Beyond the Cusp

March 28, 2017

What Went Wrong with Trump Healthcare?

 

Trump Ryan combination could not pass Trumpcare to replace Obamacare, and America should be glad, that is if the claims we hear are true. We heard from so many that they wanted Obamacare repealed and their old insurance back, well, with a few niceties left over. They still wanted their kids to be able to remain on their parent’s plans till age twenty-six because college takes half a lifetime you know. They liked that existing conditions should not have to be penalized with higher premiums. Oh, yea, the people receiving high subsidies; got to keep them. So what exactly was it they did not want from Obamacare again? Oh yes, the people who had lost their doctors and their insurance plan or had their hours reduced at work or were simply fired or owned a small business and were afraid to expand past forty-nine employees. So the problem is the same old problem with all Democrat buy vote plans when they replace something that worked with something which really didn’t work but could be patched, smeared, slid along, tweaked, twirled a few times, rewrapped and it would eventually fail tragically and then like the Phoenix some new plan would rise from the ashes to replace it and the entire cycle restarts. That has been the way and the reborn is usually called an overhaul even though much of the new plan appears very similar to the old plan with the debt just tossed aside and we pretend that there had been no problem. So we stand where we always stand, where we have stood on education since the birth of the department of Education, on crime since the War on Crime, on drugs since the War on Drugs, on immigration since the promise to enforce immigration laws in the 1980’s, on you name the federal program since it replaced the church, charity, public institutions, the family, the private sector, or simply replaced people being people and had the government become our teacher, our best friend, our employment guarantee, our minimal income provider (welfare and related programs), our retirement planner, our security blanket, our fair housing guarantor, our fair everything guarantor, our everything over the last three or four generations as government has swallowed responsibility for darn near everything and that they have not they regulate to death.

 

It turns out with Obamacare the same two forces are tugging and we all know which one will win. The forces are those whose lives have been made easy with free stuff against those who know there is no such thing as free stuff because they have to pay for those other people’s free stuff. The people getting the free stuff have more time to make noise while those paying for the free stuff have two or three jobs to pay for the free stuff and no time to make noise or any energy with which to do so. Further, the people paying are seldom around or have the time to take those calls asking their opinion while those getting the free stuff have all the time in the world. End result is the polls show that the people want the free stuff. There really is only one simple answer to the entire situation, a complete and total reset. By that we mean that we take the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and only very delicately tweak things such that we include the additional succession adjustments, the incapacity of a President Amendment, term limits on everything except judges, include the demand that each piece of legislation must include every aspect and enforcement and all the particulars and there can never be anything outside of what the legislation states added or altered by any bureaucrat, administrator, judge or other official without there being legislation stating exactly what is to be altered, added or subtracted passed by Congress and signed by the President. There should be an agreed upon maximum tax rate. And the biggest change is that the government must be precluded from performing any charity, setting a guarantee of minimal income or wages, providing insurance of any nature especially unemployment, any service which can be served by the private sector must be forbidden to government, and the people must be permitted to challenge any legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by the President for a period of ten years through a recall by collecting some reasonable number of signatures not to exceed one-half-of-one-percent of the national population. There are likely a great number of other items which people would like to see incorporated into such a new Constitution and Bill of Rights and as long as they do not diminish any of the rights laid out in the original Constitution and Bill of Rights as taken in their most general and originalist interpretation, then they should be voted upon by the people and those accepted incorporated. The only other modifier would be that these suggestions would need be one of two types, guarantors of rights to the people and the individual states as incorporated by the Tenth Amendment or be a limit on the government starting at the federal level and even including the state and local level if desired also as per the spirit of the Tenth Amendments empowerment of the people themselves. Until something such as this occurs expect more demonstrations and suffocating government laws and regulations, especially regulations.

 

One thing which we found most threatening by the Obama Administration was their positions called Czars who were nothing more than a shadow government replacing the actual power of the Cabinet Secretaries by people who were never vetted by the Senate as they were never required to be confirmed by the Senate as other appointees are required. This permitted a government level within the administration which was unanswerable to the elected representatives of the people which was a way around the confirmation system and placed Obama appointees who were beyond reproach. One such position had no equivalent Cabinet position, the Regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein whose position defined his position as reviewing all previous legislations, laws and even regulations to see whether additional regulations could be derived from these items which had not previously been conceived of and were in line with the desires and goals of the administration. There was no record kept on the numbers of new regulations generated by his position but he remained in this czarist fiefdom for close to the first four years that President Obama was in office. We guess he left when he had run out of things to review and felt that X many thousands of additional regulations should be sufficient to muck up the works of anything anybody in the private sector desired attempting to do without first greasing the wheels of governance. Many estimates place the number of added regulations over the past decade to exceed half of a million pages of new regulations on the books. We do know that the deficit spending through 2010 with 2011 projected in the graph below proves that government is broken and very probably unsalvageable. Without a massive cutting of the size, scope, width, breadth, depth, reach and overall weight of the gargantuan, all-encompassing and devouring behemoth which now threatens the health and welfare of the nation which we call the federal government, the United States will drown in its own swill of regulations, taxes and overreaching programs. This is the sad truth and many know this and still insist on continuing with the same mindset claiming they can spend their way out of this morass.

