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      In light of the collapse of the Ruble I think it’s worth revisiting what controls exchange rates. Supply and Demand. Yeah, if you know something about the subject you’re probably shaking your head. Supply and Demand doesn’t set prices in many cases in the way that an Economics 101 course tells you. Such texts will [...]
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Seizures and Frolics

Wayyyy too close for comfort

The title was inspired by one of Katiebird’s text messages.  One of my neighbors smelled burning rubber and called the fire department.  It could have been just a fascinating but horrific thing to watch, except that all of our houses are connected.  A fire broke out in a row of townhouses in the next development over and took out eight units.  So not cool.

Anyway, I went out to take pictures to document the event and didn’t smell anything but apples and cinnamon from her unit.  She has elementary school aged kids and I’m assuming they eat a lot of Mott’s.  No fire.  No smoke.  She must be having a seizure.  I hear you can get funny smells just before one.

Doesn’t John Roberts suffer from seizures?  I think I remember reading that somewhere.  He was on vacation and had one.  Odd, I thought, but probably happens to everyone at least once in a lifetime.  This was not the case with Roberts, if I remember correctly.  He has had more than one.  Anyway, probably no big deal.  I’ve never heard of seizures turning a conservative into a liberal.  But maybe it made him a bit more sympathetic to the people with pre-existing conditions who can’t get insurance.  If Roberts didn’t have a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, he might very well be uninsurable due to his infrequent seizure history.

But then I started thinking about the pre-existing condition crowd and the Walker strategy in Wisconsin.  My mind went on one of its unchaperoned frolics again.  Wasn’t it Pelosi who said that the ACA was very carefully constructed?  One of the questions put before the court was whether the ACA was severable.  Could you strike down the individual mandate without affecting the young adult on parent’s insurance, anti-rescission and pre-existing conditions sections?  I’m guessing that you really can’t because without the individual mandate, there is no mechanism for paying for the other provisions.  So, striking down the mandate while leaving the other provisions intact, or striking the ACA down altogether, would have been pretty bad optics during the election year, especially for the Republicans.  So, maybe the Democrats, with the helpful advice of the health insurance industry, have crafted a sort of divide and conquer strategy.  In this case, the pre-existing condition crowd is coercing us to get onboard.  We’ve been divided into two groups and the fate of one hinges on the other.

I can’t say I blame the pre-existing, anti-rescission crowd for desperately wanting the ACA to stand. The problem is that they seem to be incredibly happy to force the rest of us into extremely high premium plans without cost controls or competition.  And because they are content and because their individual stories stir our sympathies, any attempt to change the ACA in the future may be very hard to do without a congressional hearing featuring an epileptic giving a gut wrenching story about how lowering the costs for millions of Americans would negatively impact their healthcare needs. It doesn’t even have to be true.  The health insurance industry will use it as a fear tactic to keep rates high for all of us.  Make one false move and the grand mal cases get it first.  That’s how propaganda and manipulation has worked for politicians in the past.  They’re good at this stuff.  But in this case, I think the Democrats who constructed this policy were in on it too.  They will use the vulnerable to force the rest of us into high cost private insurance.  There will not be an affordable alternative with cost controls and competition until this crop of Democrats are gone.

I’m glad that people who weren’t previously covered now have what they need.  But I fear that they took whatever they could get and what happened to the rest of us really didn’t matter.  That strategy has been successful so expect the same thing to happen to Social Security as well.

The fallout of this law won’t hit us for awhile but it’s coming.  There’s only so much blood you can extract from Americans before there is nothing left to tap.  We are losing our standard of living, some of us sharply, in the past decade.  Everything costs too much, not because of inflation so much but because we just don’t have money anymore.  Housing isn’t really getting any cheaper, gas prices stay stuck on “high”, home heating and cooling- ridiculous.  Fees for everything are skyrocketing.  Everytime you turn around, some private entity or public utility has their hands out for more. Student loans are burdensome. And now, everyone will be forced to buy private health insurance like we are forced to buy auto insurance.  We’ll be made to feel irresponsible if we don’t forgo every other responsibility in our lives to make our payments on time.  How much can we afford to cut back on food, clothing, education, etc, before it just isn’t sustainable anymore?  Did the Democrats give any thought to this while the industry lobbyists and professional orgs were lining their pockets and whispering sweet nothings in their ears?

