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I can’t stress how important facts are – facts derived from vigorous research, and the ability to replicate that research. People can believe what they want to “believe” but the natural world works on science and if we don’t understand it we can not adapt or make rational decisions. Too often our policy makers legislate ideology disregarding practical reality. Abortion is a prime example. Make abortions illegal all you want but people will still need them for a myriad of reasons. Abortions aren’t going away no matter how hard we wish them to so we need to legislate that if education is still not enough then safe medical care is not outlawed.

The environment is another area where science has to be the go to metric. Sea levels are rising and pollution is bad for our health. Once we get beyond the climate cover up by the polluting industries we can address and implement the changes necessary to preserve our billion dollar coastal economies. People come to the shore because the air is clean and you can swim in the water. If you change that our economy declines. Implementing a carbon tax will preserve jobs. Promoting roof top solar will create a multi generational boom in job creation. Moving away from a profit driven healthcare system will lower health care costs and increase productivity.

These are well established facts but money in politics has crippled our ability to govern practically for the macro-economy (another well established fact). We need true patriots willing to be brave and stand up and do the morally correct thing for the Country.

Paul Burke

 

Politicians collecting tax payer funded pay check, tax payer funded life insurance, tax payer funded health care, tax payer funded gym, tax payer funded cafeteria, tax payer funded office, tax payer funded parking and tax payer funded retirement pension plan for life and for their spouses – have been fucking the tax payer by purposefully crippling the economy to discredit the black guy the majority of the tax payers elected to be President. And they wonder why their approval rating is in the tank. Hey idiots pass a jobs bill for our infrastructure, smart grid and clean tech and maybe your approval rating and electability will improve.

In other words they bite the hand that feeds them and wonder why we think they suck.
Government is not “taking over” healthcare its a common misconception based on repetition.  Government makes the laws under which the private healthcare for profit industry operates.  We The People are the government. So We the People are telling corporations through the laws of the Affordable Healthcare Act that you can not drop our healthcare for per-existing conditions. This is a perfect example of why we have laws, rules and regulations to make a more just, safe and smooth operating society.Corporations operate on profit margin. They are doing their job when they are making the most amount of money possible….not by giving it away or helping sick people, but they are more than happy to take money from healthy people.Insurance; health, auto, home is a nice concept but for it to work everyone has to participate. Going to the emergency room without insurance means those who are uninsured pass exorbitant emergency room fees onto society (the tax payers).  We pick up the tab through higher and higher premiums that have been escalating by 15% year over year as insurance companies pass the cost of the uninsured who get gold plated treatment at emergency rooms onto their paying customers.

The emergency room is not the place to go for a common cold but people go there because they get free healthcare that really isn’t free to the rest of us. The bills get generated, the doctors submit them to the insurance company and those of us in the system see our rates go up.

With everybody getting insurance when someone who previously couldn’t afford healthcare gets sick they’ll go to the extremely less expensive primary care physician of their choice. And maybe even go in for regular check ups and take on preventative healthcare measures that also lower healthcare.

Do you wait for your car to break down by the side of the road or if it makes a funny noise to you run it into you local garage of choice or dealership to get it diagnosed and fixed for less money?

Everyone in some sort of private insurance will drive our collective national healthcare costs down which will increase our GDP and productivity because fewer of us are sick and out of the economy and more of us will have dollars to direct elsewhere that demand will equal more jobs, and a better standard of life for many.

If its a “Government Take Over of Healthcare” how come Aetna, BlueCross Blue Shield, Humana, Kaiser, WellPoint, Cigna, WellCare, Healthnet, Coventry, United Health, Highmark and BCBS are all still in business?  The insurance company’s are all still operating and still making money.

Governemnt didn’t take over healthcare they just made better laws for you and I so we don’t get ripped off by the big boys squeezing us for profits.  Some people under the Obamacare Affordable Healthcare Act (the new set of laws) even got refund checks.  Why?  Because of the 85/15 law a part of Obamacare states that insurance companies have to use 85% of their income actually covering people and only 15% of their take can be distributed to CEO salaries and administrative costs.

At the end of every year checks go out to you and I because Insurance companies can’t know exactly how many of their customers will get sick or hurt.  But at the end of the year the books have to be balanced and people have already gotten checks to offset their healthcare premiums if the Insurance companies pay out was less than 85% of what they took in….amazing huh?

Corporations are not any more evil than government.  Its the people in them who can be unscrupulous or driven by the bosses pressure to come up with gimmicks and schemes to ever increase profits. Insurance companies are not in the business to pay out to hospitals and patients and customers but to make money.  That’s why they are more than happy to insure healthy people and kick to the curb the sick….oopps didn’t read the fine print thanks for your premiums.

Government is our tool to keep them honest.  Being dumped from insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions is illegal now and thank god. Being driven into bankruptcy because your provider says read the fine print you have passed our cap and we’re not obligated to give you any more money but thanks for paying for our lousy insurance all those years…..that’s now illegal and sick people will get to keep their homes instead of booted onto the street.

