Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Real Truth Behind Health Care Costs

There are almost as many "health care replacement plans" as there are people in Congress. And not one of them attacks the real problem. The problem is not insurance - it's health care PRICING.

Health care lobbyists have succeeded in bullying our lawmakers into allowing "secret pricing" that can vary from place to place, and even person to person. Unlike any other product, where every consumer pays the same price in any given store, health care providers can charge almost anything they want, according to what they think they can get someone to pay.

As an example, when I scheduled a colonoscopy at Exeter NH hospital, I asked the cost. At first they did not even want to tell me the cost. When I threatened to go elsewhere, I was told it would cost "about $1500". When I told them I did not have insurance, the cost suddenly collapsed to $650. The way I see it, if I could get it for $650, then everyone should be charged the same.

As another example, I went to GoodRx.com to get pricing for a prescription. As you can see by this screenshot, the exact same prescription was a different price in several different pharmacies. And worse yet, the NON-DISCOUNT price was much higher. In other words, John Doe would pay up to $75, while I could get the same prescription for $26.85. Again, if one person pays $26.85, that should be the price for everyone, without having to get some "coupon".

Because of secret pricing, and variable pricing, health insurance is far more expensive than it needs to be, and deductibles are far greater than necessary.

The way I see it, the entire health care debacle could be easily solved and made affordable by government intervention to standardize pricing (after negotiating the best deal) and allowing people to shop around for the various parts of insurance they want, even across state lines. And if tort reform is included, that would bring costs down even more - we've all seen the thousands of "lawyer" ads suing for every drug ever created, driving up prices. And by setting caps on malpractice, doctors could charge less.

Every person who wants to see the best health care at the lowest costs should contact their representatives and senators and send them a link to this post, or, at the very least, demand they buck the lobbyistys and standardize health care costs for every drug, every service, every procedure.

Then perhaps we will finally have the best health care system in the world.

/

Monday, January 23, 2017

Should Trump Kill The Death Tax?

Word came down today that President Trump is looking to end the estate tax. Liberals, of course, say he is doing it to help the wealthy. And while it certainly does help the more affluent to actually keep what they worked so hard for, and already paid taxes on, President Trump understands there is a bigger issue here.

Consider this scenario as an example...

A man and his family spend their lives working hard to build up a profitable family farm worth $10 million. The man dies, and the family must pay the government $6 million in estate tax, on something that has already been taxed before. (This does not include any state "death tax" that would also be due). Many would say, "So what - the family still has $4 million". But they don't. Almost the entire $10 million value of the farm is in land, stock and equipment. There is little or no cash. In order to pay the taxes, the family is forced to sell the farm, and chances are the only ones able to buy it is some huge (and even wealthier) farming conglomerate. The family farm is gone. The family income is gone.

The fact is that most wealth passed on to heirs is in the form of non-cash assets. Such assets are not liquid, and often must be sold to pay the taxes. This destroys a lot of family businesses - and a lot of families.

Another fact that liberals do not want you to come face-to-face with: EVERY tax destructive. It eats up working capital, reducing production, growth and hiring. It takes away the ability to spend, reducing the ability to buy things that keep people working and the economy moving.

Certainly, taxes are necessary to fund the government, but the government, by Constitutional constraint, may only tax and spend for eight very specific purposes. Building treadmills for shrimp, and a huge number of other things our government wastes hundreds of billions a year on doing are not among the governments lawful purposes. If we get rid of the waste, the fraud and the spending that is not even lawful, there would be no need to destroy family inheritances with a death tax. In fact, all taxes could be reduced dramatically.

For example, there is no need, nor logical purpose, for giving other nations our own taxpayer money to help build THEIR countries when ours is in need. Sending $500 million to Mexico each year is a travesty - it is not our job to take care of Mexico. If you have to buy your friends, they are not friends worth having.

In short, the estate tax is unfair and even illegal, according to the original Constitution (before Wilson illegally instituted the Federal Reserve and used deceit to pass an amendment changing HOW taxes could be assessed).

And just as important - just because something helps the rich does not make it bad or wrong. What counts is justice, not who it helps most.

/

Helping Hillary Figure Out Why She Lost

Politico reports that Hillary Clinton is still trying to figure out why she lost the election. Frankly, if she does not know the answer to that, she has no business even running for office. However, for the sake of her sanity, and to help her get through this, I will make it as simple and clear as is humanly possible.

Hillary lost for three big reasons (there are other, smaller reasons discussed at the end)

The first reason: Hillary did not address the issues important to middle America - everyday people. She should learn and apply Maslov's hierchy of needs. If people are struggling just to put food on the table, you won't get far talking about gender issues

Second reason: she took important states for granted, and did not campaign there. States like Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio...

