Daily Digest

Daily Digest 5/10 - Bailing Out The Bailout, 1 in 3 Africans 'Middle Class', China's Growing Interest In Siberia

Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 9:45 AM
  • Greece And The Euro: Bailing Out The Bailout
  • Head Of Eurogroup Admits To Lying About "Secret Greek Meeting" Out Of Fears For Market Collapse - "When It Becomes Serious, You Have To Lie" 
  • Strong Growth Makes 1 in 3 Africans 'Middle Class'
  • Those Whom the Gods Wish to Destroy They First Make Fed Governors
  • China's Growing Interest In Siberia
  • Detroit Cops Look for "Mad Hatters" 
  • What Recession?
  • Sedgwick, Maine Declares Sovereignty Over Feds
  • Democrats See Strategy to End Big Oil Tax Breaks

Our 'What Should I Do?' guide has steps to cook, see & stay warm in times of power outage

Economy

Greece And The Euro: Bailing Out The Bailout (jdargis)

After a year of muddling along, the EU seems more muddled than ever. The disarray was painfully apparent over the weekend. News of a secret meeting of selected European finance ministers in Luxembourg on May 6th was promptly leaked. Der Spiegel reported that Greece was considering leaving the euro zone; the briefing note for the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, made clear this would be economic suicide. It would greatly expand (perhaps double) Greece’s debt burden, provoke capital flight, cause turmoil across Europe’s banks and endanger the country’s membership of the EU. Greece described the report as "borderline criminal".

Head Of Eurogroup Admits To Lying About "Secret Greek Meeting" Out Of Fears For Market Collapse - "When It Becomes Serious, You Have To Lie" (pinecarr)

In a phone call and text messages with two reporters for Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Schuller repeatedly said no meeting would be held. He apparently said they same to other news outlets; at least one more moved his denials on financial newswires. Of course, there was a meeting–although not, apparently, to talk about Greece quitting the currency, which would be an extreme step to say the least. Mr. Juncker even said a few words to reporters who had hustled to Luxembourg to stake out the gathering. So why the lie? “I was told to say there was no meeting,” said Mr. Schuller, reached by telephone Monday. “We had certain necessities to consider.”

Necessities? Why yes: such as perpetuating the now open lie that is the ponzi market: "Evening in Europe is midday in the United States. “We had Wall Street open at that point in time,” Mr. Schuller said. The euro was falling on the Spiegel report, which had overhyped the meeting. “There was a very good reason to deny that the meeting was taking place.” It was, he said, “self-preservation.”"

Strong Growth Makes 1 in 3 Africans 'Middle Class' (jdargis)

The figures are further evidence of the growing consumer clout of the poorest continent, although the AfDB did qualify its findings by saying that 60 percent of the middle class "were barely out of the poor category".

"Sales of refrigerators, television sets, mobile phones, motors and automobiles have surged in virtually every country in recent years," the report said.

Those Whom the Gods Wish to Destroy They First Make Fed Governors (pinecarr)

In the tragi-comic farce that is the U.S. economy, the Federal Reserve plays the part of the hubris-soaked Hero whose overconfident meddling triggers ruin.

China's Growing Interest In Siberia (jdargis)

Could an alliance develop in this region between two powerful countries that would finally put an end to American dominance of the world? One of the two has the raw materials that the other one needs so urgently. Or will the land of Vladimir Putin become a bulwark against an increasingly self-confident China, and thus become the natural partner of the West? Or will neither of these scenarios come to pass, when overpopulated China simply swallows up depopulated Siberia?

Detroit Cops Look for "Mad Hatters" (June C.)

The "Mad Hatters" are a team of older women with interesting hats are being blamed for Detroit area crime spree.

What Recession? (Ilene)

Bill McBride of Calculated Risk, reminds us that Wall Street's "dirty little secret" is that Wall Street and corporate America like the unemployment rate to be a little high. Higher unemployment keeps wage growth down, and helps with margins and earnings - and higher unemployment also keeps the Fed funds flowing freely. Corporations like to see SOME job growth, so people have enough confidence to spend (and they can have a few more customers) but they don't care if that job growth is in the US or China. "A SLOWLY declining unemployment rate (even at 9%) with some job growth is considered OK," says McBride.

Sedgwick, Maine Declares Sovereignty Over Feds (June C.)

