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Monday, January 25, 2010

The Real First Step in Solving the Healthcare Problem

In our book, The Great Recession Conspiracy, we make the very clear point that the first step in controlling sky rocketing health care costs comes from understanding end of life issues. Now a study by the Harvard Medical School adds to that argument. They show that a mere 5% of all Medicare recipients die each year. Yet they account for 30% of the $446 Billion annual Medicare budget. That is $134 Billion spent annually, and 80% of that amount ($107 Billion) is spent on mechanical ventilators, resucscitation and other life sustaining care in the LAST MONTH of life. They also demonstrate that the primary result of that expenditure is to make suffering prolonged, both for the patient and the family.

Three simple steps would reduce that expenditure.
1) Encourage living wills.
2) Encourage DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) orders.
3) Encourage doctors to discuss the issues and the alternatives.

If you want to put a living face on the problem, consider Terry Schiavo. She went into a comma in 1990 and stayed that way until 2005. For over fifteen years, she required the most expensive care in the hospital for no apparent purpose whatsoever.

In spite of all the evidence of how to improve health care involved in dealing with end of life issues, the Wicked Witch of the North managed to turn the issues into "Death Panels" and "Life Rationing". (Can you imagine that woman in the most powerful job in the world?)

And we walk the walk. Both of us have had Living Wills and DNRs for many years. Do you?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Elizabeth Warren Speaks Out

Elizabeth Warren is the Harvard law professor who chairs the Congressional panel appointed to oversee the bank bailout and one of the two people in Washington whom you can trust to tell you the truth. Here is a direct quote from her committee. "Families today spend less than they did a generation ago on food, clothing, furniture, appliances and other flexible purchases, but it hasn't been enough to save them."

But the people in the top 5% of income have amassed a share of the country's wealth unmatched in a century.

So what the real numbers say is that there has been a massive shift of wealth in the U.S. from the middle class to the wealthiest few. When you combine this fact with the failure to create new jobs I discussed earlier, you will have a hard time being enthusiastic about where the country is headed.

Why The Democrats Lost Massachusetts

20% of all Americans are unemployed, working short hours or have given up looking. Five million have been unemployed for over six months.

13% of all Americans are living on food stamps.

13% of all American mortgages are in default or foreclosure.

Goldman Sachs has recorded record profits and will be paying enormous bonuses to all the people who caused the Great Recession.

Larry Summers, Tim Greithner, Robert Rubin and the other millionaires who are running economic policy for Obama have no comprehension of what people in the real America are living through, nor do they show any signs of caring.

But Independent registered voters understand what is happening and in Massachusetts and have sent a message to Washington. Good for them.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kindle Books at Amazon

I am writing this blog to connect with Amazon's Kindle support for Authors. Sorry to say, Amazon won't upload earlier posts. You can read them all at Thanks for coming.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

And here is something to really scare you

The U.S. economy needs to create 1.5 million NEW jobs every year to absorb the growing population. Since December 1999, the U.S. economy has created ZERO net new jobs. No decade since the 1940's has produced job growth less than 20%!

And this administration doesn't understand that the fundamental problem with our economy is jobs, jobs, jobs!!!

It's Jobs Stupid

Here are the crucial numbers;
*Fifteen million Americans are unemployed
*Five million of them have been out of work for more than six months
*One million Americans have simply given up looking for work
*Twenty million more are working shorter hours or are now temporary workers
*And a large number of people employed are cutting expenditures because they are worried about losing their jobs.

*70% of our economy is driven by consumer expenditures
*20% is driven by government expenditures
*10% is driven by business spending.

Our economy will not begin to recover until Americans have actual incomes and are not worried about losing their jobs. A little bump in rebuilding some inventories by businesses won't do it.

Unfortunately, this administration and all its "propeller head" economists do not understand these simple facts. Now we are a full year into the new administration and they still don't get it.

The U.S. economy will not begin to grow (and the recession end) until people have jobs and incomes to spend and confidence in the economy. Period. End of story.