Cuba is Slashing Jobs from the American Left’s Favorite Health Care System

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 12th, 2014

Week in Review

The American left loves Cuba.  A communist/socialist regime just a short boat ride from Florida.  Where they put people before profits.  And the left likes people.  Just as much as they hate profits.  And best of all Cuba has a national health care system.  American film maker and darling of the left Michael Moore even made a movie about how great that health care system is.  Sicko.  Which showed how there are no health insurance companies in Cuba. No.  Just a government that loves its people.  A large number of who for some reason risk their lives to float their way to Florida.  To escape that beautiful paradise Moore rhapsodizes about but never chooses to live in.  Which probably has something to do with this (see Cuba slashes more than 100,000 health care jobs by The Associated Press posted 4/7/2014 on the Star-Telegram).

Cuban authorities say they have eliminated more than 100,000 jobs in health care, considered one of the pillars of the 1959 revolution.

The cuts come as President Raul Castro tries to streamline government as part of a broader economic reform package.

The weekly labor newspaper Trabajadores said Monday that 109,000 health care positions have been cut…

Cuba’s health care sector is entirely run by the state. Authorities have said that like other areas of the economy it is plagued by inefficiency, redundancies and bloated payrolls.

This is what Michael Moore and others on the left want for America.  A health care system plagued by inefficiency, redundancies and bloated payrolls.  Which, of course, consumes so many of the limited health care resources that there is little left for patients.  This is national health care.  This is a government bureaucracy doing what it does best.  Incompetence and corruption.  And the left is fine with this as long as they get their hands on those health care dollars.  So they can create a vast, inefficient bureaucracy that is full of high-paying jobs to consume those health care dollars.  Allowing anyone working for the national health care service to get rich.  Just like those health insurance companies the left so hates.  Only without being able to do what the private health insurance companies have been able to do.  Create the world’s best health care system.

For the American people aren’t risking their lives to float to Cuba to get that health insurance-free national health care.  At least, not yet.  But with further economic reform President Castro may end up one day with a privatized health care system as the Americans move in the other direction.  Which could very well create a health tourism paradise in Cuba after all.  For Americans wishing to escape what President Obama and the Democrats are doing to the health care system they liked and wanted to keep.

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FT212: “If liberals keep winning elections the United States will fall like the Roman Empire.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 7th, 2014

Fundamental Truth

The Roman Empire survived for about 1500 Years

The Roman Empire was one of the greatest empires of all time.  It lasted some 500 years in the West.  And another thousand years in the East.  Give or take.  As empires go they don’t come much bigger.  Or last longer.  The Romans ruled the world.  It stretched from Northern Africa to Britain.  And from Spain to the Middle East.  It was huge.

There have been bigger empires.  The British Empire.  The Mongol Empire.  The Russian Empire.  The Spanish Empire.  And others.  But none of them lasted as long as the 1500 years of the Roman Empire.  The British Empire lasted about 400 years.  The Mongol Empire lasted about 50 years.  The Russian Empire lasted about 200 years.  And the Spanish Empire lasted about 500 years.  Adolf Hitler said the Third Reich would last a thousand years.  But it lasted only 12.  Proving that empire building—and empire maintaining—are easier said than done.

Yet the Romans did it for 1500 years.  Give or take.  So they knew a thing or two about empire building.  And maintaining that empire.  Yet even this mighty empire fell.  Why?  Historians still debate this question today.  As do the laymen.  With a person’s political persuasion sometimes determining what they believe.

A Debased Coin and High Taxes made the Roman Citizenry very Unhappy

Empires are costly.  As Rome built her empire she paid for it by conquering new lands.  So as her borders pushed out treasure flowed back the other way to Rome.  Which paid for her massive military.  And her massive bureaucracy to govern that sprawling empire.  So the Roman people went about their business.  Shielded from the cost of empire.  Farming and taking their goods to market.  Safe within their empire.  For her enemies were outside the borders of the empire.  And those borders were pushed a very long way out.

But then something happened.  Those borders stopped moving.  They were not conquering new lands.  And there was no more treasure flowing back to Rome.  Which was a problem.  For the Roman Empire covered a lot of land that they had to govern.  And defend.  So the cost of the Roman Empire was never higher than when her borders stopped pushing out.  While her revenue to pay for that empire was never smaller.  So they had to do something.  And that something was taxes.  Lots of them.  All of a sudden the Roman citizenry was feeling the cost of their bloated bureaucratic state.  And the cost of that massive military that defended the frontier.

