Quality suffers in the NHS as they continuously have Fewer People do More with Less

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 27th, 2013

Week in Review

During the Summer Olympics in London last year the British showcased the National Health Service (NHS) during the opening ceremonies.  To show the world how great it is.  And how much the British people love their NHS.  For it is national health care at its best.  Well, the best that can be expected when your costs exceed your revenues.  And you have to ask fewer and fewer people to do more with less (see Police investigate hospital where dummy was taped to baby’s mouth by Sam Jones and agencies posted 1/27/2013 on the guardian).

A NHS trust criticised for its “appalling standards of care” has been forced to apologise after a baby boy was found with a dummy [i.e., a pacifier] taped to his face in one of its hospitals…

A separate, highly critical report by the Healthcare Commission in 2009 revealed a catalogue of failings at the trust and said “appalling standards” had put patients at risk.

In a three-year period from 2005 to 2008, the commission said, between 400 and 1,200 more people died than would have been expected.

In February 2010, an independent inquiry into events at the trust found it had “routinely neglected patients”.

A recent report, conducted by a team of independent experts on behalf of the regulator, Monitor, concluded that Mid Staffs was “financially and clinically unsustainable”.

It recently emerged the trust had paid out more than £1m in compensation to 120 victims of abuse or their families.

Not quite what they were portraying during the opening ceremonies.  Now there is more good in the NHS than there is stuff like this.  But what it shows is the dehumanizing nature of national health care.  Fewer people doing more with less.  Which means they have to ‘mass-produce’ health care.  Input as many people as possible into the system.  Process them as quickly as possible.  Then kick them out of the system.  And just as overworked people in factories complain about being overworked and underpaid, and quality suffers because of it, so is it, too, in hospitals.  Which leads to someone taping a pacifier to a baby’s mouth.  Appalling standards.  Routinely neglected patients.  And higher than expected death rates.

This is what happens when you nationalize health care.  And have an aging population.  The aging population shrinks the tax base which shrinks tax revenues that pay for health care.  While at the same time increasing health care costs to deal with that aging population.  Which leads to fewer people doing more with less.  And the problems they’re having in the NHS.  As we will have under Obamacare.  For Obamacare will be working with an aging population.  Where fewer people will have to do more with less.

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Britons protest yet another Hospital Closure in the Cash-Strapped NHS

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 27th, 2013

Week in Review

The American Left celebrated the passage of Obamacare.  Even though it wasn’t really what they wanted.  Full blown national health care.  Like in Britain.  Where everyone has equal access to health care.  Though some may have to drive farther than others (see Lewisham Hospital: 15,000 march against closure plan posted 1/26/2013 on BBC News London).

At least 15,000 people have marched in protest against proposals to close services at a hospital in south London…

Under proposals, its A&E will close and the maternity unit be downgraded after neighbouring South London Healthcare NHS Trust ran up debts of £150m.

The government said “doing nothing is not an option” and is to make a decision on 1 February…

Lewisham’s A&E unit would then be downgraded to an urgent care centre, meaning emergency cases would be seen at nearby hospitals. The maternity unit at Lewisham could also be slimmed down, meaning complex cases would be dealt with elsewhere.

South London Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs three hospitals, was placed in administration last year when it started losing about £1.3m a week.

The problems it faces are not unique. Last year it was reported 20 trusts had declared themselves financially unsustainable in their current form.

So this is what we have to look forward to under Obamacare.  Hospital closings.  Longer drives to emergency rooms.  And complex births becoming more complex.  All because free health care is very, very costly.

The UK is losing millions at these NHS trusts (the bodies responsible for managing the hospital finances) because of their aging population.  People are having fewer babies these days than the generation in retirement.  So you have fewer people entering the workforce to replace those leaving the workforce.  So there are fewer people paying the health care costs.  While the number of seniors consuming those costs is growing.  And you just can’t raise tax rates high enough on a shrinking tax base to sustain this health care model.  So you have to cut costs.  And you do that by closing hospitals.  Or putting patients on the Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient.  A quasi death panel in the UK.  And whatever equivalent there will be under Obamacare.

This is what the American Left wants in America.  For America, too, has an aging population.  Though those on the left are sure they will be spared from what will most probably become horrible conditions in our hospitals for the rest of us.  For while they condemn us to equality of care where everyone receives equally substandard care they will enjoy a different kind of equality.  Where they are more equal than others.  And won’t have to suffer what the ordinary Britons are suffering through now.  Or what ordinary Americans will soon be suffering.

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Used Cars put a Crimp in Venezuela’s Inflationary Policies

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 27th, 2013

Week in Review

The American Left attacks capitalism for being unfair and evil because it puts profits before people.  Whereas socialism puts people before profits.  Where people give according to ability and take according to need.  Fair, yes?  In the way it makes people want to link arms and sing Kumbaya.  Because everyone has everything they need.  Thanks to that redistribution of wealth.  And exactly how does that work?  Something like this.

