Monday, January 31, 2011

Star Struck Politicians with Taxpayer Dollars

I got cellphone with an expensive 3G data plan. I got the phone so that I could develop sites optimized for a cellphone.

Anyway, 3G is sufficient to stream YouTube videos. So, I've been trolling YouTube and Vimeo for videos. I hope to find other services that stream video to cellphones.

So, I've been streaming locally produced videos and linking to the good ones. Locally means Mountain West. Here is a mobi optimized list by town.

Well, I just watched a 10 minute video by the Wyoming Film Office (View Here) that started talking about all of the resources and tax breaks governments give to film makers to enduce them to film in their locality.

Half way through watching the interview, the tape recorder in my head started playing the endless stream of movie stars and producers who routinely condemn the plebians about not paying enough taxes ... while the ruling class film makers demand to be lavished with perks and tax breaks.

Every state in the union has a film commission that is actively courting film makers with every inducement imaginable. I think working stiffs would enjoy watching a bureaucrat talking about the rewards lavished on the ruling class.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The MSL & Medicare

People are discussing entitlements. So, I thought I'd chime in on the Medical Savings and Loan and Entitlements.

Employer based insurance is dependent on Medicare.

Employer based insurance attempts to fund health care in a pay-as-you go manner. An actuary will calculate the expected medical costs for a group for a year. The actuary adds a hefty profit then charges a premium to employers based on this calculation.

The idea is that people will pay for their health care from their income.

Employer based insurance has the obviously flaw that, when people stop having income, they have no way to pay the pay as you go premium.

Employer based insurance is 100% dependent on there being a big government entitlement to catch people at retirement. If not for the entitlement, workers would notice that their health plan leaves them destitute and rise up against both their employer and insurer.

Historically, health insurance developed in conjunction with entitlements because health insurance is dependent on government entitlements.

Pay as you go insurance was developed by progressive businessmen in concert with progressive politicians. People never would have accepted insurance if not for the entitlements.

The converse is not true. Medicare is not dependent on insurance. The government can easily flank and roll up an insurance system without making that big of an impact on the lives of the people.

People's lives might actually improve because they would feel less obliged to a given employer ... feeling obliged to the state.

Socialist progressives have always seen insurance as a step in the progression from a free society to a socialist.

Conservatives are idiots for thinking insurance is a market oriented approach to health care. Insurance is an anti-market creation of the progressives. Insurance is dependent on big government. Without Medicare and government entitlements, pay-go insurance would implode because workers stop having income when they retire.

While insurance is dependent on entitlements, the Medical Savings and Loan is neutral on the issue. The goal of the Medical Savings and Loan is to help individuals self-fund their health care. The existence of entitlements reduces the amount of money that people need to save for health care.

In a world where medicare exists, members of the medical savings and loan would not need to save as much as one where it did not exist.

In a case where medicare becomes financially insolvent, the medical savings and loan provides a structured mechanism for gradually switching from a pay go back to a savings funded insurance system.

The mathematics of this is really interesting. The MS&L treats Medicare as a supplement to health care. The system I created has signalling mechanisms. If Medicare is insolvent, the MS&L would trigger signals that would tell people that they needed to save more for retirement.

The signalling mechanisms of the MS&L is a different post.

This post is about insurance. I've mentioned in previous posts that insurance is dependent on government regulation to present health care as a regular product for actuarial calculations. With insurance, every medical expense is a legal claim against a pool of money.

Health insurance is totally dependent on the government. If a product is totally dependent on the government, is it a free market solution?

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Call For Civil Discourse?

A "Call for Civil Discourse" in a political context is a rhetorical trick. For that matter, a "call for civil discourse" might itself be a snide partisan jab…depending on the context.

A "call for civil discourse" leveled at one's partisan opponents is an overt accusation that the opponent is uncivil.

At its worst, "calls for civil discourse" can have the negative effect of cutting large segments of the population out of the system.