BTW, the silver lining in all of this is that the price of prescription drugs is probably going to fall quite a bit because new drugs aren’t getting approved, leaving us with more and more cheaper generics.  So, whatever you think of big pharma, they’re not going to make out all that well under the ACA unless they produce the generics themselves and keep the prices artificially higher than they might have otherwise been.

The whole scenario reminds me of an article I saw in Forbes or one of those financey type journals recently about how you know when a company is on its way out.  Unfortunately, I neglected to instapaper it.  But I do remember the general idea.  At some point, the irrational exuberance that went to the heads of the owners after they have a couple of lucky breaks starts to hit reality.  Scoring a big one and growing larger without thinking down the road about sustainability leads to desperate measures to shore up profits, eventually leading to the company eating its own and going under. By the time they realize their mistakes from two steps back, it’s generally too late to do anything to correct course. That’s what’s happening to Pfizer right now and the pharma industry in general.  But I could see it happening to the Democrats as well.  They thought they scored the big kahuna when they got Obama elected and they let it go to their head with the ACA.   But they haven’t put the work into fixing the underlying problems with healthcare in this country and there is only so much money that can be extracted from Americans before impoverishing us reaches its limits. There is a finite amount of money and we are hitting it. That puts us in an even tighter spot in the future when employers can no longer afford to offer benefits, more people get hired on as contractors, wages refuse to rise, more money gets siphoned off to big insurance companies, the rest of the economy struggles because no one can afford to buy anything but the bare necessities and the cycle continues to have an impact on business.

There’s going to be a reckoning for failing to tackle the big interests that stand in the way of lower cost health care for everyone.  You can’t delay the inevitable forever.  And some of us voters are getting sick of being invisible to the politicians who are not giving us their best efforts and taking the political risks that are necessary to make the system less exploitative. If you are a politician and you went into it to be a good public servant, part of that commitment means you may have to fall on your sword to do the right thing.  Do it or get out.

*********************************

Re: The Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs

Will the Republicans and Libertarians finally see the light in Colorado Springs? Will the prayer of thousands of religious conservatives prevent destruction followed by looting?  Probably not but maybe hiring more police and firemen might. Hey, where are all those brave vigilantes when you need them?

Back to you, Libertarians…

More on the unfolding disaster there:

The Gazette in Colorado Springs (H/T Atrios)

Charles Pierce on foolish consistencies

Background material from This American Life.  The residents should have seen this coming but cause and effect is not the religious conservative, libertarian’s strong suit.

Oh, well.  Maybe they can all retreat to their churches and ride it out.  But do these churches have an obligation to help everyone?  What about gay couples who are burned out and their families?  What about Muslims?  Do they have to put up with a sermon, bow their heads and pray before eating, agree to be saved?  Just curious.  Inquiring minds want to know.

Quoth one:

“In this community that has seen so much division through the years, there’s a strong sense of unity that ‘we’re all in this together,'” Ridings said in an e-mail newsletter to EPA members. “From what I’m hearing, Christians in town are doing a wonderful job of living out Matthew 5:16, letting their lights so shine that others would see their good works – gifts of money and food, homes and churches as shelters – and glorifying God.”

Oh, please, gag me with a spoon.  Is he saying that they wouldn’t be doing all of these things without God holding a stick over their heads?  What does glorifying god have to do with anything?  Presumably (wait for it), God will be credited for visiting his wrath on Colorado Springs for some offense after this is all over.  What kind of psychopath is this god anyway?

BTW, I just love the bumperstickers that say, “Focus on your own damn family”

When all of this is over and Coloradans petition FEMA for emergency relief, it would teach them a lesson if we gave them a really hard time about it and held up some bill they were hoping for in order to get it or made all of the parishioners at New Life Church pee in a cup. Or made them sit in their own filth for days waiting for the national guard in a convention center or prevented them from traveling to Denver to stay with relatives. But that would be wrong.  It would be wrong not because we are Christians but because we are AMERICANS and we are all in this together.

