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March 2012

Health Care- Life beyond "ObamaCare"

The Supreme Court is currently hearing oral arguments about various aspects of the Affordable Care Act (the real name for what has been commonly referred to as ObamaCare). Their decision, expected in June of this year, will impact our country on multiple levels and for years to come. The need to do their job, be bigger than their own ideology, and then we must move on down the road they point out as the one we can and should take. Which begs a simple question- What is Life after their decision?

Interest of the National Debt

IF you were looking for good news here, you might want to move on....
The Interest on the National Debt takes up about 5.9% of our current Federal Budget. JUST the interest, just at the lowest levels in the history of our Government. Talk about a complicated mathematical world- wait until the rates are increased for inflation and to cool off the economy. And yes, that will happen in time- it always has and always will, as businesses run in cycles. We have good years, followed by not so good- then it bottoms and turns, followed by another nice run- sound familiar, although distant?


I would start with this- the Federal Government has about 500 mandates it has issued to State/local governments to pull off- and No Money to back it up. Seriously? IF that doesn’t show you how dysfunctional a system we have is, how about a teacher in jail still being paid because it is illegal to fire her? Even met a budget that actually went down? Even seen a budget vote that didn’t get taglined as “Do it for the Kids”? Tough to buy into that when 70% of a school budget goes to paying people who work about half a year, are tenured after 3 years, are removed by seniority- not talent, and will strike (not be there for the kids) if you so much as whisper you would reduce their benefits or ask them to contribute like all other private individuals towards their own health care.


The Immigration issue is not one single issue, but a series of decisions, actions, and policies to build for a better future. No matter what side of the political spectrum you fall on, that is a simple common ground of agreement. So let’s deal with this in a series of discussions.
The first is a fairly simple one- legal vs. illegal immigration. Most people who come here legally, through proper channels, or/and are brought in for their specific set of skills or education are not the discussion. It is a painfully long and costly process, which is a separate issue since it increases the likelihood of someone choosing an illegal avenue.


Stick a fork in them they are done- they are another thing that was never thought through many years ago. How do you pay for current now, with a promise of money down the road as well? Then down the road actually have the money to pay for it? You end paying the “new” employees more, the old employees more, and as your business/entity “succeeds”- you get stuck with a growing pile of labor benefits for people who no longer even produce a single thing for you. That ‘success” is not success at all; it is a recipe for non-competitiveness.


Collusion, illegal, as defined by Webster is when Business get together to oppress
Workers. I completely agree since true competition for labor talent is when the marketplace works best.
So riddle me this batman? Why are Unions even legal? I understand why they originated, but how can you argue that they are good for anyone today? They cost the members money, they cost the businesses money, they make labor more costly by doing this which is passed through to the consumer in the form of higher prices, they gain nothing by doing this in productivity, and they are the collective body of talent holding out against business unless their terms are met (whether peaceful or by protest).

Social Security- Births, Timing, Break-Even

So I wrote a letter to the SSA concerning a few issues- I wanted to know births between 1940 - 2010, to try and get a gage for when SSA will come under the most pressure financially. I wanted to know when the Cover-to-Benefit ratio (amount of people paying in to system to cover each one drawing benefits). I wanted to know when SSA would take in less money than they pay out.
Boy- did I get some answers...
Birth rates calculated by the National Center of Health Services (NCHS) as the primary data source.

United States Postal Service- USPS

The US Postal Service (USPS) is about as outdated a "company" as you can find. It is also a perfect case study in the difficult choices facing us today.
"Unions are bad for business, how can you compete with that burden" could be said.
"A ton of Real Estate to sell off- but a horrible market" could be said.
"Gov't vs Private sector- let them fail" OR "Gov't vs Private sector- you have to subsidize" could be said.
The chase is this- decisions must be made from time to time in business, which although are the best choices- might not be what people want to hear.
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