Social Insurance (part two)

The “too big to fail” theory asserts that certain corporations, particularly financial institutions, are so large and so interconnected that their failure would be disastrous to the greater economic system, and that they therefore must be supported by government when they face potential failure. Source, Wikipedia…

 

Could the above descriptive phrase be applied to your health, to your personal health insurance? Is it too expensive to afford? Just how much health insurance can you afford? There is the top shelf so called ‘Cadillac’ health insurance, then there is the bottom shelf, let’s just call it ‘skateboard’ health insurance coverage which can you afford? What happens to you when you get sick, need an expensive lifesaving operation, if you cannot afford it do you just die? Need a year of expensive drugs, cannot afford it, do you just die? The way things are set up in America, with health insurance as a for profit earning business, if one cannot afford it, one do indeed just die. You can get only what you can afford to pay for. The only panacea as far as I can tell is the much-hated word, ‘government’, no other option can be so employed as to be without any financial restrictions, an equal opportunity provider regardless of one’s ability to afford.

 

Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. Source, Wikipedia…

 

In the case of health insurance, the loss is life its self. Is the monetary worth of a human life too high to be placed in the hands of a for profit making entity, be it pharmaceutical or health insurance when the denial of service can mean profits for a company resulting in the end of a human life. The ironicalness of this current debate situation is that the congressional delegates considering the fate of healthcare and health insurance in America for the common all have government supported Cadillac healthcare and insurance while the unexceptional (commonplace) have none guaranteed during this life time in this 2017 America…

 

 

Bartender, a glass of glyphosate, with a toe in it, please…

the failure to maintain a “smiling lawn” can have decidedly unhappy consequences. Section 119-3 of the county code of Fairfax County, Virginia—a section representative of similar ones on the books in jurisdictions across the country—stipulates that “it is unlawful for any owner of any occupied residential lot or parcel which is less than one-half acre (21,780 square feet) to permit the growth of any grass or lawn area to reach more than twelve (12) inches in height/length.” And while Fairfax County sensibly advises that matters of grass length are best adjudicated among neighbors, it adds, rather sternly, that if the property in question “is vacant or the resident doesn’t seem to care, you can report the property to the county.” Source, Megan Garber, August 28, 2015, The Atlantic…  

 

We didn’t always have a love affair with our lawns. In fact it wasn’t until the industrial revolution that lawns became practical for most Americans. Lawns were seen as a luxury expense for only the wealthy who could afford grounds keepers to maintain the fine bladed plants using scythes. Not everyone wanted cattle or sheep grazing in the front yard to keep the green stuff at a manageable height as did Woodrow Wilson while occupying the White House. Source, American Lawns, website…

 

The great American green lawn is killing us. Herbicides used to maintain lawns weed free are causing cancers, killing humans, but also the bees that are the great pollinators of our crops. After the watering of lawns, the run-off into rivers and streams, forever altering the life cycle of all water based life forms, plants, fish and crustaceans that depend of a pristine environment for survival and by extension, humans. At the very beginning of the so called green lawn culture are giant chemical companies that have convinced home owners with open spaces that a green lawn adds value to property with a hidden agenda, the company’s bottom line. Every Spring, the sale of all sort of lawn enhancing products are advertised on television and print publications the virtue of a ‘healthy’ lawn, when health is the less thing that a green lawn promotes or offers, some will be laying in and around their lawns, waking barefooted, transporting the remnants of all sorts of pesticides into homes, infecting pets and children. When an illness strikes, it may be hard to diagnose since by that time the chemical may have changed, morphed into something less harmless in appearance but, in the long term, just as deadly but moving more slowly to the same deadly end…another glass of glyphosate, anyone?  