I doubt this lesson will sink into to the pious, self-righteous, hardass, stingy, snobs who live in Colorado Springs.  Fortunately for them, fellow Americans who are in distress are not subject to intelligence or character tests.

**********************************

My “frolic” for today is to finish up the zillion projects I have going at one time.  I will be busy.  I’ve promised myself a dip in the pool later if I’m good.  And then, I might take on this crazy idea: faking a Beni Ourain rug with a cheap wooly bully base layer from Lowes and some fabric dye.  I must be nuts but I really like the look and I can’t afford to buy one for $6000.  This solution is much more in my price range. This is what it will look like (Or something like it):

**************************

One more thing: I rarely feature ads because they drive me crazy but this one has been popping up on my youtube subscriptions and I like it so much, I thought I’d share it.  If you’ve ever been a parent of a driven kid, not necessarily an athletic one but one who trains themselves to do something with such an intensity that they are completely oblivious to the mess they are making, you’ll love this ad.  Some of the kids in this commercial are amazing.  But the setting is so ordinary.  Just typical suburban living rooms, kitchens and hallways.  The message is that spilled milk (or tuna wiggle, fruit compote and duck fries) is ok when it comes to your kids chasing their dreams.  I agree.  Anyway, kudos to Bounty.  Great job.  Now, if only your papertowels were a little less expensive…

About these ads

29 Responses

  1. I want to add to these thoughts …. the concept of writing letters to “future me”. I have a bunch of stuff to do and because it’s already over 100 degrees (and it’s just a few minutes past noon) [Ha! it’s 101.8!] I’m tempted to just stretch out in front of the air vent with my dog. But, just as I was about to do it, I thought I should write a letter to “future me” to explain why I hadn’t done all that stuff.

    It’s amazing how powerful that idea is. I happen to know that “future me” expects that R’s birthday presents will be wrapped, the dishes & laundry will be clean, the clutter gone when the presents are unwrapped, that there’s a cake … on and on. Lie on top of a vent? Future Me spits on that idea!

  2. The God of Just Desserts is a Tough-Loving God. He is punishing the people who “don’t believe in global warming” for their role in causing it to happen.

    • To be fair, wildfires happen even without global warming. Besides, you’re never going to make progress tying their fate to an abstract concept like global warming (yes, I know global warming is real)
      It’s the fact that they are tightwads with their own public workers that is getting them into trouble and it is this much more concrete and observable consequence of their stupidity that might have a snowball’s chance in hell of penetrating their thick skulls.

      • That’s true. But wildfires are going to be happening a lot more with global warming under way. Warmer winters in the West have allowed certain kinds of bark beetles which normally die in winter’s deepest freezes . . . to survive the winter and explode their populations to tree-killing levels in the spring. The dead trees then just stand around till they burn. Hotter air can hold more water vapor than less hotter air, and it wants to, and it sucks it from the trees and the soil the trees are growing in.

        But yes, there are also some legacy reasons for these fires. I wonder how many of these fires are striking forests where a hundred years of forest fire prevention has allowed the “fuel pack” to build up to natural organic Atom bomb levels, for example. And if they don’t wish to spend enough money on enough fire fighters, they won’t have enough fire fighters to fight the bigger better new and improved fires of the Global Warming Age. So they are indeed taking the first few of what will be several decades worth of Darwin Exams as The Big Heat transforms these areas into semi-treeless neo-deserts.

        As to “god-talk” or not, if these people are Strong in their Faith, then the only way to reach them may be to speak to them in the Language of Faith, and tell them that these fires are indeed God’s vengeful wrath for the sin of burning fossil carbon. It might change their whole outlook on energy policy.

        • You forgot the back 2 nature tree huggers building homes on wooded land. If it weren’t for them screaming bloody murder the fires could be fought less agressively.

