Why the Middle Class is Still Getting Crushed: Lets look back!

It is now crystal clear that the middle class are being destroyed. Politician’s explanations are based on pure biased rhetoric. The real reason is much simpler. It is the mechanics of how we are trying to fix the economy.

This is a reprint of an earlier Article, originally published September of 2013, on some of the reasons the middle class in America are declining. At the end of the article will be links to a couple other articles relating to this issue.

man_question_mark DemoCare demolishes America’s Middle Class

The Affordable Care Act is often called ObamaCare but I think from now on it should be called “DemoCare” because it’s going to demolish care in America and along with that demolish America’s Middle Class.

There are quite a lot of things about the way this law works that make it undesirable.  Mostly, the causes are not in the debate that we hear so much about nor are they in the parade of facts that we are about to be inundated with over the next 90 days from those selling the benefits or arguing against them.  Like most debates the truth in the rhetoric is somewhere between the extremes. There are many flaws, there are some benefits but there are massive amounts of unintended consequences. This is why, I do not call for its repeal.  I call for amendment and alteration. Continue reading

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To David Brooks: Its not just leaders its their point of origin

The Leadership Revival By David Brooks Article

The Leadership Revival
By David Brooks Article (click to read the original article)

I like David Brooks! He is one of the pre-eminent writers in this era and along with Charles Krauthammer one I try to read on a regular basis. Always thoughtful and cogent, his observations typically are well worth reading, educational and stimulating. Continue reading

Dan Brown’s Inferno: A Coming Global Crisis?

Light summer reading

    Population Graph from "Inferno" by Dan Brown

Population Graph from “Inferno” by Dan Brown

In his latest book, Inferno, author Dan Brown explores a world where past symbols and artifacts from Dante Alighieri’s Italy, and his famous work The Divine Comedy, become the vehicle to unravel a diabolical and deadly plot of a modern day bio-terrorist. I originally grabbed this book because we were coming to the close of summer and I just finished working on a series of articles about the current issues of our healthcare system that will be appearing later this fall. Frankly, I was looking for a diversion from the complicated world of healthcare reform and Obamacare. I wanted a respite, a brief mindless romp in Dan Brown’s always entertaining world. Having read much of his prior work, I was confident that Mr. Brown would not let me down.

I found this work characteristically suspenseful, interesting, thought provoking and fun to read till I got to the following section which, in the story, lays the groundwork for the epic conflict between the antagonist, Bertrand Zobrist , a world renowned biochemist and leading geneticist and the protagonist, Elizabeth Sinskey, M.D. Continue reading

President Trumpets Obamacare Rebates as Deadline Approaches: Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts!

President Trumpets Obamacare Rebates as Deadline Approaches - Time Swampland

President Trumpets Obamacare Rebates as Deadline Approaches – Time Swampland

Nought from the Greeks towards me hath sped well. So now I find that ancient proverb true, Foes’ gifts are no gifts: profit bring they none.” So observed the great philosopher and teacher Sophocles about 430 BCE.  Today we loosely translate this as, “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts!

No quote could be more apropos in regard to the supposed $500 million in insurance rebates being sent to 8 million Americans under #Obamacare. Like most ponzi schemes, at first blush this appears to be a great deal for America and Americans. Continue reading

States make ‘disturbing cuts’ to unemployment benefits: Ya’ll want it fixed? Just ask a redneck!

Unemployment BenefitsAn interesting article caught my attention this morning titled, States make ‘disturbing cuts’ to unemployment benefits, authored by Jake Grovum, Pew/Stateline Staff Writer. You can read the article by clicking the link of the photo above from the article.

The irony of this article, is that the continued stretching of unemployment benefits have, in the words on some economists, perpetuated unemployment. How can this be? people ask!

On the one hand, some people (how many I do not know — likely not the majority) just do not really seek work once they get on unemployment Continue reading

Women & Addiction: History replayed!