So taxes soared.  Making the Roman citizenry unhappy.  But the tax revenue proved to be insufficient.  So they started debasing their currency.  Adding more and more lead to their silver coins.  But not their gold coins.  For they used gold to pay the military and to pay the government bureaucrats.  So they only debased the silver coin.  The coin of the Roman citizenry.  Which, of course, resulted in inflation.  As the coins had less and less silver in them they bought less and less.  So prices soared.  As did taxes.  Making the Roman citizenry very unhappy.

The Cost of Mercenaries and the Roman Bureaucracy and Welfare State bankrupted the Roman Empire

So the Romans started building things to entertain the people.  And they grew a welfare state to help feed those who could not afford to buy food.  Public works and the new welfare state may have eased some of the animosity towards the state.  But it only increased the costs of the state.  Requiring higher taxes.  So high that people lost money on their farms and businesses.  So they quit.  Causing food and goods shortages.  So the Romans passed laws forcing them to stay in their jobs.  And forcing their children to do the same work their parents did.  Which eventually evolved into feudalism.

Eventually the Roman citizenry no longer wanted to serve the empire.  Leading to the use of mercenary armies.  Which were costly.  And only increased the cost of empire.  With the silver coin so debased the Roman government would not even accept it in payment of taxes.  So the government took a portion of the food grown and goods made.  Making it more difficult to pay for the welfare state (just imagine your employer paying you in food, toilet paper, soap, etc.).  And the mercenary armies guarding the frontier.  Which could prove troublesome.  As they had no loyalties to the Roman Empire.  They were just hired muscle.  Their blood loyalties were often to people on the other side of the border they were guarding.  Having come from those people.

So the massive cost of hired mercenaries and the massive cost of the Roman bureaucracy and welfare state basically bankrupted the Roman Empire.  Of course the American left prefers not to think about this.  As they are very fond of their large welfare state.  So some on the left often cite the decadence of the Roman Empire that caused her fall.  They talk about the feasts, the drink, the gladiators, the orgies and other acts of debauchery that caused a societal decay that eroded the empire from within.  Even while they are in the business of societal decay themselves.  Free birth control, abortion on demand, the decriminalization of marijuana, the rejection of virtue and morality, their extreme secularism to remove any vestige of restraint from their lives of excess, etc.  The kind of things a debauched Roman citizenry no doubt would have enjoyed.  So either way the Roman Empire fell because of principles the American left embraces.  Which means if liberals keep winning elections the United States will fall like the Roman Empire.

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Capitalism gives New York City a Night Life while Communism gives Pyongyang only Night

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 1st, 2014

Week in Review

The American left has long had a love affair with communism.  They loved Joseph Stalin.  Until he made a nonaggression pact with Nazi Germany that allowed Hitler to wage World War II.  Which devastated the left.  For they felt their true love betrayed them.  But they rejoiced when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union.  So they could love Uncle Joe Stalin once again.  Even though some 20 million Soviets died because of Stalin’s nonaggression pact with Adolf Hitler.

All during the Cold War the left urged détente with the Soviet Union.  They wore t-shirts with pictures of Che Guevara.  They carried pictures of Chairman Mao.  They admired Ho Chi Minh.  They wanted to normalize relations with Cuba.  They liked Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua.  And just loved Hugo Chávez in Venezuela.  When it came to communist/socialist regimes nationalizing industries and oppressing their people the left professed their undying love.  Why?  Because they hate capitalism.  Just like these communist/socialist dictators.  Who put their people ahead of profits.  Like they do in North Korea (see NASA photo shows North Korea is in the dark by Dylan Stableford posted 2/26/2014 Yahoo! News).

While you were sleeping, North Korea disappeared.

Well, not exactly. But a recent image taken from the International Space Station shows the mysterious, dictator-ruled country almost completely in the dark…

Even the capital of Pyongyang (population: 3.26 million) is a relatively dark, compared with smaller cities in neighboring South Korea and China.

The reason? According to a recent report by the Korea Institute for National Unification, electricity in North Korea is “sporadic and unreliable, with homes that have electricity often receiving just a few hours per day.” About half of North Korea’s 24 million people live in extreme poverty, with most homes and apartments “heated by open fireplaces burning wood or briquettes.” And many “lack flush toilets.”