Blacklisted News goes on to say; “ This is a reassertion of long-lost local sovereignty that invites in a hurricane of change, shifting away from the corporate-financier oligarchy that has dominated us for decades, back to localism and reclaiming mastery over our own destiny. Stripping away the federal government’s monopoly over regulations and the licensing of our food supply gives way to freeing up other aspects of business, industry, and commerce locally.

Energy

Democrats See Strategy to End Big Oil Tax Breaks (jdargis)

With high gas prices and rising federal deficits in the political spotlight, senior Democrats believe that tying the two together will put pressure on Senate Republicans to support the measure or face a difficult time explaining their opposition to voters whose family budgets are being strained by fuel prices.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es." 

25 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Posts: 4064
Prices of imports are up 11.1% compared to April 2010

"The April advance follows the 2.7% jump in March and was stronger than the 1.6% gain that economists polled by MarketWatch had anticipated. Prices of imports are up 11.1% compared to April 2010. "

  • Headlines:

Gold May Rise to $2000 as Alternative to Currency, Sprott Says

Deutsche Bank Sees Gold Surging as High as $2,000 as Soros Pares His Bets

ECB Rejects Restructuring as Greece Struggles to Repay Debts

Greek Restructuring Is Only Last Resort, German Bank Lobby Says

Italy Won't Regain Pre-Crisis Level Before 2013, OECD Says

PORTUGAL - Austerity cuts hit PS

Portuguese Banks' Dependence on ECB Funds Rose 23% in April

09/05/2011Moody's warns Spanish regions over retail bonds

El Pais: Spanish bankruptcies climb to record high

Irish central bank mulls rescheduling

Moody's warns Irish credit rating could go to 'junk' status

Treasuries Hold Loss Before Auctions; Gross Adds to Bearish Bet

Factbox: Treasury's tools to delay hitting debt limit

China should consider ways to reduce FX reserves -banker

Half of Fannie Mae mortgages registered in MERS name

Foreclosures drag Ohio home values down $1.6 billion since 2009

Is Providence on the Verge of Bankruptcy?

NYC mayor's budget would cut 1 out of 12 teachers

CalPERS, San Mateo Co. to lose millions in bankruptcy

Quake-hit NZ faces 'largest-ever' deficit

Top 20 Highest-Paid California City Workers Earned $9.8 Million

Wheat Gains for Third Day as Adverse Weather Threatens Harvests Worldwide

Debt limit debate likely to stretch to July

Poet's picture
Poet
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Posts: 1891
U.S. Health Care Costs - Why It Costs So Much

Infographics time...

Why Your Stitches Cost $1,500: A Look at the Absurd Health Care Costs in America

Why Your Stitches Cost $1,500 – Part One
"The US ranked last in overall quality of health care among surveyed nations."
"While quality suffers, costs are still high: Americans spend more than 2X on health care"
http://www.medicalbillingandcoding.org/medical-costs-1/

Why Your Stitches Cost $1,500 – Part Two
"The US is government is less involved in price regulation, so Americans have less power over health care costs."
"Average medication in the US is 118% more expensive than the medication in other countries" [Maybe because their entire nations negotiate on costs, while the politicians who crafted Medicare Part D specifically forbid Medicare to negotiate discounts like the VA administration can. - Poet]
"Americans pay $500 per person on administration, which is double the next most expensive country." {Emphasis mine. Private companies get to buy lobbyists and give campaign contributions and cushy million-dollar jobs to the sponsors and writers of friendly legislation in Congress. - Poet]
http://www.medicalbillingandcoding.org/medicals-costs-2/

It's interesting that the source of this is a for-profit website: www.MedicalBillingandCoding.org, that itself makes money off the way the current health care industry works. In administrative costs.

Poet

rjs's picture
rjs
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Posts: 445
Absurd Health Care Costs in America
Poet wrote:

Infographics time...

Why Your Stitches Cost $1,500: A Look at the Absurd Health Care Costs in America

Why Your Stitches Cost $1,500 – Part One
"The US ranked last in overall quality of health care among surveyed nations."
"While quality suffers, costs are still high: Americans spend more than 2X on health care"
http://www.medicalbillingandcoding.org/medical-costs-1/

Why Your Stitches Cost $1,500 – Part Two
"The US is government is less involved in price regulation, so Americans have less power over health care costs."
"Average medication in the US is 118% more expensive than the medication in other countries" [Maybe because their entire nations negotiate on costs, while the politicians who crafted Medicare Part D specifically forbid Medicare to negotiate discounts like the VA administration can. - Poet]
"Americans pay $500 per person on administration, which is double the next most expensive country." {Emphasis mine. Private companies get to buy lobbyists and give campaign contributions and cushy million-dollar jobs to the sponsors and writers of friendly legislation in Congress. - Poet]
http://www.medicalbillingandcoding.org/medicals-costs-2/

It's interesting that the source of this is a for-profit website: www.MedicalBillingandCoding.org, that itself makes money off the way the current health care industry works. In administrative costs.

