “free”. Of course, the result is an increase in insurance costs and a faction within the insurance company that rations medical expenditures. So, the collective insurance system is responsible for some of the aggregate healthcare costs in America.

Finally, America is one of the few remaining developed countries with no public healthcare system. The result is that almost all healthcare innovation must come through American companies. This investment in new cures, vaccines, and medicines comes out of the pocket of the consumer indirectly, and the result is more expensive medicine.

There are plenty of other reasons that don’t need explanation. Americans pay for top notch healthcare treatment not available in other countries. More people are vaccinated in America than anywhere else. Regulations exist that limit medical competition. All of these are also reasons why our costs are so high.

How can we battle this? What is the true answer to limiting healthcare costs? Disappointingly, conservative talk show hosts don’t even have real answers. Most propose subsidies. However, here is how we can cut these costs:

  • Cut regulations that strengthen the American Medical Association
  • End government mandates requiring the purchase of insurance
  • Encourage other countries to privatize their healthcare systems
  • End regulations that limit interstate competition between insurance companies
  • Cut licensing requirements for doctors and nurses

Yes, we can cut healthcare costs without creating an oppressive universal healthcare system. All we have to do is get our voices heard.

Confidence in Washington Falling Considerably

July 25, 2009

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, thirteen states now have double digit unemployment rates. As a result of the lack of improvement, many Americans are now questioning Washington’s ability to combat this problem. In fact, a new Fox News Poll indicates that a majority of Americans doubt that the Obama Administration has any clear plan for fixing the economy. The poll results also indicate that 73% of Americans doubt that Congress has such a plan either.

As of Healthcare, the poll indicates that most Americans don’t believe that major health care reform can occur without increasing taxes and the budget deficit. In fact, 64% of Americans would rather have their ailments treated by private health insitutions than by the federal government. Further, only 3% of Americans consider thier current healthcare quality poor.

What was perhaps most interesting about this poll was the last question:  “Do you think members of Congress should be required to read and know the details of legislation before they can vote on it — even if the bill is thousands of pages long?” The bipartisan answer was a resounding 92% yes.

So what does this all mean? It means that America has lost confidence in Washington. America has even lost confidence in Obama. Change has failed. Hope has backfired. What do we have left?

My Proposal to the Teaparty Movement: A “Salt March”

July 14, 2009

The original Salt March was the nonviolent movement of Gandhi and his followers across India to protest a salt tax. It drew attention to the Indian Independence movement from media across the globe.

Currently, the teaparty movement has been relatively small and overly ignored. It is primarily a conservative protest against the government economic expansion earlier this year. The July 4th teaparties were primarily uniting opposition against potential tyranny that has been proposed by Congress.

If significant political unrest occurs, it will become possible for this Teaparty movement to organize a nonviolent “Salt March”. Such a march would begin at multiple urban areas across the nation and then proceed as these groups march to the capital. Of course, as these groups get closer to the capital, they’d merge. Such a march would attract significant media attention that the Teaparty movement badly needs and will climax in a Washington with a crowd possibly larger than that of the Civil Rights March on Washington in the 1960s.

However, nothing has really happened to create significant unrest in a while. Cap and Trade hasn’t passed yet, and Universal Healthcare hasn’t passed either. Still, several events may cause such unrest:

  • The banning of handguns

While the Obama Administration has shown no sign of actually banning firearms, such an act, or even such a proposal will allow for the organization of a Salt March.

  • Cap and Trade

If Cap and Trade increases prices enough, then as with the original Boston Teaparty and the orginal Salt March, individuals would be more willing to protest. Seeing as how nuclear energy is currently the only major alternative to fossil fuels, Cap and Trade will certainly have a massive effect on energy prices and will possibly cause prices to increase to a level that people are willing to protest against.

  • Universal Healthcare

While this may just get passed and be ignoredby the apathetic majority, it may cause significant backlash. Many Americans are rather afraid of National Healthcare, and it could be that such a thing could unite the conservative-libertarian movement enough for a Salt March to be possible.

There are probably other events that could make a Salt March an event with an impressive attendence, but this is clear: people will not get off of their butts unless they realize that they are sitting on a thorn.

Reasons Behind Palin’s Resignation

July 5, 2009

There are many reasons for Palin’s resignation, and this decision is much more complicated thanone simple explanation.

First, Palin was not going to run for re-election. Her prospects for the remainder of her governorship were not particularly promising either. There was a lame duck congress, and she wouldn’t be able to enact policies that she wanted. Her old position was essentially worthless, as she could have little remaining influence in Alaska.

Second, she wished to leave the media spotlight. It is well known that the media had been unfair to her. This is  perhaps an understatement. During her presidency, she was smeared as ignorant, uneducated, and radical. Saturday Night Live was most people’s first impression of her. This break from governorshiop will give her an opportunity to remake her image.

Third, many believe Palin wants a run in the 2012 Presidential Election. This, however, is not confirmed. There is a possibility that she will retire after this and return to a private life. Most don’t believe this though. Palin was a uniting factor for the Republican Party during the election last year. Some even consider her to be the face of the Republican Party.

Palin’s future is in question. The next few days will likely show Palin’s intentions, and possibly reveal any other motifs behind this sudden resignation.

Cap and Trade Bill Passes the House

June 27, 2009

Though it was only by 7 votes, the cap and trade scheme has finally been approved.

Let’s look at the facts. Cap and Trade has not significantly reduced Carbon emissions in any country that it has been enacted in. It has never created more jobs than it has lost, and it has never amounted to more than a tax on a harmless gas. All the taxes assessed by Cap and Trade will inevitably be passes onto the consumer. Gas prices will skyrocket again, and the cost of virtually everything will increase.

Despite this fact, Barack Obama believes that this bill will actually create jobs. Says Obama, “This is a jobs bill”. According to CNN, Obama believes that this bill will actually create “millions of new jobs” [1]. Perhaps Obama needs a quick economics lesson: When the cost of everything increases and wages remain the same, aggregate demand is less, because consumers cannot afford to buy as much as before.

What Obama thinks though is that this bill will cause some sort of quick change to a cleaner United States, because as the costs of “dirty” products increase, the public is more likely to buy less “dirty” products. However, it is not that simple.

Those “dirty” products include gasoline, oil, natural gas, and coal. These products are currently the main contributors to the power grid in the United States. There is no true “green” alternative source of energy. Biofuels and biodiesels are not profitable without massive amounts of subsidies. Solar energyand Wind energy combined constitute less than half of 1 percent of energy production and are impractical to expand to even 5 percent. Hydroelectricity can not expand much more either, as there can only be so many dams on a river while maintaining high energy efficiency.

So, ultimately, this Cap and Trade Program is a massive energy tax. As energy costs increase for all americans in the face of a recession, how is the little guy that Obama was going to protect going to make his next house payment?

This bill has not yet passed the Senate, so there is still hope for the American economy.

[1]  http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/06/26/house.energy/index.html