Saturday, August 8, 2015

SAR #15220

Politicians would rather target the poor than poverty. Bernie Sanders 
Sinful Wages: A consumer economy needs consumers. A consumer economy will not grow if the consumers' wages do not grow. Wages in the US – the world's largest consumer-based economy – are not growing. Haven't been for some time. In constant dollars, the median wage has been $500 a week for the last 15 years.. In the last decade, the top one percent got 43% of all wage gains. For a variety of reasons, but mainly the death of unions and the shipment of jobs overseas, wages in the US have become a take it or leave it proposition for most workers. 
Judgment Day: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (who has other problems) has been invited to appear in federal court to explain how it is that he gets to ignore the Supreme Court.

Civics Lesson: In much of the US, if a traffic stop ends with you just getting a ticket, you are lucky. You could be dead - especially if you chose to be black. Or have all your money legally stolen by the cops. If you want to survive, do exactly what you are told, when you are told to do it and do absolutely nothing else. Insisting on your rights can result in you being silent for the rest of eternity. Maybe it was always this way, just the reporting is better. 
Either: Libor rate rigging convicted criminal mastermind Tom Hayes’s bosses at Citi and UBS were either complicit or stupid, and they're not stupid. 
Kneejerks: New Hampshire and Alabama are rushing to defund Planned Parenthood based on complete and total ignorance, and without considering what will happen to the millions of non-abortion seeking clients who depend on their clinics. 
Squeaking Wheel: A new bill would permit any veteran entitled to VA healthcare yo seek government-paid care outside the VA system. Quite why we have this particular slice of a single-payer system is a mystery to me. Yes, veterans who were wounded in the military should be cared for by the government. But short of that, just having served was either (a) a civic duty or (b) a job. Neither should automatically include free healthcare for life – it was and is a political boondoggle. One of many that a true single-payer system could end. 
Running Tab: At the Phoenix Convention Center, 4,200 came out to hear Trump. A week later, 11,000 came out to cheer Sanders. 
Success: A federal appellate court has ruled that the Texas voter identification law discriminates against blacks and Hispanics because it was specifically designed to discriminate against blacks and Hispanics. 
Recall: Which Republican debutant at the Fox beauty pageant had the best position on climate change?


John Ennis said...

About the veterans health care thing.

I wish it was easy. Your statements have some merit, but they don't encompass the whole truth.

From my point of view, I don't mind anyone getting access to the single payer system that you and I so fervently desire. I understand that you are annoyed because everyone should have it, but we aren't there yet. At least this way someone gets it. That is better than nothing.

But I look at the new bill differently. The PTB are going to gut the VA. They do it after every war. This is going to be how they get those eligible for VA care into the loving arms of the insurance mafia that is currently running healthcare. Once they set that up, they will start carving back the functional part of the VA (Hospitals, clinics, and such).

But the real stickler to all this is that the insurance mafia will kick out the VA eligibles because, the truth of the matter being, the VA specializes in train wrecks which are astonishingly costly. The eligibles will find themselves driven out of the only system that gives a shit about them, and when they try to come back, the system that used to care for them will be so much smaller it doesn't have room for them.

It will take about ten years.

Anonymous said...

John, my brother, who is in VA care, would say you have nailed it.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

John - Thanks for the infor/comment. Made me realize how fuzzy my own thought on VA helathcare were (still are...) I certainly am a single-payer advocate, but I also had an upbringing that instilled a belief of not taking resources from the commons pot if you did not need them. I'm not unique in the emotional trap of believing that while you should do for yourself there should be a social net available if you need it - but you shouldn't use it if you don't need it.

And - thanks to you - I see a bit more clearly now that healthcare is one of those things that we-as-a-society should "do" together. Like building roads and educating children and digging sewers and providing water.

And, like Medicaid and Medicare and ACA health insurance support and clinics like Planned Parenthood, the VA health system is part of the hodge-podge single-payer system we've evolved. And instead of encouraging people to leave the VA and be fleeced (or at least let the taxpayer be fleeced) by private insurance, we should provide greater resources to the VA as a stopgap until we can fold all these programs into a single-payer system where healthcare is a birth-right.