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  • #61
    Re: No Longer Made in the USA

    Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
    ... Right off the bat the USD loses major points for not having socialized health care. ...
    Though none of the points you made dispel that the W.H.O. has no bias, this one could... almost.

    However, for the fact that we lose in excess of 20,000 lives every year for conditions and illnesses that go undiagnosed until it's too late for people who could not afford insurance at rates even you acknowledge are out of control, I'm going to let them use that as a variable.

    Our lack of socialized healthcare, at least a crude cheap option for those unable to afford it, is directly linked to 20,000 deaths every year.

    We lost 3,000 lives on 9-11, went to war and spent upwards of $3 trillion....why are we ok with losing 20,000 lives per year while spending a potential cost differential of $1.5 Trillion more per year for 311 million citizens relative to the U.K.?

    Do the math on the differential of $5,000 per person for 311 million comparing our costs to the U.K. - we outspend them by $1.5 Trillion every year.

    Imagine that, if we were able to switch to the U.K. system, we'd have our entire national debt paid down in 10 years.

    Answer = because the decision makers can't win elections with the health industry funding campaigns against them, we all had a chance to see just how powerful & influential they are in 2009, half the population was scared for their life over "death panels" and "government takeovers".




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    Last edited by DuckButter; 07-30-2013, 04:10 AM.

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    • #62
      Re: No Longer Made in the USA

      Originally posted by DuckButter View Post
      half the population was scared for their life over "death panels" and "government takeovers".
      .

      Which of course proved to be lies by the conservatives!

      I've made the argument before that we seem to have no problem whatsoever spending for wars and the bombs and bullets required for going after fabricated enemies. But we don't want to spend a dime helping the poor old lady across the street or those poor kids on the other side of town.

      DuckButter, I am most impressed by your posts on this subject. You not only have taken a good amount of time in your research but have used it very nicely to back up your conclusions. I appreciate that very much and it's an education. I don't take the time to do such things and though I think we feel the same way about the subject, my writing are based more on what I see and experience in my region. (Which proves to be more arguable posts I'm afraid.) Nice to read that my conclusions are not just my own.

      I don't know why Mark's health insurance expenses are so high, and what and how many that covers. For me, here in NY, they seem absolutely outlandish, but I'm sure different areas and different circumstances can be similarly expensive, and that is what the Affordable Health Care Act is suppose to eventually address.

      My wife and I are both in our late 60's, and we both suffer the maladies of many American's at that age. But very good health insurance for the two of us only costs $284 a month. The only co-pay I have is the $20 for the occasional chiropractor visit and two prescriptions for my wife that cost $100 each for 90-day supplies. None of our other doctor visits, emergency ward, or out-patient treatments require a co-pay, and all but the two medicines mentioned are paid 100%. Not only that, but we are free to participate in several senior 'wellness' programs if we choose; AND, we may order free up to $20 a month over-the-counter supplies for free (asperin, cold-tablets, bandages, etc.) But even with this low rate, my ex-employer subsidizes that premium to a tune of $2600 a year. ANd, the insurance plan has a major medical coverage of 80/20, with a relatively low cap. I'm paying significantly less for health coverage than I did a decade ago!

      But that is not saying that health care is not expensive for the poor or for others. My primary physician is also a good friend, and the charges for those outside of an accepted "plan" are ridiculously high. He doesn't particularly like "Obamacare", but not because he doesn't think it will work, but because he feels that there won't be enough physicians to handle the influx. He will make more money, but already his hours are very long and he's concerned that he simply won't be able to spend the time to properly handle his patients. His thinking being that poor, unworking people will visit the doctor for every minor little reason, especially once it becomes FREE! He'd like to see a co-pay for everybody, as it simply makes his patients less likely to make an appointment for the most minor of issues.

      It's not a good situation either way, I suppose. I'm against FREE anything, and though I'm quite liberal in many ways, I have some very definite conservative attitudes toward welfare, and those who have found life very much advantaged by not working or contributing. But, I've also seen enough and been in a position to know, that while there are more individuals on the lower end of scale of that 'taking', a very large (and perhaps the largest) amount of takers are on the upper end of the economy.

      CWS

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      • #63
        Re: No Longer Made in the USA

        CWS, if our economy does not make a come back what makes you think the affordable healthcare act will do what it was designed to do?
        The government decides how to spend it's money but whether it is on phoney wars or much needed healthcare, if more money is going out than coming in it's a race to a collapse at some point. Aside from colonizing the moon or seas, no one has offered a mechanism by which we bring in more of the wealth of the world than we spend. I still think the math as it now stands makes it necessary for some to live and some to die.
        I have seen my healthcare costs skyrocket in the last two years with copays doubling and medicines almost tripled. I can accept and complain about that issue, but I can't accept that a national debt growing by the trillions, and no suggestion or plan of how to grow our economy is not our most serious problem.