Hello you have cancer sorry your insurance has run out and now your house has been foreclosed on have fun living in your car dying of cancer….and welcome to America.  Pretty grim right, but the Obamacare Affordable Care Act makes that practice and eventual bankruptcy illegal.

The problem is unless you have actually been sick and tried to get reimbursed from an insurance company you have no idea about the tricks, stall tactics and shenanigans they pull. Claim agents are given demerits if they actually pay a claim and bonuses for denying coverage – all true.

Government is not running the healthcare process but they are our tool for opening up the markets so we can review competing plans and making these decade long horrendous practices illegal.

Go to Healthcare.gov in a few weeks and see for yourself you might find cheaper insurance.

And remember Corporations are in the business to make money and there is nothing wrong with that as long as they are accountable for their actions and not too slippery.

Government is our tool to make our country better. Some corporate players do not want Government oversight and they contribute a lot of money and pocket politicians to push their agenda because they can and they are driven to make more and more money regardless of the costs they mitigate to society (like ruining a stream by blowing off a mountain top that fed you clean water but now gives you cancer because of the chemicals they use).

Government is the cop on the beat. If some corporate players can corrupt it, weaken it, or bribe it then it becomes easier for them to cheat, steal, get away with wrong doing and pass the cost of their byproducts and actions onto the public.

You and I can not sue GE for polluting the Hudson River we don’t have the financial muscle.  But the Federal Government can call GE to task and go toe to toe with them in Court for decades if they have to for dumping PCB’s in the Hudson, killing the fish, giving children cancer and ruining property value. Why would GE do that (?) simple they are profit driven and anything they can get away with to cut cost they are going to try.  In some cases its cheaper to litigate for decades than to clean up oil and toxic waste spills, dumps and tanks or to be held accountable for ruining businesses and sickening even killing people.

GE is only focused on their bottom line how can they make more money this year so they look for ways to cut corners dumping toxic waste into the river and not being held accountable for the cost of the clean up of their by product is something they will do if they can get away with it.  Big Government is the only tool we have to make them clean up their mess.

In a Country of 350 million people our government has to be big – you don’t want a pip squeak patrolling the streets….and remember vote in every election.

We are the people, we are the government, we have to direct it to spend our tax dollars wisely and maintain and improve the society that we have built for ourselves. We don’t want it to limit our choices, to tell us what to believe or interfere with our pursuit of happiness but we want it to check the sneaky and the greedy wherever they are who would think of nothing in walking off with our retirement funds.

Its complicated with lots of moving parts – easy sound bites don’t get at the truth.

Comparing government and a single family budget is a false comparison – heck of a sound bite but not really apples to apples – think of the government as a circulation system.  We are the least taxed western society but because we are such a huge country with 350 million people (thereabout) we have an enormous tax flow.  DC is the pump that recycles and directs that tax money to our stated priorities through our alleged representatives. Money is like blood circulating through the market system with every transaction large or small that’s why Wall Street spends so much time worrying over consumer spending (70% of our economy is based on it) and George W. Bush told us to go out and shop after 9/11.

But hide that money off shore out of the markets and you starve the circulation of our market system.  Yes taxes are “redistributed” by consensus to do the things that individuals can’t get done by themselves (interstate highway system, space station, aircraft carriers). Since congress makes the laws and controls the budget it settles on congress to direct the spending.

They could spend less on discretionary spending and plow our tax dollars back into research and development, education or build bridges to nowhere in order to win favor in their districts. In an economy of scale our trillion dollar budget sure sounds big to you and me in the middle class in our homes around our table but the revenue the federal government has to work with based on our lowest in the western world taxes is actually a little short on the revenue side due to the necessities and demands on our country as a whole and as big as it is…..wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes.

One bugaboo always picked on by those that want to privatize and charge fees for what are currently free public services (no overhead, commissions, or profit margins to employees, CEO’s and shareholders) is social security.  If the Congress raised the limit on the amount of income that is subject to the social security contribution (tax) from $100,000.00 to say a million social security would be solvent for multiple generations. Understand that income earned over $100,000.00 isn’t subject to social security tax so as a percentage you and I pay a vastly larger percentage of our income to social security than Bill Gates or the Koch Brothers…..(not fair)

In conclusion big government isn’t “bad” in a big country but rather necessary to coordinate all that goes on in such a large diverse population….also I would point out the government isn’t bad or evil – its just an institution – its the people that potentially populate that institution that are either good or bad.

Having had months to negotiate any kind of budget long before sequestration took place a few in congress are holding up the budget process.  They are causing the economic blood to stop flowing and threatening to kill the economy because their views are in the minority and they were unable to achieve them through the legislative process by having bills go back and forth between the Senate and the House.

You can’t hijack the economy and threaten to stroke it out but you can take your case to the American people and try to win elections.  A certain segment of society hates the president I wasn’t too fond of George Bush but advocating killing the economy to win environmental concessions is literally hostage taking. Or hijacking the economy to get background checks and close the gun show loophole is just as wrong.  The only way to accomplish that is to state your case and run candidates who will then vote for the change that coincides with the will of the people.  We the people that’s how its done.