The North Korean regime hates capitalism.  Just like the American left. Because capitalism puts profits before people.  Which is why New York City has an incredible night life unlike Pyongyang (or any other North Korean city).  Not to mention cellular networks and smartphones.  Broadway and night clubs.  Times Square and Greenwich Village.  Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show.  Trains and air planes.  Allowing anyone to get where the party is.  New York City.  Things they don’t have in North Korea.  Because North Korea doesn’t have capitalism.  Like New York City.  The city that never sleeps.  Thanks to electric power lighting up the night.  Something North Korea doesn’t have.  Because North Korea doesn’t have capitalism.  Or lights.

The American left loves liberal New York City.  It is the center of their world.  Even though it was built with capitalism.  But the left loves socialism.  And communism.  Where they put people before profits.  And those people sit in the dark doing nothing once the sun sets.  And defecate in holes in the ground because they have no flush toilets.  Something else you can do all night long in heated buildings throughout New York City.  Because New York City has capitalism.  Which makes life better.  At least according to the American left.  For their favorite city is a city that capitalism built.  Unlike that communist city they’re not flying to for a good time.  Pyongyang.

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Is the Road to National Health Care through Incompetence or Deviousness?

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 19th, 2013

Politics 101

The American Left is always trying to Expand the Role of Government in our Lives

Hillary Clinton tried it.  When her husband was president.  Give us national health care.  But there was terrific blowback.  Because people didn’t want it.  For they were afraid it would take the best health care system in the world (it’s the United States the richest people in the world go to for their more serious health problems) and do, well, what Obamacare is doing to it now.

The American left is always trying to expand the role of government in our lives.  To make people more dependent on government.  Because once they are they will soon discover something very beneficial to the left.  They will learn that they need government.  And once they do they will keep voting for the party that promises to expand government ever more.

This is why the left so wants national health care.  For it makes people need government.  To stay alive.  And that pays big dividends at those annoying things that come around every 2 years that the left hates.  And thinks is beneath them.  Elections.

The Lesson the American Left learned from the Failure of Hillarycare was to Lie Better

Liberals are a bunch of elitists.  They think they are better and smarter than the rest of us.  Which is why they feel they have the right to tell us how to live our lives.  For in their eyes we’re just too stupid to know what’s best for us.  Much like the British nobles felt about their petulant North American colonists.  They’d have preferred we appreciated all that the Crown was doing for them.  Thank them.  And shut the hell up.  This is the mindset of the American left.

The British Crown did not like their American colonists questioning the established order of power.  Neither do liberals.  For they believe that they are a privileged class.  And should live under a different set of rules.  Like they continue to show us all the time as they implement Obamacare.  As they forced the majority of Americans to lose the health insurance, doctors and medicine they liked and wanted to keep waivers went out to those connected to the liberal ruling class.  And actual members of the ruling class.  Such as those Congressional staffers getting illegal subsidies for their gold-plated health care plans while ordinary Americans lost their bare-bones plans because the Affordable Care Act made them unaffordable.

Was this an unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act?  Well, being that the promise that if you like your health insurance, doctors and medicine and wanted to keep them but now can’t as the year’s biggest lie, it makes one think.  If they lied why did they lie?  To do what was best for the American people?  Or was it because they learned a powerful lesson from the failure of Hillarycare?  That the people don’t want national health care.  So if that’s what you want you can’t tell the American people that.  No.  You lie to them.  Which is why President Obama and his fellow Democrats lied.  Because they knew the American people didn’t want the [deleted expletive] they were shoveling.

The American Left looks upon us with the same Contempt as the British Nobility looked upon the American Colonists

Originally the Affordable Care Act included a public option.  National health care for those who opted for national health care.  But this just didn’t pass the smell test.  For there were Democrats who had one of those nasty things they hated coming up.  An election.  And these Democrats knew that their constituents, though they voted Democrat, would not go for national health care in sheep’s clothing.  So they had to remove the public option from the bill.  For it was just too painfully obvious what their ultimate intentions were.  Which left them with Plan B.

People like their health insurance, doctors and medicine.  And you’re not going to usher in national health care when they have these things.  For they know that the VA and Medicaid (examples of national health care already in America) is second-class health care.  I mean, those rich people coming to the United States for their more serious health problems aren’t demanding to get into the VA or Medicaid programs.  So to get national health care you first have to destroy the private health insurance system.  And candidate Obama told the SEIU that it may take awhile (see The Fix Is In: From ObamaCare Set-Up To Single-Payer Solution by Larry Bell posted 11/26/2013 on Forbes).

