The Poles recognize Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II for their Role in Winning the Cold War

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 14th, 2012

Week in Review

Jimmy Carter believed in detente.  He wanted to work with the communists in the Soviet Union.  Those living in Eastern Europe disagreed.  As they lived under the boot of Soviet oppression.  They wanted their liberty.  They didn’t want to hear Jimmy Carter talk about making nice with the Soviets.  Because they didn’t want to improve their relations with the Soviet Union.  They wanted the Soviet Union the hell out of their countries.  Others agreed with them.  Ronald Reagan.  Margaret Thatcher.  The dynamic duo.  A Polish Pope.  John Paul II.  A Polish union leader.  Lech Walesa.  Leader of the Solidarity movement.  And a great people.  The Poles (see Poles honor Reagan and John Paul II for their role in anti-communist struggle with new statue by Associated Press posted 7/14/2012 on The Washington Post).

Polish officials unveiled a statue of former President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II on Saturday, honoring two men widely credited in this Eastern European country with helping to topple communism 23 years ago…

Reagan and John Paul shared a conviction that communism was a moral evil, not just a bad economic system. And Lech Walesa, founder of the Solidarity movement that led the anti-communist struggle in Poland, has often paid homage to both men and told the AP in a recent interview that he deeply respected Reagan…

Poles widely credit the Polish-born pontiff’s first visit to his homeland after becoming pope as the inspiration for Solidarity’s birth. During a Mass in Warsaw in 1979, he used subtle language to suggest that Poles should try to change their system, a message not lost on the receptive nation. Poles also remember that when the communist regime imposed the martial law crackdown in 1981, rounding up dissidents and imprisoning them, Reagan lit candles at the White House to show his solidarity with the Polish people…

Another member of the organization, Andrzej Michalowski, credited Reagan’s arms race with Moscow with leading to the unraveling of the Soviet Union and its inability to keep controlling Eastern Europe. He said the monument was designed on a small scale so visitors to the park would feel John Paul and Reagan are still with them.

Much to the horror of those on the Left Ronald Reagan did not follow Carter’s policy of detente.  He didn’t want to make nice with the Soviets.  He wanted to defeat the Soviets.  And free people everywhere from the boot of communist oppression.  And he did.  Thanks to John Paul, Lech Walesa and Margaret Thatcher.  The British and the Americans presented the Soviets a fearful military force to ponder.  And supported the poles as they dared to defy the great Soviet bear. 

Few even know this history today.  But back then these were transformative times.  For it was the beginning of the end of the Cold War.  A war we won by not trying to get along with the Soviets.  But by aggressively attacking communism.  Calling the Soviet Union the Evil Empire.  For it was.  As anyone living in Poland during the Cold War will attest to.  There was nothing good or redeeming about communism.  And Carter’s policy of detente only breathed life into a dying corpse.  And delayed the inevitable.  As Lech Walesa knew.  As John Paul knew.  As Ronald Reagan knew.  For it was only a matter of time before communism was left on the ash heap of history.  And thanks to these people that time did come.  The Soviet Union is no more.  And Eastern Europe is now free.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

President Obama orders Military to Go Green and Buy Biofuels from Prominent Democratic Backers

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 14th, 2012

Week in Review

And you thought the price at the pump was bad.  At least the E-85 costs less than gasoline.  Even if you have to buy more of it to go as far as a lesser amount of gasoline will take you.  But this is just ridiculous (see U.S. Air Force tests biofuel at $59 per gallon by David Alexander posted 7/15/2012 on Reuters).

The Air Force bought 11,000 gallons of alcohol-to-jet fuel from Gevo Inc, a Colorado biofuels company, at $59 a gallon in a program aimed at proving that new alternative fuels can be used reliably in military aircraft – once, that is, their pricing is competitive with petroleum, which now costs $3.60 a gallon.

The cost of the Air Force demonstration – $639,000 – was far less eye-catching than the $12 million the Navy spent for biofuels to power a carrier strike group on alternative energy for a day.

But it was part of the same Pentagon push, which has escalated under the administration of President Barack Obama, to adopt green solutions to rising fuel costs.

President Obama has directed the military to find green solutions to combat the high cost of fuel.  And one of those green solutions cost 1,538.9% more than the expensive fuel it’s replacing.  So the cheap fuel costs over 15 times what the expensive fuel costs.  I don’t know, something seems wrong here.  This doesn’t make sense.

The Obama administration directed the Navy last year to work with the Agriculture and Energy departments to invest up to $510 million to help private industry partners develop a viable alternative energy market capable of producing cost-competitive marine and jet fuels.

Some companies involved in the push to build a biofuels industry have connections to prominent Democratic backers, further raising Republican skepticism of the effort.