Drug Addiction in Women Article

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/02/drug-overdose-deaths-women/2483169/

Ever since Samuel Hopkins Adams first exposed the evils of the patent medicine industry, in 1905 in a series of articles published in Colliers Weekly, it has been ‘patently’ clear that women have often historically been the prime target for the sale of prescriptive and Continue reading

Behold the Arrogance of Man!

Arrogance-diminishes-wisdom-

Perhaps Mr. Snowden is in the process of learning what both President Obama, and Joe Biden learned as they moved from the position of candidate to the top two executives in our government.

When you think you know something based on only a few of the facts and realities of the situations, you are free to speak and act more freely & criticize others in leadership with impunity, because you simply do not know the detailed reality of the situation.  If something goes wrong, there are myriad things that you can use as an excuse because you “didn’t know” this or that. Unfortunately, in recent weeks we have seen this lack of understanding or knowledge excuse played out way too much. Continue reading

Susan Rice: Dupe, fool or Conspirator?

Susan Rice Article

Susan Rice Article

As this story rapidly begins to unwind, I have to wonder about poor Susan Rice. For the first time in her life she gets the opportunity to address a national forum and elevate her creds and national visibility in order to move to her next career milestone.

I wonder if she ever asked herself, “Why is Hilary not doing this?” Was she so caught up in the moment that her ego prevented any cogitation? Did she really believe that her ‘friends’ in the #ObamaNation were recognizing her abilities and finally giving her, her just Continue reading

Could the Public Confiscation of Private Funds in Cyprus happen in the U.S.: Ask Ellen Brown!

Great Article in TruthDig by Ellen Brown

Great Article in TruthDig by Ellen Brown

When my good friend Ellen Brown speaks I listen!  You should also.  I do not often reference others works as it is so easy to rely on the efforts of others to build a blog.  I believe that one should do their own thinking and work.  But sometimes, there are articles, like this one by Ellen, that say it all so well and elegantly, that Continue reading

Lunacy in America: Progressive Thinking, Progressive Tax Plans and Flu Season Deaths

man_question_mark

The Frontiers Of Medical Privacy – Forbes www.forbes.com

Every time I think the lunacy that is becoming pervasive in America has gone as far as it can, I am again astounded by another extension of instability of thought.

This article attempts to conflate the effort of researchers to use cellular material harvested from an African America woman during a cancer treatment procedure, with involuntary sterilizations that Continue reading

Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean?

Introductory Note:

First let me apologize for the personal tone of this article. I typically try to focus on issues and solutions and not on my own personal reflections. This past week, among other things, I have been working with a group of parents from the school where our 8th grade children are about to graduate. We are working to create a video that captures the 8th grade class’ experience from kindergarten to graduation. In essence, to marvel at the growth and maturation of these modern examples of humans as they move from cute cuddly yet blissfully ignorant small animals, into wonderful, intelligent motivated, caring examples of the best of humanity. And, to wonder at this progression as it prepares them for the next steps of their own lives and time Continue reading

Charles Blahous Channels Wilbur Mills: Warns states to not expand MediCaid!

Charles Blahous, Medicaid Trustee warns state to NOT expand MedicAid

Charles Blahous, Medicaid Trustee warns state to NOT expand Medicaid (image by Charles Blahous)

In an excellent article, Charles Blahous, one of Medicare’s Trustees, warns states of the dangers of the expansion of Medicaid.  He makes many of the same arguments that I have been making for quite a while, his warning, as a Medicare Trustee, may finally cut through the background noise and get some people to actually pay attention.  You can read the full Report by Mr. Blahous here: http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/Blahous_MedicaidExpansion_v1.pdf

Mr. Blahous reminds me of Wilbur Mills who Continue reading

Random Thoughts: More or Less!

A few random, and not so random, thoughts that have been circling in my brain for the past week.  Here are a few issues worth thinking about a bit.

Microsoft’s little-screen, big-screen interactive future

Big and little screens interacting. That’s Microsoft’s vision of a collaborative future nirvana.

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A new world revealed!