False claims to civility and charges of incivility were at the heart of the mistreatment of Native Americans in the West and blacks in the Jim Crow South. One simply framed these groups as uncivil dullards, then systematically dismissed legitimate grievances.

False calls for civil discourse are most damaging in an image driven society in which many confuse civility with tone. In such societies the ruling class can get away with all sorts of horrific actions. Historically, one finds that many of the worst atrocities were committed by people who could maintain an even tone while doing wrong.

Overall, a discussion of how we should engage in civil discourse is a good thing. When done correctly, civil discourse will give voice to more people in society and will even lead to a higher quality of discourse.

It is, after all, high quality discourse that we should aspire to. High quality discourse is that which allows the voices of many and brings the best ideas to surface.

That said, whenever one hears a call for "civil discourse," one should look at context of the call. If the call is aimed at one's opponent or if it cuts voices out of the conversation, then the person or group making the call might, in actuality, be the worst rogue in the room.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Shootings and Grammar

I have little interest in the doings or thoughts of murders like Jared Loughner. I glean from the news that the Tucson shooter had strange ideas about grammar and currency. The primary influence on his life was the public school system and he was obsessed with mind control.

The obsession with grammar and currency is interesting in that the two most influential progressive thinkers of our era are: Noam Chomsky (a linguist dedicated to engineering social change by manipulating language) and George Soros (a hedge fund owner dedicated to engineering social change through the manipulation of currencies).

While I have no interest in Loughner, his case leads into a discussion of the differences between classical and modern thought.

Classical education was based on the Trivium. The three legs of the Trivium are Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric. Grammar is the study of the structure of language. The study of grammar is about the form of language and how accurately the language describes actions in space and time.

Logic is about the structure of ideas. The logician was interested in consistency and the soundness of a given idea.

Rhetoric, which classical thinkers held in high esteem, is the art of persuasion. Rhetoric is what we see in the world of public discourse.

People trained in the Trivium would approach life seeing grammar, logic and rhetoric as being three distinct, but important parts of communication.

The value of good grammar and good logic is that it elevates the rhetoric … rhetoric being the place where real communication takes place.

Having a set of logically sound ideas that I can communicate well helps me engage in rhetoric. Sound grammar and sound logic create the platform for rational discourse.

Modern educators blur the distinctions of the Trivium. We have actually become obsessed with engineering social change through the manipulation of grammar. For example, it has become taboo to use "he" as an impersonal singular pronoun. This manipulation of language has a profound impact on discourse. Without an impersonal singular pronoun, it is extremely difficult to describe the individual's perspective of the world.

In school, I was trained by progressive teachers to use purr words for friends and snarl words for enemies. I was taught how to use language to frame issues and how to associate friends of the revolution with positive images and enemies of the revolution with negative one.

Loughner's bizarre rants about grammar and mind control indicates that he picked up on the progressive's obsession with engineering change through the manipulation of language.

Mind control, after all, is the art of manipulating a population at a subliminal level.

In context of Loughner's rants, it is ironic that the liberal media launched into a no-holds-barred campaign to peg the shooting on Sarah Palin's use of shooting metaphors in her rhetoric.

The concerted effort to associate Sarah Palin with the Tucson shooting is precisely the type of mind control technique that is rampant in progressive circles.

The fact that the Tucson shooter wandered around campus with a video recorder ranting about grammar and mind control seems to indicate that he was more influenced by the liberal/progressive attempts to engineer society through manipulating grammar than by Sarah Palin's use of bullet points in PowerPoint presentations.

We will never find a complete cure for the emotionally disturbed. However, since the shooting has people talking about civil discourse, I find it worth mentioning that a prime difference between the classical and modern liberal approach to the world is in the role of grammar. The classical liberal, trained in the trivium, saw the grammar, logic and rhetoric as distinct legs in the process of elevating a civil society, while the modern progressive tends to hide arguments in the grammar, with hope that change will occur as a subliminal level.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Booked a Room

I booked a room at the Extended Stay Hotel in Phoenix.