Okay.  Now it makes perfect sense.  It’s just old time politics.  Reward generous contributors.  And screw the people.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Easy Credit of Central Banks can’t Stimulate when Recessions are Still Correcting Prices

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 14th, 2012

Week in Review

Central banks have caused most of our financial woes today.  Easy credit created a frenzy of buying.  Pushing asset prices skyward.  America’s subprime mortgage crisis was caused by easy credit.  Well, that, and bad government policy like forcing lenders to lend even to people who were unqualified.  And they had their government sponsored enterprises (GSE), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, unload those toxic mortgages to unsuspecting investors.  You add this to the easy credit of America’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, and it created an incredible housing bubble.  That just didn’t burst.  It exploded.  Sending the U.S. into the greatest recession since the Great Depression.  The Great Recession. 

As housing prices fell back to earth homeowners found themselves underwater in their mortgages.  Some refinanced.  Some just walked away.  Some went through foreclosure.  Leaving the country littered with foreclosed homes.  And all of this financial destruction was brought to us courtesy of the Federal Reserve and their easy credit.  Despite all of this devastation our central bank has caused us some people still think that central banks can stimulate us out of the Great Recession.  Perhaps they’ll finally learn the folly of their thinking (see Roubini: My ‘Perfect Storm’ Is Unfolding Now by Ansuya Harjani, CNBC, posted 7/9/2012 on Yahoo! Finance).

“Dr. Doom” Nouriel Roubini, says the “perfect storm” scenario he forecast for the global economy earlier this year is unfolding right now as growth slows in the U.S., Europe as well as China.

In May, Roubini predicted four elements – stalling growth in the U.S., debt troubles in Europe, a slowdown in emerging markets, particularly China, and military conflict in Iran – would come together in to create a storm for the global economy in 2013…

Policy easing moves by the European Central Bank (ECB), Bank of England (BoE) and the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) last week did little to inspire confidence in global stock markets…

Bill Smead, CEO of Smead Capital Management, agrees that there is little central banks can do arrest the global slowdown.

Last week, he told CNBC that there is “virtually zero chance” that pump-priming by central banks will succeed, suggesting that policymakers should instead let the economic bust work itself through the system.

Yes.  We should let the economic bust work itself through the system.  Because that’s what recessions are supposed to do.  That’s why we call them corrections.  When rising prices create asset bubbles recessions come along and correct these prices back to where they should be.  Where the market would have had them had it not been for all of that easy credit.

Recessions aren’t pleasant.  But it’s the price we must pay.  Especially when we interfere with market forces to keep interest rates artificially low to stimulate economic activity.  Because the economic activity they stimulate is as artificial as the interest rates.  People don’t base their purchasing decisions on supply and demand.  They base them on the availability of easy credit.  Where people say things like, “I had no intention of buying a 3,000 square foot home for me and my wife but at these mortgage rates I’d be a fool not to.  And wouldn’t a Cadillac look just great in the driveway?  At these low interest rates I can afford both.  I mean, it’s not like I’m going to lose my job or anything.”

Of course people do lose their jobs.  And their homes.  And their cars.  What happens then?  Why, we have a subprime mortgage crisis.  And a Great Recession.  That’s what.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The NHS can’t afford State of the Art Equipment in their Operating Theaters and neither will Obamacare

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 14th, 2012

Week in Review

Obamacare is law.  So what can we expect?  Quality universal care at low prices?  Or something more like this (see Warning over keyhole surgery safety in NHS cash squeeze by Graeme Paton posted 7/9/2012 on The Telegraph)?

According to the Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons, only 15 per cent of keyhole surgery theatres meet the highest standards for equipment safety and design.

It was revealed that 22 per cent of hospitals also did not have high-definition imaging screens readily available for surgeons.

Necessary investment in pioneering surgical techniques and technology is in danger of being overlooked as the NHS seeks to make £20 billion of efficiency savings before 2015, the study warned…

The conclusions come after a study by the National Patient Safety Agency in 2010 found that surgeons were failing to notice complications after keyhole operations.

In some cases, surgeons damaged the internal organs of patients during operations but failed to notice until the patient’s condition deteriorated. Damage included internal bleeding and perforation of other organs such as the bladder, bowel, stomach or womb.

It said it had been informed of 11 cases where a patient had died and around 500 more where damage occurred between April 2005 and April 2010.

Funny.  I don’t remember the proponents of Obamacare telling us this is what they were giving us.  Such high-cost health care that surgical theaters can’t afford to be state of the art.  Because it’s simply not in the budget.  Well, except for the 15% that was lucky enough to receive the funding to have state of the art equipment.  No doubt getting that funding because 85% of all operating theaters didn’t get their funding.

The scary thing is that Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) has been around for awhile.  Since 1948.  And it’s about the best national health care system out there.  Yet the British people have to suffer high taxes, long wait times and the rationing of services.  Because the NHS cost more than anyone ever dreamed.  Hence the £20 billion of efficiency savings before 2015.  And the outdated equipment.

So here is your time machine.  You can use this to travel to the future to see what Obamacare will be like.  Of course, with five times the people the UK has odds are that Obamacare will give us even higher taxes, longer wait times and more rationing of services.   