20 years ago, when most of us were still dumb kids despite our relative ages, I was at a meeting with Bill Gates of Microsoft. He gave a presentation on the future of computing as he saw it. He predicted how we would interact with the things around us. He spoke of three devices; a personal interactive device, a portable interactive device and a social interactive device.  He explained how all three of these devices would deliver the same content in roughly the same manner from any point on the globe. He predicted that the underlying system would be ubiquitous and the information could come via wire, or through the air in a variety of forms.  The most Continue reading

Steve Brills Article, “Why Medical Bills are Killing Us:” is a lesson of right and wrong at the same time!

Steve Brill's Time Cover Story (Click to read)

Steve Brill’s Time Cover Story (Click to read)

Time Magazine contributor Steven Brill has created a bit of a sensation due to his recent, February 20, 2013, article and Time Magazine cover story entitled, Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us: http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/20/bitter-pill-why-medical-bills-are-killing-us/#ixzz2LkTuy5lv.  Mr. Brill caused controversy both due to the length of the article, 26,000 words, and his revelations about the high prices and seemingly arbitrary pricing methods in our so called healthcare system.  His article has prompted a number of other reporters to pick up the themes and provide both points Continue reading

The President’s Plan and the Story of Sam!

Uncle Sam's Pickle

Uncle Sam’s Pickle

The President’s Plan

In the State of the Union speech last evening, the president said many things.  He offered a real plethora, yes a plethora, of programs, benefits, stimulus, taxes, and other things that he believes will improve the lot of Americans–at least some Americans. Many were struck thoughout his speech by the breadth and depth of the things the president wants to spend money on.  He offered programs for immigrants, college students, environmentalists, women, minorities, the elderly, the sick, the middle class, teachers, the unions, the poor, the underserved, the military and just about every Continue reading

The problem with “The Chart”

This morning as I did my news walk, I came across this article talking about the most important chart in American politics.  And as you can imagine it caught my eye. I find charts and graphs to be either extremely informative or extremely deceptive. Seldom is there a middle-ground.  Often the deceptive charts are constructed specifically for that purpose. It is seldom a surprise to find such charts in an article about politics.

This chart was one of the exceptions that prove the rule.  But not in the way you might imagine.  “The Chart” is deceptive, but I do not believe it is purposeful in its deceit.  Why not, you may ask?  Because the story it is trying to communicate would be stronger if the authors actually new the truth behind the problem.  But, like so much today, the surface suffices to make an argument.  The other details make the argument more difficult to communicate as the story can get Continue reading

Coca Cola Superbowl Ad stirs cries of racism

Coke ad stirs controversy, but this article takes the argument from the sublime to the rediculous

Coke ad stirs controversy, but this article takes it from sublime to ridiculous (click to read article)

Having heard of the controversy over the Super Bowl ad by Coca Cola the past few days, this morning I was captured by the above article.  I expected it to be along a similar vein of remarks showing how Coke was insensitive to Arabs and painting them in a bad light.  When I first heard this argument on the TV news, I was looking for the Association of Los Vegas Showgirls to show up any minute and complain, followed by the African American Cowboy Association, National Hispanic Cowboys,  etc…

What stopped me in my tracks was not the casual assertion of racism due to insensitive stereotyping in the pursuit of parody that I was Continue reading

On Football, Smoking, Soda and Obamacare: There is a spending problem!

Yes Football is a violent sport!

Yes Football is a violent sport!

After reading a recent spate of articles on how the president should, could or would ban or regulate football, I started to wonder what my father or grandfather might say? Then I wondered, how we got to this place where things that others choose to do to themselves is now our responsibility to monitor, manage, restrict and pay for?

50 years ago if we  spoke to our parents about the federal government making laws regulating football, or restricting peoples access to cigarettes and punitively taxing soda, they would think we had lost our minds.  Cleary, Continue reading

A Republic: If we can Keep it!