 

Deficit Spending Through 1980 - 2010 (with 2011 CBO estimate)

Deficit Spending Through 1980 – 2010 (with 2011 CBO estimate)

 

That is what was wrong with the Trumpcare and Ryan should have realized that and worked to do the right thing. The solution to Obamacare is to hunt down every last single shred of that monstrosity whether it was part of the original legislation or passed as a set-up piece hidden in a defense spending bill, and omnibus bill or an extending government operations bill and nix every last letter and punctuation from the record and then hunt down every single regulation written to enact every scintilla and erase them with equal fervor. The only true solution to the Obamacare nightmare would be to remove it all and if that means that some pieces of other healthcare existing strategies and programs will be cut back, good. Then allow churches and clubs to offer group plans which would spread their care over those who need coverage but cannot find affordable programs and these systems can get group rates which will bring costs down for those in need. Allow charities to pay for healthcare for the people needful of such assistance and do something horrific, require those who are able-bodied to get work and pay their own healthcare. Please pass tort reform, good luck as congress is chocked full of lawyers. Pass limits on malpractice rewards lowering malpractice insurance costs and allow hospitals and health maintenance groups to get group plans for their physicians’ malpractice bringing those costs down. By promoting group insurance for all forms and across state line coverages the prices will become more competitive. There could even be plans made where people residing in a community to purchase healthcare as a group which would offer another means for lower price coverage. Health savings plans should be encouraged and even allow one support from government that money put into a health savings accounts to be tax free along with the interest earned and once an account reaches the set amount, it can then serve as their insurance plan as long as they continue to contribute a minimal amount monthly so that as costs rise with inflation they remain covered sufficiently well plus as they age they will accrue more coverage as it will be necessary. There are ways through private sector to cover almost everybody and almost all who desire coverage, and for those who require care and do not have insurance, there should be a means for loans for such coverage from financial institutions willing to take such ventures under their programs offered similar to vehicle loans and charities for tragic cases as per their discretion. Americans are a people known and renowned for their generosity and are perhaps one of the most giving nations on the planet (we think possibly with an exception except that the exception gives in such ways as cannot be measured as there is no record as much of the charity is through religious institutions where no records as from where their donations came or even how they were dispensed as they were given in quantities and to recipients both of which remain unrecorded for the benefit of all involved and the dignity of the less fortunate. Were the United States to return much of the care for those in need to their religious institutions and charities they might find that would prove to be a superior system and the people who could afford to help would and those who chose not to help would be allowed their greed, in the end it would not matter. Life is funny that way.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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September 30, 2016

Restore Honesty to the Mainstream Media and Internet

 

There are constant howls from all sides of the political spectrum about the slanted media. Conservatives rail against the New York Times and MSNBC while the Progressives rant over FOX and the Wall Street Journal. Both sides protest their not getting fair coverage with both sides demanding something be done. Well, we have a plan for making the media into the investigative in depth coverage that both extremes will love. They will look into why the Congress refuses to pass legislation when the nation is demanding that they address the demanding problems of the day. There will be enough meat and gristle for both ends of the spectrum and for a change they will pretty much agree about the problems but still differ about the correct directions the nation should turn. They will stand in agreement throwing shots at Congress at different sides there but will blame the voters and, of course, the White House. There is only one thing which needs to be done to bring about this miracle; elect Donald Trump.

 

That’s correct. Electing Donald Trump will bring the political classes together like never before, well, since Ronald Reagan until Reagan started going to the real power in America, the people. For those of us who were old enough to understand what was happening, Ronald Reagan was not particularly loved by the establishment money of the Republican aristocracy and was hated by the liberal Democrats. Congress was not exactly enamored with his election and probably would have remained gridlocked, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But Reagan had a secret weapon, the American people, even those in flyover country. Reagan made his first address to the nation and a weapon for getting America’s work done was launched. Reagan went to the public whenever it counted and the chips were down as well as when things were going well as he kept the nation involved like few before him. The media was not his greatest fan but slowly he won respect and slowly got some media respect.