Third reason: most of Hillary's pressers and fund raisers were with the liberal elite, like all the Hollywood celebrities. Mainstream America saw that, and said, "She does not even recognize I exist. She lives in a bubble. How can she represent me?"

Those are the biggies. Lesser reasons - which had a minor effect - were the scandals - Benghazi, and her blaming it on a video no one ever saw; her deletion of 30,000 emails; and all her lies, beginning with the one about being under sniper fire on the tarmac, and ending with "there was no classified info in my emails", and "Donald Trump is mysogynist & racist" (the evidence proves otherwise).

But the main reasons she lost are the first three I have listed, showing arrogance, ignorance and detachment from the real people of middle America.

As a side note: #1 and #3 are the same reasons why the 16 other REPUBLICAN candidates lost to Trump.

/

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Why The Popular Vote Does Not Matter - and Never Has

As we approach the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, there has been a lot of people claiming he is not legitimate because he lost the "popular vote". Such people either have not read the Constitution, or do not understand it, because the Constitution makes it clear that the "popular vote" is only consequential on a state-by-state basis. It is not, and never has been a national vote.

To clarify, the residents of a state would vote for the candidate they want in office. The popular vote in that state determines only which candidate their own electors will vote for. This popular vote is not supposed to have any impact on a national scale other than the power of their electors in the Electoral College.

Take New Hampshire as an example, which has 4 electoral votes. The voters of New Hampshire cast their votes for the candidate of their choice. If, for example, the plurality of voters vote for the Democrat candidate, the state's four electors would cast their ballots for the Democrat. And the popular vote of NH will have no impact beyond that, and is not counted along with the votes of other states - at least not for purposes of electing the President.

In other words, there is not one, national popular vote count. Instead, there are 50 separate popular votes. They do not get added together for election purposes. NH votes go to the NH electors; and Florida votes go to Florida electors. One does not affect the other.

Now for the reason behind this.

The Founders determined rather quickly that if a President were elected by a popular vote on a national scale, one or two heavily populated states would forever control the entire country, and we would not have a government of, by and for the people. The people of Boston and Philadelphia would rule over all the states, particularly those in the south. They decided, for the sake of fairness, that there should be electors from each state, and the popular vote in each state, separately, would determine how their state votes. No state would have the power to affect how other states vote.

Right now, California has 55 electors because the state is so large. If their popular vote could be combined with other populous states like New York, 48 states would never be represented.

And that is why the popular vote does not, and never has determined an election. The Electoral college does that, on a state-by-state basis, giving each state a fair shot at helping to choose who sits in the Oval Office.

/

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Removing Some of the Fog Around Climate Change

Okay, so there is a debate as to "climate change". This article is not going to enter that portion of the debate that questions whether or not climate change is real, primarily because the climate has been constantly changing since the Earth was formed. Instead, this dissertation, if you will, shall revolve around the real issue - does it really matter?

Al Gore would say "certainly - it will destroy civilization". But that is not even close to being true, for the reasons brought forward here.

First, let us take the fear monger's claims that climate change will result in massive storms and weather phenomena the likes of which we have never seen.

Since the so-called "warming" stage that Gore hyped in his "documentray", there have been no hurricanes, tornadoes or other massive storms any greater than any in earlier history. In 1938 we saw the "Great New England Hurricane & Flood" which was one of the deadliest and most destructive tropical cyclones to impact New England, killing 682 people and destroying over 57,000 homes. In 1913 we experienced the "Great Lakes Storm" that battered and overturned ships on four of the five Great Lakes - thousands of square miles - and killing more than 250 people. And in 1900 (obviously before we had millions of petrol vehicles on the roads) we saw the Great Galveston Hurricane  that left up to 12,000 people dead - to the present day it is the deadliest single day event in U.S. history.

For the climate change bunch to claim the storms we see today can somehow be construed as being worse is sheer idiocy. For example, hurricane Katrina was only responsible for roughly 1200 dead, not the 12,000 that died in the 1900 blow.

As for the claim that global warming would somehow result in food shortages, that is absurd, according to history. Prior to the Little Ice Age that began in the 14th century (and lasted until the mid-1800's), the Earth was several degrees warmer than it is today, and had been in that "warm spell" from the 10th to 14th century. During the "warm" period, more land was arable and food was plentiful. Grapes grown for wine were produced as far north as England (today, it's only as far north as southern France). During the Little Ice Age (LIA), millions of people died of starvation and plague, as food became less plentiful, and rats moved in with the people. The "Black Death" is estimated to have killed up to 1/3 of the population of Europe and England.