An unemployed man with 8 children will get more from the government than a single woman with no children working 12-hour days 6 days a week.  She will have a lot of income the state can tax.  So she has a lot of ability.  While he will get a lot of state benefits.  Because he has a lot of need.  A smart person will look at this and quickly come to the understanding that working hard sucks.  While being a lay-about means you live comfortably on state benefits.  Paid for by people like that woman working 12-hour days 6 days a week.  So in true socialism it’s a contest to show as little ability and as much need as possible.

Sometimes there aren’t enough people to tax.  So to keep the people happy the state spends money it doesn’t have.  By printing more and more money.  Which is what Hugo Chavez did in Venezuela.  Actions which the American Left applaud.  As they applaud Hugo Chavez for putting people before profits.  For unabashedly embracing socialism.  And condemning capitalism.  So Venezuela should be a socialist utopia.  So is it?  Let’s take a look (see Venezuela Ready to Crack Down on Clunker Car Inflation Refuge by Corina Pons & Nathan Crooks posted 1/24/2013 on Bloomberg).

Automobiles purchased in Venezuela, South America’s largest oil exporter, typically gain in value the moment they are driven off the dealership lot. Facing 20.1 percent inflation and capital controls introduced in 2003 that limit the amount of bolivars citizens may take out of the country, Venezuelans invest in durable goods…

Venezuela’s consumer prices last month rose 3.5 percent, the fastest pace in 32 months, the central bank said Jan. 11. Venezuela has the third-highest inflation rate worldwide.

Chavez in 2012 ordered companies to cut prices of shampoo, soap and other personal care products to contain inflationary pressures…

Inflation rose after Chavez restricted dollar supplies in a bid to close a fiscal gap widened by spending before elections in October, in which he defeated challenger Henrique Capriles Radonski by more than 10 percentage points.

The lack of dollars has created shortages of goods that range from toilet paper to detergent and extend to automobiles. Suvinca, a Venezuelan state distributor of Chinese-made cars, posted a notice on its website yesterday that said it had run out of cars and suspended sales…

“The law won’t solve the problem, because it doesn’t resolve the fact that there is still little supply. It won’t reduce demand, either,” Garcia said. “A black market will be created very fast. Instead of solving the problem, it will make it worse…”

“With this law, it will not be permissible to sell a car above the maximum suggested price, and a used car can never cost more than a new one,” Amoroso said. “Notaries will be prohibited from legalizing any transaction that is above the suggested price.”

When you print a lot of money it just makes your money worthless.  Which is why governments frown on people using their computer printers to make money.  If everyone did this money would lose its value.  For it would be as common place as leaves on the ground in autumn.  In countries with high inflation rates people want to spend their money as fast as they get it before it loses too much of its purchasing power.  For the real goods they buy will hold their value.  So it’s a safer place to put your savings.  Instead of in a bank.

The more bolivars (the Venezuelan currency) they print the less each bolivar is worth.  The more they depreciate the bolivar the faster people want to convert them into something that will hold its value.  Like cars.  If the bolivar loses half of its value it will take twice as many of them to buy a car.  So if you own a car its value in bolivars will soar the more of them they print.  Not that people want bolivars.  But they do want dollars.  And getting dollars by selling real goods avoids the inflation problem of the bolivar.  But it also helps to undermine the currency as no one wants to use it.  Or accept it in exchange for valuable goods.

Of course an easy solution to this problem is simply implementing price controls.  If you legally prevent prices from rising in response to runaway inflation problem solved, yes?  No.  Because if prices are held at artificially low levels people will buy so many of these items while the buying is good that these things will disappear from store shelves.  And if the store shelves are empty it doesn’t matter what prices are.  This is why there were gas lines in the Seventies.  Gas sales were so strong that gas stations ran out of gas.  And with prices below real market prices there wasn’t new supply coming on market to meet that excessive demand.  Because having to sell below your costs doesn’t encourage anyone to sell.  Except on the black market.  Where black market prices adjust market supply to market demand.  And everything is available for a price.

This is the socialist utopia that is Venezuela.  Only it’s not a utopia.  It just converts as many people with ability into people with need.  And when there are no longer enough people to tax to provide for those in need societies break down.  And governments collapse.  Unless you have a strong police state.  Which has been the hallmark of all social utopias that put people before profits.  Places like Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, the communist countries of Eastern Europe, Cuba, etc.  Venezuela, too.