Poet

compared to the OECD, we spend 141% more per capita than the average country, yet have lower than average life expectancy & higher than average infant mortality...our health care is uber-expensive because of a combination of factors; a for-profit insurance industry, a for-profit health care system, extra procedures done to protect against liability, and doctors who clear more than twice the average elsewhere, etc...for a detailed breakdown of our healthcare costs compared to the rest of the world, see the series of 12 posts by health care economist aaron carroll at the incidental economist, all linked here

rhare's picture
rhare
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Posts: 1323
Good joke - government not involved enough in healthcare
Poet wrote:

"Average medication in the US is 118% more expensive than the medication in other countries" [Maybe because their entire nations negotiate on costs, while the politicians who crafted Medicare Part D specifically forbid Medicare to negotiate discounts like the VA administration can. - Poet]

HAHAHAHAHAH...  Currently the government is paying somewhere between 45-65% of all health care costs in the US (the link provided is one I could find quickly).  They certainly could negotiate prices. 

If you want to know why prices are so high, how many people do you know ask how much something costs?

Since no one asks (no need to - it's only $20 copay), there is no market pressure, costs get spread over a large population and gradually rise.  Want to get prices under control, make people directly pay for them.  300 million price based shoppers will certainly impact price much more than some government bureaucrats trying to negotiate for us over a round of golf at an expensive resort paid for by a drug manufacturer.  Even if your going to have large government involvement, you'd be much better off giving folks the money and saying any you save is yours!

How can you possibly think more government involvement is a good thing?  You even give an example of how government makes poor choices and favors the large connected players in your example of "Medicare part D" negotiation restrictions. 

rjs's picture
rjs
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Posts: 445
gregor: Paper vs Real Growth

gregor:

Paper vs Real: Exit From Normal, Ecological Economics, and Probabilistic Regimes in One Chart

."The end of cheap energy after 2002 marks the end of economic growth in real terms."

discussion of renewables in the comments...

rjs's picture
rjs
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Posts: 445
healthcare savings

hey, thats a good idea...when someone needs a stent, let them shop for the best price...

rhare's picture
rhare
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We'll all be dying in the streets soon - more statist rhetoric
rjs wrote:

hey, thats a good idea...when someone needs a stent, let them shop for the best price...

So, I've been unable to find reliable data on how much of the costs are emergency care.  The only source I found which seemed questionable is 2%, but assume it's maybe double that at 5%.  How about we tackle the 95% of health care that people can price shop.  In fact if government would get out of the way and not restrict choices people could shop for health insurance that covers that last 5%. 

Right now there are few market forces acting to keep healthcare costs down, and with out those forces we will continue to see health care sky rocket.  If we end up going the statist route, your costs are still going to go up, they will just be labeled as taxes instead of health care costs.

 

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
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Sedgwick, Maine declares local“food sovereignty” over state, fed

June C, thanks for posting this article!  It is one of the most hopeful, soul-inspiring things I have read in a long time!  How heartening to see a community have the (you-know-what) to stand up and say (you know what) to all the (you know what)!  I hope that other localities have the courage and fortitude to follow their example!

It's stuff like this that gives one hope that the underlying roots of our country may yet have some life in them...

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
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Posts: 2237
And now for a big dose of surreality...

And now, in sufficient contrast (or complement?) to my previous post to seem surreal, ZH posts: "Iran Speaks Up: "Paper Dollar Destroying World Economy""

This one is just too good to pass by: the latest critic of US monetary, and budget policy, is none other than... Iran. From PressTV: "Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad strongly criticizes US economic policies, saying that the paper currency created by the American government is taking a heavy toll on the global economy." In an address to the fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries in Istanbul, Turkey, on Monday, Ahmadinejad said that the cash injected into the global economy in the form valueless US dollars amount to over USD 32 trillion, IRNA reported. “This is while the US budget deficit for the 2011 fiscal year is expected to reach a figure above USD 1.6 trillion,” he added. Who would have thought The Onion reality of our centrally planned times would get to a point where Iran speaks more truth than our own politicians...

