Canada does Health Care right even if they do Dental Care Wrong

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 9th, 2013

Week in Review

Canada does health care right.  They have a single-payer system.  Which is not quite national health care like the National Health Service in Britain.  But it’s the next best thing.  Sort of like Obamacare.  It’s not the national health care the Left wants.  But it’s the next best thing.  And a stepping stone to getting what they want.   So they can do health care right.  Like in Britain.  And like in Canada.  Where they put people before profits.  And everybody has everything they could ever want (see Bite out of dental program will hurt, says dentist posted 3/6/2013 on CBC News Health).

The president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Association says cuts to the adult dental program will cost the province more in the long run.

In a news release Tuesday, the government said it is putting a per person cap of $150 on basic dental services and $750 on denture care, starting on April 1. Dentists will have to get approval from MCP before treating most patients.

“One hundred and fifty dollars is not going to cut it for people that need pain management,” said Dr. Jason Noel.

Valid point.  So why in a country where they do health care right would they do dental care so wrong?

The government set up the Adult Dental Program in January 2012 for people on low incomes, including seniors. At that time, dentists praised the program for its accessibility…

“The program budget was for $6.7 million. In actual fact, it ballooned to something that we never anticipated at all – it was closer to $21 million…”

That’s why.  Because free health care is very expensive.  And government bureaucrats are very bad at making cost projections.  For what government program didn’t exceed government projections?

Just something to think about as Obamacare starts paying the bills.  A potential 213% cost overrun.  Or more.  Because Canada has been doing health care right for a lot longer than the United States.  So if they miss a target by 213% you just know a novice at doing health care right will do a poorer job.  But one thing we’ve learned from the recent sequester debate government doesn’t like cutting spending.  They don’t even like reducing the rate they will increase spending by.

So will the Americans be as responsible as the Canadians in fixing something they screwed up.  Probably not.  Instead they’ll rely on raising taxes.  And when they can raise taxes no more they will resort to rationing, longer wait times and denial of care.  As in those death panels that aren’t technically in Obamacare.  But a government bureaucrat deciding who gets health care and who doesn’t is a death panel.  Even if you don’t call it a death panel.  Something else to think about as Obamacare starts paying the bills.

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Thanks to Liberal Sexual Attitudes and Digital Cameras once Private Nude Photographs are Going Public

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 9th, 2013

Week in Review

The Sexual Revolution gave women the pill and access to abortion.  It liberated women to be free to be something more than just a housewife.  It let these women explore their sexuality.  By letting more men than ever explore these women’s sexuality.

This was a turning point in society.  Women were no longer romanced and cherished.  But enjoyed sexually.  And for some reason this empowered them.  Letting men live out all their sexual fantasies by having sex with as many women as possible.  With little intention of marrying them.  For teenage boys and young men aren’t thinking as much about marriage these days as they are about sex.

So this is what the hippies of the Sixties gave us.  And liberals in general.  They’ve empowered women into sexual objects.  Advocating free birth control and access to abortion as women’s health issues in the 2012 election.  For that was the most important issue for women they said.  Otherwise they may just end up getting married or something.  Romanced.  And cherished until death.  And who wants that?  Especially in the era of digital cameras, smartphones and sexting.  For this intense sexual environment that liberals have created has gotten teenage boys and young men all hot and bothered.  And it got a lot of girls to willingly give in to their sexual desires.  Even taking consensual nude photographs.  It’s just so exciting, titillating and grown up.  And they’re in love.  Surely someone they’re in love with would never share those intimate photographs (see Proposed Florida law would put limits on posting naked pictures on the Internet by Florida Today posted 3/7/2013 on WTSP).

A friend alerted her to the nude photos first – he sent her a link to a site that was displaying them. He suggested that she might want to talk to her ex-boyfriend. The photos were posted on a pornography site and included information that identified the 22-year-old Brevard County resident.

At first she was in shock. Then she felt angry, desperate, and most of all helpless.

“There’s really no telling how many people have seen it,” said the woman, whom FLORIDA TODAY is not identifying to protect her privacy.

Posting consensually obtained nude photographs is not illegal, but a bill proposed to the state legislature by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office would make it a third-degree felony to do so without the person’s written consent.

The Brevard woman didn’t want to talk about how the photos were taken. BCSO Agent Dan Ogden said the woman – who was 18 at the time – posed willingly, though they were meant to be private. She believes the pictures were online a year before she found them…

The proposed bill would prohibit “knowing use of a computer or other device to transmit or post any photograph or video of an individual which depicts nudity and contains specified information relating to the depicted individual without first obtaining the depicted person’s written consent.”