“But I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There’s going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out or 15 years out or 20 years out…”

So is the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act just incompetence?  Or is it part of a devious plan to get what they always wanted?  National health care?  By first destroying the private health insurance that gave people the health insurance, doctors and medicine they liked and wanted to keep?  If it’s incompetence that isn’t good for the American people.  For these same incompetent people will now be in charge of our health care.  With our lives literally hanging in the balance.  Or are they just devious?  Which also isn’t good for the American people.  For it means they look upon us with the same contempt as the British nobility looked upon the American colonists.  Who only cared about what was best for their privileged class.  And not the American people.

The problem the left has is one of timing.  Yes they hold the American people in contempt and believe they are privileged.  But because of elections they have to be careful about letting these truths out.  Because if they lose the Senate and don’t get the House back in the next election it could throw a wrench into their plans.  They need to destroy the private health insurance industry.  But doing so will make people hate them.  And vote against them.  So on the one hand they have to get people dependent on government as soon as possible.  To get them to need government.  But if they move too fast they may anger the people so much that they may lose in the upcoming thing a privileged class hates.  And thinks is beneath them.  An election.  Which may cause them to lose their power.  This is the dilemma the left faces in the rollout of Obamacare.  The degree to which they [deleted expletive] the American people.

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College Degrees that are too Cool for School and Unwanted by Employers in a High-tech Economy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 8th, 2013

Week in Review

The American left is hammering millennials.  The young people.  Teenagers to thirty-somethings.  A strong demographic for the American left.  But they are just beating them up.  The latest being the punishing blows of the Affordable Care Act (i.e., Obamacare).  Which transfers the cost of the old and sick to them.  By forcing them to buy costly health insurance policies that they can’t afford.  Because the millennials are suffering the highest unemployment rates in the worst economic recovery since that following the Great Depression.

The economic policies of the Obama administration have forced over ten million people out of the labor force since Obama became president.  With this destruction of jobs the millennials graduating with a college degree can’t find a job.  At least not one using their degree.  That they financed with a large student loan.  And ended up working someplace that doesn’t require that costly degree.  Making far less than they expected when they took on all that student loan debt.  Leaving them struggling to repay that debt.

And if that wasn’t bad enough they encouraged them to go to college.  To get a college degree so they can make the big bucks after graduation.  They even took over the student loan program to make it easier to give these kids college loans.  The problem is that a lot of them did go to college.  But they got degrees like these (see College Majors That are Too Cool for School posted 12/8/2013 on Fact University).

Comic Book Art, Adventure Education, Cannabis Cultivation, Bowling Industry Management, Motorsports Science and Engineering, Winemaking, Folklore and Mythology, Comedy: Writing and Performance, Diving Business and Technology, Beatles Historian, Theme Park Engineer, Puppetry, Popular Culture, Entertainment Engineering & Design and Sexuality.

Is it any wonder the millennials are suffering some of the highest unemployment?  And why businesses have to use the visa program to get foreign college graduates to fill their science and engineering needs?

Our colleges and universities are giving our kids worthless degrees in a high-tech economy.  And it’s these degrees that the Democrats have been floating the idea of forgiving that student loan debt for.  After getting that money to their friends in higher education so they can mold their students into future Democrat voters.  And giving these kids 4 years of partying while working on degrees that are just too cool for school.  Guaranteeing a Democrat vote from each of them.  Until they grow up and experience the real world.

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Vietnamese Coffee Industry suffers because Communist Vietnam puts People before Profits

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 17th, 2013

Week in Review

The American left wants more government intervention into the free market.  Because they hate and don’t trust corporations.  Because they are motivated by profit.  Even putting profits before people.  Whereas government puts people before profits.  So everything is better when government intervenes.  Which is why the left loved Hugo Chávez in Venezuela.  They love Cuba.  They loved the former Soviet Union.  Because they were all socialist utopias.  Where they put people before profits.  Of course, people are robbing women of their hair in Venezuelan streets.  Cubans have risked their lives crossing the ocean to reach Florida on just about anything that floats.  And the Soviet Union is no more.  Because they couldn’t provide for their people.  Despite putting their people before profits.

Another communist country the left likes is Vietnam.  Especially since the communists got the Americans to give up and go home.  Vietnam is still communist.  But like China they add a sprinkling of capitalism to the communist stew.  A sort of state-capitalism.  Capitalism with the heavy hand of the government involved.  The way the American left likes it.  And how are things there?  Well, they are having quite the problem in their coffee industry (see Crippling debts brew a coffee crisis in Vietnam by Nguyen Phuong Linh, Ho Binh Minh and Lewa Pardomuan posted 8/15/2013 on The Globe and Mail).