More from PressTV:

The Iranian president also pointed that the US foreign debt now approaching over USD 14.6 trillion, while the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the United States stands at around USD 14 trillion.

President Ahmadinejad stated that such figures clearly explain the plunder of national wealth in many countries, and the upsurge in poverty and underdevelopment across the globe.

He noted the certain countries rob less developed states to pay their international debts.

“Most of international economic organizations either defend the existing situation or serve the interests of certain states,” he said.

President Ahmadinejad further said the era of colonialism is coming to an end and the management of world issues should be reformed.

Lastly, if Iran gets its way, the US may soon follow Weimar not only in infinite printing, but in paying reparations:

He also proposed the formation of an independent commission to assess the extent of damage inflicted on oppressed nations during the era of colonialism, and to oblige former colonialist powers to pay indemnities.

There is little one can add to this gem. Pretty much says it all.

h/t Temp Flashback

 The link to the article is at: http://www.zerohedge.com/article/iran-speaks-paper-dollar-destroying-world-economy .  One can only wonder where things go from here...

VeganDB12's picture
VeganDB12
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Posts: 731
healthcare costs

One thing I interpret from the writings of Karl Denninger is that  pharmaceutical costs are shifted onto the US consumer, thereby allowing for cheaper prices elsewhere, sorta like global corporate welfare at the taxpayer expense here in the US.

Research and development costs are covered in the US and Canada gets cheaper meds. Harsh but I understand the logic.  Somebody is paying for the development of many thousands of medications from which only a few go to market. And the Stuckee appears to be the US taxpayer.  I am trying to find his article on this to get his phrasing verbatim...

 

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VeganDB12
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Denninger's thoughts on health care cost shifting

....."The worst part of the cost-shifting is in the medical device and pharmaceutical business.  Other nations slap cost controls on pharmaceuticals, saying to the companies that they will pay "$X" for some device or medication - and if the drug company does not agree to sell for "$X" then the nation threatens to either not buy at all or break their patents and reproduce the drug or device within their borders, giving the company nothing.

The problem of course is that most pharmaceuticals and many devices have a cost structure that is more than a bit skewed.  That is, the first pill may cost $1 billion - in development and testing expenses.  Many drugs are "dry holes"; the company spends but the drug proves ineffective or even dangerous, and thus the money is lost. 

Subsequent pills may cost $2 each to manufacture - once that first billion is spent.

Obviously, the drug companies must amortize that billion dollar development expense over the projected life and sales cycle for the drug.  If they fail to do so they go out of business.

Everyone in the world who has access to that drug gets the benefit of the development.  We in The United States get to pay the entire cost, because it is only here that we do not price-control drugs and threaten manufacturers with patent breaks if they don't price "as we like it."".......

 

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=2139160

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wags999
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Go back to a time before

Go back to a time before health insurance, and certainly before employer paid health insurance. When you had to write a check out for everything.  No way would you pay $10 for an aspirin, you had incentive to control your health care costs.  You also didn't run to the dr with every little ailment.  It was only after employers gave the "benifit" of health care ( because of government wage control) that people stopped "controling" their own health care cost. No longer were they writing a check for the costs involved...so they stopped caring what it cost.  Insurance companies also had less incentive to control costs as they got a percentage off the top and were able to pass on cost increases.   Lawyers also got their fingers in the pie, being able to sue, in many cases, using bad science to get huge settlements.  Once the consumer was not paying the bill directly, there was little incentive to contain costs.

Those with health savings accounts have incentive to pair health care costs, and, they do.  We need LESS government, less insurance and more self determination as to your health care and it's cost. 

straight's picture
straight
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Posts: 103
Healthcare isn't the problem, Corruption is.

We manage in Australia.  We have universal health care and cheap drugs for those that are on the wrong side of the two speed economy.  

You talk of your government as though it isnt an extension of your corporations.  The deal between your government and your healthcare industry was struck decades ago, and reinforced under Obama.  

It seems to me the problem isnt the cost of your healthcare, it is the corruption of your government.

It seems to me you have two choices.  Follow the lead of Libya and revolt against your corrupt government, or shut up and take our medicine.

 

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rhare
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Posts: 1323
Healthcare, corruption, and competition
straight wrote:

You talk of your government as though it isnt an extension of your corporations.  The deal between your government and your healthcare industry was struck decades ago, and reinforced under Obama.  