A person who violates the statute could be sentenced to up to five years.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey said this idea came about when they noticed a trend of these issues, but had no legal means to fight them.

“As life goes on, (victims) go in, they apply for a job or they’re applying for college or they’re in college and someone’s Google searching them and then all these pictures are coming up,” Ivey said. “It actually creates a long-term victimization for our victims and, in fact, there’s a couple examples where the victims have been so just so overrun by it and so depressed over it they’ve actually committed suicide.”

Apparently these teenage boys and young men these women once loved do share those intimate nude photographs.  Even posting them on the Internet for the world to see.  Which is hard to fathom if you didn’t come of age in this intense sexual environment.  For before the Sexual Revolution boys shared a malt at the malt shop with the girl they liked.  Sure, they tried to share more than a malted beverage.  But most waited until marriage for that.  And the girls that didn’t got a bad reputation.  But even these girls who went all the way the price they paid for their dalliances didn’t hold a candle to what girls today are paying.

This is the societal decay brought on by the Sexual Revolution.  And the sexualization of teenage girls brought on by pop culture and consequence-free sex thanks to birth control and abortion.  Pushed by liberals who call conservatives old prudes.  But as it turns out there are still consequences.  Such as the explosion in venereal disease in our young people.  And the shame and humiliation of having their nude selves posted on pornographic sites for their family, friends, neighbors, their boss and their coworkers to see.  By doing nothing more innocent than a Google search on a woman’s name.

There are things more important to women than having lots of sex.  And by scaring women into believing that Republicans will impose some kind of Sharia Law is only furthering this sexualization of women.  Young people vote Democrat because they like having fun.  Which includes smoking marijuana and having sex.  Two things that Democrats say are no big deal.  So the young indulge more.  And bad things happen.  Like ex-boyfriends posting nude photographs of their ex-girlfriend on the Internet.

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Wall Street is Doing Well because the Fed’s Inflationary Policies keep Raising Prices

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 9th, 2013

Week in Review

Investors like rising stock prices.  They don’t like falling stock prices.  Which is why Wall Street likes inflation.  And fear deflation.  Even though the economy is still sluggish with more and more people dropping out of the labor market (which is why the unemployment rate fell) investors are bullish.  Because of the Federal Reserve and all of their quantitative easing.

The more the Fed increases the money supply the more inflation there will be.  Investors like that.  Because inflation increases prices.  Such as the prices of their stocks.  As well as gasoline and groceries.  Making the current economic times odd.  For the stock market recently reached a record high.  Even though the labor participation rate (see THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION —FEBRUARY 2013, page 4) continues to fall.  It is now at 63.5%.  Which means 89,304,000 people are not in the labor force.  A record high.  But you wouldn’t know this by looking at the official unemployment rate.  Or the stock market (see Stocks And Inflation: The End Of An (Abnormal) Affair? by James Picerno posted 3/69/2013 on Seeking Alpha).

The positive correlation between the market’s inflation forecast and the stock prices appears a bit looser these days, but it’s premature to declare that the link has been broken…

Normally, rising/high inflation doesn’t inspire the bulls. But the last several years have been less than normal in terms of the macro backdrop. The crowd has remained worried about disinflation/deflation, which means that signs of higher inflation in the future have soothed anxious traders…

And why not?  For when have inflationary policies ever caused an asset bubble? That burst into a long and painful recession?  Except the housing bubble that brought about the 1990-91 recession.  The dot-com bubble that brought about the 2000-01 recession.  And that other housing bubble that brought about the 2007-09 recession.  AKA The Great Recession.  So there is no worry that these record highs in stock prices aren’t just another bubble.  Just waiting to burst.  Bringing on another deflationary recession.  I mean, what are the odds of that happening again?

Actually, the chances are pretty good that 2013 will have a very painful recession.  Because we don’t have any real economic growth.  These gains in the stock market aren’t because businesses are expanding and hiring.  Not with a falling labor participation rate.  No.  For all intents and purposes we are still in the 2007-09 recession.  Only we should probably call it the 2007-(end date to be determined) recession.  Because the president’s economic policies haven’t helped the economy yet.  And probably never will.

There’s no reason to believe that the fifth year will be any better than the previous four years.  In fact, it will probably be worse.  In fact one would almost get the impression that he is not trying to help the economy.  But, instead, trying to destroy the Republican Party.  So he can win the House of Representatives back in 2014.  So he can pass even more anti-business policies.  To transform the country into something it was never before.  Less prosperous than communist China.