And in a world where clean water is already becoming scarce, the melting of the fresh-water glaciers could be most helpful.

If global warming is not creating storms of unheard of proportions, or resulting in deserts with less arable land with the subsequent food shortages the climate change folks are ranting about, what is there left to worry about?

Well, skiing, for one. Snow could become scarce. And the folks at Toro would lose a fortune as snow blowers would not be so necessary.

Seriously, though, global warming would be somewhat detrimental to the elitists that choose to live so close to the coasts, in the event water levels rise. But despite the horror stories that (according to Gore) we would all be growing gills by now, sea levels have not risen appreciably - perhaps inches, but definitely not feet. I have seen no difference in the high-water mark at the beaches I have been frequenting for over 60 years.

Bear in mind, too, that ALL plant life breathes carbon dioxide, so it may not be a really good idea to cut production too much - after all, without plants breathing in carbon dioxide, there would be no oxygen for us - for that is what plants "exhale". Maybe the reason for the huge increase in asthma and other breathing difficulties is the result of paving over all the greenery, and cutting the rain forests.

In closing, I would add this: when the climate change bunch tell us that "99% of scientists agree...", that is both untrue and deceptive. Most scientists know absolutely nothing about climate. The only scientists we should consider listening to are actual CLIMATOLOGISTS, and only those whose income does not depend upon government grants or funding from those pushing climate change. And 99% do NOT agree - there are hundreds of climatologists that believe climate change is nothing more than a natural cycle, and than Man is not likely responsible.

/

Saturday, November 19, 2016

White Privilege? Hardly!

Among many minority (and liberal) communities and on campuses rank with uneducated kids (and professors) we keep hearing about "white privilege". So, let's take a look at that.

Certainly in times long since past, there certainly was white privilege. Today, however, the only real privilege is what people earn for themselves. While it is true that a greater percentage of minorities start out life with less, that is not because whites have privilege. It is because they are either  a) from single parent homes, b) not educated enough to get ahead, or c) have become too dependent upon the entitlements that the democrat politicians hand out in order to keep them voting Democrat.

I know - that sounds like so much Republican spin, but that does not change the facts. You don't have to like the truth, but that does not make it less true. In any case, none of the above is a result of white privilege.

Adults in those communities can work harder at creating and maintaining a solid family structure. Women, for example, can and should avoid getting involved with any man who is not "good father" material. The signs are obvious. And when a couple does commit to one another, work at keeping it. As for insufficient education, there are two avenues - educate yourself (libraries are free), or vote for politicians who agree to make school choice available to all, regardless of your neighborhood. And finally, don't look at welfare as a career. Work hard at trying to free yourself from the "welfare chains" that keep you in slavery.

I am white. I was born into poverty. I attended the public school in my district - no choice. Neither my family nor my teachers prepared me for making it in the real world. It comes as no surprise that I ended up living on the streets, homeless, hungry, cold. I spent long hours, even in snowstorms, going through trash looking for cans, scrap metal - anything that would buy me a meal. It was not unusual to earn as much as $3-4 a day! Imagine trying to live on $1000 a year! Take that "white privilege" Mr Kaepernick.

But I wanted something more. In fact, I did not simply WANT more. I would not settle for anything less than the best I could muster. And not having "privilege", I knew I had to scrape and claw, busting my butt to move forward. I made the decision to not sleep at night without having moved closer to my goals that day.

I spent the next 45 years of my life working hard, working smart. As I moved forward, I took night classes at the community college. It took a long time, but eventually I had earned three degrees, all the while still busting my hide on dirty, but profitable hard work.

And now I am independently wealthy.

And not because of any falsely perceived privilege.

On the other side, there are fine examples of minorities who managed to do the same, despite their meager beginnings. Sidney Poitier. J-Lo.And, I am sorry to say, many minorities who "have it all", yet scream about being "oppressed" by "white privilege". Yeah, sure - Kaepernick with his $12 million deal with the NFL, or Jay Z, Beyonce and many others. They have tons more privilege than most white people, but they cry about being oppressed. Everyone should be that oppressed!

The only privileges in America are either the privilege that comes from having money, and the privilege of having the opportunity to get that money. And everyone has that opportunity. But not everyone has the drive, ambition or fortitude to pursue it.

Privilege? We all have the privilege of being able to DECIDE for ourselves which chains we will accept, and which we will cast off. If you doubt that, just take a look at the life of Jackie Robinson, or Louis Armstrong.

/




Thursday, November 17, 2016

Liberal Thought - What It Is, and Is Not


Yes, I know - "liberal thought" might be an oxymoron. And that, in a nutshell, is the problem.

