Posted on: February 5, 2009 10:59 am

Fear mongering? Or don't know what to do?

"Irreversible recession" Obama warned in his op ed piece in the Washington Post.  In all my schooling in Economics, macro and micro, I have never heard the term. 

What does it mean? I suppose it means Obama doesn't know what to do other than spend money to stimulate the economy with wish list pork spending and if he doesn't get his way we are doomed.  How can the Hope & Change candidate become so doom and gloom so quickly? 

Because there are myriad of ideas being floated that could stimulate the economy.  Things like tax cuts for individuals and business, you know, to let the people decide how to spend their money in their economy. This thing will take care of itself, you can bet on that.  When the government got involved in the Great Depression they prolonged it by 7 years by eliminating competition, instigating protectionism policy, granting sweeping power to Labor, legalizing collusion and anti-trust, wage fixing above market value, and the list goes on. Principles of Socialism, but I digress.

What gets me really irked by his Carter-esque gloom and doom was this comment:

He rejected the argument that more tax cuts are needed in the plan and that piecemeal measures would be sufficient, arguing that Americans made their intentions clear in the election. "I reject these theories, and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change," he wrote. Talk about over reaching the results of the election.  Wow, the arrogance is astounding!  The people did not vote for a Pork Stimulus Package when they elected him president.  I am absolutely certain I did not see that plank in his platform when I vetted him all last fall on my blog.  I don't remember any Obama supporters chastizing me last fall that I had ommitted it either.

The honeymoon for Obama ended far sooner than I ever thought.  The media is now awake and will pick him apart.  I would now put his odds at re-election at 1 in 4.

On the bright side of the economy, consensual sex is still free! Thank goodness....

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: January 8, 2009 9:50 am

Felt up for 20 bucks....

Last week the Wall Street Journal ran an opinion article about what Obama's National Healthcare Plan might be like. The author took most of their points form Tom Daschle's book on the subject and for those that don't know he has been appointed to lead the effort in the new administration. The main point of the article was the almost certainty of metered health care. By metered, they mean there will be an oversight committee (appointed, not elected) that sets the treatment plans paid for under the plan and to which age groups the service will be provided. Sorry, grandma, you are too old for knee replacement surgery. The author was looking to put fear into her reader with these comments but there is truth to it none the less.

On Tuesday of this week, the WSJ printed several responses in the Letter's to the Editor page. These responses were from healthcare professionals (doctors and administrators). They brought up some great points. Like how is this any different from an insurance company today. They put limits on treatments today. True. But two such responders went on to write (paraphrasing) that many of the current treatments are marginal or only slightly better than cheaper treatments and, therefore, should not be used or more clearly, not covered under the plan. There is truth in this statement, but history shows that breakthrough invention is built on the backs of many failed attempts, marginal attempts and only slightly better attempts at improving whatever situation is at hand, be in medical or industrial or commercial. What this means to me is our healthcare system and the drive toward new cures and treatments may very well stagnate. We have to remember pharmaceutical companies are in the business to make money for their shareholders. It is that simple. If there is no money in new treatment options or the method of approval is too protracted, research will not happen. The regulations require a drug company to spend potentially hundreds of millions of dollars just to get it to market. If the National Healthcare System won't pay for the use or treatment, the drug companies will stop research and development. Progress in healthcare may cease or slow so greatly that twenty or forty years into the future we will have changed very little.

Think about the last 25 years with respect to heart by-pass surgery. It went from a radical surgery requiring many months of recovery to a ho hum procedure that sees the patient home in a few days. In those 25 years, the procedure has improved in small ways with better medicines and techniques. Each one slightly or significantly better than its predecessor. The result is what we have today. And those techniques and medicines have found their way into other procedures like joint repairs.

The root problem that causes a system to restrict the treatments is driven purely by cost. If it is too much, we will not do it. Eliminating treatments is one way to lower the cost. But what about lowering the cost of practicing medicine. I recently had my annual Ob-Gyn visit. The bill to the insurance company was $430 for one visit. Insurance paid $157. I paid $20 out of pocket. The doctor billed $430 and he received $177 (and was happy about it.) Does this make sense?

How about tort reform? You know, doctor screws up a procedure (they are human), sued for malpractice, settlement is for $5 million, lawyer gets $2 million, client gets $3 million. Oh, the patient is fine mind you, a little worse for the wear, deserves some compensation no doubt to make up for their loss. But the lawyer got how much!!! Doctor's insurance goes up. He passes the cost on to you and me.

So here is the rub. A National Healthcare System is probably a good idea. But how do we do it without killing our economy (cost) and still allowing the entrepreneurial drive that leads to innovation? How do we ensure that people want to be doctors in the future. If their hands are tied many may choose to do something else with their talents.  Caution is absolutely needed as we move forward.


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 12, 2008 2:12 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2008 2:15 pm

It's just my way...