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Obamacare Architects are either Devious or Ignorant

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 14th, 2012

Week in Review

Now that the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare our health care will be everything we ever hoped it to be.  It will give us everything we want.  And it will be inexpensive.  Granted nothing else in the world works like this.  Where customers get more by paying less.  And no national health care system has ever been everything the planners said it would be.  Unless the architects of these plans said they were going to introduce high taxes, long wait times and rationing of health care services.  Which I kind of doubt.  Because people typically want the opposite of these things.  Yet this time it will be different.  The Americans will be able to provide that ever elusive health care utopia.  Why?  I can only think of two possible reasons (see Repealing the Affordable Care Act Will Soon Be Considered Absurd by Ron Pollack posted 7/10/2012 on U.S. News and World Report).

Under the law, it will be illegal for insurers to discriminate against women by charging higher premiums simply because of their gender. Nobody—male or female—will be denied coverage or charged higher premiums because of a pre-existing condition, like asthma or diabetes. No one will live in fear of their insurance being canceled. People will no longer be subject to arbitrary lifetime or annual caps in what insurers pay out, thereby denying coverage when it is needed the most.

The act also comes with much-needed direct help for middle class families. They will receive substantial subsidies to make health insurance premiums affordable. Seniors will no longer fall into the huge prescription drug coverage gap in Medicare euphemistically-named the “doughnut hole.” Comprehensive preventive care will be available at no cost for women, including mammograms and contraception.

So in other words insurers can no longer recover their costs.  They have to provide more benefits while at the same time charging less in premiums.  Sort of like forcing McDonald’s to replace the Big Mac combo meal with steak and lobster.  While at the same time forcing them to lower the price for that combo meal.  There’s a name for an economic formula like that.  Failure.

This cannot work.  Unless your goal is to put the private health insurers out of business.  If that is the goal than, yes, Obamacare will work very well.  For no business ever remained in business by selling their product or service for less than their costs.  That’s just not how business works.  So it is clear that they designed Obamacare to put the private health insurers out of business.  Unless those who wrote Obamacare into law are just very ignorant about things economic.

So there it is.  Take your pick.  Devious.  Or ignorant.  This is our government.  Whichever it is it doesn’t make a difference for the American people.  For unlike what the president promised us we won’t be able to keep our health insurance if we like it.  Because Obamacare will put all of the private health insurance businesses out of business.  By forcing them to sell their policies below their costs.  Guaranteeing that they will all fail.  And giving us high taxes, long wait times and a rationing of health care services.  Just like everybody else that tried national health care.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Obamacare will Bring the IRS into our Lives like Never Before

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 14th, 2012

Week in Review

You wanted free health care?  You think you got free health care?  Think again (see Constitutionality of Healthcare Law Is Still in Question by Nina Owcharenko posted 7/10/2012 on U.S. News and World Report).

Not only is the IRS expected to enforce the employer mandate, it must also make a complex tax calculation including household incomes for each employee, and collect the individual mandate tax (based on each month a person is uninsured or otherwise fails to satisfy the HHS guidelines for coverage). At a time when lawmakers on both sides are advocating for making the tax code simpler, these provisions only make the code more complicated.

Health care isn’t free.  Obamacare just changes who pays for it.  Either by forcing people to buy health insurance policies.  Using the IRS to delve deep into the personal lives of everyone living in your household to see if you have health care.  If you or the other people in your household can afford your health care.  And if you or someone else in your household can afford it but didn’t buy it for you look out.  You will be paying the penalty.  If you can’t afford it then the government will force someone else to pay for it.  Really little different than the way things are now when you go to the emergency room without insurance.  The only difference being the IRS colonoscopy.  And that part about the federal government forcing you to buy something.

So what’s the incentive here?  To show you and everyone living in your household cannot afford to buy a health insurance policy.  That way you get around the federal government forcing you to buy something.  And all you have to endure is the IRS colonoscopy.  Which shouldn’t be too painful if you don’t work and only live on the kindness of government benefits.

Of course this may be the calculated plan all along.  When you factor in a lot of small business planning to drop their health insurance and pay the fine instead because it’s less costly you have a noticeable trend.  A decline in people buying private health insurance policies.  While the private health insurers have to pay more benefits (such as covering preexisting conditions for someone who never owned a health insurance policy before).  While they collect fewer premium dollars to pay for those benefits.  So what must they do?  Raise their premiums on the few people remaining who are still buying their policies.  Thus encouraging more people to drop their insurance coverage.  Because the penalty will be less costly.

Of course this can lead to but one end.  The end of private health insurance.  Forcing the government to do what they wanted to do all along with Obamacare.  Transform it into a full-blown, tax-funded national health care service.  Including the high taxes, the long wait-times and the rationing of services common to all national health care systems.  And the death panels.  Where some government bureaucrat decides whether a person is worth spending health care resources on.  And having that bureaucrat telling you “no” will be a rather unpleasant experience.  Even worse than that IRS colonoscopy.

www.PITHOCRATES.com

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,