Thursday, June 21, 2012

My View

Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...

Want to know why it is so hard to create jobs in America right now? Consider this: you're going to start a business or expand the one you have. To do so, you are going to take on a partner. The partner, however will not give you any capital- you have to come up with that on your own. The partner will not supply any labor. In fact, the partner will not be involved in any of the daily operations of your business. What the partner will do is demand that you will follow a multitude of rules about what products and services that you can offer; how much and how often you pay your employees; and where and when you operate your business. In return for the partner's involvement, he will take roughly half of the profits of the business. And an additional 12% of whatever you pay your employees to cover the partner's "expenses". In spite of all of this, if your business succeeds and grows and you decide to sell it, you will pay the partner 20% of the capitalized value of the business. And it really doesn't matter if you think this is reasonable, because this partner is going to be a part of your business whether or not you like it. By now, you know that partner is the federal government, and the heavy handed way in which it interacts with the business owners in this country is an impediment to job creation. Until government changes its focus and begins to cooperate with businesses and entrepreneurs rather than confront them every step of the way, the ability to create jobs in abundance and grow our economy will be stymied. (Stick tap to Porter Stansberry for the information for this article).

Wisdom comes with old age. So does memory loss. Also, so does memory loss.

Have you heard of the Liverpool Care Pathway? This is a protocol used by hospitals in Great Britain as mandated by the National Health Service (NHS), the governing body of that country's socialized medical system. The Liverpool Care Pathway is used when doctors believe that the recovery of a patient is impossible and that death is the only outcome. This protocol can include the withdrawal of treatment, including food and water, and usually will bring about death in 33 hours. Great Britain has a socialized healthcare system, and as such, hospital beds are at a premium due to the inevitable shortages that occur under this type of system. The Liverpool Care Pathway was created to provide regimen of care for patients that might not recover to functional health, but it has been used in the extreme to hasten the death of many patients to free up beds, according to Professor Patrick Pullicino, Professor of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Kent. Great Britain averages around 450,000 deaths each year by patients that are hospitalized, and approximately 130,000 of those deaths are by patients are on the Liverpool Care Pathway, or 29%. Professor Pullicino has claimed that the Liverpool Care Pathway has been turned into the equivalent of euthanasia for many patients to free up scarce resources. Inevitably, socialized medicine results in a scarcity of resources. Great Britain has shown how one country responds to such scarcities. Tell me again why we think implementing socialized medicine in this country is a good thing?

Math problems are the only time two trains can be speeding toward each other and no one is concerned.

According to the Congressional Budget Office's Long Term Budget Outlook, the United States is fast going down the same path that Europe is presently traversing. The CBO says that if we continue our current fiscal policies, mandatory federal spending on health care entitlements (Medicare and Medicaid) will double from 5.4% of GDP to 10.8% by 2037. Interest payments on our debt would rise from 1.4% of GDP to 9.5% by 2037. Publicly held debt will be 93% of GDP by 2022 and 200% by 2037. In a similar situation, some countries in Europe have responded to their fiscal crisis by raising taxes. Greece raised its value added tax 77%; Spain raised its investment tax by 44%; and Portugal is in the process of raising taxes on the rich and value added taxes on everybody. And the economies in those countries have cratered. Oh yeah- raising those taxes has been the only action these governments have implemented. There has been no reform of government programs (I know Greece has raised the retirement age and changed some of their social security/pension equivalent programs, but only for new participants. There has been no reform for existing participants). Here is what each of should realize: raising taxes alone will not solve our fiscal crisis. True reform has to encompass changing our entitlement programs and government spending. Fail to do so and the United States will walk the same path many countries in Europe are now painfully treading.

I have to admit, dyslexia turns me no.

And that, my friends, is my view.

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