Monthly Archives: July 2009

Healthcare Mythology

Wow! This is the best healthcare commentary I’ve read in a long time, excerpted for your convenience (original here):

by Tyler Durden

There are large groups of people in this country who want socialized medicine and they sense that the stars are aligning, and now is their time to succeed. They rarely call it socialized medicine, but instead “single payer health care” or “universal coverage” or something that their public relations people have told them sounds better. Whatever they call it, they believe (or pretend to believe) a lot of wrong-headed things, and they must be stopped. Step one is understanding how and why they are wrong. Step two is kicking their asses back to Cuba where they can get in line with Michael Moore and Al Gore for their free gastric bypasses. . . .

Myth #1 Health Care Costs are Soaring

No, they are not. The amount we spend on health care has indeed risen, in absolute terms, after inflation, and as a percentage of our incomes and GDP. That does not mean costs are soaring.

You cannot judge the �cost� of something by simply what you spend. You must also judge what you get. I’m reasonably certain the cost of 1950’s level health care has dropped in real terms over the last 60 years (and you can probably have a barber from the year 1500 bleed you for almost nothing nowadays). Of course, with 1950’s health care, lots of things will kill you that 2009 health care could prevent. . . .

In the case of health care, the fact that we spend so much more on it now is largely a positive. The negative part is if some, or a lot, of that spending is wasteful. Of course, that is mostly the government’s fault and is not the part on which the socialists want you to focus [emphasis added]. We spend so much more on health care, even relative to other advances, mostly because it is worth so much more to us. Similarly, we spend so much more on computers, compact discs, HDTV, and those wonderful one shot espresso makers that make it like having a barista in your own home.

Myth #2 The Canadian Drug Story

We have a (relatively) free market in the US where drug companies spend a ton to develop new wonder drugs, a non-trivial amount of which is spent to satisfy regulatory requirements. The cost of this development is called a �fixed cost.� Once it’s developed it does not cost that much to make each pill. That’s called a �variable cost.� If people only paid the variable cost (or a bit more) for each pill the whole thing would not work. You see, the company would never get back the massive fixed cost of creating the drug in the first place, and so no company would try to develop one. Thus, companies have to, and do, charge more than the variable cost of making each pill.[2] Some look at this system and say to the drug companies �gee, it doesn’t cost you much to make one more pill, so it’s unfair that you charge much more than your cost.� They are completely wrong and not looking at all the costs. . . .

[Canadians] have socialized medicine and they bargain as the only Canadian buyer for drugs, paying well below normal costs. Drug companies that spent the enormous fixed costs to create new miracles are charging a relatively high cost in the free and still largely competitive world (the US) to recoup their fixed cost and to make a profit. But socialist societies like Canada limit the price they are allowed to charge. The US-based company is then faced with a dilemma. What Canada will pay is not enough to ever have justified creating the miracle pill. But, once created, perhaps Canada is paying more than the variable cost of each pill. Thus, the company can make some money by also selling to Canada at a lower price as it’s still more than it costs them to make that last pill. . . .

I’m a big fan of Canadians in general . . . but when it comes to pharmaceuticals they are lucky parasitic hosers.

Myth #3 Socialized Medicine Works In Some Places

This is a corollary to the �Canada as parasite� parable above. The funny part is socialized medicine has never been truly tested. Those touting socialism’s success have never seen a world without a relatively (for now) free US to make their new drugs, surgical techniques, and other medical advancements for them. When (and I hope this doesn’t happen) the US joins in the insanity of socialized medicine we will see that when you remove the brain from the body, the engine from a car, the candy from the striper, it just does not work. . . .

To put it simply, right now the US’s free system massively intellectually subsidizes the world’s unfree (socialized) ones. That sucks. The only thing that would suck worse is joining them without anyone to subsidize us all.

Myth #4 A Public Option Can Co-Exist with a Private Option

Part of the current junta’s plan is to add a �public option� for health insurance. That is health insurance provided by the government (actually provided by you and your neighbors � this is a good thing to remember whenever you find yourselves thinking anything comes from the government, really, if you take away anything from this essay take away this!). They claim this �public option� can co-exist fairly alongside private health insurance, increasing competition and keeping the private system �honest�, and not deteriorate to a single payer (socialized medicine) system. They are wrong, or very dishonest, as in unguarded moments they admit that the single payer socialized system is what they really want. The New York Times disagrees with me, thinking the two can co-exist. But the New York Times still thinks Stalin was a pretty decent Joe. . . .