Constitutional Republic

Constitutional Republic

Unfortunately for all of us, we are now faced with a huge crisis. The crisis is viewed differently on either side. Yet, it is a crisis all the same. On the one side, the crisis is seen as the final crusade to be able to assure that everyone in the U.S. is mandated as equal. Not equal in opportunity but equal in outcome. The key to this ideal, is the completion of a federalist agenda and the expansion of federal power to supplant most states control.  The opponents to this desire have painted the promoters as wanting to create a socialist or fascist state eliminate all personal holdings and remove profit from any equation creating methods to redistribute wealth to the poor and eliminate any that have been able to accumulate more than another. Much of the Continue reading

More Challenges to the ACA (Obamacare)

No Taxation Without Representation!

No Taxation Without Representation!

From Boston Massachusetts

By now, we all know that the Supreme Court upheld the insurance mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as Obamacare.  To recap, 26 states brought action to have the mandate, declared as an unconstitutional expansion of federal power under the commerce clause, the necessary and proper clause, and as a minor point its taxing authority.  The Supreme Court agreed with the states and found the mandate unconstitutional under the commerce clause, and the necessary and proper clause. However, in what many felt was a stunning decision by Justice Roberts­—and judicial over reach, the court upheld the mandate as a Continue reading

Eye of the Beholder: Me and my Arrow!

Eye of the Beholder

Eye of the Beholder

It was Lew Wallace (1827-1905) who said, “Beauty is altogether in the eye of the beholder.”

Since I began getting involved in Washington, DC with the debate over healthcare reform a number of years ago, I have wondered more and more about how we have arrived at such a place that every issue, every decision, every need is met with such partisan, fractional, divisive and inflammatory rhetoric. Today it seems that there are no discussions on any issue that doesn’t revert to, “they said this, and what they really mean, is that.”  Or, you can hear a statement from one side or the other to the effect that, “It’s clear that their agenda is to do X, Y or Z to harm us.” Any, and all, of these statements amount to “doodly squat” as Granny Hawkins would say! – a prize to anyone who knows this reference — without using the internet!

Spin is not a new concept

Nothing related to any issue facing our national interest today is devoid of some spin to gain advantage on some other tangential issue–related or not.  Not to pick on any one side, or the other, but how often do we now hear the phrase, unfortunately most recently attributed to Rahm Emmanuel, “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”  Or to be fair, the statement by Senator McConnell that the prime goal of republicans is to defeat the president. If you think Mr. Emmanuel or Mr. McConnell are the first to utter these kinds of ideas, that they meant them completely literally, or that it is not a practice by each side of the political aisle, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I am willing to sell you; if you can convince me you deserve it!

If you think hyper-partisanship and gridlock are new I again encourage readers to go to Google Books and look up some of the old papers from the late 1800s and early 1900s and read what was going on then. There are surprising similarities.

Agenda based legislation now the norm

During the drive for healthcare reform there were a series of changes to the goals of the legislation that occurred as the process spread to one committee after another.  Senator Kennedy began the current process of healthcare reform in the wake of the disastrous attempt during the Clinton administration.  The bill that he authored just prior to his death was the result of his long-term attempt to find some legislation that would be acceptable to people on both sides and improve the healthcare system.  The HELP bill, while clearly not likely to have conservatives jump up and proclaim it a triumph of modern legislation, was still a bill that he clearly had worked hard on to find areas of support from his political opponents and an honest attempt  to find methods to improve the healthcare system. Continue reading

Fiscal Cliff: Does Familiarity breed contempt?

mw_1011_FISCAL_CLIFF_620x350

Maybe its best if we just jump!

About four years ago, I was working as an executive in a company where it became clear just such cuts needed to be made.  I counseled one of the many division presidents who reported to me that the horrible outcomes they were predicting would not happen, and as distasteful and unpleasant as the process was, in the end, her division would be much improved, her employee’s futures more secure, and the morale in her division would also improve.  Needless to say, the president, and likely many of her colleagues—although no others would openly tell me their feelings— did not share this view!  She shared this view willingly, passionately, with me on numerous Continue reading

The Pit and the Pendulum: Party politics today!

Constitutional Republic, Can we keep it?

Constitutional Republic: Can we keep it?

