Hopefully some clarity on health care, anti-socialized medicine hypocrites, and interesting stuff about banking…

September 9, 2009

A headline to an online article about President Obama’s health care speech tonight quoted him as admitting he might have left too much “ambiguity” in his proposals for the overhaul of the health care system – you think?

Hopefully he will clear that up tonight in his nationwide address, which I understand will not be covered live by FOX News – why does that not surprise me? If that is true, how can that network claim to be a credible reporter of the news? It’s a speech by the president of the United States about a vital topic. News outlets – fair and balanced? – are not supposed to decide whether to cover something based on political point of view.

I think I don’t have much time to blog today because I expect to go back out on the road (still have to get mobile with this thing) at any time.

There’s an interesting article in the Huffington Post today about how the Fed has complete mind control of the whole economic system and why that has caused the great economic gurus to have missed so much, such as the over leveraging of the whole nation’s – world’s – economy over the past decades and the coming of the current what is being called, I notice, the Great Recession.

Also I am reading a book called ” Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World”, by Liaquat Ahamed. I have not had a lot of time and have not made a lot of progress on it yet, but I already feel that I know a vast amount more about economics and banking than I ever did before and even about World War I, although I think the main thrust of the book is what led up to the Great Depression of the 30s that is usually said to have begun with the great stock market crash of 1929, but really had its beginnings a lot earlier.

One highly interesting thing I have learned from it so far is this thing about returning to the gold standard. Seems we were on it and things were quite stable – that’s good – but it was hard to expand the availability of capital when it was needed because there is only so much gold and it’s a hassle shipping bullion back and forth and across the ocean – and that was really done.

Financing World War I – a war that history seems to indicate made no sense at all , if any wars do – played a major part in ruining the economic system. And today the cost of war certainly has its effect.

At any rate, I hope a radio has been put in my truck and I will be able to catch some or all of Obama’s address on health care.

My current attitude on health care is just please make it so everyone can cover themselves in some way (with help from Uncle Sam or not), and I do believe it is a personal responsibility to do for yourself what you can. But everyone’s situation is different. It is in the best interests of society that folks are covered. A healthy society is a more productive society. We need a healthy society just as much as we need good roads. How we pay for all of that is always a good question. Even some federal interstates in the Midwest and back east are toll roads, out here in the west, not so much.

And this sticks in my craw – some people who detest the idea of government-run health care and hate (and I do mean hate) Obama, think nothing of partaking in Medicare and its related programs – which of course are all part of government-run health care, as is military health coverage. Go figure!

I mean if you detest anything socialized so much, why did you not accumulate your own fund – self insure so to speak?

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There’s a good reason bankers are criticized…

February 11, 2009

(Copyright 2009)

The smartest people in the world should not have to put up with being chided by the dumbest people in the world, at least that is how one talk show host sees the grilling of Wall Street bankers by congressmen today.

If they were so smart, why did they run their banks into the ground with bad loans and why do they accept billions of dollars of taxpayer aid? And why do they continue their jet setting ways?

I wrote recently in this space that in reality I don’t care how they operate or about their lifestyle except when they reach out their hand for taxpayer money.

It would be as if that black woman who said she was homeless and asked President Obama for help the other day during a nationally televised town hall meeting drove off in a new Cadillac with bling bling hanging all over her, or worse yet, she had got a check handed to her on the spot and then drove away and hollered: “so long suckers!”

I only catch a few minutes of this talk show host while I’m in my car and have my radio on. But I have heard him off and on over the airwaves for more than a decade (and I’m not talking about Rush Limburger). After not hearing him for some time, I had wondered what his attitude is these days. I see it is still the same. He is an apologist for the Wall Street set, who in my mind were reckless and apparently depended upon the notion that if they went too far out on the line they would be rescued by Uncle Sam. And, they were right. So I guess they may be pretty smart after all. But that’s like saying a crook is smart or clever.

Now I am not against bankers and investors (Wall Street or otherwise) who abide by the law and have ethics (and there are probably more of them than the other kind), but I have no respect for those who do not.

And this talk show host could not for the life of himself figure out why some folks get such glee out of the ridicule and castigation these masters of the universe were receiving. Call it Schadenfreude, call it human nature. We do like to see people get their comeuppance, especially when we perceive they have committed some wrong and have somehow hurt us (rightly or wrongly).

Here’s another point. Why should bankers not take bonuses and fly jets and throw lavish parties and accept public bailout money? There is the obvious reason that it is wrong and dishonest to cry poor-mouth and accept public aid that has to be somehow subtracted from others who actually might need it for survival.

Also, there is such a thing as sensitivity to the public in general. There is such a thing as etiquette, or should be.

Our talk show host also said that folks should appreciate bankers because they provide a needed service. Well, the service we need is that provided by prudent and honest bankers.

He also claimed that it was Congress that had wasted all our money. That’s a matter of political perspective more than anything (Republicans and Democrats all have their share of scandals – for Republicans, refer to Teapot Dome, and for Democrats, refer to Congressional Post Office Scandal as examples only). But there can be no argument that some of these “smartest people” have been careless with capital and it is clear that one of the reasons they left caution to the wind is that government gave off the signals that it would be there for them (and that was a mistake).

Had the bankers’ fiscal carelessness only affected them, that would be nothing more than a lesson to learn for them. But as we all see it affected us all. And that should be a lesson for us all.

And as is popular nowadays, at least one banker said he was “sorry” (so did A-Rod). To that, a congressman responded that bank robbers often use that line in their defense.

P.s.  And as for calling congressmen dumb. All I know is that, collectively, we all put them there. Somehow,  I think my talk show host was referring to those he does not agree with.