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The President and Hillary Clinton Lied and Four Americans Died in Benghazi

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 27th, 2013

Week in Review

Hillary Clinton got indignant during her Benghazi testimony.  She shouted, “What different does it make?!?” when asked about one of the greatest foreign policy failures in U.S. history.  Why did the Obama administration mislead the American people just before a presidential election?  “What different does it make?!?”

Well, it makes a whole lot of difference.  Especially if politics were the driving factor for security considerations in Benghazi.  And with “al Qaeda is on the ropes” being a main campaign theme it would appear that politics were the driving factor for security considerations in Benghazi.  For a president claiming victory in the War on Terror could not have a resurgent al Qaeda in Libya.  Especially when al Qaeda was using the very weapons the Obama administration gave to the opposition to topple Muammar Gaddafi from power.  An opposition no one really knew then.  But we did know it had an al Qaeda element.  Who hated Muammar Gaddafi.  For he became a U.S. ally in the War on Terror following the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

So this is ‘what difference it makes’.  Political considerations led to a resurgent al Qaeda in Northern and Western Africa.  Greatly destabilizing the region.  Making the world a less safe place.  And to hide that fact until after the election the Obama administration seized onto that YouTube video that no one saw in Libya.  To cover up their foreign policy mess.  Benghazi is such a mess that everyone is now evacuating the city and leaving it to al Qaeda (see ‘Leave immediately’: Britons told to get out of Benghazi after threat from al-Qa’ida by Daniel Howden and Kim Sengupta posted 1/25/2013 on The Independent).

The Government has urged British nationals to leave Libya’s second city, Benghazi, in response to a “specific threat to Westerners” from terror groups operating in North Africa.

Defence sources confirmed the warning is linked to the activities of al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim). An offshoot of Aqim was responsible for last week’s hostage crisis at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria in which 37 Westerners were killed, along with 29 Islamists…

Dutch and German citizens have also been advised to join the exodus, while Egypt has restricted movement across its border with Libya due to security concerns.

Intelligence reports from Egypt as well as intercepted communications from Burkina Faso and Algeria led to the warning being issued. Western interests, rather than explicitly British ones, were said to be the terrorists’ intended target. Governments across North and West Africa have been on heightened alert following last week’s hostage crisis in the Sahara…

The city is the business hub of eastern Libya and was the birthplace of the uprising that toppled Colonel Gaddafi. However, since the dictator’s death it has also been used as a base by several jihadist groups including Ansar al-Sharia, which is seen as the new face of al-Qa’ida in the wake of the Arab Spring. It is believed that individuals from Ansar al-Sharia remain in the city while the group has withdrawn…

Violence in Benghazi has targeted foreigners as well as Libyan officials in recent months, with assassinations, bombings and other attacks. As well as the 11 September assault on the US consulate, an Italian diplomat’s car was fired on by militants earlier this month. Rome has suspended consular activities in the city and evacuated staff.

Britain’s ambassador to Libya, Sir Dominic Asquith, narrowly escaped injury last June when his convoy in Benghazi was hit by rocket-propelled grenades, reinforcing concerns that the city’s police and government militia may have been infiltrated.

This week Sir Kim Darroch, David Cameron’s national security adviser, held talks in Tripoli with Libya’s Prime Minister, Ali Zidan, in which security was top of the agenda. French citizens, including doctors working at Benghazi hospitals, have left the city and the French cultural centre has been closed over concerns of retaliatory attacks following France’s military intervention in Mali. A few Britons and a handful of German and Dutch citizens remain in Benghazi, many of them acting as security contractors or aid workers.

The anti-Western attacks started before al Qaeda killed the US ambassador in Benghazi.  So there was no question that al Qaeda was resurgent.  And four Americans paid the ultimate price when politics trumped security needs.

So what difference does it make?  It was the policies and politics that resulted in those four American deaths.  And the resurgence of al Qaeda in the region.  Because President Obama declared ‘mission accomplished’ during the presidential campaign.  Saying it was reason to give him four more years.  So if his ‘successful’ policies were reason enough to reelect the president then surely if those same policies were the cause of everything that went wrong in Benghazi they were reason enough NOT to reelect him.  And they knew it.  Hence the YouTube video.

The president didn’t win reelection by a large margin.  Had the truth about Benghazi been known chances are he would have lost reelection.  And this is why it makes a difference.  For it matters when a president chooses politics over American lives.

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The War on Coal to Fight Global Warming is actually Contributing to Global Warming

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 27th, 2013

Week in Review

Al Gore became filthy stinking rich by scaring people about global warming.  He even won an Academy Award for his movie An Inconvenient Truth about how global warming was coming to kill us.  He and his fellow leftists throughout the world jumped onto the global warming bandwagon to do things they’ve always wanted to do.  Regulate and tax businesses to transfer as much wealth from the private sector to the public sector they controlled.  Giving them the power they so covet.