It seems to me the problem isnt the cost of your healthcare, it is the corruption of your government.

It seems to me you have two choices.  Follow the lead of Libya and revolt against your corrupt government, or shut up and take our medicine.

I agree, the problem is corruption.  The issue is how to solve it.  I believe putting the power back into the individuals control.  Allow them to price shop, determine the best course of action for them as an individual.  I don't believe any government will be free of corruption when there is huge money to be made by using government force to confiscate funds (tax) from some members of society to give to others.

The problem with universal healthcare is you lose your freedom to choose.  You also are trusting that the government is making all the right choices since they are in effect picking the winners and the loosers.  They keep prices in check by creating monopolies in return for guaranteed returns. 

While at the moment many of the universal healthcare plans appear to work, I suspect you are not getting anywhere near the best care that would be available if consumers were truely in charge.     Competition results in better products and prices in every industry, why would health care be any different?

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Mirv
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Sedgwick locovore (and more) is the solution to our problem

all thinking leads to the same conclusion regarding how our society will evolve to overcome the problem that is  the focus of this website: out of control dominance by the elite of  our money and law making. We should monitor Sedgwich  carefully  and learn.  The first step taught by these guys is locovore (production and use of food within the same local integral unit (no money transactions between individuals) local community).  The second step is energy (production and use of energy within the same local integral unit).  The  third step is clothing, shelter, education, welfare of the aged etc. within the indivisible unit.   If such progression occurs, the banksters wither away and the people thrive.
Anyone out there interested in discussing this with me?  I am building a farm (and a very large solar grid) on an isolated island that has weather suited for  oranges, fig trees etc in a first world country.  there is much room for more people there.....................................

 

 

 

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Mirv
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Most "new drugs" arent even new

there are extremely few new drugs the last 5-10 years.   most "new" drugs with 10$ or  more per  pill price tags are really insignificant changes to old drugs or more often repacked with new coatings (arguably "last longer" in the intestine and therefore "save lives" by not requiring to take as often).  These old drugs with new delivery coatings (or trivial changes to old) are pushed as "new" with legal warnings to doctors that they must use the high priced versions or else they will get sued.  Most of the money is not even spent on research but instead on contrived arguments of different (yet very small changes in) efficacy and advertisements, with law suits between companies while pushing these non-(seriously) improved versions. The industry is rotting out for lack of new drugs and is desperately siphoning money by playing such games.  there are MANY new patents  of  dubious value to justify "new" much higher cost drugs. 

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Marteen
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Heathcare US

I have to take an additional medical insurance when travelling to the US with a premium of 300usd for a 3 week period. Thank god we have socialized medicins in France Marteen

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gregroberts
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rhare's picture
rhare
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More examples of lack of personal responsibility
Marteen wrote:

I have to take an additional medical insurance when travelling to the US with a premium of 300usd for a 3 week period. Thank god we have socialized medicins in France Marteen

What? Your socialized medical plan doesn't take care of you when you travel.  Gee, I'm glad my personally choosen private medical plan covers me no matter where I go. Wink

Not sure how you see that as a problem with the US system versus your plan.  I have a suggestion - just stay home where the state will take care of your every need, right up until they have a major fiscal problem seeing as how France is not a model of sustainabiliy with it's deficit spending.  I wonder how much longer you can count on that socialized medicine.....

 

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Poet
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So Long As You Can Afford It...
rhare wrote:
Marteen wrote:

I have to take an additional medical insurance when travelling to the US with a premium of 300usd for a 3 week period. Thank god we have socialized medicins in France Marteen

What? Your socialized medical plan doesn't take care of you when you travel.  Gee, I'm glad my personally choosen private medical plan covers me no matter where I go. Wink

Not sure how you see that as a problem with the US system versus your plan.  I have a suggestion - just stay home where the state will take care of your every need, right up until they have a major fiscal problem seeing as how France is not a model of sustainabiliy with it's deficit spending.  I wonder how much longer you can count on that socialized medicine.....

Rhare

Sure, a national, single-payer system is doomed to eventual failure if it continues to run at deficit or continues to depend on growth assumptions that we know won't be there...

Of course, with private plans, there's also a "limit", but of a different kind. You can get private coverage as long as you can afford such a private plan. And of course, our crony corporatist system will last - but will just continue to exclude more and more people who (in increasing numbers) can afford them less and less until the industry-perceived optimum of maximal profit extraction at the minimal population coverage.