          • You are correct. I forgot about those good people. How could I forget about that with all I have read about the “woodsurban interface” or whatever they call that zone? That is a REAL problem in parts of California where people insist on living in a fire ecology and then demand protection from fires.

  3. As for the ACA, I’ve been thinking for quite a while it’s divide and conquer. We (the middle class without young kids or preexisting conditions and with some semblance of economic stability) MUST put aside our own needs (just like women must accede to Stupak et al.) because the ACA helps SOME needy people.

    Gag me with a spoon. This bill was designed to transfer wealth from the middle class (which is slowly bleeding all financial resources) to the insurance companies. That’s it. It is not going to help those with preexisting conditions unless they are fabulously wealthy; the premiums will be too high. As for 26-year-olds, fine and good. What happens when they age? And the Medicaid expansion is essentially DOA.

    What a joke. The 99% should all be standing together. Help for all of us and that means Medicare for All – or you’re out, you lying piece of shit politicians. The only way we can win this fight is by uniting – for all of us. Right now that would be by all of us refusing to purchase health insurance. Period. What are they going to do? Send us all to debtor’s prison? Let us die in the streets? Well, then, at least we know the truth – because that’s what they’re doing right now.

    On another note, I am ready (and eager) for the south to secede – and have been for some time now. Please. Let those losers go, for Pete’s sake. Make an arbitrary dividing line – who the hell cares where. Anybody who is anti-woman’s rights, anti-government, anti-social welfare programs, whatever, head on down and leave the rest of us alone. I am deadly serious. You cannot reason with them. Show them the door. They’re so stupid they’ll do it in a heartbeat.

    Disband all governmental bodies (including the Supreme Court) and start over. Then, we could start a rigorous immigration policy and keep those fanatics out when they start begging at our doors. Let them reap what they sow – on their own turf.

    • I’m almost in agreement on the secession thing. Those bastards have never stopped fighting the civil war. But I think most of this reactionary fervor is going to die out in a decade or two.
      Did you read that post about the governor of Maryland who said he knew of some southern governors who still wanted to secede? They’d better be careful what they ask for. First thing we do is close all our military bases down there and ship them north. Then we move all of our other assets out. Then we give citizens a chance to relocate before we close the border. Then we close it and impose sanctions on their asses for human rights violations and blockade their ports until they yield on a new trade deal.
      The good thing would be that once we cut those freeloaders loose, all of our tax dollars would be our own. The rest of the united states would crouch over the south like a giant spider on the map. I’m afraid we’d have to declare eminent domain over parts of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. Oh I suppose they could secede too but they’re sparsely populated states. Better to negotiate terms with the country that will have all the money and most of the resources.

      • Exactly – except that in a decade or two it will be too late, IMO. Call their effing bluff now – and, if it’s not a bluff, good riddance. We will do far better without them. (And, there could not have been a worse candidate than Obama, the peacemaker, at a time when we needed radical confrontation. Also I can’t read Pierce anymore – underneath that smooth lingo, he’s a diehard Obama apologist.)

        My idea on the insurance front has value too, believe me. First, we must strangle the insurance companies, cut off their air supply (remember, they are persons so they need air). Some of us may die, but too many of us are already dying under this system. Enough is enough already.

        In my own way, I’m doing both.

        First, I refuse to engage in arguments concerning the right-wing nutjobs. I don’t care to read about how dreadful they are. They bore me. They have no validity. I don’t want to hear anything about them. I’m done with them.

        Second, I refuse to buy health insurance. I have refused for 30 years, once I lost my union plan when I left the NYC public defender’s office. I pay as I go and do my best to stay healthy in an environment filled with toxins. I tried Medicare Part B and a supplemental plan, but those assholes drove me crazy too so I dropped out after three months. When I get real sick, I am choosing to die. True, this may be what they want, but they still did not get one red cent from me.

        I consider myself an indicator of the average person in this country. The rage I feel is the rage I see all around me.

  4. As tempting as it might be to bid farewell the the former confederate states, Lincoln and others knew that division would mean a constant state of war.
    It is tempting, though.