Liberals - particularly progressives - like to believe they are thinkers, but in reality they only mimic the talking points fed to them by the insidious "liberal leaders". And those liberal leaders are dangerous because they, themselves are not really liberals. People like George Soros use liberalism in order to gain more power for themselves.

Let's look at some of the issues of liberals.

WAR - Many liberals waste their entire lives trying to put an end to war. They see it as a "bad" thing, and believe that the world would be a better place without war. If by "a better place" they mean a planet barren of all life, they would be correct. If we end war, we begin to rush headlong into extinction.

If no wars had ever been fought on Earth, the planet would have reached its maximum capacity of human life at some point in the 15th century, as all those who were not killed would have had children, who in turn would have had children. By the mid 1400's, the number of humans on Earth would have completely consumed all other life on Earth, as food would have become scarce. The planet would have been stripped, the same way that locusts strip a field, leaving it barren. And then Mankind would perish from starvation and disease - a much worse fate than war.

War is not nice. Not pleasant. But what liberals simply do not comprehend, war is an absolute necessity, as mankind has no real predators to keep our numbers in check.

INCOME EQUALITY - Liberals believe that all people should not only be created equal, but should also remain equal regardless of whether or not they do anything to earn it. While it may sound nice that everyone has a good life, it is not only unrealistic, but unnatural, as well. Every living thing on the planet must compete for its survival. This is because no species can continue to survive if the weak are allowed to survive. A species is only as strong as its weakest link.

Liberals believe in leveling the playing field by weakening the strong, while conservatives believe in strengthening the weak. If a person simply cannot care for themselves, society has an obligation to care for them. But there is no obligation to care for those who simply do not WANT to provide for themselves.

If a person wants income equality, they need to earn it, just like the guy who has already succeeded. A slob sitting on the couch stuffing his face with Twinkies while playing video games has no right to the same income as someone who worked hard getting grades in college, then worked hard for years working his way up until he finally has security. To a conservative, "income equality" means you should have equal income only if you worked equally hard as the other guy, invested what he invested, and did all the stuff necessary to succeed. A hobo who does nothing is not entitled to a Bill Gates income. In fact, he is only entitled to what he, himself, earns.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE - This is liberal speak for letting the government raise your kids, which is the worst thing that could ever be conceived. Hitler tried this with his Youth Camps. While conservatives agree that the "village" should be supportive in parents' efforts in raising the kids, it is the responsibility of the parents. The village should only be a support structure. If John Doe sees Bob Jones' kid doing something wrong, he should notify John Doe.

GUN CONTROL - It does not matter to liberals that every study shows gun crime rates are  highest in areas that have the strictest gun controls. I say it does not matter to them because the facts do not fit their agenda, which has nothing to do with reducing crime and has everything to do with disarming the public. After all, it is much easier to control an unarmed population, and CONTROL is what it is all about for liberals. GUN control, BIRTH control, HEALTH control, INCOME control, ENVIRONMENTAL control, EDUCATION control, THOUGHT control. Liberals want to control every thing, and every one. That's why they do not like it when conservatives speak out. It's why the IRS targeted conservative groups. It's why ObamaCare was passed. It's why the Department of Education was created in 1972 (and education levels have dropped every year since). It's why Harry Reid thwarted the will of the People by not letting any House bill be brought to the Senate floor, and it is why Barak Obama kept doing end runs around Congress, and dictating policy and ignoring laws. It is why liberals push to get as many people on entitlements as possible.

LEGALIZATION OF DRUGS - this one is really simple - progressives want control, and a population that is hooked on drugs is easy to control. Those not hooked on drugs will be hooked on entitlements - a financial drug. If you get out of line, they can threaten to take away your drug or entitlement.

There are only three things that have kept liberal progressives from taking over America and creating a socialist/communist regime - Christianity, the Constitution and conservatives - the 3 C's. And if you are awake, you have seen liberals, with the help of liberal media and liberal institutions of "higher learning" attack all three, mercilessly. And that proves the point.

In all fairness, I should point out that it's not really the liberals so much as the nefarious leaders of progressivism. The puppet masters, like George Soros. The average liberal is, as described by the socialist Saul Alinsky, nothing more than a "useful idiot". The ignorant masses of "Wall Street Occupiers", "Black Lives Matter" and the drones that get brainwashed at Berkeley. Useful idiots. Even the powerful Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid - and, yes, even Barak Obama - fall into the category of "useful idiots. They all do the dirty work of the Puppet Masters."

I almost pity them, but for the fact that they are so hateful and destructive.

/