Establishing Presumption

Probable cause…

A common definition is “a reasonable amount of suspicion, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong to justify a prudent and cautious person’s belief that certain facts are probably true”. Notable in this definition is a lack of requirement for public position or public authority of the individual making the recognition, allowing for use of the term by citizens and/or the general public. Source, Wikipedia…

 

“Probable cause” is a stronger standard of evidence than a reasonable suspicion, but weaker than what is required to secure a criminal conviction. Even hearsay can supply probable cause if it is from a reliable source or supported by other evidence, according to the Aguilar–Spinelli test. Source, Wikipedia…

 

In view of the two above definitions, can any of them be reasonably applied to a President of the United States, or to any citizen for that matter. ‘I think John Doe is a crook’, the very statement is not enough for a conviction but is it enough for a dismissal? It may be if the scale of honesty has been set high enough, a requirement that does not allow any doubt no matter how slight. Confidence once won, then suddenly lost, can it be recaptured? Can once performed good deeds in the memory banks of knowledge, be cashed in to save one’s reputation from new transgressions? Probable cause is the standard that a grand jury uses to decide if a crime has been committed and we the people decided if further investigation is in order it may be followed by a trial. In short, under the umbrella of probable cause no one is safe form indictment, when the blind scale of justice is shifted to proving one is not guilty instead of proving one is innocent, may sound like the same thing but deep down inside they are not…As you can tell by now, I’m am not legalistically endowed…but merely opening the doors for some meaningful debate…so let us begin…you go first…

Happiest is a Nice Cup of Tea

In Norway, oil prices have fallen, a threat to one of its main industries. Across much of the country, average daytime temperatures still hover around the freezing point.

And yet, Norway is the happiest country on Earth, according to the 2017 World Happiness Report, an annual ranking of 155 countries published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a United Nations initiative. The Scandinavian country unseated Denmark for the top spot on this year’s list, published Monday in conjunction with the U.N.’s International Day of Happiness. Source, Amy B. Wang, The Washington Post…

 

Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden, all are in the top ten. Germany was sixteen, the United Kingdom, nineteen, France, thirty-one, and poor old United States, fourteen. So, it now seems to me, that the ‘make America great, again’ crowd have a lot of work to do, at least as far as any international ranking in happiness is concerned, banning travel into the U.S. is not an agreeable and effective way to win friends and guarantee acceptance into such an august group. Few of the ranking countries as far as I can tell have its people declaring bankruptcy because of high medical costs, or becoming homeless because of bank foreclosures on their home, though I’m sure it must happen, just not with the frequency as in the U.S. And yet above all, the U.S. has and is what beckons the poor and downtrodden, a place that when you arrive, they must take you in, you see, it’s the American thing to do, the American way that has been the empire of nations almost since its founding, even doing its tragic days of slavery and still they came. Its unthinkable that a refugee would bypass the U.S. for Canada, well yes, the number of asylum-seekers are spiking in Canada, which must make the ‘make America, great’ crowd content, with their isolationist ‘America first’ policies, all seem to be rapidly coming about since the 2016 presidential elections, so may I be the last to personally thank you Mr. Trump for all you have brought, fourteenth is not so bad a ranking among happiest nations, better then what has been predicted for next year, dead last…

 

Truth in reporting; A Reuters/Ipsos poll found almost half of Canadians want people who entered the country illegally to be deported…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(name change) Social Insurance

An average American walk into an Insurance Super Market, finds the Health Insurance aisle, see on the bottom shelfs budget products, on the top shelfs the so-called Cadillac products, opens a wallet to determine how much health insurance is affordable. What’s wrong with this picture? Health insurance a life and death product; should its availability be based on the volume of one’s assets? Insurance is a business model, so what is a business model? Wikipedia provides a brief description below…

 

Business models are used to describe and classify businesses, especially in an entrepreneurial setting, but they are also used by managers inside companies to explore possibilities for future development. Well-known business models can operate as “recipes” for creative managers. Business models are also referred to in some instances within the context of accounting for purposes of public reporting.  