    • And forcing them to stay in the union would be a constant state of war.
      It will only be a state of war if we force them to stay. Seceding might actually work if we make sure to get all of our stuff out of there first.
      Then they can decide what they want to make their new country.
      However, they may find that returning to slavery will get the attention of more than the northern united states. Of course they won’t call it that. They can call it whatever they want but no one will be fooled. It will be the plantation states of America where workers will have to negotiate individually for their wages and a bunch of bible thumping baptist Taliban will keep everyone focussed on the hereafter and no one will be able ro challenge the kind of politicians they want. They’ll get everything they ever wanted including extremely low taxes.
      Oh sure, we’ll lose some valuable farmland but there’s still plenty left. Water rights might be a problem for California if Arizona goes but maybe they can divert the water flow at Lake Mead. Sorry about that Phoenix.
      Sure there may be a problem with natural gas resources. No time like the present to invest in green energy and without all those southern states in the way, we’ll have the freedom to work on that.
      I think it might work out after all.

      • Of course it will work. It’s the only thing that will work. Reason and logic mean nothing to these idiots. I would be delighted never to hear from them again. Let their God save them, because they have not the foggiest notion how to run a country.

      • A whole bunch of northern and western states like Pennsylvania, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Montana, etc. would still be in the way of green energy policies. The only states and regions which would even tolerate a green energy policy would be the states and regions without any fossil carbon extraction industry within their borders. Those states and regions might have to think about a velvet stealth secession
        from the rest of the country so as to pursue their own separate Sustainable Energy Economy path.

        And as tempting as it is to imagine that Christian Satanist Primitivism
        is limited to the Southern States, as an inhabitant of Michigan I can assure you that it is not. Eric Prince the Christian Blackwater Fascist comes from West Michigan, for example. And “underground Fourth Reich” Republican Partyism is well entrenched throughout the ex-industrial MidWest.

        (I read an interesting comment some years ago on Hullabaloo from someone called “benmerc” I believe who noted that the native Southern Floridians were trending progressive and had elected a midly progressive Governer named Reuben Askew and so forth before huge sticky masses of MidWesterners retired to Florida and turned it into their own personal ash tray and made it safe for scum like Governor Bush and Governor Scott. And though he didn’t say so, I might add that the Miami Cuban Fascists helped in that process.)

        • Yeah I know they would still be around but they would be in the minority. I doubt PA really wants to join the south. Sure there are a bunch of pains in the asses in the central part but once they see what the alternative is, I believe they’ll come around.

          • Look we don’t need much – and BTW look at how logically we’re approaching this problem. Obviously, the eastern seaboard down thru Delaware and Maryland. All of that is lefty land. And D.C. (They would never want D.C.) Pennsylvania. Illinois. Michigan. Wisconsin. Minnesota. North Dakota. Montana. Idaho. And then the entire west coast, which is mostly lefty – CA, OR, and WA. And Hawaii. (We might have to take Alaska too, because of its location.) Let them take everything else. People can decide to relocate before the deal is finalized if they don’t like the particular country where their residence will be located. This is totally do-able, even for these brainless idiots.

            ROTFLMAO

            Can you imagine them trying to set up a government? A tax system? A school system? A transportation system? Jobs? Manufacturing? It’s hilarious. They’d multiply like rabbits, kill each other with their guns and stand your ground laws, kill off all dark-skinned folks, and then start killing each other because they wouldn’t even know how to provide sufficient resources. Also they’d pray a lot while killing everything in sight.

            Right now we’re in a terrible dysfunctional marriage. We need a divorce. All this fighting is very bad for the children. And Obama can go where he belongs – deep in the heart of Dixie, baby. Where men are men, and God and clergy and husbands rule over women.

          • To mjames, actually . . .

            We have the very same Stand Your Ground law in Michigan, I am sorry to report.

          • mjames said:

            (They [secessionists] would never want D.C.)

            Maybe not, but D.C. could no longer be the capital. It would be too close to the border. You’d want to move it somewhere deep in the interior of your new country. Chicago, perhaps. Or Cleveland.