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        • #64
          Re: No Longer Made in the USA

          Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
          CWS, if our economy does not make a come back what makes you think the affordable healthcare act will do what it was designed to do?
          .
          I'm the obnoxious guy at the party who jumps into a conversation, oh well.

          There are numerous contributors to the higher wage requirements of Americans, cost of living, as we evolve to compeete with foreign labor markets, our wages will diminsh and foreign workers rates will increase.

          As U.S. wages flatten, so does demand, in turn free market price discovery will reduce the costs of real estate, commodities, energy - pretty much everything. (this is vastly more complicated if I include banks manipulation of futures...let's skip that for now)

          However, there are two components to our cost of living that aren't evolving - healthcare costs and college education.

          these are a HUGE problem for us, because every other developed country in the world, and a large percent of emerging markets, offer socialized healthcare and college education.

          We are never going to see employment rates back to 2006 levels, especially not with technology increasing effieciency - BUT - America has it even worse for the fact that those two costs are only increasing while the rest of the world's government's are able to contain cost growth.

          For all the criticism Obama got for putting healthcare first in his first term instead of jobs, he was absolutely correct, healthcare costs are a SERIOUS drag on our competitive wages compared to the rest of the world.

          Whether or noit this watered down version, minus the public option, will have a serious effect on costs remains yet to be seen, but we have seen a slowdown in cost growth not seen in 50 years.

          The serious portions of Obamacare kick in next year, and judging by the attempts to repeal if 37 times this year - they're fighting tooth and nail for their campaign donors to get the cat back in the bag before it's completely obvious prices will go down.

          Who knows, maybe I'm wrong and the reasons for all those failed attempts to repeal are "patriotic" in nature, we'll definitely have an idea this time next year.

          .
          Last edited by DuckButter; 07-30-2013, 05:30 PM.

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          • #65
            Re: No Longer Made in the USA

            I think fuel costs, food, housing and quite a few other huge components are not evolving. I don't think America has fifty years of this magic act to get us to the point where we are competitive with the third world labor costs. There is no competing with the foreign markets! They have slave labor wages, no gov't oversight such as EPA, OSHA, furthermore their markets are not open like ours. We did not need socalized medicine, we need/needed jobs for Americans, responsible gov't spending. We needed/need to let people die, cruel as that may sound it is the only practical thing to do in the face of our economy and growing debt.
            Maybe if folks knew they would not get costly medical care if they drank alcohol to excess, smoked to excess, ate to excess, did not exercise and participated in extremely dangerous sports or hobbies, we could reduce healthcare costs. Our country cannot afford socialized medicine, we are beyond broke.
            Last edited by Frankiarmz; 07-30-2013, 06:13 PM.

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            • #66
              Re: No Longer Made in the USA

              Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
              I think fuel costs, food, housing and quite a few other huge components are not evolving. ...
              I briefly stated I didn't want to get into this, it's complicated, but you're right.

              A simple example, back in 2008 while we were all in this forum ranting over massive spikes in gas prices, oil had soared to $145 a barrel - despite lower demand AND higher supply.

              It was so conspicuous that the Pentagon investigated the possibility that it was financial terrorism (maybe Al Qaeda) - they concluded it likely was, but could not pin down the source because the CFTC isn't allowed to disclose trades, per the CFMA ( a commodity/futures act allowing anonymity for derivatives & futures positions)

              Two years ago, Bernie Sanders leaked that confidential information, turns out it was Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley that had cornered oil futures.

              To sum, what happened was Goldman's et al was pummeling the market with fraudulently rated CDO's, sold as AAA rated, but they were comprised of liar loans and sub-primes not even remotely qualified to be AAA rated (remember "shitty deal"?)

              They then took short positions on those CDO's, while selling them as AAA rated, manipulated oil futures, causing gas to soar, squeezing consumers and initiating the onslaught of mortgage defaults, all to collect on short positions on those CDO's. (short is an inverse position thAt gains when an asset fails in price)

              In 2009 & 2010, Goldman Sachs paid out all time record breaking bonuses for it's executives and trading staff....while only paying 15% and less in taxes on those "capital gains", while the GOP was roaring over entitlement spending and the deficit.

              Meanwhile, America was being evicted and laid off.

              You really wanna create jobs?...Get rid of the too big to fail banks, get money out of politics.

              .
              Last edited by DuckButter; 07-30-2013, 06:31 PM.