The government does not co-exist or compete fairly with private enterprise. It does not play well with others. The regulator cannot be a competitor at the same time. It cannot compete fairly while it owns the armed forces and courts. Finally, it cannot be a fair competitor if when the �public option� screws up (can’t pay its bills), the government implicitly or explicitly guarantees its debts. We have seen what happens in that case and don’t need a re-run.

The first thing the government does is underprice the private system. You can easily be forgiven for thinking this is a good thing. Why not, cheaper is better right? Wrong. They will underprice private enterprise by charging less to the purchaser of health insurance, not by actually creating it cheaper. Who makes up the difference? Well, you and your family do if you pay taxes, or your kids will pay taxes, or their kids will pay taxes. The government can always underprice competition, not through the old fashioned way of doing it better, they never do that, but by robbing Peter to pay for Paul. . . .

Second, the government ultimately always cheats when it’s involved in �honest� competition. Try mailing a first class letter through Fed-Ex [See Post Office sues Cub Scouts to maintain monopoly], or placing an off-track bet with a bookie, or playing a lottery through a private company. Uh, you can’t, so please stop trying. . . . Once the government discovers it cannot win, it changes the rules. You see, the government has the power to legislate, steal, imprison, and kill. Those are advantages most private firms do not have, save Google, and you didn’t hear that from me. . . .

Perhaps the best example of the destructive �public option� is our nation’s schools. Here we clearly have a government provided �public option� competing with (and in fact dominating in size) private schooling. But, is it fair? Does it work well? Not by a long-shot. To send your kids to private school (i.e., a school that competes with the government) you need to first pay your taxes. Absent vouchers or tax credits . . . if you eschew the �public option� you have to pay for education twice. . . .

With a �public option� things inevitably would go the horrific way of our public schools. Instead of existing to please customers (patients and students respectively) the �public option� in schools exists largely to benefit empowered stakeholders of the system (health administrators and unionized school employees respectively), who will shamelessly pretend to give a darn about sick people and children. Watch the analogy play out if we go this route in health care. . . .

Myth #5 We Can Have Health Care Without Rationing

Rationing has to occur. This sounds cold and cruel, but it is reality. . . . [Healthcare is] going to be rationed by some means. The alternatives come down to the marketplace or the government. To choose between those alternatives you judge on morality and efficacy. . . .

There is no system that provides for unlimited wants with limited resources. Our choice is whether it should be rationed by free people making their own economic calculations or by a bureaucracy run by Congressional committee (whose members, like the Russian commissars, will, I guarantee you, still get the best health care the gulag hospitaligo can provide). Free people making their own choices only consume what they value above price, using funds they have earned or been given voluntarily. With socialized medicine health care is rationed by committees of politicians trying to get re-elected and increase their own power, and people consume as much of it as the commissars deem permissible. I do not find these tough alternatives to choose between.

Myth #6 Health Care is A Right

Nope, it’s not. But we are at the nuclear bomb of the discussion. The one guaranteed to get me yelled at or perhaps picketed by a mob waving signs printed up with George Soros’s money. Those advocating socialized medicine love to scream �health care is a right.� They are loud, they are scary, but they are wrong about rights. . . .

Listing rights generally involves enumerating things you may do without interference (the right to free speech) or may not be done to you without your permission (illegal search and seizure, loud boy-band music in public spaces). They are protections, not gifts of material goods. Material goods and services must be taken from others, or provided by their labor, so if you believe you have an absolute right to them, and others don’t choose to provide it to you, you then have a �right� to steal from them. But what about their far more fundamental right not to be robbed?

. . . .

Lots of politicians understand that the simple free system leaves them out in the cold. No power for them. No committees to sit on to decide people’s lives. No lies to tell their constituents how they (the government) brought them the health care they so desperately need. No fat checks from lobbyists as the crony capitalists pay dearly to make the only profits possible under this system, those bestowed by the government. Libertarians are often accused wrongly of loving �big business,� but we don’t, particularly when they predictably turn themselves into crony capitalists who try to succeed by wheedling from the government. On the other hand the socialists love cronies of all sorts, ones who command large enterprises all the better. Socialists are far closer than libertarians to building and countenancing the all-powerful corporate state they claim to fear. Odd I know!

