Hannah Blog

July 20, 2014

Couldn’t Say It Better

Filed under: Down the drain,Economy — hannah @ 7:55 am

Than this.
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July 19, 2014

Just Part of a Long Line

Filed under: another perspective,Cost/benefit,Economy — hannah @ 5:06 am

In response to reports that Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas is going after the license to practice of doctors whose care of their patients represents a drain on insurance company profits, I responded on Dailykos:
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July 18, 2014

BRICS Bank

Filed under: Economy — hannah @ 1:18 pm

Underdeveloped countries are setting up a new investment bank to counter the insufficiencies of the World Bank and the IMF. One rationale is that China is sitting on three trillion dollars in reserves which could be used to greater advantage than trading them in for Treasury bonds. What they’re not addressing is that this new endeavor maintains the myth that U.S. Dollars have value — more value than, for example, Arabic as compared to Cyrillic script. Certainly, the notational system is important and valuable to the extent that it is widely understood and accepted. But that’s all.
The BRICS Bank dealing in dollars makes it vulnerable to being boycotted or undermined by the issuer of that particular currency. What they don’t seem to have understood is that the quantity of dollars is not determinative when it comes to investment. Third world nations are being shunned because they have become resistant to exploitation.
At what point is China going to realize that the widespread pollution resulting from its industrialization was/is not a happenstance?

July 7, 2014

“The Dollar is Getting Stronger”

Filed under: Economy — hannah @ 7:33 am

That’s the current headline, in various forms.
It seems ironic that an entity that’s quantified in hard numbers — i.e. the stock market — runs on feelings.

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June 30, 2014

Employer provided health insurance.

Filed under: Cost/benefit,Down the drain,Economy — hannah @ 2:19 pm

So, the Supreme Court has ruled that there is no Constitutional basis for agents of government requiring employers to provide particular kinds of health insurance coverage to their employees. But, I’d go further and argue that, if health services are part of the general welfare responsibilities of government, delegating those to employers is both irresponsible and inefficient. Adding a layer of middlemen in the form of insurance companies is bad enough. Expecting employers to pay the bill is adding insult to injury.
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June 27, 2014

The American Myth

Filed under: Economy — hannah @ 8:09 pm

Joseph Stiglitz, the economist, now aims to debunk the myth of the golden age. Why bother? Europeans have always been persuaded to set out across the oceans by lies. Why? Because explorers and exploiters are typically not capable of doing much for themselves. Like the conquerors of Everest, they need an army of porters and supporters, who get no credit for the accomplishment. Why? Because they are not fascinated by the fact that humans can be mobilized by an idea, especially one whose success is meaningless.
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June 19, 2014

Disruptive Innovation = Creative Destruction, warmed over

Filed under: another perspective,Economy — hannah @ 7:52 am

Jill Lepore, in her take-down of disruptive innovation, an essay the spouse recommends, mentions creative destruction in passing, probably because its practitioners didn’t admit what they were up to. Besides, the notion that something new and better would rise, like the Phoenix, from the ashes probably seemed a bit too fanciful for people who were just looking for an excuse to destroy whatever someone else had made, sort of like envious boys knocking down sand-castles on the beach because the tide was going to wash them away anyway. That the urge to destroy is elemental and natural is an explanation whose purpose is to still the nagging conscience’s insistence that destruction is inherently bad. It is also an example of resorting to intent to justify one’s acts.
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June 18, 2014

Economy Goes Boom in the Underground

Filed under: Down the drain,Economy,Notes from the Household — hannah @ 12:29 pm

Well, that’s a bit of hyperbole, but, lest the eyes glaze over, “economy” always needs a little jazzing up. And, even though gjohnsit’s diary has got good traction, a bit of elaboration on the theme can’t hurt.
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Rehashing Welfare Reform

Filed under: Economy — hannah @ 12:23 pm

That’s today’s contribution to the NY Times by Thomas Edsall. Whatever the numbers cited, the bottom line is that money is a tool designed to mediate trade and exchange. Using it to coerce human behavior is immoral. The immorality lies not in the tool, but in the impulse to coerce. Coercion is the antithesis of free will. Just as rights are realized by being respected, the freedom of the will depends on the coercive impulse being repressed. People consenting to do another’s bidding under threat of starvation or other physical distress are not free. While non-granting is different from deprivation, humans, being involuntarily born, are entitled to sustenance. That’s a societal obligation. Providing for the general welfare is not an option. When public servants don’t deliver, they need to be replaced.

June 17, 2014

Kochroaches: Increasing their popular appeal

Filed under: Down the drain,Economy — hannah @ 9:36 am

Let me issue this disclaimer up front. I have nothing against cockroaches, as long as they stay in their natural environment, which is not in my house. Indeed, when the fancier palmetto bugs get in inadvertently, I shoo them out, unless they’ve been caught in a spider web and are already providing my resident spiders with lunch.
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