 

Is Donald Trump comparable to Ronald Reagan? In a word, no. Well, at least not thus far. Likely Trump will never be Ronald Reagan and there likely will never be another, he was a one off, single model after which they broke the mold. Donald Trump is from a different mold. A really different mold and he is a one off as well. There are other niceties about a Trump White House; it definitely will not be boring. Just watch all the conniption fits the media will have and the near heart failure of the political elites. Of course in a Trump Presidency the Congress will have to be dragged kicking and screaming to do the nation’s business. But as we pointed out a little earlier, a do nothing Congress might be the best manner for doing the nation’s business in the best interest of the people possible. Of course the people would probably like to see tax cuts and a repeal of Obamacare, not an adjustment, a full repeal and pray the healthcare industry can make a speedy recovery. Beyond that, the American public may have to make their feelings known through the media or through social media which may prove to be the greatest pressure cooker for political change ever invented. Eventually, providing the Internet remains the greatest open forum for free and open discussion, for as long as it lasts, the power brokers will clamp strict rules and controls, very possibly almost invisible to the average users.

 

That could be an angle for a smart politician who could make proposing a Constitutional amendment making the Internet forever the property of private enterprise free of national or international controls for all parts under United States control. That will never happen as long as the two main parties have their lock on power. The two main parties are only likely to leave the Internet alone for as long as it does not challenge their power. As soon as the Internet and social media realized that it can actually cause the media, the political class and any other powers that be up to and especially the United Nations to sit up and pay attention, that will be the instant that the Internet becomes the property of the governments and the power elites and freedom of expressions will be gone in an instant. Blogs will be sanitized or removed and there will be second by second monitoring of all things entered onto social media with anything which crosses their path being nixed. The Internet scares the elites and the power brokers for the same reason Donald Trump scares them. They can be unpredictable and stray from the beaten path into strange fields where otherwise only dreams and nightmares reside. Of course that is the problem with the great unwashed, the public; they are unpredictable and uncontrollable which scares those who believe they control everything the most. They hate unpredictability because they have everything planned out for decades in advance and they just hate surprises, unless they marketed them. Thus far the Internet and social media have not challenged the Man so nobody who is anybody has had their feathers ruffled. If anything, those powers that be have more controlled and used social media as their personal echo chamber serving their purposes and probably plan on doing more of the same far into the future, possibly for perpetuity. But what if that should ever change?

 

The first thing that need be understood by Donald Trump and the people, the people who believe they actually control the world really believe they control the world. They also have their fingers deep into the Internet and social media and have programs to predict what will be the next big thing and what they can expect to be right around the corner. Their programs and geniuses they hire to make things work to their best interests have thus far done a wonderful job. But what happens when they fail and the people finally awaken to the power they have at their keyboards? The one beautiful thing is that when the people decide they have had all they will take; no amount of money or innate political power can win against the will of people with a desire to be free. There is one prerequisite which need be addressed first, people who have never known freedom and do not understand what freedom is or can be must first be educated and shown what it means to have freedom and with any luck, given the feeling of what freedom tastes like. That may be the first and foremost challenge that social media must overcome. When the human race understands and demands freedom to live their lives unfettered by government rules and burdensome taxation then maybe things can change. That will not be something we will see tomorrow, but perhaps in the future.

 

First is the beacon of freedom, the United States needs something to reawaken their spirit and yearning as it has appeared to wane these past ten or so years. The people need to break beyond their self-imposed limitations and believe again. The old must educate the youth as their education system has failed them. The schools have become a jobs program for teachers and administrators primarily and indoctrination centers producing little drones secondarily and lastly they teach enough to produce obedient little workers. What has been forgotten is that parents are responsible for teaching their children but that used to be performed by the schools in generations past, but that has changed as the schools became unionized and began to care more for the employees and electing those who would increase their salaries than about the children. Are there still good teachers who truly care, yes, but nowhere near sufficient to change things from the pitiful state that will only grow worse. Freedom and its loss was actually predicted in a warning given be Ronald Reagan and as I seriously doubt we will hear such profound words and elevating language from Donald Trump unless somebody gets his undivided attention and trust and writes the words for him, please allow a quote from Ronald Reagan.