(Read the complete essay at

Texas stands up to Obama care

“Gov. Rick Perry, raising the specter of a showdown with the Obama administration, suggested Thursday that he would consider invoking states’ rights protections under the 10th Amendment to resist the president’s healthcare plan, which he said would be ‘disastrous’ for Texas.” (Read more from

Never thought I’d say it, but God bless Texas – for this, as well as their fanatic devotion to the 2nd amendment.

Senior Democrat Says Obama’s Czars Unconstitutional

“Senator Byrd wrote a letter to President Obama in February, criticizing the president’s strategy of creating czars to manage important areas of national policy. Senator Byrd said that these appointments violate both the constitutional system of checks and balances and the constitutional separation of powers, and is a clear attempt to evade congressional oversight. (Didn’t this White House promise unprecedented transparency?)

And Senator Byrd is exactly correct. The Constitution commands that government officers with significant authority (called ‘principal officers’) are nominated by the president but then are subject to a confirmation vote by the U.S. Senate. And principal officers include not only cabinet-level department heads, but go five levels deep in executive appointments, to include assistant secretaries and deputy undersecretaries.” (Read more from

List of Obama’s Czars

A partial list:

1. Technology Czar: Aneesh Chopra

2. Drug Czar: Gil Kerlikowske
“Obama’s drug czar: Marijuana ‘has no medical benefit'” (Read more from

3. Copyright Czar: Not appointed yet

4. Energy Czar: Carol M. Browner
“Obama’s Energy Czar: Socialist Agent For World Government” (Read more from

5. Car Czar: Ed Montgomery

6. Terrorism/WMD Czar: Gary Samore

7. Health Care Czar: Nancy-Ann DeParle

8. Education Czar: Not appointed yet

9. Economic Czar: Paul Volcker

10. Mortgage Czar: Not appointed yet

11. Urban Affairs/Housing Czar: Adolfo Carrion

12. Guantanomo closure Czar: Danny Fried

13. Great lakes Czar: Cameron Davis

14. Stimulus accountability Czar: Earl Devaney
Ha! Public Relations, psychological operations, and media control will come long before we see any Accountability.

15. Cyberspace Czar: Not appointed yet
“The cybersecurity chief will report to both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council, a compromise resulting from a fierce White House turf battle over the responsibilities and powers of the new office.” (Read more from

16. Border Czar: Alan Bersin (Former US attorney)

17. Intelligence Czar: Admiral Dennis Blair

18. Regulatory Czar: Cass Sunstein

19. Pay Czar: Kenneth “Kiss my ass if you want your paycheck” Feinberg
“Czar Kenneth Feinberg has the authority to set the pay scale for executives at any company receiving government money (and how many aren’t, these days?). Czar Feinberg has the power to say that someone’s pay is excessive, and to make companies cut that pay until the czar is pleased. Congress did not give Czar Feinberg this authority. For that matter, Congress has not authorized any of the czars that President Barack Obama has created.” (Read more from

20. Iran Czar: Not appointed yet

21. Tarp Czar: Herb Allison

22. Middle-East peace Czar: George Mitchell

23. Science Czar: John Holdren
“In a book Holdren co-authored in 1977, the man now firmly in control of science policy in this country wrote that:
Women could be forced to abort their pregnancies, whether they wanted to or not;
The population at large could be sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation’s drinking water or in food;
Single mothers and teen mothers should have their babies seized from them against their will and given away to other couples to raise;
People who ‘contribute to social deterioration’ (i.e. undesirables) ‘can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility’ — in other words, be compelled to have abortions or be sterilized.
A transnational ‘Planetary Regime’ should assume control of the global economy and also dictate the most intimate details of Americans’ lives — using an armed international police force.” (Read more from

24. Green jobs Czar: Van Jones
“Jones was himself arrested and detained briefly during a protest after the Rodney King verdict that same year. Jones told the East Bay Express in 2005: ‘I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th [1992], and then the verdicts came down on April 29th. By August, I was a communist. . . . I met all these young radical people of color I mean really radical: communists and anarchists. And it was, like, “This is what I need to be a part of.” I spent the next ten years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary.'” (Read more from