It's kinda like regulated utilities versus deregulated utiilities. Here in California, our Southern California Edison and Sempra Energy gas company are regulated. They go before a Public Utilities Commission and ask for and usually receive rate hikes of typically 2% to 3% per year. In certain other states, deregulated energy markets have led to major price increases.

Poet

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rhare
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More unsustainable regulation
Poet wrote:

Of course, with private plans, there's also a "limit", but of a different kind. You can get private coverage as long as you can afford such a private plan. And of course, our crony corporatist system will last - but will just continue to exclude more and more people who (in increasing numbers) can afford them less and less until the industry-perceived optimum of maximal profit extraction at the minimal population coverage.

It's kinda like regulated utilities versus deregulated utiilities. Here in California, our Southern California Edison and Sempra Energy gas company are regulated. They go before a Public Utilities Commission and ask for and usually receive rate hikes of typically 2% to 3% per year. In certain other states, deregulated energy markets have led to major price increases.

The problems with our current healthcare system in the US is that it is not free market.   Prices are rising because we have government subsidizing a non-sustainable situation just as it is in the socialized medicine countries.  It's an illusion.  The only way to get to a sustainable system is to have prices be set by market forces where supply will come into line with demand.  Right now we are distributing costs in a hidden manner across all citizens so no market forces work to keep prices lower - they gradually creep up.  Do you think doctors, pharmacuetical companies, health insurance companies will just stop selling product if they are not affordable, or rather do you believe prices will drop until either it's affordable or  products are eliminated because they are not affordable (ie. they were unsustainable all along).

The public regulation boards are destroying the infrastructure in the country.  Why do you think we have crumbling infrastructure in the energy delivery and generation systems?  It's because we have regulation boards restricting prices that can be charged so companies try to make things limp along because they can't perform upgrades.  It's a complete mess that will just like healthcare suddenly rear it's ugly head in the future.  These regulartory boards are just like other politicians, they get re-elected/appointed for keeping prices low while they are simply stealing from the future by delaying upgrades/replacement until things fall apart and prices jump dramatically.

A company is incentivized to keep product stable and affordable over the long run to keep customers happy, while regulation boards are incentivized to keep things affordable in the short term at the expense of the future.  Another problem is that the regulation often supports a monopoly by a single provider which limits consumer choice and competition.

 

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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Blockbuster drugs.

Giant Pharma wants blockbuster drugs.

Blockbuster drugs make Giant Pharma rich.

Blockbuster drugs do not cure the consumer. Blockbuster drugs give symptomatic relief.

Lemons are not a blockbuster drug. They cure scurvy. Where is the profit in that?

For a read that will make you mad please consider

 

 

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rhare
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Posts: 1323
Arthur Robey wrote: Giant
Arthur Robey wrote:

Giant Pharma wants blockbuster drugs.

Blockbuster drugs make Giant Pharma rich.

Blockbuster drugs do not cure the consumer. Blockbuster drugs give symptomatic relief.

Lemons are not a blockbuster drug. They cure scurvy. Where is the profit in that?

No doubt that is going on.  We have set up a system that incentivize that behavior.  After all if you are a drug company and you come up with a drug and want to charge a lot you have to have people pay for it.  However, with our system, you can push the drugs to current providers, they prescribe it with no concern to cost, patients ask for it because they don't see the cost, they just pay the $10 co-pay and they are done, and it's gets spread out across a lot of people over time - just like inflation. Drug companies get rich, shareholders are happy, and it's paid for by everyone.

Cry

I don't find fault with any of the players, we  set up the system that encourages the behavior we are seeing. We have choosen to abdicate our individual responsiblity and we are now paying for that decision.

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kjberg2000
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1 in 3 Africans 'Middle Class'

Depends how you define middle class. When the authors of the the study include people who make $2-4 dollars per DAY, the middle class appears to have increased dramatically. If not, middle class is essentially the same as it was in 1980.

The story appeared the day before in the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2011/may/05/one-three-africans-middle-class and included a link http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Publications/The%20Middle%20of%20the%20Pyramid_The%20Middle%20of%20the%20Pyramid.pdf to the study not inluded in the Reuter's story.

Judge for yourself.

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Posts: 1
Euro Bailout Strauss Kahn

The real story behind the Strauss Kahn arrest and the euro bailouts, mega finance and power politics http://www.larouchepac.com/node/18252

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