Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My View

Random thoughts and ruminations from a warped and fevered mind...

I had some serious disagreement with my premise that healthcare is not a right. It is not. If healthcare becomes a right, then the door is opened for the confiscation of funds from one group of citizens to fund the "rights" of another group of citizens. This would be the first type of "right" that our nation has enacted that would allow this type of action, and it establishes a very dangerous precedent. All of our rights as enumerated define personal liberty, the limits of government, and the ability to participate in our representative form of government as citizens. "Rights" to healthcare, the type of home in which we live, or the cars we drive, for example, are non-existent.

That being said, we do need to reform our system of healthcare in this country. I for one do not believe that a nationalized form of healthcare is the best route to reforming the system. Our current entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) are insolvent or rapidly moving in that direction. I do believe that we have a moral obligation to care for those less fortunate for the good of our communities and society as a whole. The debate should not be over what is my "right" to healthcare, but how to most efficiently provide quality healthcare to all citizens. I just renewed my automobile license. Frankly, I do not need this kind of "efficiency" in the delivery of my health care services. Neither does our nation.

We had a tragedy in our household this past week. I spilled spot remover on my dog and now he is gone.

I also had some comments about my proposal to establish a stipend for college football players that would be paid only on the completion of their degree requirements. Some said that the fact they were on scholarship and had the opportunity to obtain a degree was enough incentive. For 60% of the kids that enroll in college as Division 1 college football players, that is true. Obviously, that is not the case for 40%. If we are happy with a 60% graduation rate among college football players, then maintain the status quo. Otherwise, the system needs to be changed to improve outcomes. And I know that one of the main arguments against this type of program is that other students can't receive this benefit. True enough. However, ESPN didn't just agree to pay the SEC $2.25 billion dollars over the next 15 years to televise a philosophy class. Schools reap enormous financial rewards from their athletic departments; use some of that remuneration from the networks to boost graduation rates. (FULL DISCLOSRE: I was fortunate enough to play Division 1 college football. I have seen how the system works and I had teammates that were out of college within the week after their eligibility was up. We can do better.)

I was just wondering if the Little Mermaid wears an algebra.

More and more, we are seeing newspapers shrink to cut costs and attempt to survive. One of the hardest hit areas is sports coverage. Many (most) dailies no longer send a beat reporter on the road with their hometown hockey club, instead relying on wire reports to fill the void. Local television coverage is generally weak as well. To fill that void, hockey bloggers have assumed the responsibility once held by the mainstream media. Nashville is considered a "non-traditional" hockey market in the eyes of hockey purists, but from the perspective of quality bloggers, we are second to none. We are blessed to have passionate AND talented bloggers that not only love the game but write very well. Take a look at some that are listed on my blog roll. Quality from top to bottom. Hockey fans in general are ahead of the curve in embracing new technology and the dissemination of news through blogs. It helps to have blogs in our market that are good reads.

Our society spends a lot of time and money searching for a fountain of youth. How about a fountain of smart?

In 2008, the Ford Motor Company sold 148,000 Ford Fusion vehicles. The top of the line model costs $28,000. Suppose in 2009, Ford decided to produce 1,000,000 Fusion vehicles. What do you think would happen to that price? It will inevitably fall. Precipitously. WARNING: Economics lesson ahead. When supply is greater than demand, price will fall until it reaches what economists call an equilibrium price. The greater the supply relative to demand, the lower the price. Why talk about this? Since the beginning of 2009, the U.S. deficit has ballooned to $1.27 trillion dollars, and we have printed an enormous amount of dollars to support stimulus packages, bailouts, and other government programs. There are a lot of new dollars on world markets. Consequently, the value of the U.S. dollar is falling relative to other world currencies. So what's the big deal? When you import the majority of your finished goods (tv's, computers, electronics, clothing, etc.) as we do, and your currency is falling in value, what happens to the price of those goods. It goes up. This is the inflation worry that many are presciently focusing on even in the midst of our economic doldrums.

As I have said before, never repeat yourself.

And that's my view for the week.

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