            Y’all sound pretty serious about this secession thing. You do realize that, in any break-up of the Union, the nuclear warheads, and other military hardware, will need to be equitably divided between the two (or more) new countries formed from the defunct Union? We’ll unquestionably end up with a North American version of India and Pakistan.

            Lovely.

          • To Nakakima Kikka actually,

            Well . . . if the US broke up the way the Soviet Union did, the atom bombs could all be sent to whatever certain part wanted them. Ukraine sent all the atom bombs on its territory back to the Russian Federation.

            The United States of Great Lakestan could send any atom bombs on its territory back to the United States of Confederistan, for example.

  5. But they have all those air force bases and Marine camps, and God knows, what kinds of weapons and warheads and a population trained to be cannon fodder and proud of it,
    I can’t see division to be anything but catastrophic.

    • That’s one reason why Northern secessionists will insist that Kentucky not be part of their new country.

      Once all the bridges are blown up, the Ohio River will make a pretty good anti-tank ditch.

  6. Thinking about “nation” and “secession” and so forth . . . my parents were from the North but I lived in East Tennessee till age 15. Then we moved North. I don’t remember any-much underground seccessionist sentiment in my little part of Tennessee at that time. Would there be any now? Or in Kentucky or North Carolina or Virginia or Missouri or
    etc.?

    I imagine that the few present day governors “privately favoring secession 2.0″ would have to be from places like Texas and/or Mississippi and/or Louisiana, etc. If so, perhaps the issue should be forced at some point and the two or three stateloads of people who elect governors who privately “want to seccede” should be set free to do so under the terms that Riverdaughter described . . . minus the “blockade 2.0″? Better to simply separate any such neo-mini-Confederacy from the rest of us with a radioactive wall of iron bricks, ban all commercial contact, ban all movement of persons between the two countries, etc. after people have moved to the country which best suits their taste.

    But maybe the problem is that America is too big and ungovernable, and is approaching an “end of the Soviet Union” style collapse and general breakup. Several or many countries could emerge from the turmoil. Perhaps we should be thinking about how to manage and guide ” two, three, many Velvet Divorces”.

  7. It’s oy the fault of people with pre-existing conditions anymore than it’s the fault of the greedy geezers that they want to fuck with your Social Security. Medicare for all would have worked for everyone. It wasn’t the people with preexisting conditions that made the back room deals with the hospitals back in 2008. It’s not them who benefit from this (everyone’s insurance gets pricier and covers less). Do not buy theis divide and conquer attempts. Judge Roberts is not serving the “preexisting condition cabal” but the insurance industry – just like we knew since he was put in. Don’t take this shameless fleecing of the population by the insurers/hospitals as an affront of the sick people to the healthy. So far you managed to blame the old and the sick. Who are the next villains?

    • P.S I am not sick and I have Medicare. Which is going to get crappier because of ACA

    • I think you are missing my point. I am not blaming them. I am saying that this is the way the political movers and shakers are setting us up. They will force us to make uncomfortable choices. It’s like giving your kids a choice between two things, neither one of them meet with their approval and then telling them those are the only choices they have.
      What’s going to happen is that we are all going to lose anyway. In the case of social security, the elderly will pull up the ladder leaving the rest of us behind. In the case of the sick, they will take what they can get. But in each case, we ask NOTHING from the wealthy or the big insurance companies. All of the burden falls on the people who are least able to continue shouldering the burden. You can’t keep asking the middle class and working class to keep making sacrifices because eventually there won’t be anything left to give. And when that happens, one of two things will have to happen: 1.) the Republicans will have won because their base of angry taxpayers will grow, or 2.) everyone will have to get over their fear of protesting and take to the streets including and ESPECIALLY the old and the sick. The solidarity we need has got to come from the people who benefit the most. Right now, THEY are the ones being coopted by the big money players to eventually break the system. And if they don’t realize the danger they’re in, it will become clear in a couple of years when the mob starts getting restless.
      BTW, what exactly would you have us do?? I’m not eligible for medicare, I don’t qualify for medicaid as long as I have any assets and I don’t have a paycheck. I’m stuck. All I have access to is this outrageously priced insurance policy and god help me if I miss my payment by even one day. They don’t give a fuck. I might forgo the insurance and pay out of pocket but the kid would be completely uninsured so pay I must. But I can’t keep doing this for much longer before I am broke. That’s not going to change when I do get a job unless I also get insurance and I’m getting to the age where getting a job is more and more difficult. This bill does absolutely nothing for me. Less than nothing because when it finally kicks in, I won’t have the option of going without it. I’ll be forced to hand over every spare penny of disposable income to an insurance company. Are you trying to tell me that there was no other way for the Democrats to structure this other than to impoverish people like me? Other countries manage to control costs and increase competition but the greatest nation in the world couldn’t figure this out?
      Your attitude seems to suggest that the Republicans have already won. If we don’t kiss the whip and get into line, we’re somehow irresponsible and mean.
      Think this one out because you’re falling into the trap they set for us.