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              • #67
                Re: No Longer Made in the USA

                DuckButter, I respect your opinons but I can't see where any of this will actually lead to employing Americans, reducing the debt and saving the economy. All I really want at this point in my life is to better understand how intelligent people expect things to improve given the things I posted many times? I get it the jobs are not coming back, the price of fuel, food, clothing and everything else in not going down. Big business, wallstreet and other power brokers pull the strings of our elected officials. One more time, with more wealth leaving our economy than coming in, with more gov't programs to provide for Americans than our gov't brings in, with the debt increasing by trillions, by what mechanism or miracle if not export trade can America survive and our economy grow???

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                • #68
                  Re: No Longer Made in the USA

                  Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                  DuckButter, I respect your opinons but I can't see where any of this will actually lead to employing Americans, ....
                  I mentioned the sub-prime CDO / oil manipulation scam for the fact that the best way to bolster jobs is to keep us from losing them in the first place.

                  Everything that caused the 2008 crash is still intact, the banks can still repeat it by inducing artificial bubbles in any sector, then crashing it to their advantage, costing us yet more wealth, jobs, growth and causing more debt.

                  for that matter, just this week Goldman Sachs is being sued over aluminum manipulation that caused Coors to increase price for cans - costing consumers $5 billion over 3 years,

                  Like I said, it's complicated, but it amounts to massive banks having the power to increase the cost for anything you buy via futures manipulation, then taking that extra money you had to spend and putting it in their pocket.

                  Jack the price of anything, say Natural gas futures, then position themselves into utility stocks and remove their nat gas position to invoke a move in that utility's stock price...just as they did with oil to crash CDO's.

                  Both JP Morgan and Barclays are being investigated for exactly that with natural gas in California right now.

                  As this process of transfer continues over a variety of sectors, there's less money in the hands of the middle class, fewer jobs from depleted demand, bigger prop desk bonuses at Goldman Sachs. - who pay the lower cap gains rate on that income - ,meaning more debt and the GOP suggesting cuts to entitlements to make up for it.


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                  Last edited by DuckButter; 07-30-2013, 08:18 PM.

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                  • #69
                    Re: No Longer Made in the USA

                    DuckButter, what you just described is but one small facet of problems that impacts our economy. Can you address where I am mistaken in my assessment of our current situation or projection for the future? In my opinion fixing the banking industry will do little to nothing to bring back jobs, pay down the trillions of debt, balance the trade deficit or save the economy. I believe America was strong when it lead in exports and cannot survive consuming what the rest of the world sells us, without that there is Nothing, Nothing and no way that I can imagine a turnaround. Take the banking industry out of the equation and our gov't is still spending more than it brings in. What is your take to save the economy, employ Americans, pay down the debt, beyond banking industry reform? Any ideas?
                    Last edited by Frankiarmz; 07-30-2013, 08:31 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Re: No Longer Made in the USA

                      Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                      DuckButter, what you just described is but one small facet of problems that impacts our economy. Can you address where I am mistaken in my assessment of our current situation or projection for the future? ....
                      I'm not making an argument this is the sole cause of job depletion - I've already made the arguments on globalization and technology.

                      However, this is also a major source of median wealth depletion - which DIRECTLY affects economic growth.

                      Yes. I can explain it.

                      Say I'm A banker with trillions in notional buying power and 30 to 1 leverage and I can buy any commodity future I want without having to disclose it to the public & no restrictions of the amount I buy or sell. I can buy 50% of the oil futures market and you don't know it, it just looks like gas is getting expensive - costs you an extra $30 at the pump, in turn, you stop buying coffee/donuts at the local shop, in turn they lay off a cashier...etc.

                      Scenario -

                      I short builders stocks, then buy huge amounts of lumber futures.

                      Crank lumber prices to the extent that it effects a slowdown in building, causing builder stocks to plummet, layoffs ensue....I then collect the gains on short positions I entered before cornering lumber futures.

                      Every trade has a winner and a loser - I was the winner in that trade by using advanced knowledge that I could control input costs for builders.

                      The loser in that trade? - You.

                      You and the other employees at the builder lost jobs, stock holders/pensions were scalped for my gain.

                      This is similar to what JP Morgan and Barclays are being investigated for with California utilities, they manipulate natural gas, causing the stocks price to fall for reduced earnings, you pay higher electric bills leaving you less money to buy goods & services that create jobs. (The same thing Enron did, but with the CFMA's deregulation in futures, it's now quasi-legal)

                      It doesn't just stop there -

                      I do it with corn.

                      I do it with wheat.

                      I do it with iron ore.

                      Copper.

                      Soy.

                      Beef.