 

ronald-reagan

 

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

 

Beyond the Cusp

September 16, 2014

Realities and Deceptions of the Living Wage

There have been demonstrations and protests spanning the United States often by workers of fast food restaurants demanding that governments, either local, state or Federal, enact laws setting the minimum wages at fifteen dollars an hour. They carry signs calling their demands for either a minimum wage or a living wage, both calling for wages to be set at fifteen dollars, the one consistency of these obviously organized demonstrations. The coordinators behind these protests have remained obscure though the best bet is that the labor unions are in the background somewhere pulling the strings for their own benefits as often union wages are keyed to the minimum wage thus a sizeable increase in the minimum wage would also push union wages skyward as well. But what are the ramifications should such minimum wage or livable wage demands be met? Would it be the panacea providing the workers with the cornucopia they appear to believe their demands would produce or would there be catastrophic and unexpected ramifications should their demand be realized? Perhaps some news from futurists and leading edge robotics news might shine some light on the potential future should these demands come to fruition.

 

Recent robotics news predicts that many fast food restaurants will soon be completely or predominantly automated needing few if any human workers as all of the cooking and cleaning would be performed by robotics. They even predicted with the advances being realized in artificial intelligence (AI) that there will soon be robots operating the checkout and cash registers in many retail outlets replacing humans in supermarkets as well as fast food restaurants. Any serious rise in workers’ salaries will only drive these changes to automation and robotic workers that much faster. You want an example of higher wages driving automation one need look no further than the automotive big three and the other car manufacturers. The worker salaries continued to climb and their benefit packages also rose considerably in the middle of the twentieth century and this spawned the demand and implementation of robotic assemblers, welders, painters and virtually every other position on the assembly line even to the point of robotic carts delivering the parts as needed from the storage warehouse using just in time delivery. These parts in the warehouse are also placed in their respective storage bins by robotic carts who take the components often from robotic assemblers, welders and fabricators. Some of the most advanced car factories use five to ten workers on the assembly lines and in parts production and line parts supply where the entire operations used to require fifty people or more on each line. The impetus for automating the production of automobiles owed some of the urgency to the rising cost not only of workers who were necessary to produce the products but also the rising retirement packages making every employee now a life-long financial demand which was rapidly driving the auto industry to bankruptcy, and for some manufacturers it still is. There are some who define General Motors as a retirement and healthcare provider which happens to occasionally produce and sell vehicles to the public. The real question is when the AI programs will reach the point where robots will be capable of replacing salespeople, especially those on commission who are actually incentivized to provide the customer with polite and helpful assistance. Some prediction is such a day will come before many of us think, who knows.

 

Back on January 24, 2009, we posted an article titled <a href=http://wp.me/pIou8-7f> Socialism; Right Idea, Wrong Time</a> which predicted that the future would eventually reach the point where employers would be forced, or decide prudently on their own, to replace as many if not all workers with robotic and AI systems as they would prove to be less expensive and more productive. Some friends took that article rather poorly and sent e-mails and other more personal communications stating so, though none cared to leave their notes to be used as comments. Many of our closest friends decided after some time not to question predictions as that would mean making a counter prediction of their own. Either way, the reasons behind the Google data tracking which records every search wording and the web locations chosen by each search in order to attempt to fashion an AI program that closely matches the functions of a human brain is due to the plans, predictions and guidance of futurist Ray Kurzweil, likely one of the most famous and accurate futurist and genius on the face of the Earth.

 

The sole complaint I have regarding Mr. Ray Kurzweil is that he sees only the good and positive side of the potentials of advanced AI programs and futurist programs that he is the driving force and visionary directing the direction of the extensive efforts by Google to gather data on everything people do and the data they produce. Google is far from alone in these efforts and they have teamed with Microsoft and also have arrangements with many sources of data permitting them to gather all kinds of data produced in numerous ways which are sourced such as credit cards, power consumptions, driving habits, travel habits, vacation preferences and other data they receive either through contracts or through providing services which also gather the data the futurist cooperative of computer and internet companies have formed. Also partnered in these efforts includes General Electric, Yahoo, Cisco, HP and Motorola among others not to mention the numerous start-ups and established companies that have been swallowed up by Google and Microsoft. The one item which makes this futurist project cooperation, especially when the data available to the partners in these ventures is coordinated and compiled, is these futurist in the conglomerate effort have a silent partner which provides them with data beyond most companies’ wildest dreams is the Federal Government of the United States. The future is rushing towards us mostly unseen and unknown to the average Joe, but rushing forward at light speed it is. These demonstrators are simply giving more companies the impetus and a financial reason to join with those who are producing tomorrow today to quicken the pace even more. Where I am unsure as to whether these groups should be trusted as it makes little difference as the conglomeration of futurist companies are moving full speed into the future, and they are not using a Delorean or any flux capacitors, though they might invent one if such a capacitor could exist and have whatever the properties they were presumed to have in the movie (which was not actually well defined). Perhaps this is why I tried to avoid using Google search, but then they went and bought or gained access to virtually every search engine which actually produces usable results. If anybody knows of a Google free search engine, please enlighten us. Thanks in advance.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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