 

Few if any businesses are ever designed as a ‘life and death’ model, calculated to save lives but to make the most coinage. If a life can be saved while making money so much the better, but that was not the aim going in, saving lives was a side bar, became a selling point. Are we so naïve as to think that one goes into medicine to solely to save lives, that is a noble thought, to make a buck and saving lives too, so much the better; is becoming a doctor a business model? Going thru years of expensive medical schooling an investment with a big pay out at the end of studies, you betcha. In the Wikipedia description of a business model the word ‘entrepreneurial’ was used, Merriam-Webster tell us that the word involves, ‘assuming the risks of a business or enterprise’, so where is the life and death element, money cannot be made on death alone, unless one is selling death insurance, but that is for another post, this post is about making a buck on health insurance, and should it be done?   

 

Government is not a profit-making entity it was invented to provide services to its people by consent, insuring clean air, water and national defense, and by extension the health and wellbeing of the populace collecting taxes as payment, in this modern world government has been called upon to assume more and more responsibility that our forefathers never even considered, so its way past time for it to catch up with these changing times and do its duty by providing healthcare for all at minimum cost.

 

What I’m hinting at, everyone in America should be guaranteed a ‘living’ just not a financial killing on the backs of those in need of a necessary like healthcare…

American Hermitism

Hermit kingdom is a term applied to any country, organization or society which willfully walls itself off, either metaphorically or physically, from the rest of the world. The Joseon dynasty of Korea was frequently described as a hermit kingdom during the latter part of the dynasty. The term is still commonplace throughout Korea and it is often used by Koreans themselves to describe pre-modern Korea.

Today, the term is often applied to North Korea in news media, and in 2009 it was used by United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The first documented use of the term “hermit kingdom” as a reference to Korea is in the title of William Elliot Griffis’ 1882 book Corea: The Hermit Nation, well before the division of Korea. Edited source, Wikipedia…

 

After the war, the Korean War, north Korea became isolated from other nations which enabled it to develop into a kind of paranoid society, characterized by distrust, becoming constantly suspicions of other nations inventing sinister motives even after minimum interactions. Such feelings of insecurities have placed them on the road to an extreme military buildup of armaments at the expense of the common welfare of its people, did I hear someone shout, ‘budget cuts’. Can remind one of the segregated South in the U.S. and the ‘make America, great again’ movement currently underway today and the America First Party of the 1940’s, enabling walled up sentiment on its southern border; not on the North? In some European capitals, ‘the great again movement’ is taking root again, that pushed them and most of the civilized known world into two world wars in the past, that have so effectively been defanged by the European Union and its common currency in some cases and common markets in trade with deep interaction with each other across common borders without checkpoints, that so many now want to destroy and by so doing enabling distrust and paranoia to raise its ugly head once again as I dare to write it, WW-Three, the really big one…

 

An Endeavored Scheme

The budget outline released by the president’s Office of Management and Budget yesterday was indeed a hair-raising document reflecting the hard-core conservative ideology of the Trump administration despite its populist trappings. It deserved the opprobrium it drew from Republicans and Democrats alike.

But let’s be clear: Mick Mulvaney’s handiwork is largely an illusion. At the end of the day, Big Bird’s goose will not be cooked; Meals on Wheels will still roll; and the Pentagon may well have to get by with the mere half-trillion-dollars plus it was already slated to receive for the upcoming fiscal year. Source, Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, nymag.com…

 

If it’s one thing I’ve learned from watching government from afar is its love of statistical mechanics to prove or in support of a point of view or a pending action. It’s just not enough to state, I don’t care in what official setting that a program is presented in, that it is ineffective in its aim or its implementation without the statistics to back up the conclusion. Someone called this budget cut proposal a “Trump campaign press release masquerading as a government document.” One cannot defund a program that is working, performing as intended without first bad mouthing it and the best way to start the ball rolling is with statics, absent any, then please shut up and sit down.

 

Does anybody remember the last banking crisis, when mounds of documents were made available to the public before a U.S. financial consumer watchdog was created called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that begot the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, I still can to this day can find paper stuck to the soles of some of my business shoes, now that was a statistical paper nightmare keeping some Wall Street bankers up at night to this very day. So, the next time you hear of some agency appointee wanting to kill some well entrenched program as being ineffective, just say these magic words…’show me’, then watch him run and hide calling out for its mother…Ma, he put a spell on me…