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Two Consecutive Negative Quarterly Growth Rates in Business Earnings say we’re in a Recession

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 9th, 2013

Week in Review

Business earnings drive everything in the economy.  Every dollar a person spends in the economy came from a business.  From someone spending their paycheck.  To someone spending their government assistance.  Because business provides every tax dollar the government collects.  Whether from the business directly.  Or from their employees.  So business earnings are everything.  If they’re not earning profits they’re not creating jobs.  And the fewer people that are working the less tax revenue there is.

Lakshman Achuthan with the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) looks at business earnings and has found a direct correlation between the growth rate of business earnings and recessionary periods.  Finding that whenever there were 2 or more consecutive quarters of a falling growth rate in business earnings we were in a recession.  Business Insider has reproduced his chart showing this correlation as well as quoting from his report (see CHART OF THE DAY: A Stock Market Trend Has Developed That Coincided With The Last 3 Recessions by Sam Ro posted 3/6/2013 on Business Insider).

This is a bar chart of S&P 500 operating earnings growth going back a quarter of a century on a consistent basis, as we understand from S&P. Others can choose their own definitions of operating earnings, but this is the data from S&P. In this chart, the height of the red bar indicates the number of consecutive quarters of negative earnings growth.

It is interesting that, historically, there have never been two or more quarters of negative earnings growth outside of a recessionary context. On this chart, showing the complete history of the data, the only times we see two or more quarters of negative growth are in 1990-91, 2000-01, 2007-09 and, incidentally, in 2012. This data is not susceptible to the kind of revisions one sees with government data. The point is that this type of earnings recession is not surprising when nominal GDP growth falls below 3.7%. So, even though the level of corporate profits is high, this evidence is also consistent with recession.

Follow the above link to see this chart.

The stock market is doing well now thanks to the Federal Reserve flooding the market with cheap dollars.  Investors are borrowing money to invest because of artificially low interest rates.  So the rich are getting richer in the Obama recovery.  But only the rich.  For an administration that is so concerned about ‘leveling the playing field’ their economic policies continually tip it in favor of the rich.  Who can make money even if the economy is not creating new jobs.  Which it isn’t.

All of these recessions can be traced back to John Maynard Keynes.  And Keynesian economics.  Playing with interest rates to stimulate economic activity.  The 1990-91 recession was made so bad because of the savings and loan (S&L) crisis.  Which itself is the result of government interventions into the private economy.  First they set a maximum limit on interest rates S&Ls (and banks) could offer.  Then the Keynesians (in particular President Nixon) decoupled the dollar from gold.  Unleashing inflation.  Causing S&Ls to lose business as people were withdrawing their money to save it in a higher-interest money market account.  Then they deregulated the S&Ls to try and save them from being devastated by rising inflation rates.  Which the S&Ls used to good advantage by borrowing money and loaning it at a higher rate.  Then Paul Volcker and President Reagan brought that destructive high inflation rate down. Leaving these S&Ls with a lot of high-cost debt on their books that they couldn’t service.  And while this was happening the real estate bubble burst.  Reducing what limited business they had.  Making that high-cost debt even more difficult to service.  Ultimately ending in the S&L crisis.  And the 1990-91 recession.

Fast forward to the subprime mortgage crisis and it was pretty much the same thing.  Bad government policy (artificially low interest rates and federal pressure to qualify the unqualified) created another massive real estate bubble.  This one built on toxic subprime mortgages.  Which banks sold to get them off of their books as fast as possible because they knew the mortgage holders couldn’t pay their mortgage payment if interest rates rose.  Increasing the rate, and the monthly payment, on their adjustable rate mortgage (ARM).  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bought and/or guaranteed these toxic mortgages and sold them to their friends on Wall Street.  Who chopped and diced them into collateralized debt obligations (CDOs).  Sold them as high-yield low-risk investments to unsuspecting investors.  And when interest rates rose and those ARMs reset at higher interest rates, and higher monthly payments, the subprime borrowers couldn’t pay their mortgages anymore.  Causing a slew of foreclosures.  Giving us the subprime mortgage crisis.  And the Great Recession.