“What happened to your arm?”  “I, ah, fell against the dresser.  It’s no big deal.” “Hey, I’m your friend, don’t give me that.  Did he do that to you?  Was he drinking again?” “You just don’t understand. He works hard but never gets ahead and I put demands on him and he just snaps sometimes. That’s just his way.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Conversations like this happen everyday with regards to many different forms of abuse, be it alcoholism, domestic violence against a spouse or child, or any other sad situation where a person is abused. We have all been educated to look for signs of abuse and, hopefully, to report what we see to the authorities so that abuse can be stopped.  Medical professionals are now trained to look for signs of abuse. Teachers and others are also on the look out for forms of abuse and neglect.   By this time we are all paying attention or at least we should be.   That said I heard many discussions this week in the media where the punch line in each story was “that is just the way it is, the Chicago way.” Now this is different from physical or mental abuse of people since it is only politics.  Or is it? None of us can ignore physical or mental abuse when we come face to face with it.  But here we are using the same logic a victim of physical abuse uses to defend their tormentor.  That is just their way = that is the Chicago way.    Farfetched? I don’t think so. Our politicians are hired (elected) to do a job on our behalf.  When they abuse their power for personal gain we are being hurt by special interests or even criminal intent. If we choose to ignore it, to wash it away with a simple that’s just the way it is.  Then we are contributing to the problem. We are enabling them to continue their abusive behavior.  We are all so very cynical about politicians and their purported honesty.  We all know at least one joke where that is the punch line.  Yet we continue to fall for their promises and elect their selfish interests to represent us all.  We are all victims, victims of an abusive relationship where we hold the power to stop it but are either unwilling or afraid to act.   Americans – please stop enabling these abusive politicians or you will continue to play the part of victim.  When the Constitution was framed the founding fathers never dreamed anyone would want to serve multiple terms in any office because it took time away from the farm or their business.  They used words like civic and duty to describe the roles of office holders not bureaucrat or politician. It falls to the voter to invoke term limits on these life long politicians. But we don’t. We tolerate it. We re-elect them. We build statues and name streets for them.  We encourage them to abuse us more.   We are all victims. The Chicago way illustrates it for us. 
Posted on: October 18, 2008 1:29 pm

Lingerie ain't cheap, silk is getting expensive!!

Hi there.  I am Cyndi (real name - Americanized though).  I thought I would go through my budget with you.  To share my thoughts on my needs and wants, and to decide where do I cut to prepare for the coming economic doom.  To start, I do not make more than $250k per year, so I am looking forward to that tax cut BHO, and I am going to hold you to your promise. 

Where do I start?

My mortgage is $2343 on a thirty year fixed at 6.125 including taxes and insurance into a monthly escrow.  I suppose I could refinance to a lower payment to conserve funds.  I do have two roommates who throw in $500 each. Perhaps I could sell it, but then there would be a nasty loss in value.

Cellphone bill - $149.77 including all applicable taxes.  Hey, I 'm young and single and need all that texting to commune with my comrades.  But do I NEED it?

Utility bills are running an average of $327 in gas and electric w/includes applicable taxes, thanks Duke!  Could turn the thermostat in the proper direction except I already keep it cold in the winter and warm in the summer.

DirecTV costs me $169 a month including taxes.  Gotta have my sports channels right?

Starbucks is about $140 a month including taxes.  A girl's gotta have her coffee or else I might get bitchy, right?

I have an Audi TT but it's paid for but I could ride the bus except I work out of my house most of the time now because I live on the road but the company picks up that tab. So no real opportunites there.  Oh wait, I could get a tire gauge.

I give $233 per month to United Way because my company stresses how much I should give.  I guess I could keep that.

I give $1250 to a scholarship foundation I set up each month.  Since education is free in a socialist republic, I should be able to stopt those costs too.

The gym membership and my personal trainer.  That costs me $219 per month combined.  I guess I don't need to spend that kind of cash to look and feel my best.  What the heck, Im gonna have free health care to fix me up if I fall apart, so why take care of myself?  The government is signing up for that one.

Shoes - hmm.  Probably $200 a month average.  Silk things and other fine garments (my uniform) $400 a month including dry cleaning.

I suppose $750 a month in groceries is exhorbitant for a single lady.  But I do like to cook for my friends and my roomies.  I guess I can stop eating fresh fruits and veggies and move over to the preprocessed variety. 

Looks like I have some real opportunity to be more patriotic here and pay up my fair share in taxes.  Last year I paid $33,459 in federal taxes even with my foundation.  All I have to do is cut out my cell phone, my lattes, my directv, healthclub, my golf, vacations, going to the movies, cut back on my food bill, and I should be ready for my patriotic tax increase, uhhh I mean tax cut.  Notice I am keeping shoes and silk in the budget otherwise morale could sink to an all time low around my house.