25. Afghanistan Czar: Richard Holbrooke
“The Curious Case of Richard Holbrooke – Obama’s Neocon” (Read more from

26. Sudan Czar: J. Scott Gration

27. Mideast policy Czar: Dennis “Mr. AIPAC” Ross
“Outside of the hard-line neocons such as Douglas Feith, Norman Podhoretz, Richard Perle, etc., it would be hard to come up with someone who would be less of an honest broker in the Middle East. . . . His post-Clinton record includes supporting the pro-Iraq War campaigns of the neocon Project for the New American Century and serving as a senior fellow with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a significant pro-Israel think tank in Washington. . . . Ross has taken a very hostile position toward Iran Ross helped to produce the 2008 report “Meeting the Challenge: U.S. Policy Toward Iranian Nuclear Development,” The report argues that despite Iran’s assurances to the contrary, its nuclear program aims to develop nuclear weapons and is thus a threat to the U.S. This conclusion is contrary to the CIA’s November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, which found that Iran had put its efforts to develop nuclear warheads on hold. . . .The report actually calls for the new US president to expand American military forces in the Middle East! Commentator Jim Lobe quite accurately refers to the report as a ‘roadmap to war.'” (Read more from

28. Information Czar: Vivek Kundra

29. AIDS Czar: Jeffrey Crowley

30. Faith-based Czar: Joshua Dubois

31. Climate Czar: Todd Stern

32. Food Safety Czar: Michael “Monsanto” Taylor
“If GMOs are indeed responsible for massive sickness and death, then the individual who oversaw the FDA policy that facilitated their introduction holds a uniquely infamous role in human history. That person is Michael Taylor. He had been Monsanto’s attorney before becoming policy chief at the FDA. Soon after, he became Monsanto’s vice president and chief lobbyist.” (Read more from

Marc Faber on the Fed, Government intervention, 17% real unemployment & more

Mark Faber @ 7:30 – “The best reaction to a crisis is not to increase your fiscal deficits and government spending and ease money, what you should do is fire half the government staff, because the government in the U.S. , municipalities, states and the federal government is already half the economy. So you fire half of them, and make these characters work instead of just looking after their offices and doing nothing all day.”

“There are 33.8 million food stamp recipients in the United States out of an elligible population of about 200 million. . . so in short the unemployment rate is much higher in the U.S. than what the government is publishing. The publishing is lying.”

Marc Faber on the Fed, government intervention, 17% real unemployment, & more

Clinton says 9/11 ringleaders in Pakistan

“U.S. officials ‘firmly believe’ that al-Qaida leaders who planned and carried out the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, are hiding in Pakistan near its border with Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday.

At a news conference concluding three days of meetings, Clinton said Washington has told the Pakistani government what it believes about the location of al-Qaida leaders on its soil.

‘With respect to the location of those who were part of the planning and execution of the attack of 9/11 against our country, we firmly believe that a significant number of them are in the border area of Pakistan,’ she said when asked about the U.S. view.” (Read more from

Let us fear. Let us hate. Let us have permanent war.

Show trials in Obama’s U.S.S.A. – Sooner than we thought

This excellent about our new administration was written by Yuri Maltsev.

Check out his excellent book, Requiem for Marx. Another excellent essay which serves as the book’s introduction is excerpted here.

Sooner Than We Thought
by Yuri N. Maltsev

The new Obama regime is taking shape in Washington and provinces eager to take power and secure the “change you can believe in” using humungous propaganda machine of both government radio and television and still privately owned, so-called “mainstream media.” These private networks are competing with National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Broadcasting System (PBS) in praising Obama’s first choices from his new dog to his new chief of staff.

The thought scene in the US today resembles that of Russia in 1917, Cuba in 1959 or China in 1948. Incessant calls for “unity” and “fairness,” attacks on “divisive,” “toxic” and “hateful” language are nothing new they resemble Germany of 1932 and Venezuela of 1996, today’s Putin’s Russia and Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. . . .

In the old Marxist tradition, the new great Leader’s calls for “a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded” as the U.S. military. His chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, had openly shared this vision of the civilian national security force (CNSF) in his book:

It’s time for a real Patriot Act that brings out the patriot in all of us. We propose universal civilian service for every young American. Under this plan, All Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five will be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic training, civil defense preparation and community service.

