Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Financial Bailout Exposure

The Chicago Tribune reported that the watchdog overseeing the federal government financial bailout says the government's maximum exposure to financial institutions since 2007 could total nearly $24 trillion, or about $80,000 for every American.

That's $80,000 for every man, woman, and child!

  1. Surely this staggering figure is not just the result of giving mortgages to minorities that could not afford it.
  2. I still can't believe that not one of the Wall Street wizards responsible for a mess this huge has been held accountable. In fact, Goldman Sachs is doling out big bonuses ($700,000, on average) to many of the very people who made our country poor!

Where's the outrage?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kane County Fair

I went to the county fair today. I learned a few things:

1. Sheep are judged in a couple of categories: for the quality of their wool and in a category called "meat". Farmers are very matter-of-fact about the sources of our food.

2. Goats can be cute. Plus, some of them have rectangular (horizontally oriented) eye pupils that make them look like creatures from another planet. I was told that the ones at the show are quite friendly because they tend to be bottle-raised. And, they were.

3. There are some really beautiful chickens. Plus, roosters make way too much noise.

4. Cows can be really large. Enough said.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Socialized Medicine

We are currently suffering under socialized medicine. I do agree that the technically correct definition of “socialized” would mean controlled by a government bureaucracy, but our medical system is under the control of a private, profit-oriented insurance bureaucracy and the effect on our lives is virtually the same, perhaps worse.

  • Our individual choices are limited by insurance company bureaucrats.
  • Doctors have large administrative overhead to deal with the insurance company bureaucracy.
  • The true costs of medical care are both hidden and amplified by the insurance smoke screen.

There are those who argue that it would be worse if the government ran health care. Perhaps. I consistently read that Medicare is far less costly to administer than private insurance, but I don’t know who to believe any more.

However, why not consider a system that REALLY uses the free market? Eliminate the insurance middleman! Make medical pricing, direct from the providers, transparent. Open up true competition between providers of medical services rather than providers of insurance. Take a chunk of the cost out of the health care system by reducing all the overhead imposed by insurance programs. Where is it written that only insurance companies should pay medical bills on our behalf?

What we all really need is access to health care, not access to health insurance.

Beautiful Fall Day

It's a beautiful fall day here in Illinois. Seen on the Fox River Trail