I've been in a funk for the last few days. I learned about the Tucson shooting seconds after publishing my last post about the decision to attend the Tea Party Summit in Phoenix.

After writing the post, I did a Twitter search on "Tea Party Az." Although the police had not released information about the suspect, the real time search stream was filled with people trying to associate the shooting and the tea party.

It's telling that the anarchist shooter had an obsession with mind control. The game where people seek to associate their friends with positive images and enemies with negative ones is the most common form of political mind control. That so many people engaged in the practice was scary.

Anyway, I was excited to go to the Tea Party Summit because I've been hoping to get out of the toxic environment of Salt Lake.

This shooting means that Phoenix itself will be extremely ugly during the summit. Progressive protestors will be more vile than usual, and the MSM will pull every propagandist technique in the book to associate speakers at the meeting with the shooting.

But I am not going to Phoenix to talk to Phoenix. I am going there to see if there is any interest among the Tea Party leaders in the Medical Savings and Loan.

It is my belief that, for the Tea Party to succeed in its goal of restoring health care freedom, it must switch from the activist/agitation model to a discussion of ideas. The Medical Savings and Loan is a structure that allows for the open discussion of ideas related to financing health.

The Tea Party was correct in using the activist/agitation model in its effort to stop the passage of ObamaCare. After all, the progressives used this very model to build their supermajority. Obama was a Community Organizer weaned on Alinsky.

Using the weapons developed by progressives against progressives was an acceptable trick in the effort to stop ObamaCare.

The agitation model of discourse is not an adequate tool for restoring freedom. If the Tea Party continues on the activist path, it will become just another progressive group in the grub for base political power and will stop being a force for restoring liberty.

To restore liberty, the Tea Party must find higher ground.

The Medical Savings and Loan is higher ground. A debate that compared the Medical Savings and Loan to insurance would show that our health care woes are the result of attempts to use a group funding mechanism for individual consumption. Such a debate directly attacks the mandates of Obamacare and can serve as a basis for showing why these health exchanges are such a horrible idea.

The best, if not only, hope the Medical Savings and Loan has is for people in the Tea Party to take interest.

The activist/agitation model was developed by progressives. Progressivism is an extremely ugly and divisive way to undermine real discourse. Progressives developed other techniques such as framing and projection. When the Tea Party uses the activist/agitation model, it allows progressives to project the ugliness of their methodology onto their opponents.

Although it is fun to use the techniques of progressives against progressives, the technique ultimately fails because it allows progressive to project their techniques onto the opposition.

For the Tea Party to prevail, it must find a different path.

I booked a room at an Extended Stay Hotel to give myself time before and after the meeting to develop contacts with the hope that I can find someone in Arizona who wants to move in a positive direction.

From now to the Summit I will be working on ways to pay for the trip and on an outline for a Medical Savings and Loan Conference, as I think that might be the best way to introduce the idea.

My heart goes out to those hurt in the Tucson shooting and pity to those set on using the attacks in their agitation efforts. Anarchists kill to stop discourse.

I hope and pray that the Tea Party kicks its fascination with agitation and becomes an organization dedicated to the ideas of liberty and not simply the partisan grub for political power.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Tea Party Summit

I signed up for the Tea Party Summit in Phoenix. The summit runs February 25 through 27.

If there is any interest, I run my Medical Savings and Loan Conference just after this summit. Blog posts simply are not sufficient to communicate what the MS&L is.

I really hate the idea of self-publishing an unedited book, but I decided to write up a pamphlet so that I could have something to sell in Phoenix.

This is the section I just wrote:

I created the Medical Savings and Loan by reverse engineering an insurance company. As such, the program is best understood in contrast to insurance. When talking about the Medical Savings and Loan it is important to realize that the same amount of money going through health insurance will go through the Medical Savings and Loan.