. . . .

A phone call from Moscow woke me up in the middle of the night. My friend Vladimir, former Soviet Army general turned reformer under Yeltsin and businessman under Putin, sounded slightly drunk and very agitated. “I am watching televised interrogation of Alan Greenspan and another guy by some Jewish investigator and it looks exactly like the “Great terror” is back, but not here, for a change. What is going on? Would they shoot all these economic subversives and saboteurs at the end of the day? ”

“I am not sure about that, definitely not at the end of the day. Maybe after elections,” I mumbled in response and went back to bed. My sleep was ruined however, and in a desperate attempt to get it back I opened Greenspan’s “Gold and Economic Freedom” chapter in Ayn Rand’s Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.

Yes, Comrade Waxman (D-CA) definitely has a case against former capitalist sympathizer Greenspan. This now repentant agent of the world capitalism wrote back in 1966 about Waxmans of the time:

An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense perhaps more clearly and subtly than many consistent defenders of laissez-faire that gold and economic freedom are inseparable, that the gold standard is an instrument of laissez-faire and that each implies and requires the other.

Make no mistake about it Greenspan was attacked by Waxman and the new socialist establishment because of his libertarian past and free-market rhetoric and not because of his job as chief inflationist and central planner. The show trial over Greenspan’s pro-capitalist past was turned by Waxman and his committee comrades into the trial against capitalism itself.

(Read the whole thing at

Olmert: U.S. must stop focusing on settlements

“Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has called the United States’ focus on freezing construction in the West Bank an impediment to the Middle East peace process, in an article published in The Washington Post on Friday. . . .

He describes Israel’s partnership with the United States as ‘one of its greatest strategic assets’ and writes that both he and Sharon were successful in boosting this relationship ‘on all levels, based on deep and candid understandings, both written and oral.’ . . .

‘Yet today, instead of a political process, the issue of settlement construction commands the agenda between the United States and Israel,’ writes Olmert. . . .

He calls the current U.S. demands for a complete settlement freeze ‘impossible to completely enforce’ and a waste of time for valuable progress to be made in the peace process.” (Read more from

There is no peace process. There is only the rhetoric which prolonges a long, slow, deliberate, bureaucratic destruction of Palestinian society.

I pay attention to this issue because my tax dollars subsidize Israel, and because, as even the 9/11 commission report acknowledged, our one-sided support for Israel is a major reason why the Muslim world hates us.

Israel rejects US call to halt Jerusalem project

“Israel on Sunday rejected a U.S. demand to suspend a planned housing project in east Jerusalem, threatening to further complicate an unusually tense standoff with its strongest ally over settlement construction.

Israeli officials said the country’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, was summoned to the State Department over the weekend and told that a project made up of 20 apartments developed by an American millionaire should not go ahead.

Settlements built on captured lands claimed by the Palestinians have emerged as a major sticking point in relations between Israel and the Obama administration because of their potential to disrupt Mideast peacemaking. . . .

On Sunday, Netanyahu told his Cabinet there would be no limits on Jewish construction anywhere in ‘unified Jerusalem.'” (Read more from

There is no peace movement. There is only endless rhetoric meant to create the illusion of one while Israel steal as much Palestinian land as they can.

Israel cuts 1948 ‘catastrophe’ from Arabic texts

“The Israeli government will remove references to what Palestinians call the ‘catastrophe’ of Israel’s creation from textbooks for Arab schoolchildren, the education minister said Wednesday.

The reference to ‘al-naqba,’ the Arabic word catastrophe, as Palestinians call their defeat and exile in the war over Israel’s 1948 creation, was inserted by a dovish Israeli education minister in 2007.

The phrase remains contentious six decades later, a symptom of the continuing divisions in Israel. Many Israeli Arabs identify politically with their Palestinian counterparts in the West Bank and Gaza. As a result, some Israeli Jews accuse Israeli Arabs of disloyalty to the country.

Israel’s current government, headed by Benjamin Netanyahu and his hard-line Likud Party, includes members who favor cracking down on Israeli Arabs by ordering loyalty oaths or even moving them out of Israel.” (Read more from