Congress has taken the economy hostage and is threatening to kill the economy when they had all the time in the world to control their own spending which they are in charge of and campaign to the entire nation on repealing the affordable care act which they did but lost that appeal to the american people. And the american people want our lowest in the western nation taxes to go toward caring for the sick, and curtailing corporate greed.  Perhaps we are a christian nation or at least a caring one?

Our politicians should honor that sentiment and look for other ways to advocate for their pet peeves rather than threatening to sabotage the economy to achieve their minority aims – aims that were not persuasive in the last Presidential election to the majority.

 

 

The 1% have made it their daily mission to fleece the middle class of every cent they can. Middlemen and corporations everywhere are standing between you and your healthcare, your phone, your television, your car, your money, your internet, your power, banking fees, brokerage fees, ATM fees, phone fees, insurance companies, property tax, everybody is taking a piece of the action on the middle class. The middle class is the great fatted calf.

But that shift in concentration of wealth while all fun and games for those who can buy congress and design the tax laws to their favor are sinking the majority. Students are getting crushed by for profit schools, and the middlemen issuing loans.

Our tax dollars are being siphoned off and misdirected and hoarded. The powers that be squeeze the middle class harder and harder devising new schemes every day to fleece us don’t forget nursing homes and end of life care. But that leaves the middle class without enough capital to grow the markets.

Demand creates growth and jobs so the continual squeeze and downward trend of wages ends up hurting the national economy and making a whole lot of people desperate.

Those in power should be mighty careful about the unintended consequences of their internal game of whoever has the most toys wins. Number one its a stupid mindset without real fulfillment and number two the better at the game the 1% get the closer we all get in destroying the game altogether.

The Economic Recovery is Real – Bloomberg Financial Radio

The question the republi”cons” want to ask is are you better off – well under Clinton/Gore my 401k was growing, under Bush/Cheney my 401k was decimated beyond belief, under Obama/Biden my 401k is growing again.  I recaptured my losses and am now in the plus side.  So yes.  Historically the markets have always done better under democratic leadership.  The republi”cons” want to starve the government of cash and hoard that money off shore in their private accounts thus starving the Country of cash.  Their plan is for themselves – not for the Country and not for you and me!

Its simple really unemployment is down, GDP is up, home construction is up, building permits in the pipeline are up, durable good orders are up, retail sales are up, consumer confidence is up and “the recovery is real” – Bloomberg Financial Radio (very much a republican media outlet)

Take a good look at this picture this is an off shore bank. Money is a tool. If it is hoarded out of National Circulation it does no one any good. No billionaire is spending this pallet of dollars. Its collecting dust earning interest for him and growing marginally bigger but still parked, warehoused, stalled in one place and out of circulation. The money needs to be recirculated back into the system and not just as investment but as daily transaction.

The middle and lower class are more active players when it comes to spending in the daily economy because of necessity.

The 1% have more than they need and therefore literally hoard the cash – pallets of it – out of circulation. That stack of cash needs to be circulating in the economy not gathering dust. Laws need to be changed from encouraging this to happen to preventing this from happening so that stack of money can be but back to work.

Like blood in our bodies cash needs to circulate throughout the market. Hoarding it, warehousing it, parking it is like having tools rust in a storage shed. For the macro economy, for governing, for productivity, for advancement in technology, research, innovation, education and the positive advancement of mankind greed is just plain stupid.

The republicans block progress.  It’s because they represent the status quo and the status quo doesn’t want competition in the form of new ideas, new technologies or new businesses cutting into their piece of the pie.

If Clinton, Gore, and Obama were allowed to lead we wouldn’t have 10% unemployment and the grid and infrastructure improvements including roof top gardens, suburban solar panels, retrofitting downtown areas and windmills would be all booming markets.  We also might have a medicare for all buy in but the pharmaceutical industry and the insurance industry are protecting their turf tooth and nail.

Instead we are stuck with the old ways tariff protected pharmaceuticals keeping generics off the market and prices high.  Oil industry and unregulated Wall Street doing the same dance, going through the same old motions while Colorado burns, Granny’s pension has been wiped out and the displaced and structurally unemployed live on food stamps.  Its all to protect the status quo who are too lazy and too greedy to let anyone else make a buck or gear up for the new economy.

An energy company with vision would be pushing for solar and wind instead of more pipelines and leaky rigs.  But that’s their business model and its easier to play stall ball four corners, delay, delay, delay in anyway shape or form than redesign a business model that is already ridiculously hyper profitable.

Why do it all?  Well because the rest of the country is polluted, sick and out of work – who cares – the status quo has got theirs and their focus is based on the microeconomics of their particular business not the macroeconomics of a national economy.  That’s supposed to be the gov’ts job.

But the republicans and blue dogs block progress anyway they can when a Lewinsky or hanging chad drops into their laps they run with it.  When a democrat gets elected they know whats coming and they fight hard for the old guard who fund their campaigns.

Whats good for GE is not good for the rest of the country when they are promoting war, polluting the Hudson, and monopolizing market sectors to charge higher prices.  We need to explode that myth.

Paul Burke
Author-Journey Home

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