But its coffee industry is now in crisis, plagued by tax evasion, mismanagement, insolvency, high interest rates and a credit squeeze. Many coffee operators are trapped with crippling debt and banks are reluctant to lend them more money.

Vietnam’s credit crunch is blamed largely on state-owned enterprises that borrowed big during the economic boom of the past decade and squandered cash on failed investments, which has left banks crippled by one of Asia’s highest bad-debt ratios…

Few coffee exporters are willing to talk about their financial problems. In communist Vietnam, people are often reluctant to speak publicly about politics and business, especially to foreign media…

Vietnam’s 2013-2014 coffee crop is forecast to be a bumper harvest, around 17 million to 29.5 million 60-kg bags, based on a Reuters poll. This will add to a global oversupply and pressure coffee prices which have lost about 10 per cent since October…

A government assessment of the coffee industry paints a bleak picture. The value of non-performing loans or debts in the sector likely to go unpaid stands at 8 trillion dong ($379-million), or 60 per cent of all coffee industry loans, said a July circular signed by the Deputy Agriculture Minister Vu Van Tam…

Unscrupulous middlemen have also played a part in the crisis, cheating exporters by selling them weighted coffee bags and inferior beans which are difficult to sell or fetch lower prices.

“What I found out is the market there is quite dirty. Middlemen often sell poor beans to exporters. They even put metal bolts in the bags to outweigh them,” said Joyce Liu, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

You don’t have middlemen putting bolts into bags to make them heavier in free market capitalism.  For any inferior product in a free market doesn’t remain long in a free market.  As people will simply stop buying an inferior product.  And it could take years for a company to rebuild its tarnished image.  If they ever can.  This is what happens when you put profits before people.  People win.

So who caused the credit crunch?  State-owned enterprises.  As people in government are horrible at business.  For if they were good at it they would be in it.  But they’re not so they regulate it.  Or run a state-owned business.  Not because of their business acumen.  But because they had friends in higher places in government than anyone else.

Loans are important in any agricultural business.  Because all of your expenses come long before you can sell anything.  So they take on big debts at the beginning of the season.  That they plan on repaying after the harvest.  As long as prices don’t fall because there is a bumper crop.  But if they do they may not be able to earn enough to repay their bank loans.  Which is why 60% of all coffee industry loans will likely go unpaid.  And why bankers don’t want to loan them any more money.  Or charge a really high interest rate when they do.  For if a banker knows that every other loan he or she writes will never be repaid it makes a banker very reluctant to loan any money.  And what they do loan has to have such high interest rates to cover the loans that are never paid back.

This is why governments should not interfere with free markets.  For when they do they just make everything worse.  Because they’re just not good at it.  Unlike oppressing their people.  That they’re very good at.  Which is why people are “reluctant to speak publicly about politics and business, especially to foreign media.”  Something unheard of in free market economies.  But quite common in these socialist utopias.  Yet the left still favors them over free market capitalism.  Go figure.

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If Marijuana is Legal Kids will buy it off the Internet just as they buy Alcohol off the Internet

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 6th, 2013

Week in Review

The American left has used the heavy hand of government to protect the children.  They’ve taken candy and chips out of school vending machines.  They put vegetables on their lunch plates (which our kids promptly throw away).  They’ve restricted smoking in all public areas.  Placed restrictions on second-hand smoke.  Even on third-hand smoke.  Some have tried to limit the size of soda they can buy.  The kind of toys they can play with.  Even the words they can say in school.  The left has made a police state for our children.  To protect them.  And to make sure they grow up and think correctly.

But they have not brought their jackbooted oppression of our children into one area.  Marijuana.  In their drive to allow medical marijuana—as well as simply decriminalizing marijuana just to get high on—they are strangely quiet when it comes to the children.  For apparently they can protect the children from marijuana just like they can protect them from alcohol (see Concern over teenagers buying alcohol via online shopping posted 7/1/2013 on BBC News Wales).

Young people are increasingly using online supermarket delivery services to buy alcohol, figures show.

A total of 21% of 14-15 year olds questioned for the Alcohol Concern Cymru Wales-wide survey said they had bought alcohol online…

Meanwhile, four out of nine under-age test purchasers working with police in Cardiff bought and received alcohol online in March…

In four of the nine cases (44%), alcohol was handed to the underage test purchasers by delivery drivers with no proof of age requested after agreeing to online terms and conditions when making the purchases.