Arguments for or against the plan should start with the realization that both programs have the same amount of money. It is a question of structure and how the structure affects the use of our health care resources.

Most people reject the Medical Savings and Loan outright based on the false assumption that it is under funded. It has the same amount of funds as insurance. If the program can achieve efficiencies, then it will be significantly over-funded.

The savings accounts, loans reserves and grants are tools that transition a group policy into individual accounts. The Health Care Advocate program takes the internal bureaucracy and externalizes it. The program takes the medical records that are currently owned by the insurance company and places them in the possession of the policyholder.

Since people are now making their health care decisions with their own money, they are likely to be more frugal in their consumption. Since they advocates work directly for the patient, they will no longer be working at cross purposes to the people. Since the paperwork is owned by the policyholders, the system should optimize the processing of paperwork to the policyholder's needs.

The idea is simple if someone could just catch on to the fact that I am reverse engineering an insurance company so that we align our health care resources to the needs of the people and not the needs as of the bureaucracy.

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Ready to Hit the Road

Perhaps the best tact to take on this Medical Savings and Loan Project would be to present it as a one day conference. So, I wrote up a proposal and an agenda.

Last month it dawned on me that the state legislatures are currently the battleground for health care freedom. If the tea party wishes to preserve health care freedom, there must to be tea party rallies at State Capitols this legislative session.

These rallies might appreciate original content.

A MS&L Conference would fit well with a health care tea party rally.

The Health Care Rally says that the top down centralized approach of ObamaCare is the wrong direction for this nation. The conference would provide a viable bottom up free market alternative to government controlled of health care.

The MS&L Conference could take place during the day, with a tea party rally taking place in the evening.

The conference would enhance a rally. The focus of the conference is a discussion of self-funded v. group funded financing of health care and would provide an argument against the mandates of ObamaCare.

The MS&L Conference should be independent of the rally, but they do enhance each other.

Even if people don't like the MS&L, having it stated shows that there are alternatives to Obamacare. Alternatives, after all, are the antedote to mandates.

I have a hard drive full of information supporting the medical savings and loan and the show is ready to go on the road.

I think my best bet would be to drive South. If news reports are correct, there are people in Arizona actively looking for ways to restore freedom.

Driving East to Colorado also looks promising. I have contacts in the state and they have many active freedom centric organizations.

The timing is right for a combination Health Care Freedom Rally and Medical Savings and Loan Conference. The challenge is finding a group of people interested in the concept.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Winning Ideas

Larry Margasak, reporting through the AP Press has it right.

Right now, the tea party has a toe hold in the Republican power structure and Republicans have control of one house of Congress. That is not much of a political base.

Progressives still control the presidency, the senate, the universities, the public schools, the unions, the big banks, Wall Street, the big insurance companies, and the press.

If the tea party is to succeed in its goal of restoring freedom, the next two years must be about ideas and not about policy.

IMHO, the tea party must transition from simple obstructionism to full engagement in the war of ideas. The tea party most go beyond slogans for limited government to a discussion of how and why freedom works.

The tea party must press on issues to show why progressive constructs like the Federal Reserve, government insured mortgage backed securities, CDOs, credit default swaps, employer based insurance, etc., continue to fail.

This game where progressives create failed systems then project the failures on the free market is absurd.

To restore freedom, the Tea Party movement must engage full force in the war of ideas and demonstrate how and why a free market out performs a controlled market.

The tea party must come up with true free market alternatives to the contrivances of the progressives.

Simply winning a few seats during a midterm election is not enough to stop our nations progress on the road to socialism serfdom.

If the tea party fails to engage in a discussion of ideas, the fruit of the 2010 tea party will simply be that the progressives in the Republican Party will grab power from the progressives of the Democratic Party.

That is not much of a gain.

Unlike socialism, freedom cannot won through a partisan victory. It is won by the way people choose to live their lives. To restore the American espriement of a free society, the tea party needs to move beyond simple obstructionism to a broader discussion of the way freedom works.