As the energy, of hate and discontent, from the election subsides and the act of actual governance once again begins to be considered the job of politicians, we are now hearing calls from the left, the right and the middle about all the things that are wrong with our political system.

Should the two party system be changed? Should there be a constitutional congress to amend our fundamental political system in order to better reflect our modern societal needs and wants? Should we make more fundamental changes and move from the constitutional republic constructed by the founding fathers to a simple democracy? (elimination of the electoral college is one such idea) Continue reading

Thanksgiving: A reason for thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving!  And a big thank you to everyone who is kind enough to read what I write!

St. Mary’s County Stuffed Ham: Made last year by Aleck Loker then 13 – carrying on the tradition

Today, regardless of our political preferences, we should be thankful that we live in a country where we can argue, be smart, be ignorant, be rich, be poor, worship a god (or multiple gods with many names), or worship nothing at all, own property, or own nothing, and still have an equal chance to select our leadership and decide our Continue reading

A Post Election Poem: Explaining the unexplainable!

As I have been contemplating the aftermath of the election, I have been reading a lot from both sides trying to hear what they have to say about the election and what I find remarkable is the dialogue from within the parties as to;

  • why they won, why they lost,
  • why they have a mandate, why they don’t have a mandate,
  • how the American people clearly spoke for tax increases, how they people clearly spoke against the tax increases,
  • the majority voted for Obamacare, the majority voted against Obamacare

As I have listened to the various talking heads and pundits, increasingly I have become more convinced than ever that we simply can’t discern desired fiction from pragmatic reality. As a nation, we seem to see things in polar opposite. As I listened and read, a poem from my youth came to mind that I have reconstructed at the end of the article. Continue reading

Do We Really Value the Truth? Preparing for November 6th

How much do we truly value the truth?  Sure we talk about it, we complain about it when we don’t get it, we have even gone to war over the ideal of it, and destroyed relationships over the lack of it, but do we really value the truth? Or, like some much of our lives, is it just a false value, a mythical thing, a posit that while we are willing to use the lack of it to our own advantage, we never expect to actually apply it to ourselves.

How often have you been told, or professed to others, that you would not have gotten in trouble if you had just told the truth.  Children hear this invective from their parents all Continue reading

Press Bias? Some examples seem beyond belief!

This is a great example of an example of an Insidious, incipient, and irresponsible biased news article

Overall, the constant refrain of bias in the “Main Stream Media,” has become time-worn, tiresome, and unfortunately almost universally acknowledged,  when hearing this invective many persons next continuous thought may be, “Yea, so what else is new!”  Years ago you would hear the contra-posing argument that the charge of bias was not true.  Next, there was a period where the story line was that it was really the other side that was promoting its own bias—often listed as Fox News and Continue reading

QE3 will crush the middle class: What appears as good news may not be after all

Quantitative Easing Crushes the Middle Class

The recent action by the fed caps a series of bad decisions that have had a demonstrably devastating effect on the middle-class in America.  An Article by Martin Crutsinger of the Associate Press, appearing in U.S. News Weekly screams, “Fed unveils bold, open-ended steps to aid economy.” Another paper that reprinted this article’s sub-head says, ” Move to buy $40 billion a month in mortgage bonds hopes to spur home buying, consumer spending.  While for many, this will look like it is a fantastic decision—the Federal Reserve is stepping up to once again to help “stimulate” the economy—the key question, that no one is asking, is will this actually help?  The answer to the question, unfortunately, depends on who is asking the question.  From the Government’s perspective, this is necessary. From the bank’s perspective Continue reading

President Obama describes his role for the middle class

On July 24, 2012, the San Jose Mercury News ran an article by Josh Richman and Matthew Artz, “Obama’s campaign hits Oakland. “Obama campaign hits Oakland.”

The article covers the typical campaign rhetoric. It has its requisite Romney and republican bashing, has the required promises that he will give us all everything we want if we just give him one more chance, how everything would be better already if it was not for those other guys, and of course it was all wrapped up with a large dose of scare tactics to convince those present in Oakland that the bogymen conservatives were about to take away their babies, Continue reading