In between these two government-caused disasters was another.  The dot-com bubble.  Where artificially low interest rates and irrational exuberance gave us the great dot-com bubble.  As venture capitalists poured money into the dot-coms who had nothing to sell, had no revenue and no profits.  But they could just as well be the next Microsoft.  And investors wanted to be in on the next Microsoft from the ground floor.  So they poured start-up capital into these start-ups.  Helped by those low interest rates.  And these start-ups created a high-tech boom.  Colleges couldn’t graduate people with computer science degrees fast enough to build the stuff that was going to make bazillions off of that new fangled thing.  The Internet.  Even cities got into the action.  Offering incentives for these dot-coms to open up shop in their cities.  Building expansive and expensive high-tech corridors for them.  Everyone was making money working for these companies.  Staffed with an army of new computer programmers.  Who were living well.  The brightest in their field earning some serious money.  So they and their bosses were getting rich.  Only one problem.  The companies weren’t.  For they had nothing to sell.  And when the start-up capital finally ran out the dot-com boom turned into the dot-com bust.  As the dot-com bubble burst.  And when it did the NASDAQ crashed in 2000.  When it became clear that all of President Clinton’s prosperity in the Nineties was nothing more than an illusion.  There would be 4 consecutive quarters of negative growth in business earnings before the dust finally settled.  One quarter worse than both the S&L crisis and the subprime mortgage crisis recessions.

And now here we are.  With 2 consecutive quarters of negative earnings growth under our belt.  Based on this chart this has happened only three times in the past 3 decades.  The 1990-91 recession.  The 2000-01 recession.  And the 2007-09 recession.  Which if his theory holds we are in store for another very nasty and very long recession.  No matter what the government economic data tells us.

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A Solar Powered Plane is an Engineering Marvel but it won’t Fly you Anywhere

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 9th, 2013

Week in Review

The Boeing 747-8 is the latest derivative of the 747 family.  It can seat up to 465 people.  And has a gross takeoff weight of 975,000 pounds.  It’s cruising speed is 570 mph.  And has a range of 9,210 miles at maximum take-off weight.  Which means it could fly between California and New York in about 4 and a half hours.  The Boeing 747-8 is truly a remarkable aircraft.  But how does it measure up to other aircraft?  Well, here’s one with a similar wingspan (see Solar-Powered Plane To Make Cross-U.S. Flight by Jesse Emspak posted 3/4/2013 on Discovery News).

A plane that can fly on solar power, day or night, will make its way across the United States this summer — the first time the plane has attempted a cross-continental flight.

Wow.  Can it be the environmentalist were right all along?  That we can replace fossil fuels with solar power?  Well, this appears to be the proof.  A plane that can fly cross-continental.  Day or night.  Why, this can revolutionize air travel.  And put a serious crimp in global warming.  For as great as the 747-8 is it still burns a heck of a lot of jet fuel.  Putting a lot of emissions into the air.  Perhaps this is the future of aviation.  Clean solar power.  Perhaps with some minor adjustments required in our travel plans.  But if it saves the planet perhaps those minor adjustments will be worth it.

The Solar Impulse — built as a project of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, the brainchild of Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg — has the wingspan of a 747 but only weighs as much a Honda Prius. It flies thanks to four turboprop engines powered entirely by batteries and solar panels.

Borschberg told Discovery News that the although the plane could make the whole trip from California to New York in one go, the pilot cannot. The plane travels at 40 to 50 miles per hour, so a cross-country flight would take days. And since there’s only room for a single person in the cockpit, in part to save weight, and no autopilot, the trip will have to be broke up into five legs…

The solar panels are conventional silicon, with an efficiency of about 25 percent. While there are more efficient solar panels such as those used in the satellite industry, those designs are often too heavy, Borschberg said, as they tend to be encased in glass. And although the power is stored in batteries, the engines can run directly from the energy collected by the solar panels. In fact, the plane could be flown on an empty battery.

A 747-8 at maximum take-off weight weighs the same as about 321 Honda Prius hybrids.  And it includes galleys.  And toilets.  So it can stay in the air and fly almost anywhere in the world nonstop.  While the Solar Impulse currently can’t carry any passengers, has no galley and no toilets.  Which may allow about three flights of 4-5 hours a day.  Allowing it to arrive in New York after leaving California some 6 days earlier.

So solar power is not a viable alternative to fossil fuel if we want to fly anywhere.  As remarkable as the Solar Impulse is, and it is truly remarkable, it is only an engineering marvel.  For there is no way that solar power can provide sufficient thrust to carry great weights into the air.  Solar power can work in weightless space for they only have to power electric loads.  They don’t have to provide any thrust to move a heavy mass.

This is a large-scale example showing the limitations of electric-powered transportation.  For transportation to be useful it must be able to move heavy weights.  But the more useful the transport vehicle (the greater the weight it can move) the more battery charge is used for motive power.  Drawing down the battery charge faster (which is drawn down even faster if lights, heat, radio and other electric accessories are used).  Reducing range.  And usefulness.  Leaving the fossil fuel-powered vehicle the only viable vehicle in the foreseeable future.

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