As I have been noting for a decade, the broken U.S. healthcare system will bankrupt the nation all by itself. We all know the basic facts: the system delivers uneven results in terms of improving health and life expectancy while costing two or three times more per person compared to our advanced-economy global competitors.
U.S. Lifestyle + “Healthcare” = Bankruptcy (June 19, 2008)
Sickcare Will Bankrupt the Nation–And Soon (March 21, 2011)
How Healthcare Is Dooming the U.S. Economy (Three Charts) (May 2015)
You Want to Fix the Economy? Then First Fix Healthcare (September 29, 2016)
This chart says it all: the global outlier in low life expectancy and exorbitant cost is the U.S.
The profit motive is supposed to lower costs, not increase them. In the idealized model of a completely free market, the profit motive is supposed to lower costs as customers are free to choose the best product/service for the lowest price.
In U.S. healthcare, the profits are stupendous, yet the costs are even more stupendous. Rather than lower costs, the U.S. system of for-profit healthcare has sent costs spiraling into the stratosphere, to the point that the system’s costs are threatening to bankrupt the government and the nation.
Why is this so? Karl Marx provided the answer in the 19th century. In the idealized model of free-market capitalism, those who provide superior services for the lowest price reap more profit than their less agile/productive competitors.
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“The strong do what power allows. The weak accept what they must.” – Athenian 415 BC envoy to the small government of Melos, with the offer to either join Athens’ empire with paying them tribute, or have all men executed, and everyone else sold into slavery. Melos politely declined Athens’ offer. Athens attacked, did exactly what they threatened, and resettled the emptied island with 500 Athenian colonists. – Melian Dialogue of Socrates’ contemporary historian, Thucydides.
language warning: Socrates and I speak in the same direct language that caused his execution for “corrupting the young.”
With potential threat of US civil war, perhaps staged by .01% oligarchs fearing their discovery and arrests, let’s consider Socrates’ analysis to a similar challenge. He explains from my 2016 “interview” with him:
Carl: Socrates! Welcome back!
Socrates: Carl! Thank you for continuing our dialogue. We began discussing Greek history, with connections to your United States of today. I’d like us to continue that point for Americans’ “real-world” philosophical consideration.
S: I witnessed Athenian Empire. Athens demanded tribute-taxes and slaves from dominated city states or death at the hands of our military, as with Melos. Empire is hubris; and the opposite of what we defended from Persian invasions. Quest for empire split our people, and led to civil war with Sparta.
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The people of Durham , N.C., have the right idea. Not only have they taken down a Confederate war statue themselves, but they’ve lined up en masse to turn themselves in for that crime, overwhelming the so-called justice system.
The people of Wunsiedel, German, have the right idea. They’ve responded to Nazi marches by funding anti-Nazi groups for every Nazi marcher, and cheering on and thanking the marchers.
The people of Richardson, Texas, have the right idea. Members of a mosque intervened between anti-Muslim demonstrators and violent would-be defenders, and left the rally with the anti-Muslims to discuss their differences at a restaurant.
Every situation is different, and the same approach won’t work everywhere, or even necessarily work more than once in the same place. The bigger and less accountable the target — for example state or federal government instead of local — the tougher the challenge. But local actions and global communications can create momentum.
Here in Charlottesville, Va., for example, we have giant statues that would be hard to move. And smashing them would offend more people than leaving them up. Or at least that’s the case with Lee and Jackson. Pulling down the generic Confederate soldier and turning ourselves in for it by the thousands might work.
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By John Whitehead, constitutional and human rights attorney, and founder of the Rutherford Institute.
“What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? …No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders … an uncontrolled or uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people … Whenever any American’s life is taken by another American unnecessarily—whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence—whenever we tear at the fabric of life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.” — Robert Kennedy
Let’s be clear about one thing: no one—not the armed, violent, militant protesters nor the police—gave peace a chance during the August 12 demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va.
What should have been an exercise in free speech quickly became a brawl.
It’s not about who threw the first punch or the first smoke bomb.
It’s not about which faction outshouted the other, or which side perpetrated more violence, or even which group can claim to be the greater victim.
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“True patriotism sometimes requires of men to act exactly contrary, at one period, to that which it does at another, and the motive which impels them the desire to do right is precisely the same.” ― Robert E. Lee
I consider myself a student of history. I’ve always been fascinated by the personalities who drove events throughout history. I probably would have been a history major in college if I didn’t feel the need to make enough money to support myself and my family. I chose a business major and decided studying history would be my hobby. Over the years I’ve taken a particular interest in the Civil War. You could even call me a Civil War buff.
In 1951, the US placed nuclear weapons in Guam, and Truman gave the order to use them on North Korea. That order was not sent – literally, by accident.
The reason: Truman was in the process of removing General MacArthur “because he wanted a reliable commander on the scene” in case he “decide[d] to use nuclear weapons”. … “In the confusion attendant upon General MacArthur’s removal”, “the order [to nuke North Korea] was never sent.” (1)
Yet Washington still managed to kill millions of Koreans, many, if not most, with “oceans” of napalm produced largely by the Dow Chemical Company, which the US air-force “loved”, referring to it as the “wonder weapon” for its ability to wipe out whole cities of people.
One day Pfc. James Ransome, Jr.’s unit suffered a “friendly” hit of this wonder weapon: his men rolled in the snow in agony and begged him to shoot them, as their skin burned to a crisp and peeled back “like fried potato chips.” Reporters saw case after case of civilians drenched in napalm-the whole body “covered with a hard, black crust sprinkled with yellow pus.”
US “intent was to destroy Korean society down to the individual constituent”.
Cities were destroyed, civilians burned to death and blown to bits with zero “tactical or strategic value”. Killing was an “end in itself”.
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