Spinal Tap Instead Of 1984

Never have so many been so obtuse about so much for so long?

 

During the eight years of Obama $15 trillion in net wealth was transferred from the bottom 93% to the top 7%. Largest wealth transfer in history – and the Leftist call this “Progress”! No, they really do.

 

The current GOP healthcare bill is a monstrosity – but the Left is complaining about how 20 million people may lose their insurance while ignoring that approximately 80 million lost their insurance under Obamacare and another 22 million or so are now paying for health insurance that they cannot afford the deductible. Some how that is acceptable but what the GOP is doing is not?

 

What the GOP is doing is unacceptable – but arguing against the GOP and in favor of Obmacare is a non sequitur.

 

Insurance premiums have risen 113% in just the last four years! Deductibles have risen 67% under Obamacare! A study by TransUnion Healthcare shows that

 

– 63% of hospital bills were $500 or less; of those hospital bills, 68% were not paid in full in 2016.

 

– 14% of hospital bills were $3,000 or more; of those hospital bills, 99% were not paid in full in 2016.

 

– 10% of hospital bills were $500 to $1,000; of those bills 85% were not paid in full in 2016.

 

Great coverage! Obamacare is nothing more than corporate welfare for insurance companies, as it was meant to be. The legislation was written by a former VP of Lobbying for WellPoint!

 

Once again – the Left calls this ‘Progress’! This is Spinal Tap politics- “it goes to eleven!”

 

There is simply no way to morally defend Obamacare with out pretending that one hundred million Americans simply do not exist. That is the level of obtuseness required in order to make an argument in favor of the Affordable Care Act.

 

If someone was to make a parody documentary about Progressives no one would be able to suspend disbelief long enough to believe it was true, but people would laugh at every absurd line in the film. Yet here it is in real life right before us. Transfer $15 trillion in net wealth from the bottom 93% to the top 7%? Progress! Strip-mine 30% of the net wealth of the middle class and 45% of the net wealth of the poor and give it to the 1%? Progress! Make people give their money to insurance companies in exchange for benefits never realized? Progress!

 

Once again – no one would believe this if it were not before our eyes – yet here it is.

 

Quite a few people are comparing our situation to 1984 or Animal Farm (I have indeed committed that offense quite often) – but perhaps the analogy really is Spinal Tap?

 

Still not at peak absurdity!

Corporate Consequences

I recently spoke with a lady that worked for a Fortune 50 company but has recently resigned her position. The cause of her quitting was stress that is adversely affecting her health. What is the cause of the stress? Pressure to produce an increase in the profit margin that is disproportionate to the increase in sales. This is not an issue that just popped up last week, it has been going on for several years. In her words, “It is not fair to keep whipping it out of the people who work here and I am tired of it getting whipped out of me. It is not enough just to be good at your job anymore.”

 

Four years ago she was applauded as a star within her company for the profit margin she produced. She then increased that profit margin by nearly 50% in the last four years, yet rather than being appreciated for that feat her corporate leadership increasingly applied more pressure on her to produce even more of an increase.

 

There you have, in a very personalized nutshell, a basic problem with the United States economy. For most companies (and this particular company is a large well established firm that is dominant in their industry) sales have been flat for years now. However the price of their stock has not been flat, that has been a hockey stick.

 

There is nothing wrong with wanting your employees to be more efficient and wanting to maximize the profit for each sale. There is something wrong with not recognizing that driving your individual employees to be more efficient has a logical end and after you reach that logical end you will just make employees miserable and drive away the employees that you really should keep.

 

The almost universal expectation in 2017 is that the price of a given stock will continue to rise even though sales are basically flat. CEO’s are typically being rewarded on the basis of how much the price of the stock is rising and not so much on how much sales are rising. This is producing a macroeconomic stress but it is also producing a stress in the lives of the individuals working at these companies.

 

I have repeatedly pointed out how distorted markets have a negative macroeconomic effect but let us not forget they have a very negative personal effect as well.

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