                      Oil, nat gas, treasuries, Libor, FX/Dollar, Gold, silver, aluminum. have all been implicated or investigAted in the last few years for too big to fail bank manipulation, including the "London whale" trade that actually backfired when a group of hedge funds caught on to price manipulation of a JP Morgan trader and called his bluff by pooling their resources against him.

                      EVERY single gain I (the bank prop trader) make comes at the expense of consumer buying power, jobs, pensions, 401-K's, all of it is the net worth of the middle class that does not have access to the same advance price information that I have.

                      Extraction of net worth, as with the CDO scam that crushed the value of your home, the money made manipulating prices has to come from a loser in the trade.

                      Guess who the loser is?
                      Last edited by DuckButter; 07-30-2013, 09:42 PM.

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                      • #71
                        Re: No Longer Made in the USA

                        DuckButter, I appreciate the detailed breakdown on the banking manupulation thing but I was really hoping for your thoughts on-

                        I believe America was strong when it lead in exports and cannot survive consuming what the rest of the world sells us, without that there is Nothing, Nothing and no way that I can imagine a turnaround. Take the banking industry out of the equation and our gov't is still spending more than it brings in. What is your take to save the economy, employ Americans, pay down the debt, beyond banking industry reform? Any ideas?

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Re: No Longer Made in the USA

                          Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                          DuckButter, I appreciate the detailed breakdown on the banking manupulation thing but I was really hoping for your thoughts on-

                          I believe America was strong when it lead in exports and cannot survive consuming what the rest of the world sells us, without that there is Nothing, Nothing and no way that I can imagine a turnaround. Take the banking industry out of the equation and our gov't is still spending more than it brings in. What is your take to save the economy, employ Americans, pay down the debt, beyond banking industry reform? Any ideas?
                          Absolutely, clawback the ill-gotten trillions extracted from our middle class by the big banks.

                          We don't have a wealth problem, despite having a debt problem We're still the wealthiest nation on Earth.

                          Simultaneously, we have the widest gap in wealth disparity for any developed nation...to answer your question on debt V spending, it's a non-sequitur - we have the money, some of us.

                          Adhere to Reagan's tax policy and tax capital gains as regular income, stop allowing billionaire bankers that manipulate markets to get away with paying less than 15% for starters, use that revenue for infrastructure, job creation. (tax multinationals that aren't "job creators" as well)

                          Consider this, trillions in middle class net worth has been extracted in the last decade, it's the primary cause for the disparity in wealth and ages we keep hearing about.....You have to ask then, how is it possible for the wealthiest country on Earth to have a poverty problem?...a debt problem?

                          .
                          Last edited by DuckButter; 07-30-2013, 10:38 PM.

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                          • #73
                            Re: No Longer Made in the USA

                            Once again I find the limitations of communicatiing by text instead of verbally. I was hoping to get a realistic suggestion as to what you expect will happen. Do you really think any of the things you talked about will actually take place? The American public has been declawed and defanged so I seriously doubt there will be any taking back from the banks. Our legislators have proven useless in resolving any of our serious economic or social issues. So, do you have any realistic ideas of how any of this will change for the better? I don't see it.

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                            • #74
                              Re: No Longer Made in the USA

                              Change will be slow and subtle. There are a few chicken littles out there that believe in the total collapse but though that scenario is possible, if it happens we are many years away. Like duck said, we are the richest nation in the world and out consumption and spending habits prove just that. I hear a whole lot of folks complaining about the lack of money in their pockets and that they are being taxed to death but in the same breath they are off to wal-mart to buy a new 70" flat screen. Probably on credit but hey, they still have credit. There's money out there and lots of it. I think folks need to listen and learn from as many " differing " sources as possible. The Glenn Becks of the world would have you hunkered down in a bunker somewhere with a loaded gun in one hand and a bible in the other. To quote Douglass Adams in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy..... DON'T PANIC!
                              sigpic

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                              • #75
                                Re: No Longer Made in the USA

                                When I push for realistic ideas of how this all gets turned around. I get references to chicken little, and glenn beck. I think there is good cause to be concerned and ask questions. Don't panic, but don't assume everything will be just fine if you don't see positive action and some kind of sensible plan to fix things. What slow and sublte change do you imagine will change the math that has us spending more on imports than we bring in? What changes will employ Americans and allow the gov't to keep paying entitlements without racking up more and more trillions of debt? Yes, there's money out there, it evaporates from my wallet at the gas pump, food store and everywhere else inflation exists.
                                The void of any realistic suggestions to my questions and our current financial situation leaves me with one conclusion. I don't depend on glenn beck or the Bible for guidance when it comes to our economy and future, chicken little has spoken!

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