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US Wealth-care System 

13 03 2017 | 12:Mar 3 #1

There is no free market health care option; a true "free market" would allow poor people to die. 
However, the Republican party is wedded to an antiquated ideology that the free market is king - believing that cutting taxes is a universal solution (even though trickle-down economics has been shown to be a joke) and reducing government interventions - whether for protecting the environment of keeping people alive - are always anti-freedom. So what happens when someone is lying dying following a road accident, and has no insurance? Do the paramedics simply leave them?

Even staunch conservatives (well, most) have a morality of last resort - don't let the free market kill. That's why America's new health care system falls back to pre-death coverage as their only real consession to counter a truly free market.

Paul Ryan's proposed wealth-care system is then an object lesson in why ideological positions can lead to harmful consequences - but if it doesn't directly affect the self-interested (or their chosen demographic "family") they can shut those bad consequences out of their minds.

/politics /trumpcare


13 03 2017 | 11:Mar 1 #1

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America's long and arduous slog towards universal healthcare

01 03 2017 | 10:Mar 3 #1

They will get there eventually, even if they take 2 steps forward (ACA) and one step back (Trump) but from the UK (or any other other developed country for that matter) it is frustrating watching America catching up, but tripping over itself.

All developed governments provide basics for their citizens:
  • freedom without prejudice (policing, judiciary, military)
  • universal education
  • healthcare - if you get sick they fix you
These core needs are rarely disputed, leaving the political arguments to focus on where to draw the (less important) line between unemployment safety net and taxation.

America - you will eventually have a government funded system because the natural, moral progression of a society is to help people with ill health, but it is also cheaper. Republicanism may principally be about helping oneself over other "less deserving" people - but as the various Trump-supporters-with-illnesses articles show, that's only until Rs are themselves sick.

Once you've used the Zero Interest Rates drug, you can't get clean without severe pain

21 02 2017 | 07:Feb 3 #1

Not much in the way of actual economic improvement? Drop interest rates. It's an easy way of kicking the economic can down the proverbial road - forcing the price of debt to be set centrally rather than based on a free market between those who wish to borrow and those who wish to lend. This has a slew of benefits:
  • Big business can borrow a ton more money for the same annual outlay (though I note from experience that small/medium businesses do not share in this bonanza)
  • Governments spend less of their money on repayments (as indeed do other debtors)
  • Monthly mortgage costs drop, the maximum amount people can borrow rises and house prices go up
What's more, everyone gets excited at asset prices (esp those generating returns) going UP, as some of that extra business cash goes into share buy-backs, and dividends charge downward to find some sort of equilibrium with the reduced returns from savings.

The only negative politically is disgruntlement from savers - whose "asset" does not grow with other asset inflation (and is thus devalued, relatively) and non-home owners (who do not realise it is interest rates causing the run-away asset inflation, as they mostly get gaslighted by talk of supply and demand).

HOWEVER - here's the big kicker. You can't ever raise them again. Once you've used this wonder drug, a dependency quickly develops and to take it away means almost certain re-devaluation in asset prices (including stocks and housing) which in turn produce an inescapable economic collapse. Why? Think of it this way:

Imagine interest rates go back up to 5%. Why would you hold risky shares that pay dividends of 2%? Why would you cling to a £500k buy-to-let property that returns less than £25k/yr before expenses (& which is also falling in value)?

Of course, you don't. So the likely political move is to KEEP 0% rates indefinitely. The consequence of that? Nothing; so long as we can think up another wheeze for simulating economic "growth" and keeping us developed nations looking relatively wealthy compared to the rest of the world.

"To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle."

10 03 2017 | 20:Mar 1 #1

George Orwell

Pro Market / Pro State

10 03 2017 | 14:Mar 3 #1

Refreshing to see analysis that is both Pro-market and Pro-state: The Republican Health Care Crackup https://nyti.ms/2msnOz8

Deniers say the science might be wrong

10 03 2017 | 12:Mar 3 #1

that's akin to saying we might not face a military threat again; so let's not bother with an army


10 03 2017 | 12:Mar 1 #1

Have to agree with /JayZ on this one 

/music /radio

/TRUMP is honest

01 03 2017 | 10:Mar 1 #1

...in one way - he does not couch what he says, lacking the intellect to think things through. And that means he makes stuff up that is patently false - but he believes it