And they used that power to further regulate businesses and change the way we live our lives.  Launching wars on oil and coal.  And pouring billions of taxpayer money into green energy initiatives that they and their crony capitalist friends control.  All based on some data they gathered in the Nineties.  That they then put into their flawed climate models.  And laugh with all-knowing condescension at anyone who dares challenge them on the facts.  And belittles them.  Even punishing them where they can.  With further regulatory controls.  Legislation that favors their competition.  Or a brutal colonoscopy performed by the IRS or local and state tax authorities.  Just as a reminder of who has the power.  And who belongs to the privileged class.  The American nobility.  The new aristocracy.  Just like the old aristocracy.  The ruling class.  The federal government.

Well, it turns out they were wrong.  And the deniers had good cause to not believe in man-made global warming.  Because their models were flawed.  Based on temperatures from a natural warming period.  A warming caused not by man.  But by the planet (see Global warming less extreme than feared? by Bård Amundsen/Else Lie (translation: Darren McKellep/Carol B. Eckmann) posted 1/24/2013 on The Research Council of Norway).

Policymakers are attempting to contain global warming at less than 2°C. New estimates from a Norwegian project on climate calculations indicate this target may be more attainable than many experts have feared…

After Earth’s mean surface temperature climbed sharply through the 1990s, the increase has levelled off nearly completely at its 2000 level. Ocean warming also appears to have stabilised somewhat, despite the fact that CO2 emissions and other anthropogenic factors thought to contribute to global warming are still on the rise…

A number of factors affect the formation of climate development. The complexity of the climate system is further compounded by a phenomenon known as feedback mechanisms, i.e. how factors such as clouds, evaporation, snow and ice mutually affect one another.

Uncertainties about the overall results of feedback mechanisms make it very difficult to predict just how much of the rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature is due to manmade emissions. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the climate sensitivity to doubled atmospheric CO2 levels is probably between 2°C and 4.5°C, with the most probable being 3°C of warming.

In the Norwegian project, however, researchers have arrived at an estimate of 1.9°C as the most likely level of warming…

For their analysis, Professor Berntsen and his colleagues entered all the factors contributing to human-induced climate forcings since 1750 into their model. In addition, they entered fluctuations in climate caused by natural factors such as volcanic eruptions and solar activity. They also entered measurements of temperatures taken in the air, on ground, and in the oceans.

The researchers used a single climate model that repeated calculations millions of times in order to form a basis for statistical analysis. Highly advanced calculations based on Bayesian statistics were carried out by statisticians at the Norwegian Computing Center…

The figure of 1.9°C as a prediction of global warming from a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration is an average. When researchers instead calculate a probability interval of what will occur, including observations and data up to 2010, they determine with 90% probability that global warming from a doubling of CO2 concentration would lie between 1.2°C and 2.9°C.

This maximum of 2.9°C global warming is substantially lower than many previous calculations have estimated. Thus, when the researchers factor in the observations of temperature trends from 2000 to 2010, they significantly reduce the probability of our experiencing the most dramatic climate change forecast up to now.

Professor Berntsen explains the changed predictions:

“The Earth’s mean temperature rose sharply during the 1990s. This may have caused us to overestimate climate sensitivity.

“We are most likely witnessing natural fluctuations in the climate system – changes that can occur over several decades – and which are coming on top of a long-term warming. The natural changes resulted in a rapid global temperature rise in the 1990s, whereas the natural variations between 2000 and 2010 may have resulted in the levelling off we are observing now…”

The project’s researchers may have shed new light on another factor: the effects of sulphur-containing atmospheric particulates.

Burning coal is the main way that humans continue to add to the vast amounts of tiny sulphate particulates in the atmosphere. These particulates can act as condensation nuclei for cloud formation, cooling the climate indirectly by causing more cloud cover, scientists believe. According to this reasoning, if Europe, the US and potentially China reduce their particulate emissions in the coming years as planned, it should actually contribute to more global warming.

Some things to take away from this.  Climate is very complex.  And climate models require a boatload of assumptions.  Guesses.  Not even educated guesses.  But politically-driven guesses.  Also, they based their models on the temperatures in the Nineties being the new normal when the Nineties was in fact a natural warming period.  Where temperatures were temporarily above normal temperatures.  Volcanic eruptions and solar activity also influence climate.  And that sulfur actually causes global cooling.  Which is why volcanic activity causes global cooling.  Because volcanoes release sulfur particles into the atmosphere.  Just as burning coal does.  So the war on coal to fight global warming is actually contributing to global warming.

When you remove the politics from climate science you can arrive but at one solution.  Al Gore needs to return his Academy Award for An Inconvenient Truth.

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