      • Of course there is a way to set this up without impoverishing people like you: Medicare for all. Keep prices regulated and do away with the concept of “for profit healthcare”. By the rules of free market. Those who want more expensive stuff than the single payer, let them get extra insurance. But private insurers should not get indentured clientele. I am reminding you it’s not the old and the sick you are sacrificing for, but the 1% who have a banner year.

        • I don’t think we are disagreeing.
          I’d take medicare for all. i’d also take tricare. But the bottom line is the bottom line and treatment in this country is too expensive. That has not been addressed- ever.

  8. Riverdaughter,

    Since B O Romneycare is now the law (unless it gets repealed . . . which I won’t lift a finger to stop if the Rs can achieve it) , perhaps one
    can make a scientific project of figuring out how to work it like a racket.
    Supposedly there is an income threshhold below which one qualifies for FedSubsidies paid “on your behalf” to the private insurance racketeer of your choice on those market exchanges. Would one be able to keep one’s income just enough under that subsidy threshhold so as to qualify to get the subsidy? Of course if one has a house which needs paying off, a sub-threshhold income won’t be enough to do that. So perhaps one could make as much money as possible (if one has a job) and live as poor as possible to prepay the mortgage to zero and pay down any other debts one has to zero. Meanwhile one pays the penaltax and goes without insurance. When debts are zero
    and house is paid off, then one lowers one’s income to below the subsidy-qualification threshhold, and one goes on subsidised insurance.

    I don’t know who or how could do all those things in detail, but is that the kind of thinking which might allow people to work the B O Romneycare rackets from below in defense against the B O Romneycare racketeers who engineered these rackets to work them from above?

    ( If I had a child or children who objected to the austerity lifestyle that strategy would require, I would invite them to run away from home
    and see if they could live richer on the street. Hey . . I never said I was a nice guy).

  9. RD said,

    The fallout of this law won’t hit us for awhile but it’s coming. There’s only so much blood you can extract from Americans before there is nothing left to tap. We are losing our standard of living, some of us sharply, in the past decade. Everything costs too much, not because of inflation so much but because we just don’t have money anymore. Housing isn’t really getting any cheaper, gas prices stay stuck on “high”, home heating and cooling- ridiculous. Fees for everything are skyrocketing. Everytime you turn around, some private entity or public utility has their hands out for more. Student loans are burdensome. And now, everyone will be forced to buy private health insurance like we are forced to buy auto insurance.

    Indeed. Barring some kind of “deus ex machina”, the days of cheap, abundant anything is over. The price trends are all going to be upward from here on out. The man who has done an outstanding job of connecting the dots, and formed a coherent narrative of why this is happening, and what the future holds in store for all of us, is John Michael Greer, the “Archdruid” (http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/). Much of what he has written in his blog over the past several years he has edited and put into the form of two books, “The Long Descent” and “The Ecotechnic Future”. But it’s still worthwhile to peruse the most recent two years of his blog. His proposed “Green Wizard” strategy for dealing with what is coming (much of which is now unavoidable) in the near future is excellent practical advice.

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