Canada has medical marijuana.  But their pharmacies don’t want to dispense it.  And doctors don’t want to prescribe it.  As there are no drug studies with marijuana as there is with every other drug.  So they don’t know how to prescribe dosage.  And the pharmacies don’t want a highly demanded drug on site that people will want to steal.  So in Canada if you want your medical marijuana you will have to order it directly from the producer.  By phone.  Or over the Internet.  Making Canadian stoners very, very happy.

Once upon a time selling marijuana was a crime.  Which limited the number of people willing to sell it to kids.  But if it’s not a crime there will be a whole lot of people willing to sell it to kids over the Internet.  Especially when they can say, “They checked the box on the online order form stating they were of legal age.  What more could I have done.  Here’s my wrist.  Please slap it and go on your way.  For business is good and I have more orders to fill.  All of these orders, incidentally, are for adults.  Because they checked the box on the online order form.  So they have to be adults.  I mean, why would anyone lie about their age when buying marijuana?”

Our kids may not be able to play with a toy gun or eat a candy bar in school.  Thanks to the oppressive police state they live in.  Which strangely looks the other way when it comes to marijuana.  Even though it would be safer for our kids to enjoy a candy bar in school than smoking dope that they bought over the Internet.  Why?  Is it just to help them keep the youth vote?  For high school kids and college kids like smoking dope.  And vote Democrat.  Or is it because the left are nothing but a bunch of pot smokers themselves?  Funny for a group of people who have all but legislated cigarette smoking out of existence to have no problem with smoking marijuana.  Either way (the youth vote or their desire to get high) the left clearly have put their own desires above what’s best for our children.  Talk about your selfish bastards.

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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 American Left would like to treat Conservatives like the Chinese treat their Political Dissidents

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 12th, 2013

Week in Review

The mainstream media has a liberal bias.  They support liberal Democrats and their policies.  They report favorably on liberal Democrats.  And attack the conservative opposition.  Liberals have benefitted nicely from this partnership with the mainstream media.  Virtually having their own propaganda ministry.  And they use it to advance a liberal agenda.  They have tried to pass legislation like the Fairness Doctrine to muzzle Rush Limbaugh in particular and talk radio in general.  They belittle Fox News and say it is a Right wing shill for simply not having a liberal bias.  They hate the Tea Party and blame them for any obstruction of liberal policies in Congress.   Some on the Left have even called for the rounding up and imprisoning of these ‘enemies of the state’ who oppose their liberal agenda.  Pining for the days before the Internet, cable television and talk radio when they had full control of the only three news networks.  Which is another reason why liberals love China (see Chinese protest outside newspaper gates in rare censorship demo by NBC News staff and wire reports posted 1/7/2013 on Behind the Wall on NBC News).

Scores of supporters of one of China’s most liberal newspapers demonstrated outside its headquarters on Monday in a rare protest against censorship, backing an unusual strike by journalists against interference by the provincial propaganda chief…

Negotiations between journalists and officials, whom the protesters held responsible for replacing a New Year’s letter to readers that called for a constitutional government with another piece lauding the party’s achievements, continued into the night, a senior journalist who asked not to be named told NBC News…

The protesters, most of them young, laid down small handwritten signs that said “freedom of expression is not a crime” and “Chinese people want freedom…”

The non-profit watchdog group Reporters without Borders ranked China at 174th out of 179 spots in its 2011-2012 press freedom index. The United States ranked 47th in the annual report, six rungs above Hong Kong, a former British colony which is administered separately from China’s mainland.

“China, which has more journalists, bloggers and cyber-dissidents in prison than any other country, stepped up its censorship and propaganda in 2011 and tightened its control of the Internet, particularly the blogosphere,” the group said in a report about the rankings.

What is the difference between liberals and conservatives?  In this case liberals would have sympathies for the Chinese Communist Party.  For they admire the Chinese way.  Just as they admired the Soviet way.  Where smart state planners ran the economy.  And prevented any private business owners from getting rich.  And these smart state planners even ran their personal lives.  Doing things that were for their best interests.  Because they were smarter than the people and knew what was best.  Even if the people disagreed.

Conservatives, meanwhile, would have sympathies for the Chinese people.  For they are simpatico with them.  Facing the same assault on their liberties from an ‘enlightened’ ruling class.  Albeit to a lesser degree than these Chinese lovers of liberty.  So far.

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