The point is folks I do have a means to cut and I will get by.  I know many of you will struggle to make the ends meet. And you will slash your expenses in the process.  But the problem is, if we all cut back we will further strangle the economy.  If we all drop our cable or sattelite, a bunch of big companies will take it on the chin and will likely layoff their workforce.  If we cut back on lattes or frapaccinos then Starbucks and a bunch of coffee houses drain their pots and close up shop.  If we stop purchasing cars, electronics, ipods, etc...we only serve to deepen the recession.  Keeping up deficit spending on the other hand is not the answer.  Use cash to buy stuff.  Break the cycle of credit. Otherwise you are not helping the economy grow, you are only borrowing from your future.

You know there was a much lampooned President who said we should continue on with life and keep shopping after 9/11.  He was right.  But Obama has made that the punch line in campaign bumper sticker speech.  So now no one can utter it.  But it does not change the fact that we the consumer are the ones (not our government) who must spend our way out of a recession or else the entire economy - housing, autos, electronics, commercial, etc...- will fall on harder times than we see today.

Surely we must be responsible and only spend what we must (You, Me and the Government).  We should ask if we REALLY need that thing we have in our hands (or in our barrel.)  If the answer is no then don't buy it.  I am talking to you, politicians!

The question is....Do we vote in Obama who wants to spend $1 trillion AND raise taxes (and let's not kid ourselves, shall we, $250k is not the threshold is it BHO?)  Or do we vote for McCain who proposes a spending freeze and lowering all taxes? 

Both candidates say they will sift through the budget and look for waste.  IS that possible?  I wonder.  When my division's budget came across my desk this past week for next year, my pen made contact with the paper and crossed out many things we do not need to do, heck, it would be irresponsible to our customers, employees and shareholders if we did not.  Hey politicians, why don't you give it a try, it might make you feel like a leader instead of pretending.

Just my ramblings....I am out of the country next week so don't be sad, I will post again when I return.  Our European division is credit and cash strapped thanks to the economic turmoil.  The Europeans are looking for difficult cuts to help them get by.  Otherwise we may face job cuts across the globe in our company to remain afloat.  By the way, this is precisely the reason the government bailouts of the banks are happening folks.  Without it, corporate debt, a necessary evil to fend off takeover bids, cannot be refinanced which will force companies to tap into cash reserves to make payroll and other commitments.  IF you are not scared it is because you just don't understand, but you will be effected.  Count on it.

Do you think we can get BHO to add shoes and lingerie to the tax deductible list?  I will vote for him if he does.


Posted on: October 12, 2008 2:59 pm

Slipping the big one in tight spaces....

Usually pleasure follows that comment, but not this time. Looking at the pork installed in the bailout plan is reprehensible.  Where is the outcry from the Media.  Maybe they could take their lips off the Messiah for a little while and ask the question WTF were they thinking putting pork in a bailout bill?  Oh of course not.  That would mean they come off the campaign trail and go back to doing their job - asking the right questions and keeping the political whores honest.  But that is not possible given the Leftist press who has dropped all pretense about being neutral and just boldly tells of the the tingling feelings when Ob speaks.

I would love to know how much money is wasted in earmark and pork barrel spending each year.  In my company we know how much we spend on cell phones down to the individual, we know their travel expenses and we strive to keep them as low as possible, we know how much we spend on training, on paper, on community service, on benefits, on ink pens, on everything and with that level of oversight we control costs for our stockholders.  We are good stewardesses of their money.  You expect that CEOs and CFOs be held responsible with stockholder money, with your retirement dollars if you invested in them, to provide for the community and its customers, you hold them accountable.  How is that different for our politicians? They seem to lack oversight - that is until we start voting them ALL out of office.  We the tax payers are STOCKHOLDERS in AMERICA.  I want to know how much paper we use, how much we spend on ink pens, how much we spend on pork, I want to apply Lean Principles to our Government.  And that means no more BS programs that are nothing more than handouts.  STOP this CRAP!!!

I am "All of the Above" on energy and "None of the Above" on politicians.  Make it so.....

From the Wall Street Journal I found this quote....

"I have all I need to live on for the rest of my life, provided I am hit by a bus tomorrow."  That sounds hopeless. 

Back to the tight spaces........

Posted on: October 11, 2008 6:28 pm

The best JOB I'd ever given was....

Now cool your tools boys, drop the snakes, put the little thingies away.

Have you ever received a job from a poor person?  Seriously, you all have been given jobs by folks who have at least some money.  Perhaps they were born with it.  Perhaps they took a chance and worked very hard as a small buisness owner and now have money to hire folks to work for them.  And maybe they even pay a decent wage and provide some benefits as well.  So why is it we would want to tax the folks with money more to GIVE it to the poor.  Will that create one more job?  Or will it cause the wealthy to pull back their money.  Hire less, maybe fire more.  Cut costs and benefits.  My logic is having a difficult time seeing how taxing wealthy will save economy since that is done by putting folks back to work.

Since it appears the media has all but elected Obama and his socialist agenda, I want to know if the above paragraph rings true with anyone or am I all wet between my hmmm.  All I see happening is making people more dependent on the gov'ment. 

How can that be a good thing?

Maybe I am just wet....

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